Tuesday, April 24, 1973

Anybody Can Draw and "Try This" Introduction

Updated July 2009

I truly believe that anybody can draw. Yes, that means you. You may not want to draw, and that's fine. But I've talked with many people who have a bit of a longing to draw, or who loved coloring and drawing as children, and who think they can't draw.

If, to you, "a drawing" means "a realistic and convincing detailed portrait" - then maybe it's true, you can't draw that. I can't draw that either. Other things I can't draw (yet) include ovals that aren't wobbly and people with the right length arms. But that doesn't stop me. I love to draw, even when I'm not very good at it. With practice and a few resources to learn from, my skills and my satisfaction increase.

What I mean by "anybody can draw" is the activity of drawing. Moving a pencil or pen across the paper, making shapes, and coloring them. It's extremely relaxing, absorbing, and enjoyable for me. You can do that, too.

For example, take an object with an interesting shape, maybe something from the kitchen, like this tea strainer, and trace around part or all of it. Move it to a different angle on the paper, and trace it again. Add some lines to echo the shapes you just drew. Color it in.

Now you have a drawing. Click here to see what my drawing looked like.

If the 8.5 x 11" page seems too big, draw a 4 x 6" rectangle and work inside that frame for your drawing space. Or use an unruled 4 x 6" index card.

For some of my drawings that I think might be simple and interesting to try for yourself, I wrote easy "how to" directions, with links and a "try this" label. Click on "try this" and then scroll down to give it a try! Please don't copy my work exactly, but do feel free to play with the ideas, creating a new drawing of your own.

You can get started with everyday, inexpensive materials. Almost all of my 1974-76 drawings, plus the bright bird from 1985, were done with just a black Sharpie (try the ultra-fine point) and a set of 24 fine-point Pentel water based markers (called color pens), which work fine with ordinary printer/copier paper or index cards. It's a good way to see if you enjoy the activity of drawing and coloring. (Caution: don't use Copic markers with Sharpies - it will smear.)

If you're a beginner at drawing, and you want to improve your skills, there are many resources to help you. I've listed a few of them here.


Karen Hanim said...

I found your site through 'I Love Markers'. Thank you so much for all the stuff you have put out there. I have really enjoyed browsing and plan to come back often!

Cindy O said...

To Karen – Thanks for your feedback, and especially for your “hidden artist” comment on my July 19, 2009 post. I would love to see what you draw, so please come back and let me know if you post it on line sometime. It would be wonderful if my blog can encourage someone’s hidden artist to come out of hiding and play!