I was very touched by all your answers for the skill question giveaway. So many of these skills are most definitely achievable in this lifetime, I do hope you explore some of these resources. I have mentioned some of these resources in previous posts, but I figure if you decided you wanted to get started (it seems time is definitely a factor stopping a lot of us), then I should make it as easy as possible so you can just dive into learning your new skills. Maybe I shouldn’t have titled this ‘becoming a better artist’, because art is subjective, someone might think you are incredible right now, but I do understand that what most of you want to do is better develop your skills and I can say from experience that drawing emphatically is not a skill that you have to be born with to become great at (I’m not great by any stretch of the imagination but I improved dramatically from stick figures to realistic animals in about 6 months time). You will need to devote some time, practice my friends seems to be the ‘secret’ to skill building. Below are some great resources for you to get started. I can’t wait to see what you all can accomplish!
The ‘10,000 hours’ to master a skill myth has been debunked, lucky for me and you, 10,000 hours seems a lifetime away. Many studies have now shown that it’s not just time that’s needed but how you spend that time, ‘dedicated practice’ seems to be key. So, if you only have 5 minutes a day, make those minutes count! Talent is Overrated should be good motivation. This article ‘Debunking the 10,000 hour myth’,
So you thought you couldn’t draw-This book was a game changer for me! It works off a grid system, which breaks down the image into a tiny box. It allowed me to see an image differently and was the first time I was able to draw something that didn’t look like a scribble, it gave me a lot of confidence. Many famous artists utilized the grid system in their masterpieces, why? Because it works.
Any of the Ames books-These books are targeted to children, I so wish I had them as a kid! Never to late though, the author breaks his drawings up into simple shapes in steps, by the time you get to the last step you should have a pretty decent rendition of what he drew. Shapes are a big theme in learning to draw and most beginning drawing classes will bore you to tears about shapes, but if you can actually see an image being made from shapes it becomes a different story and for me a huge ‘aha’ moment.
Danny Gregory-I mentioned Mr. Gregory before, he didn’t start drawing until he was 35! He now has built a small industry on getting people excited and motivated to draw. He has many great books, but this is the one I started with. He also has his own online drawing school!
Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces-I often find that there are teachers that may not have a style I want to replicate, but may have that kernel of knowledge that I was seeking. That’s how I felt when I discovered the Jane Davenport book, it wasn’t a style I wanted to emulate but there were key tips in there for drawing a face that were broken down into very comprehensible steps. I now know a basis for how far eyes, nose, etc. should be no matter what style I choose to do a face in, and where ears should be placed, it made a huge difference in this skill set for me. Ms. Davenport also has online workshops, I watched a preview and she seems utterly delightful and full of enthusiasm.
Drawing from the Right side of the brain-I have only read bits and pieces of this book, but people swear by it and since it is in its 4th edition with nearly 500+ 5 star reviews, I think it’s something to explore.
Learn Children’s Book Illustration-This came up many times as a skill people wanted to possess, there is much more involved than just basic drawing, you need to learn how to create expressions as well, this class series should help you with that! The Guardian U.K. has a series where they ask famous picture book authors how to draw something, it’s quite charming, my fave is Oliver Jeffers ‘how to draw a penguin’.
Drawing classes on line-Everyone has a different style of learning, I am convinced that half the battle is finding a method or teacher that resonates with your way of learning. My suggestion on these classes is find one that feels like a fit, or take them all like I do and gather as many ‘crumbs’ that resonate as possible, I feel I learn something from everyone. If you feel a teacher is completely getting you frazzled, just move on.
Drawing and Illustration Basics with Heather Ross-I love Heather, or more accurately I love Heather! I think she oozes creativity in everything she does and I found it a treat to be able to watch her in action. Honestly, some of the lessons were above my skill level but she does one easy (and fun) tip on drawing stylized children that I felt I could easily accomplish and have fun doing.
Introduction to Drawing with Molly Hatch-Molly’s work is a staple at Anthro, it’s her charming illustrations on her pottery that make her a best seller. Since she makes a living ‘drawing’ I think she is a good person to be teaching this multi-lesson class. This really goes over all the basics and exercises, it’s a nice concise dive into drawing basics!
I haven’t taken any drawing classes from this provider but I have taken other classes that I have enjoyed so I think they may be worth investigating further. It seems they have everything from beginning drawing to various mediums and everything in between, a good start to finding what will work for you.
This may be a stretch, but it helped me once I started to learn that basic shapes can create a bevy of objects from people to animals to well pretty everything. I took an Illustrator class that worked with building designs + characters from simple shapes. I couldn’t find that same class but I found this Skillshare tutorial, bonus, if you use our link you’ll get 30 days free!
Feeling overwhelmed at a loss at where to start? Sometimes a community aspect makes it so much easier, there are a few well known and respected forums, Wet Canvas is one (I often would go there when I had printing questions). DeviantArt skews a little young, but who cares? There’s a goldmine of info there for drawing basics, you may just have to dig a little deeper but there’s some great, easy to comprehend tutes.
Drawspace-Their tagline is ‘now everyone can draw’, I think that’s as good a start as any!
This link has a ton of easy diagrams to follow to draw things from cute Corgi’s to a realistic eye!
A homechooling mom put together an impressive list of 40 links to draw specific items from drawing feet, to poodles to everything in between.
Artist Daily offers 26 free beginning drawing lessons, but you may have to give them your email, boo! But yay! to free lessons!
What skills are needed to draw everything? Pretty hefty title, check out the link to see if it is befitting.
I shall leave you with these for now, there’s a lot to be said about good quality tools, I’ll try to get into some good ones tomorrow, I promise this makes a world of difference on your drawing/painting journey. If you have any other resources to add to this list please leave them in the comments! And if by chance any one of you decides to develop these skills, we would love to be kept posted on your progress!
P.S. The randomly chosen winner for the Intermediate Modern Calligraphy Kit giveaway is Lynne!
Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.