Saturday, May 15, 2010

To Beginners Learning to Draw

I do not have a natural talent for drawing.

When we were growing up, my brother was always putting pencil to paper, using crayons to decorate self-designed tennis shoes and cars, using pen to create elaborate wars and battles. He was naturally talented. I could draw a rectangle with a triangle roof, a circle for a sun, and stick figures of different heights to represent mom, dad, my brother and me.

In college after a breakup, to fill the empty time I bought a book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Edwards, and tried to learn how to draw. I started learning how to see angles, shapes, and relationships between lines.

It has been 10 years since my first attempt at learning how to draw.

I have taken up the pen and pencil again and am amazed that I am not back at square one, am amazed that I haven't forgotten everything that I know about drawing. My ability to see and to draw what I see comes to me faster than it did when I was 19. My drawings are no longer just simple line drawings but actually sometimes have some shading. I never understood shading before, but suddenly it has started happening. I still have a lot to learn. I make a lot of mistakes, yet my bag of drawing skills is becoming more full.

Even people who are not naturally talented artists can learn how to draw, how to paint, how to color. So if you are just starting to learn how to draw, don't get discouraged. If you keep practicing, if you keep drawing, your skills will improve.


universalibrarian said...

Yay! Drawing is a learned skill. I am glad that yours is going well. I am always struggling with our society's labels that students pick up. "I am not the type of person who is good at...." math, art, drawing, algebra, science, WHEW. Thank you for the nice story.
I like that your writing is direct and personal and clear. Have a good day,

Dr. Jen said...

Thanks for the encouraging words! I realize that my students are also afraid to come to writing club now because they feel their writing is bad and is not good enough to put into a book. It is a hurdle I had forgotten about.