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How to Start Drawing

How to Start Drawing

From David Gospodinovski:

Hello Vladimir,

I would like to know one thing. Maybe I need to answer this question myself, but I can’t really. Ever since I was a kid, I have hated drawing. I have no idea how or why. I have always been fascinated by drawings of people or animals, so why don’t I actually like drawing? I know it will help me with my digital art, and I am very committed to that. I have always wanted to know how the characters from my favorite games and movies are created.

I have never drawn in my life, but now I really want to start. But there is a problem: how do I start? I have books and videos, but all I see in the books are completed drawings of people accompanied by a lot of text, while the videos are time-lapse. I walk away more frustrated than before.

How long are your videos about human drawing and anatomy? Do you have any plans to make more? For example, drawing the skeleton and muscles, different body types, an explanation of the differences between female and male bodies, human versus animal / creature anatomy?

Reply from Vladimir London, Drawing Academy Tutor

Hi David,

Many thanks for your questions.

You have a very interesting case, given your childhood attitude towards drawing. I have never heard anything quite like it. As far as I know, every child can draw. Kids aren’t told that their art is not perfect until they go to school, and suddenly their expressive abilities don’t match the expectations of art teachers. Many lose interest in drawing after such an experience.

Drawing is just a skill, and as with every skill, it can be learned, although it will take some time and effort. I truly believe that inborn talent accounts for no more than one percent of success in fine art; the rest is work and practice. Many great artists say that practice is the only way to achieve good results.

In regard to where to start, here is a good quote from Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook:
“…[the student] should first learn perspective, then the proportions of objects. Then he may copy from some good master, to accustom himself to fine forms. Then from nature, to confirm by practice the rules he has learnt. Then see for a time the works of various masters. Then get the habit of putting his art into practice and work.”

I would suggest starting from basics and progressing further:

  • what drawing materials to use;
  • how to hold a pencil the correct way;
  • how to see/construct simple geometric objects;
  • how perspective affects objects;
  • understanding golden proportions;
  • mastering constructive drawing principles;
  • drawing geometrical still-lifes;
  • drawing organic forms;
  • learning human anatomy for artists;
  • learning classical proportions between the human head/face and body;
  • drawing portraits and figures;
  • drawing interiors, exteriors, cityscapes, landscapes, botanical objects, animals, etc.

In the Drawing Academy Course, we cover all those topics. Human anatomy, portrait, and figure drawing take a very special place in our curriculum. The course gives comprehensive treatment to the skeleton and musculature that will definitely benefit your drawing skills. In regard to creature anatomy, the Drawing Academy follows traditions of classical art and as such we do not cover contemporary trends. However, our curriculum provides a strong foundation in basic artistic principles, so our students will be able to draw whatever they see, think or imagine. This includes the fantasy world you probably have in mind.

On another note, I have to say that building the correct expectations is a necessary part of your art education. Perfection will take time. Don’t let your fear of underachieving stop you from taking action and being disciplined in the practice of drawing. If you want to run an Olympic marathon, you need to learn to walk first, then to run, then practice running faster and longer. Don’t give up just because after a few tries you didn’t finish.

And finally, developing your skill will take more than three months. That is why you will have a free lifetime Drawing Academy membership after the three-month course; this includes personal support from academy tutors.

Kind regards,

Vladimir London
Drawing Academy Founder and Tutor

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