Getting Started in Drawing

Wouldn’t you like to learn how to draw but can’t seem to find the time? Today I’ll be talking about strategies to get you into the drawing game.

Make Time For Yourself

To learn to draw well you will need time to yourself. If you currently do not have any time to yourself that will be your first task; make it happen. You wouldn’t be reading this post if you didn’t actually want to learn how to draw would you? Besides, you owe it to yourself. There are many good resources out there on time management. This post and all future posts I make will only help you if you are willing to make some changes in your life, changes for the better I might add! If time in your life is a serious issue you need to solve that first. Put this post aside until you figure out a way to get a little more time back into your life.


How much time will you need in order to learn how to draw? You need a minimum of four hours a week in order to seriously increase your ability to draw. Time management is yet another important skill, like typing and public speaking, that most people ignore to their own peril. Get organized in your other areas of life and you’ll have more time than you know what to do with… Actually you know what to do with it. Draw!


Don’t even bother getting out those drawing supplies until you have committed a minimum of 2 hours a week towards your drawing education (although 4 or more would be ideal).


BooHoo Blah Blah

“My schedule is full.”

“I have children.”

“I am just so busy with work.”

Okay, hold on. Do you want to learn to draw and paint or not? If so find a way. It’s amazing how much time people find for things in their lives once they strip away most of the time thieves stealing directly from them. This includes watching television, following sports teams, news in general, talking/texting on the phone, and endlessly surfing the Internet. Most people waste hours a day on these mostly fruitless activities when they could be doing something to enrich their own lives or the lives of others. The ironic thing is that most electronic devices are popularized and rationalized as time saving conveniences but they end up consuming more of our time in the long run. Funny how that works isn’t it? Try this. Pick a day and a time of the week in which most of the human distractions in your life are elsewhere. Maybe the kids are at school, dance, or gymnastics – somewhere other than around you. Maybe your spouse is at work.


Make yourself unavailable for your chosen time. Remove all distractions and anything that may turn into a distraction in the near term. Television? Turn it off. Sorry. Computer/internet? No good. Kill it. Mobile phone? Ideally you should turn your mobile phone off and I know many of you readers hate me for saying this right now. I bet you’re thinking, “But what if there’s an emergency?”. Here’s my philosophy on the matter. Two hours a week is such a small percentage of your week. It’s merely 1.2 % of your week to be specific! I am willing to play the odds that a true emergency is not going to occur during the 1.2% segment of the week you devote to your drawings. Not to mention, what constitutes an emergency anyway? Seriously, if there is truly an emergency the person having the emergency should call the police or an ambulance, not you!


Do What You Must

If you ignore my advice and you choose to leave your phone on you will most likely rationalize your decision as being necessary. The compromise will sound something like this: I will leave my phone on and only respond to real emergencies. The problem is, when your phone rings you will feel compelled to at least check the phone to see who called, because you’ll want to be sure that it is not an emergency. Even if you stop right there and don’t give the phone any more attention your artistic process has just been interrupted. The observing, creating, or reflecting that was just taking place will have just suffered an interruption. This interruption is detrimental to your drawing education. It takes a remarkable amount of focus to learn how to draw well. You cannot afford interruptions when you are drawing and you owe yourself some real time to yourself. Turn off the phone.


If you still insist on keeping your phone on try to train your friends and family not to bug you during your special time.


At Peace With Your Artwork

Cherish your time alone and learn to treat it as a disciplined area of study. Approach your weekly creative sessions with some objectives in mind. These objectives can be born out of things your left undone during your last drawing session, thoughts you had during the week and would like to pursue, and of course ideas you get from future posts here. Either way your creative time should serve a purpose and you should be able to gauge your progress over time. Most people do this when they exercise. They have a good idea for what workout they are going to accomplish for that day and how it will compare to their previous workout. While this is arguably easier with exercise, you can learn to do this with most anything in your life if you try including drawing. Let’s say it’s rounded objects that you have trouble drawing; you have the hardest time making things such as an apple look realistic in your pencil drawing. That is a specific problem area you need to work on. You will have to study spherical forms, think about spherical forms, and practice creating spherical forms many times over before you can expect to see any improvement.

Like exercise, put in the hard work and you will reap the benefits eventually.

How About You?

What are you doing to keep your life organized?
How do you make time for your artwork?
Can you suggest any books?

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