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How to Make Drawing Fun

Updated on May 16, 2013
Dbro profile image

I am Diane Brown (dbro), an artist and illustrator living in Texas. I enjoy all phases of the creative process. Enjoy and comment!

"Bounty" pen and ink 8x10"
"Bounty" pen and ink 8x10"

I love to draw! I have had a pencil in my hand from the time I was a small child (barely able to hold it properly) until today many years later (I won't tell how many). I have always been fascinated with the notion of portraying an object with lines, marks, and "shadows." I have received excellent training in my drawing career. My first teacher was my grandmother, who used to draw for me when I was young. I would ask her to draw something and she would lovingly (but under the protest, "I can't draw" - more about that later) obey my wishes and draw whatever it was that struck my fancy at the time. At that point in my life, I was also a big fan of the "Magic Drawing Board" on Captain Kangaroo (does anyone else remember that?). As I grew older I had the benefit of excellent art teachers who encouraged the development of my skills.

"It takes great passion and energy to do anything creative." - Agnes DeMille

Now, back to my grandmother's "I can't draw" comment. My observation has been that when you ask any five-year-old child if he or she can draw, they will resoundingly say "Yes!" and proceed to proudly show their talents. Now ask a vast majority of adults the same question they will overwhelmingly answer, "No!"

The real question is, what changed? What life experiences have caused so many people to abandon drawing as a pleasurable activity? I'm sure the causes are many, and I'm certain that negative remarks from others plays a role. A more important factor, however, is the relentless self-criticism people engage in when they try to draw. People (adults) are way too afraid to make a mistake!

One of the best art teachers I ever had (Mr. Raymond Knaub) once told me, "Drawing is nothing but a series of corrections." This is so true! When you set out to make a drawing, just get started - look at your results - then work to improve it. When you draw (or pursue creative expression in any form), be kind to yourself! It takes courage to express one's inner voice, especially to then share that expression with others. That part of ourselves is vulnerable and needs to be nurtured, not battered about with unrealistic expectations and impatience! Every effort made in the journey toward artistic expression, in this case through drawing, should be celebrated and appreciated as part of a growth process. The more you practice, the more your drawing will improve.

Each drawing I create and every drawing I've seen others make is a unique and wonderful glimpse into the inner world of the artist. We miss so much when we shut this great creative activity out of our lives!

Tree Frog Trio 10 x 10" Pencil
Tree Frog Trio 10 x 10" Pencil

"Go on working, freely and furiously and you will make progress."

- Paul Gauguin

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    • Dbro profile image
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      Dbro 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      I sure hope you do pick up that pencil truefaith7! I love to draw and paint, but I understand about "life" getting in the way. I think art (and creative expression of any type) is a great way to take a step back from all the pressures of modern life and reconnect with who you are at your core. I'd love to hear about your reclaimed artistic endeavors!

      Thanks again for your kind comments!

    • truefaith7 profile image

      truefaith7 5 years ago from USA

      Very inspiring hub Dbro! I used to draw pretty avidly when I was a kid, but the passion for drawing just faded as I grew up. Or else I just got so bogged down in Life that my passion for creating a whole universe on a sheet of notebook paper just got lost somewhere along the way. Anyway, maybe it's time I get a pencil (or brush) and paper out and draw a little more! Many thanks for sharing! Voted up and across!

    • Dbro profile image
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      Dbro 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      I love your comments, Happyboomernurse! You are always so descriptive of your thoughts and feelings about a particular topic. I'm glad that you found a mentor/teacher who could help you overcome some of your anxious feelings about allowing yourself to create. The "inner critic" keeps us from experiencing so much joy and freedom, doesn't it? - and not only in the world of art.

      I very much appreciate your comments!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      I'm one of those who reflexively says "I can't draw" and what you've written in this hub really struck home. As a small child (3 to 5) I did love to draw and color and I can remember my older sister making fun of me for not staying in the lines of a coloring book, and for using inappropriate colors. She was three years older and very artistic so I took her criticism to heart.

      This past winter I took a one day workshop in painting with acrylics and was really nervous.

      However, the instructor was very reassuring and made the experience fun for everyone.

      Did I create a great piece of art? No, but it was a lot better than I expected and I had a great time while painting.

      I agree that adults are way too afraid of making a mistake and appreciate the encouragement you've written in this hub.

      Voted up across the board except for funny.

    • Dbro profile image
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      Dbro 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      Skill in drawing is largely gained through practice, so I do encourage you to start! Good luck with your endeavors. I'd love to see some of your work.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      I attempt the drawing...I do paint with acrylics and am going to try water mixable oils. Need to get back to painting ...I have been writing a lot. I am going to work on my drawing...I have always had a problem with it. Thanks again.

    • Dbro profile image
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      Dbro 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      I'm so flattered, carol7777! I hope you will enjoy some of my other hubs. I truly love all forms of creative expression and want people to cherish that part of their lives as well. Do you draw or paint?

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      A well written article about a favorite topic. I am going to read some of your other hubs. Thanks for sharing the wisdom and great ideas.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      And thanks for the read, DBro! Looking forward to seeing more art hubs from you...and interesting gift ideas!

    • Dbro profile image
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      Dbro 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      I can attest to your ability to relate to the world through your writing, midget38! I have enjoyed many of your hubs. I would argue that you are indeed an artist - an artist of the written word! Thanks for your comments!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      For myself, I relate to the rest of the world best through writing, pets and music! Am not an artist myself, but am a great appreciator of artists and what they do.

    • Dbro profile image
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      Dbro 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      Thanks for your comments, Midget38. I appreciate you reading my articles. I have always been a very visual person, learning best through seeing. How do you best relate to the world?

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      You sound like a really creative person, Dbro. The pencil really stimulates your thinking, and many thanks for sharing your really creative thought processes. Votes up!

    • Dbro profile image
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      Dbro 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      Thanks for your kind comments, UlrikeGrace. Being a creative person requires courage, don't you think?

    • UlrikeGrace profile image

      UlrikeGrace 5 years ago from Canada

      Starting is often the hardest part of anything we do...once started a project seems to stimulate itself if given a chance. Thanks for the encouragement...I take it to heart. Blessings to you.

    • Dbro profile image
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      Dbro 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      I love your comment nifwlseirff! We waste so much time in worry over what other people might think... I'm glad you like my tree frog drawing. It was a fun little drawing to do.

    • nifwlseirff profile image

      Kymberly Fergusson 5 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      Life is also a series of corrections and improvements! We shouldn't be afraid of either drawing, or living. Your tree frogs are adorable!