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Learning How To Draw

Updated on April 20, 2016
Frozen: Elsa
Frozen: Elsa | Source

My Mission

Everyone was an artist at one point in their life, but most of us decided to quit that title as we grew up. I'm here to let you know that you can still go back to your artistic roots!

My mission is not to teach people how to draw, but rather to show them that they already can.

Drawing can basically be described as the transferring of a 3-dimensional object onto a 2-dimensional sheet of paper. Of course there's exceptions to this, but for our purposes, that's what we'll define drawing as.

Drawing With The Wrong Side Of Your Brain

When you were just a child, you likely drew hundreds of different little pictures of people, animals, and objects without any thought of how different it may have looked compared to the real thing, as most children do.

As you grew older, you started to realize that your drawings were not matching the objects you were attempting to re-create, and before long you decided that it was simply a lost cause, and quit.

Your drawings turned out the way they did because you were using the left side (the logical side) of your brain instead of the right side (the creative side) of your brain. Is that bad? When it comes to art - Yes, it makes things very difficult.

Exercise

Let's Draw Something: Exercise 1

To show you what I mean, do you think you could draw the image to the right? seems simple enough, right? It'll probably only take you a few minutes to finish it, and when you're done, it's going to look quite similar to the original.

Once you've finished drawing this, go ahead and move to the next small exercise

Exercise 2

Now that you've drawn that little scribble above, try this one. Again, it shouldn't be too tough since it's only a couple of lines, right? This one will also only take a minute or two to complete, and when you're done you can go ahead and move on to the last little drawing exercise.

Exercise 3

Here's the last little doodle for you to re-create. Just like the two before it, it should only take a couple of minutes or so, and your drawing will probably look pretty close to the original (don't worry, I promise this is going somewhere)

The Result: A Hand

Congratulations, you've just drawn a hand! Granted, each part of it is separated, but if you re-sized each one a bit, flipped it around and slapped them together you'd see exactly what I've been trying to tell you. You can draw!

Proof That You Already Know How To Draw

If you were to try to draw that hand directly off of the original sketch, the left side of your brain would instinctively try to take over, and tell you what a hand should logically look like. But by drawing each of those images individually, the left side of your brain had no logical explanation to give you, which allowed you to use the right side of your brain (You tricked yourself!).

So really, you already know how to draw. Your brain just wants to tell you otherwise.

How do your Doodles compare to the originals?

See results

The Left Side Of The Brain

Lets say you wanted to draw a table, and logically the table has 4 straight legs that meet the table at a 90 degree angle. This is what the left side of your brain is telling you as you try to draw this table.

So naturally you try to draw four 90 degree angles, but it doesn't turn out right. This is because art is not achieved through logic. You have to break away from the logical side of your brain and embrace the creative side. But to do this, you need to learn how to see objects through an artist's eyes.

Speaking of Eyes

What do you see when you look at the image above? Do you see eyes?

When you go to draw an object, try not to look at it as though it's what it truly is (I know, that sounds confusing), but rather look at it as though it's just a bunch of curves, lines and shapes.

The reason i'm asking you to look at objects as shapes is to help you trick the left side of your brain from taking over your drawings. If you're not thinking with the logical side of your brain, it allows your creative side to take over, which in turn allows you to draw more accurately.

If you can learn to do this, you've already become an artist.

Sides of the Brain

Left Side
Right Side
Logical
Creative
Mathematical
Artistic
Scientific
Abstract

Drawing Abstract Art

The principles explained above applies to realistic art, but does it play a role in abstract art?

Yes! You could even say that looking at objects through the artists eye is looking at it abstractly, since you're trying not to see the object as a real thing.

Abstract art is the epitome of seeing like an artist. You create things merely as lines and shapes, which turn into something more!

Although I draw various things, I've always had a passion for abstract art which I keep on my own website (DezigningArt.com). It's one thing to re-create something that already exists, but creating something truly unique gives you an odd sort of pride over your work.

Darth Vader Drawing
Darth Vader Drawing | Source

Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain

Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain
Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain | Source

As you can see, your drawings don't have to be amazing (trust me, for my age, my drawings are far from amazing), but what's important is that you keep going. Merely wishing that you can draw well isn't going to solve anything. Take a class, ask an artistic friend, read a book, watch a few video lessons, or keep practicing on your own. Whatever it takes.

Much of the information I used to write this hub is based off of an amazing book called "Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain" by Betty Edwards. I took a class that used this book as a basis for learning, and it changed the way I look at things. I realize that I'm not an amazing artist, but I hope to be one someday, and if you'd like to join me then I highly recommend purchasing this book. I personally guarantee you'll greatly improve your skills as an artist if you read and follow all the information it has to offer.

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    • thebiologyofleah profile image

      thebiologyofleah 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great hub, this is the way I try to draw but I've never really be able to articulate it. Great descriptions and timely for me as I'm working on an art project for the first time in years. I'm a bit rusty so the reinforcement helps!

    • lmoyer92 profile image
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      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      I'm glad you found it useful! I hope you post your finished artwork on hubpages when you're finished so we can all see :)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Wow that is good, I may give it a try. I am new at it but not bad, just not good, lol.

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      You see, that's your logical side thinking right there ;) I bet if you try the exercises, you'll surprise yourself.

    • profile image

      hlwar 3 years ago

      Interesting article with a fresh perspective on drawing! I admit, I look at drawing perhaps too seriously, but your method will definitely inspire more people to stop wishing and start practicing!

      And by the bye, my last drawing was of Elsa too (but in my own original style). ;D

    • Setab profile image

      Setab 3 years ago

      Interesting

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      Hlwar - It's difficult to stop looking at things logically, and start looking at them creatively. The only way to get better at it is to practice! And I certainly hope it inspires people to practice more.

      You'll have to show me the drawing! I enjoy seeing the work of others :)

    • profile image

      KristinaMPitts 3 years ago

      Your drawings look a lot like disney which is a great thing btw. Walt Disney made it big drawing like this and you will too :)

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      I would love for my work to become something great someday, but it's difficult when there's so many talented artists already out there.

      I suppose there' no way of truly knowing, though. And i'm not quitting just because there's people out there better than I am. Thank you for your encouragement! :)

    • deepthiveera profile image

      deepthiveera 3 years ago from Cumbum, Tamil Nadu, India

      Dear lmoyer92 , Thanks a lot for this great Hub! I am indeed very much interested in drawing. You have given here good ideas that can make any one as a drawing master. I will try my best to learn drawing. Voted Up!

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      Thank you!I hope it was helpful to you on your endeavors to become a great artist :)

    • profile image

      hlwar 3 years ago

      @lmoyer92 - Thanks! I am a pretty analytical (and skeptical) person, but I agree, the only way to get better is to set negativity aside, admit areas you can improve, and practice, practice, practice! d(^_^)

      Aw, well, she's not perfect but you can find Elsa at my deviantART gallery: http://fav.me/d793pxw

      Thank you for the support, and I look forward to seeing more of your artwork in the near future! Keep at it, man!! (´ω`★)

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      Great work! What application do you use to get your artwork digital? I've only ever used pencils and pens, and haven't really gotten into the digital form of it yet.

      I'm not sure if you saw the link in the hub itself, but in case you haven't, I keep my artwork at my own website (DezigningArt.com), and I even give a background as to why I ended up drawing Elsa here: http://dezigningart.com/frozen-elsa/

      It wasn't on my list of things to do, lol. But then again, my drawings never usually are.

    • profile image

      hlwar 3 years ago

      Many thanks! I only recently got into digital painting this past August, but it's pretty addicting due to the ease. I color in the old version of Photoshop 6.0. However, I don't own a digital drawing tablet so I still draw traditionally, doing the line work in pencil and pen to scan into PS.

      You're website is lovely and I enjoyed the story behind your Elsa! o(^▽^)o Unfortunately, the link to your "doodle of the day 2" earlier version is broken. But overall you have some cool concepts!

      Yeah, I hear you. I never go into a drawing with a plan. I usually just start sketching and it becomes whatever it pleases. Probably why I don't draw often. XD

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      Ahh, I see how that would work out. I'm hoping to get into it eventually, but I don't have a good enough scanner. Mine is probably 6 years old or older and can't really scan a good quality image.

      Thanks for letting me know about that! I just fixed it now. It's strange that it added the "2" at the end of the url, which is likely why it couldn't find the page.

    • profile image

      hlwar 3 years ago

      To be honest, I had to get a new scanner last month as mine was no longer compatible with the latest Windows; until then I had been taking digital photographs of my sketches and uploading to work with. It seemed to do the job well enough, except sometimes the image would look titled.

      No problem! And by the way, I failed to say I love your abstract work! Some of those designs remind me of weapons (like daggers or throwing stars) and would look killer as tattoos. \m/

    • Amanda108 profile image

      Amanda 3 years ago from Michigan, United States

      This is really useful and interesting! It's sad how growing up robs us of the belief that we can draw, especially when it's such a fun and calming activity.

    • ruthwalker profile image

      ruthwalker 3 years ago

      Great hub, really enjoyed reading that and trying out the exercise, it did actually end up looking like something too, but when I tried drawing the hand on it's own it didn't look very 'hand-like', maybe that was my logical left brain interfering. Would love to be able to draw/paint but have no idea where to start, the idea of trying to tap into the creative side of your brain and bypass the logical side is very interesting, that book looks good, may have to purchase at some point.

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      Amanda - It is! I might just have to write my next hub on the actual proven benefits of drawing (or most artwork in general). It really does calm you down, and even allows you to create your own reality. Do you draw?

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      Ruth - I definitely recommend the book to beginners and experts alike. It wa all that I needed to get started, and all I've really needed to keep going.

      I'm glad you participated in the exercises! When I first tried the similar exercises in the book I have listed above, my mind was blown. I couldn't even believe what I had drawn.

    • janesix profile image

      janesix 3 years ago

      Great drawings:) Nice.

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      Thank you! I hope the hub was helpful to you :)

    • BrandonBailey profile image

      Brandon Bailey 3 years ago from Toledo Ohio

      Im glad I finally seen someone who views art like I do!

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      Haha, there's many artists out there that view art this way. You're not alone :) And welcome to HubPages! I see you're a fairly new member.

    • DonnaCaprio profile image

      Donna Caprio Quinlan 3 years ago from Newburyport, MA

      I always thought that a person had to have natural talent to draw, which I did not Boy, was I surprised when I took a drawing class last year. I learned that anyone could learn to draw with some practice. The instructor used the book you mentioned in your post "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". It is an excellent book and helped me to see that I could draw. Great post. Thanks!

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      Thank you! I'm glad you found it helpful.

    • profile image

      Elliott Raggio 3 years ago from Hove

      great tips....on my next project, i'm gonna apply these techniques

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      Glad I could be of assistance! You'll have to let me know when you finish your project so I can check it out :)

    • susi10 profile image

      Susan W 3 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Great hub, Leon! I always thought that I couldn't draw but this hub proved me wrong. I guess I am able to draw should I put my mind to it. Your exercise on drawing Elsa's hand was very good and I will attempt it. Your explanation of drawing with the right side of the brain was excellent. You are an excellent artist!

      Well done, and I'm looking forward to your future hubs! Voted up +++, interesting and shared.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Do you know how talented you are? Your artwork is amazing.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Awesome! You should be an art teacher. Well, maybe you are. I dunno, but a great big welcome to HP!

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      @susio10, Thank you! I would love to be responsible for getting someone actively participating in artist exercises like the one I provide in here. Let me know how it turns out! And don't forget to vote in the poll to show how similar your end result is.

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      @CraftytotheCore, Thank you! Your compliments are appreciated :)

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      @rebeccamealey. Haha, I would love to be an art teacher some day, but as of now I'm not. That's certainly an Idea to implement into my website though! So thanks for the idea! :D

    • Kathy Carr profile image

      Kathy Carr 3 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      I love art and your drawings are fantastic. Me myself don't think I'm no Picasso, but I did manage to illustrate a children's book. I believe the fact that it's there but it's in the practice. If I knew then what I know now I probably could have a whole shelf of illustrated books by now. When I was in high school and could not draw an orange to make it look like an orange, I gave up. I really did figure it was not for me but loved art to the core. These last few years of my life have I really gotten into it only to realize I can draw. Keep up the excellent work and your gift will make room for you on a platform somewhere. Welcome aboard to Hubpages!

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      Thank you! And I'm always happy to meet a fellow artist! I've never really entirely stopped drawing, but I've gone through some really slow stages where I only do some doodles every few weeks. I've only just started making full drawings such as Elsa here about 2 months ago. I would love to make something of my art someday. It's a dream I've always had, and always will have until it's achieved. Thanks again! :)

    • kerlund74 profile image

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Great and interseting hub, I will try this:)

      Wonderful drawings by the way!

    • Walanj Aniket profile image

      Aniket Walanj 3 years ago from India

      Interesting dude

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      @kerlund, thank you! You should let me know how it turns out after you've tried it :)

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      @Walanj, thank you :)

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Nice, I love to draw myself as do most of my kids-- except for one boy, but now at age 15 he's suddenly taken an interest. This is a great, encouraging guide for someone starting out and I'll be sure to share it with him. Nice hub.

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      Thank you! I hope it inspires him to continue as an artist :)

    • Evan Martin profile image

      Evan Martin 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I have read Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and it really inspired me to draw. Now I just gotta find time to practice because it is a very enjoyable hobby!

    • lmoyer92 profile image
      Author

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      I'm glad to hear you've read it! It's wonderful book. And I agree that it's a wonderful hobby :) It may be a tad time consuming, but the effort is worth it in the end.

    • Shravan Picsonia profile image

      Shravan K Acharya 3 years ago from India

      Amazing hub. Thanks for the information. Cheers :)

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Great, motivational write. My hubby is an artist. He paints, draw and create depending on his mood, of course. On the other hand, I write and create but have never actually tried my skills on sketching, which I would love to do in the future. There's an extra easel in the house, anyway. :) Your hub just motivated me more.

      I see some talents in you. Write on, draw more!

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