Friday, 13 March 2015

Improving my drawing skills

Just like with the creativity thing, it really annoys me when people tell me they can't draw.  Everyone can draw!  After all its just making marks on paper with a pencil or pen.  What they really mean is they can't draw very well, or that what they draw doesn't match the image in their head.

So I would agree that I do have a bit of an advantage in that I've been drawing for as long as I can remember.  I did go to art college and I have done life drawing classes.  All these things have helped me to become a better drawer, but most of the time the thing I draw still doesn't quite match whats in my head either!

Anyway drawing is something that you can do better with a bit of practice, so I've been doing a bit more to try and improve.  Reading Sketching User Experiences by Bill Buxton and team, I came across the following exercise.
You start off by drawing, from your imagination, a person.  My attempt is below.  I can do this, but find it quite hard if I don't have something/one specific in my head at the start.

Next I copied a drawing of a person from the book.  The idea is not to draw a person, but to copy a collection of lines which just happen to make a person.  I find this much easier.  Copying lines is easy.

Some people find this quite hard as they can still see the person in the picture, so the next exercise asks you to turn the image upside down and try again.  As its harder to see the person in the image you are more likely to just focus on the lines.
Personally I think the first attempt looks better, but then I've been trained to look at lines, which helps.  Its an interesting exercise and reminded me of some of the key things I learnt years ago.
Have a go and see what you come up with but remember to be nice to yourself.  This stuff takes practice.

The original image - Sean's Afternoon by Lindsay MacDonald.

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