The last couple of years I got asked this question at every show, ‘what advice can you give me about learning to draw?’ It confuses me a little bit, because my skills are not overwhelming and are limited. My reply is normally gesturing at my work and saying, ‘are you sure you asking the right person?’
My art has been part of a long journey for me, I am really only in my third year of picking up a pencil after an almost fifteen year break, the reasons for picking up that pencil are personal and part of a long healing process that pulled me out of a tail-spinning depression. I am under no illusion about my skills and I can only ever best describe my illustrating prowess as a work in progress. I have though got better, and can offer this advice.
It Is Like A Muscle
Drawing, indeed any skill is like exercising a muscle it only gets stronger. For this to happen you need to exercise as often as you can and you need to vary that exercise to develop that muscles shape and tone. In short you want to learn to draw… You have to draw. Art schools, teachers and classes can increase your technical skill level, but they cannot teach you how to draw.
That comes from you, from practicing, from growing your skills, not being afraid to draw outside your comfort zone and applying what you learned to new work, evolving your style.
Yes, I Went To Class But…
Now I went to art class at school and college, and it was a large part of my Graphic Design degree course. I had the benefit of learning techniques, but with all art classes you are limited in what you are allowed to explore. Again it comes down to you… At the time I was reading a lot of 2000AD, so like any comic book fan who could draw (a little bit) I spent hours copying from my contemporary masters- the likes of Simon Bisely (ABC Warriors), Carlos Ezquerra, Mike McMahon (Early Judge Dredd) were a huge influence on me at the time… This is how many illustrators learn, first you copy, they you learn your form, and you create.
No matter your route into drawing, into illustrating, you need to keep pushing yourself, learn new things, new techniques, play with different mediums and seek to improve yourself. Only you can push yourself down this path and discover your own way. No one else will do it for you, you have to learn what works for you and keep trying to expand your skill base, and figure your drawing style… Only you can create art.
Good luck, don’t stop and keep pushing.
If you are interested in viewing my art, (and you have been warned) click art tab at the top of this page.
Be good to the world now 🙂