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Couldn't draw a stick figure if my life depended on it

Updated on July 3, 2016
Pencil and paper sketch I did a few years back.
Pencil and paper sketch I did a few years back.

Getting started in drawing.

I know a lot of times we don't do something because we feel that we can't. I want you today to stop saying "I can't" and start saying "I will." I know when I ask people if they draw or do art at all I often get the response ,"I couldn't draw a stick figure if my life depended on it." I start to wonder how many people would actually like to draw or create an art piece. Usually getting started in any hobby is the hardest part. Today I would like to show you a few tips on getting started with drawings.

If you can write you can draw!

To be honest if you can learn to do cursive handwriting, or even write basic handwriting, you can draw! The school system teaches you almost from day one in school to start learning letters and numbers. They also go as far as teaching you how to write all those letters and numbers. When I was in school we would use the big chief notepads to learn how to write the letters of the alphabet repeating along each line. We carefully learned how to write the letter A, then after that moved on to the next letter B. If you are able to do this from such an early age you can also learn to draw. Just doing the letter X makes you halfway there to making a full stick figure. Just need to make the letter O between the V part of the X. See what I'm getting at here? Your not giving yourself the credit you deserve.

Take a step back and looking at learning differently.

If you go back in your mind as to why you were able to learn those letters so fast over a few years. They use to make us follow the outlines of the letters and numbers till we got it right. Almost like practicing an instrument each and every day. We will just use this same method to start drawing pictures. Nobody said you couldn't start out learning to draw by tracing over images. You can use tracing paper to do this and any magazine. Tape the edges of the tracing paper to the magazine page and get it aligned to the page. Oh and make sure you have an image on the page your taping your picture to. After that take a pencil or pen to start outlining the image below. Get use to following the lines you see and start going from there. I know this may seem like a wasted effort at first but we all have to start somewhere. This is just an exercise to get you to stop thinking so hard on how to draw and taking away a few extra factors. Do this a couple of times a day till you feel a little more comfortable picking that pen or pencil up and drawing. Do each page at least more than once. You know that saying "fake it till you make it." Well if you do something enough times it actually sticks in your head. I actually would recomend doing this for a month just so it's second nature for you to outline an image with tracing paper. Now that a month or 2 has gone by and you've kept up your practice I now want you to go back and try drawing without tracing the images. I want to you to use your muscle memory just like you did with the letters and numbers growing up. I want you to start drawing knowing you have already done this many times using tracing paper.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes

I know often we are scared of making mistakes in anything we do. I feel at times this also stops us from doing something a lot of the time. We have to take that fear of making a mistake and use it. It can be fuel for the fire that you will need in moving forward. Think of it this way, for every mistake you make you earn experience points with that. I know some of you play video games and have that RPG game that you have to level up your experience points. Well life is very similar to this. You have to up your experience points before you can level up, and sometimes leveling up means making mistakes.

Take a class!

Sometimes it can help to get you moving a little faster by taking a class. And no don't feel bad for going this route. You see people using personal trainers in they gym. This is no different than doing just that. Go online and look in your local community for drawing classes. And you might find that you actually enjoy learning from getting a few lessons. There is something about using personal lessons and getting the information you need.

Another Tip

Don't feel bad about using the internet. If your going to do something productive with it might as well use if for critiques. Find drawing forums that have people who love to draw and give constructive feed back to your work in progresses. Make sure the forums you decide to use are productive and try to keep away the people are just haters and internet trolls.

Useful sites for drawing

http://www.layerpaint.com

http://www.conceptart.org

http://fengzhudesign.com/tutorials.htm

These sites just feel around and get to know them if your looking to get deeper into art. Always lots of good tips and great community to learn from.

Go and create something!

I hope some of this information is useful to you and helps you move forward and not to be afraid of drawing. I know doing something creative puts you in a place that kind of exposes you and your feelings. But remember you are doing this for you. To express yourself to the world and to make it a better place in the end. That's all that matters here.

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