Becoming an Artist: Learning to Draw with Artistro | Artistro

Becoming an Artist: Learning to Draw with Artistro

You can't draw, but have always wanted to learn? This article will be the first step to learning. You will  find out expert opinions, what you need to do to learn how to draw and what bonuses brings painting to life.

You can’t draw, but have always wanted to learn? This article will be the first step to learning. You will  find out expert opinions, why some draw from birth, and others don’t, what you need to do to learn how  to draw and what bonuses brings painting to life.

learning to draw

It is always necessary to explain everything to adults.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “The Little Prince”

Do you remember why the hero who led the narrative in The Little Prince refused the “brilliant career of the artist”? True – the adults didn’t understand and didn’t appreciate his boa constrictor from the outside and from the inside.

If you draw a boa constrictor that swallows an elephant, and a hat turns out, then this article is for you. We invited several experts – professional artists and designers – to answer questions such as:

  • why some can draw from birth, and others don’t?
  • why do you need to draw?
  • whether is it possible to learn this?
  • if so, how to do it?

Interesting? Welcome to the cut!

Painting – talent or skill?

is painting a talent or skill

Expert opinion:

Why do some people know how to draw, but others don’t? It’s like asking why some people are blond, and others are dark. 🙂 Because some things are given to us by nature, but some are not. You can learn, you can sharpen the skill, improve and take perseverance, but that’s different. Initially, the ability to draw is, rather, a gift …

Elizabeth Ishchenko, art director of the company “Artistro

In December 1911, the German impressionist Lovis Corinth suffered a stroke. The right side of the body paralyzed the artist. For a while, he even stopped drawing – he forgot how.

Modern scientists explain this “metamorphosis” by the fact that the ability to draw directly depends on the functioning of the brain.

In 2010, Rebecca Chamberlain and her colleagues from University College London decided to find out why some people paint from birth, while others don’t.

It turned out that people who can not draw, see not as artists. Looking at an object, they incorrectly estimate its size, shape and color. That’s why they can not accurately transfer the visible object to the paper.

In addition, the predisposition to the fine arts depends on memory. People who can’t draw, can’t remember, for example, the angle between the lines and, accordingly, embody it in the drawing.

how to learn how to draw

Expert opinion:

It seems to me that since childhood everyone draws. But some are gifted less. Some just fall in love with drawing, others do not. Those who fall in love later become artists. If, of course, they show diligence and perseverance and if they do not give life’s worries to drown out the love of creativity.

Vrezh Kirakosyan, a portrait painter, the hero of the column “No excuses”

Justin Ostrofsky and his colleagues from the Brooklyn College of the City University of New York adhere to approximately the same opinion as scientists from London. They believe that artists have a more developed visual perception and they better determine which element to draw and which one can be omitted.

easy learn to draw

Expert opinion:

In fact, this is not such a simple question. Because there is one more hidden in it: what does it mean to be able to draw? It is here that the dog is buried. This is the main reason for disputes and disagreements. For the perfectionists to be able to draw means the ability to write an extremely realistic picture, indistinguishable from photography. It is very difficult for such people to learn, because such a skill requires a tremendous amount of time and effort. Training and polishing skills can take more than one year, but a person will still be unhappy with themselves and will not believe that he can draw. And also, many people over time forget what the word “learn” means when it comes to teaching the body. Adults believe that learning is reading books, remembering information. A realistic drawing is a practical skill, presupposing, first of all, the development of the eye. It does not happen in one moment. At first it does not look very much like it, weakly, badly. And it is very difficult for many to cope with disappointment at the initial stage. They quit, saying to themselves something like: “It still will not work” or “I guess I do not have the ability.” And it is in vain. Practice shows that in drawing the quantity inevitably goes into quality. In addition, there are other people who have less objective and more imaginative thinking. They are less demanding of the realism of the image, it is more important to convey the state, feelings, emotions. Such people learn more easily, they see their progress, starting with the very first works (of course, much depends on the teacher, on his ability to draw the attention of students to the strengths of their work). In the end they paint. They also can critically treat their skills and consider that they can not draw or do not know well enough. But it does not interfere with them to engage in creativity, but in the process of creative work and learning takes place. As I said, the quantity goes into quality.

Alexandra Merezhnikova, artist, teacher, author of the project “Drawing Together”

Surprisingly, but long before the described studies, the artist (and psychologist) Kimon Nicolaides argued that the main problem of people thinking that they can not draw is that they see things wrong. According to the artist, the ability to draw is not a talent, but a skill. Rather, 5 skills:

  • vision of the edge;
  • vision of space;
  • vision of relationships;
  • vision of shadow and light;
  • vision of the entire.

Exercises for the development of these skills are described in the book The Natural Way to Drawing (The Natural Way to Draw).

There is only one sure way to learn how to draw – the natural way. It has nothing to do with aesthetics or technology. It is directly related to the accuracy and accuracy of observations, and by this I mean physical contact with a wide variety of objects through all five senses.

Kimon Nikolaidis

Supporters of the method of right hemispheric drawing also believe that the “secret” lies in the head. But the reason for the inability of some people to paint is called the fact that in the process of artistic creation they (mistakenly) involve the left, rational, hemisphere of the brain.

The method of right hemispheric drawing was developed by the art teacher, Dr. Betty Edwards (Betty Edwards) in the late 1970s. Her book “The Artist Within You” (1979) became a bestseller, was translated into dozens of languages and withstood several editions.

The concept of Edwards formed the scientific research of neuropsychologist, Professor of psychobiology, Nobel prize winner Roger Sperry.

Dr. Sperry studied the functional specialization of the brain hemispheres. According to his theory, the left brain uses analytical and verbal modes of thinking, it is responsible for speech, mathematical calculations, algorithms. The right hemisphere, on the contrary, is” creative”, thinks in images and is responsible for the perception of color, size and perspective comparison of objects. These features Dr. Edwards called “L-mode”and” P-mode”.

Most people in the processing of information dominates the left hemisphere. 90% of people who think that they don’t know how to draw, during the artistic creativity continue to “use” the left hemisphere, instead of turning on “P-mode” and perceive holistic visual images.

painting for beginners

Expert opinion:

There are no people who do not paint. There are circumstances – parents, teachers, society, who create situations of “failure”. A person simply starts to think too badly about himself. Undoubtedly, there are talented people, and everyone else has the opportunity to draw, but the desire is repulsed. People come to my classes who have dreamed of painting for many years, but the fear was too great. And in the class, the buzz comes.

Sophia Charina, teacher of art, art club “Pilgrim”

To understand how this works, imagine that you want to draw a chair. You say to yourself: “I’ll draw a chair.” The left hemisphere instantly translates the word “chair” into symbols (sticks, squares). As a result, instead of drawing a chair, you draw geometric figures, of which, according to your left hemisphere, is a chair.

Therefore, the essence of the method of right hemispheric drawing is the temporary suppression of the work of the left hemisphere.

Thus, science fancies to the fact that the ability to draw is a skill that anyone can find.

how to paint

Expert opinion:

All people know how to draw. Just someone does not know about it yet.

This is how the system of education in our world is organized, which encourages the development of logical thinking and pays little attention to the intuitive creative development of the individual. For example, I have the skills of classical drawing. In the classroom at the university, we drew 16-20 academic hours only one production so that everything was perfect, classically. Then I studied at the British Higher School of Design, where my world turned over. Together with me in one group were people who first took a pencil in their hands, and they did better than me. At first I did not understand: how can that be ?! I am a designer, I spent so much time in drawing and painting classes, and my fellow students at that time studied mathematics, physics, philosophy, etc. But they sometimes have more interesting work than I do. And only after the first semester of training in “Britannica” I realized that anyone can draw! The most important thing is to want this and pick up a pencil or a brush.

Ekaterina Kukushkina, designer, teacher

Why you should learn how to draw?

Iya Zorina, the author of wonderful articles on Lifehacker, she once told me about her personal experience drawing. She started a sketchpad and “allowed herself to create.” As a result, Iya wrote:

Now I completely understand why it’s worth continuing and why everyone should try it.

Why is it worth drawing?

Drawing develops cognitive functions

Drawing improves perception, visual memory, fine motor skills. It helps to look at things deeper, to study subjects comprehensively.

Why is it worth drawing

Expert opinion:

Drawing helps to look at the world with other, new eyes, you begin to love nature, people and animals even more. You start to appreciate everything even more! The very process of drawing causes incredible, delightful emotions. A person is spiritually enriched and grows above himself, develops and reveals his hidden abilities. Drawing is necessary to be happy and to give peace good and beauty.

Vrezh Kirakosyan

Drawing is a way of self-expression

Drawing, a person reveals his personal potential. Painting is a dialogue of the inner “I” with the world.

how to draw

Expert opinion:

Every man draws something of his own. Someone in this process finds pacification and relaxation, and someone – a buzz and a sense of humor. For the third – this is the meaning of life. I am now studying art therapy for children and adults. It can be safely asserted that drawing helps to solve many psychological issues: increase self-esteem, remove tension in relationships (family or work), relieve fears, etc. For example, there is such a method of Mandala – drawing in a circle (also called a healing circle ). I checked on myself – it works! Drawing is an unconscious process and it is always a connection with your “I”, with your potential, which is inherent in every person since birth. My advice is: draw as much as possible and more often, learn new facets of your life, fill with creativity every day!

Ekaterina Kukushkina

Drawing increases self-esteem

Drawing, a person becomes more confident in himself. The fear of showing their work and being misunderstood is inevitable. Every artist goes through it. But over time, “immunity” to unfair criticism is developed.

benefits of drawing

Expert opinion:

I draw simply because I like it. Someone draws for sale (here you can express the answer to the question “Why?” in the general equivalent). But the feeling of pleasure can’t be weighed and measured. I somehow asked this question on my website, one of the answers fuse into the soul: “I draw in order to be happy.” And it is clear that everyone has their own happiness. Someone is happy when dancing, someone – when he rushes from the mountain on skis. Someone – when drawing. But the pleasure of the process arises when it turns out, but if you study, it can not happen immediately. However, if you overcome difficulties, then wings grow. I will not say that this is forever, there are failures and disappointments. But the joy of what happens is worth the effort.

Alexandra Merezhnikova

Many people compare drawing to meditation. Artistic creativity allows you to relax, enter the state of flow. Artists note that when they paint, they “turn off” from the outside world, there is no place for everyday thoughts in the head.

pros of drawing

Expert opinion:

Drawing is self-expression, another reality. Words describe the sensations very difficult. Every person who comes to me has a story. Sometimes it is tragic, sometimes joyful, but most importantly – they have found the strength to come. Strangely enough, the hardest thing is not to learn how to draw, but to come, start, get out of the comfort zone.

Sophia Charina

Drawing is a pleasure

This is one of the most exciting activities. When a white leaf “comes to life” the city or, for example, the forest, you feel genuine pleasure.

Drawing is a pleasure

Expert opinion:

Drawing is a pleasure. This is self-expression. This is a splash of emotions and calm nerves. Here you go, sometimes, along the street, and the light is so beautiful, and the lilacs blossom, and the houses are so beautifully risen in the row … And you think: “Oh, here’s to sit here now and paint all this beauty!”. And it’s good on my heart at once …

Elizabeth Ishchenko

How to learn to draw?

We asked our experts, can I learn to draw? They unanimously answered: “Yes!”.

All the artists you can remember, once they learned their business. No great artist was not so at 5 or 10 years old, everyone had to study.

Alexandra Merezhnikova

At the same time, Ekaterina Kukushkina and Sophia Charina noted that you can learn to draw at any age, the main thing is the desire or, as Vrezh Kirakosyan said, “love to draw”.

It’s desire. There are plenty of tools and methods now. Learn of course! The main thing – desire and perseverance.

Elizabeth Ishchenko

So, everyone can learn to draw. But how? The question of which training methods to choose, we addressed to our experts.

Elizabeth Ishchenko advised to master the academic school and engage with the teacher:

I’m a supporter of the academic school – sketches, staging, proportions … I think we should start with the basics. Not with the video “How to draw the hero of the movie” People X “in a ski suit for 2 hours”, but with the concept of shapes, geometric shapes and light.

And Vrezh Kirakosyan, on the contrary, considers video lessons very useful:

There is nothing better than viewing master classes in drawing. There are a lot of materials of this kind on the web: from the basics to the serious works.

Alexandra Merezhnikova also recommends learning from a professional, but notes that, by constantly practicing, you can also use a self-tutorial.

General recommendations are simple. To learn how to sew, you need to sew, to learn how to drive a car – you need to drive a car, to learn how to cook – you need to cook. So with the drawing: to learn how to draw, you need to draw. It is better to study with a teacher who can show something, suggest, praise – this is very important! But you can do it yourself. If we talk about self-tutorials, I liked the book “The Art of Drawing” by Bert Dodson, he gives a fairly complete and flexible methodology. But, of course, everything is individual, for someone his method may not be suitable. Now the choice is big enough, you can find something that will appeal to you personally.

Drawing from nature is the advice of Sophia Charina. This seems very correct, if you recall the study of Rebecca Chamberlain.

It is very important for beginners to work with nature. Another teacher is indispensable, which will direct in the right direction. Otherwise, the process will be longer and with errors. The work done from the picture isn’t useful. The fact is that two-dimensional carriers (photos, pictures) don’t fully reflect the shape of objects, which is very important. Man, in fact, doesn’t feel it.

Ekaterina Kukushkina, based on her experience, gave the following recommendations:

Start a notebook and draw at least one picture a day.

how to start drawing

So a person develops attention and imagination. He every day looking for new objects for sketching or inventing something of his own, thus stuffing his hand and forming a creative view of the world.

Go to a couple of group classes in drawing – there’s an amazing atmosphere.

In your free time, go to exhibitions.

Monitor information on drawing on the Internet. Find artists that are close to you in spirit, illustrators, designers.

Learn the work of famous artists.

best way to learn how to draw

But it isn’t necessary to repeat after someone! Always remember that you are unique and unique, your style and handwriting – it’s you! A person who boldly expresses his style will always stand out from the crowd.

In addition, Catherine advises to try to draw in different techniques.

As many different drawing techniques as possible (watercolor, gouache, applied painting, ink, pencil, plasticine, collage, etc.). It is best to draw the simplest things: fruits, dishes, interior items, etc. After a person tries several techniques, he can choose the one that is most to his liking, and start working in it.

learn how to draw


In conclusion, we want to share with you a selection of portals and applications, which, perhaps, will help you to start drawing.

drawing tips for beginners
easy drawing for beginners
drawing art
painting art

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