Has it been years since you last did any drawing? Were you told that it ‘wasn’t your thing’ at school? Let’s FORGET all that you think you know about this wonderful hobby and buy ourselves a new sketchbook, we are going drawing.
One of the most popular questions I am asked when people see my ink animal drawings is “how long did it take you to do?” This is an interesting one. My answer usually is “about 10 seconds” and then I go onto tell them about the other 40 drawings on the studio floor that didn’t work, for that one single drawing that did.
The trick is to continue. To start, then continue. Faced with a blank sheet of paper, it's easy to shrivel up and allow our confidence to crash but in simply making a start, we can begin our process of getting better.
If I have one single message for you, it is that drawing is a process. Like learning an instrument or another language, we get better with practice.
We learn as much from a drawing that doesn’t work, as we do from one that does – each has value.
There is much research about the benefits of engaging in creativity. The website Art, Health & Wellbeing is full of encouraging stats and reports. I’m happy to say that the NHS is now on board too by using Social Prescription, meaning that GP’s can now offer group activities in gardening, dancing, arts, which not only reduces issues of isolation but also the number of medicines prescribed for otherwise fixable ailments.
At the end of this post, I have included a short exercise for you. One that I do when I’ve been away from my drawing board for a while. I suggest you give it a go - it’s fun. There are gazillions of other exercises out on the wonderful wide web, if you enjoy it you may like to dip into Creative Live and try some more.
Quick Fire Drawing Exercise:
Time: from about 5 minutes to as long as you like
Materials: paper & any type of pencil, pen, etc
Benefit: To draw & not think!
Take a look around you, what are you surrounded by right now? It doesn’t matter where you are, there are things to draw, to represent & get down on paper. This exercise will help you to loosen up and not think – just draw.
Set a time limit of your choice, I suggest about 5 minutes. Clear your desk apart from your paper & pen and simply draw. Fill in as much of your paper as you can. Try to look at the subject you are drawing, rather than your paper and fill it! Don’t stop until the bell goes and your time is up.
Forget what the actual drawing looks like, it’s the actual doing that’s important here.
Below is my drawing, not brilliant but it all goes into practice & more than that, you actually did it -
WELL DONE, Sam.
If you enjoyed this post and would like me suggest some more exercises, let me know and I’ll be happy to do so.
Here is one to pin later.