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Draw Koi & Other Wonders: Memory/Observational Drawing

Updated on September 23, 2012

Anybody can draw, but not everybody can draw well. As with anything, refinement is key. Talent is part of the equation, but practice is the defining difference between so so drawings and drawings that make you look twice. The best piece of advise I ever got was to draw every day. Its just like exercise, your muscles develop movement memory and so do your observational capabilities. I would suggest drawing things you are attracted to, but draw them from real life . "Why can't I just draw from a photograph?" you may be asking yourself. Simple. Its not 3 dimensional. You really train your eye to look around an object as you draw a 3-d object. As you look around the object, you start to notice how light falls on the object, and this will help you to understand volume and form.

Besides drawing everyday, I would urge you to visit a local museum or library and just take in the drawings there. You will start to become aware of the many different styles of drawing. Look all the way back to the cave drawings of France all the way up to the present. There are hundreds of different styles. As a novice drawing student, try to do this as often as practical.

Fluid, Happy Koi, 2008...this was first sketched on a 6 x 6 square of acid free paper, then filled in with fine line marker
Fluid, Happy Koi, 2008...this was first sketched on a 6 x 6 square of acid free paper, then filled in with fine line marker | Source

What Do I Draw On?

My fellow artists, you may draw on virtually anything, a good place to start is paper though! Just go to the store and get a spiral bound hard cover drawing book and some pencils (2b, 4b, hb, 8b) or whatever you may have on hand. The drawing books are made with acid free paper. This is the only requirement in materials that I would recommend, because you just never know when you will have a brilliant moment and you'll want to preserve that for posterity! Paper that is not acid free will disintegrate over time. Just think about any older newspaper clippings you may have kept.

A final word: it may feel like you are getting nowhere for what seems like a long time, but keep at and, soon you will find your own style of drawing emerging and that is a thing of beauty!

Suggestions/Supplies/Artists of Note

  • Fine Line Markers are a great drawing implement (you can't erase, and this is a good thing) as you will see in future installments
  • Acid free paper in either book form or sheets, any size
  • Drawing pencils (2b, 4b, 8b, graphite), experiment with them all
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Mars plastic eraser
  • Charcoal if you wish
  • Color markers
  • A chamois cloth for blending or soft paper towels

Find these supplies at any reputable art store (best), and some office supply stores also carry some art suplies.


  • Draw everyday for about 20 minutes to start
  • Try adding 5 minutes to your drawing time every week
  • Draw even for 10 minutes if that's all you have time for
  • Draw a wide variety of subjects, including what you find most compelling

Some artists I enjoy include Chagall, Charles Schultz of Peanuts fame, Kliban of Kliban Cats fame and many others. Good luck in your drawing adventures!

More Suggestions: Fine Line Markers and Inspiration


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    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile image

      thoughtfulgirl2 5 years ago from East Coast

      To bugslady8949

      Hello, when I first wrote a comment to your comment about my hub, I don't know if it went through, so if it didn't thank-you for checking out the hub. Have a great day:)

    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile image

      thoughtfulgirl2 6 years ago from East Coast

      Dear bugslady8949,

      I'm so glad you enjoyed the hub, if you have any questions, feel free to email me. Happy drawing to you and good luck!

    • bugslady8949 profile image

      bugslady8949 6 years ago from The Bahamas

      you did a great job, i am planning to learn to draw.this hub helped me a lot.