I’ve heard this a few times in different incarnations. It ranges from specific things, to just generally, but it boils down to “Drawing is hard.”

…. well.. yeah, it is.  Who said it was easy?  I want names dammit.  I want you to tell me the name of the person who told you drawing was easy, so i can go down to their house and punch them in the face until they lose no less than 3 teeth.

Drawing is INSANELY hard.  Lets break down what drawing is.  You’re representing 3D real life objects, in a 2D space using graphite and/or ink lines.  Let me put it another way.  You are using 2 dimensional lines to accurately depict something that is in 3 dimensions and have no lines at all.  This is an incredible achievement, even when done poorly.  Just think about it.  The level of abstract thinking, imagination, and eye-hand coordination to pull this off is astounding. So even if someone can’t draw very well, they should be commended for simply attempting to do one of the hardest things to do.

So yes. Drawing is hard.  But if you’ve learned only one thing from this blog it’s that we don’t let things that are hard stop us from accomplishing our goals. In fact we do these things, not because they are easy but because they are hard.  No one admires anyone else because they can do easy things, admiration and respect comes from doing things no one else can do, or at least very few can do.  So yes, drawing is hard, so let’s work to be better at it.  Here are five tips on how to get better:

1. DRAW EVERY DAMN DAY

I don’t care what it is.  It doesn’t have to be good. Just draw.

Drawing much like everything else in life is a learned skill.  Your not born able to draw, just like you’re not born able to walk, or talk.  It takes time/practice to get strong enough to stand up, and balance enough to walk, It takes time and practice, to learn how to control the sounds coming out of your mouth, and learn a whole language so that you can communicate.  And it takes time and practice to be able to draw.  The only difference is, walking and talking is a necessity for human life.  Drawing is not, so it seems harder to do, because you don’t HAVE to learn how to do it to survive.  So it’s something you have to commit yourself to learning.  And we do that by drawing EVERY DAY!

“I have artist’s block” isn’t an excuse either.  (I’ll get into that another day.)  Can you effortlessly draw photo realistically, everything in the universe. No?  Well then if you claim to have “artist’s block” draw whatever is in your room.  If you want to draw comics, you’ll be surprised how often you’ll be drawing everyday things in a bedroom.  So, draw every day, even if it’s the everyday things that are sitting around you.  Which leads me into tip #2

2. OBSERVE THE WORLD

Like I said in the beginning, we’re translating 3D real life objects into 2D graphite lines. The best way to figure out how to do this, is to look at 3D things.  Observe the world. really focus on how things look, and are put together.  Don’t let what you KNOW is there confuse what you SEE is there.  There’s often a big difference, and observing that difference will inform your drawings in the future.  Drawing is literally an optical illusion.  Finding the optical illusions in real life will make drawing that much easier.

Also try to draw from real life.  I know this is often hard to do.  I can’t even do it as often as I’d like.  Sometimes you can only get a friend to pose for you for a couple minutes, or a car is stopped at a stop light for 30 seconds, or you want to draw something you may never get to see in real life (like the space shuttle or something like that.) Sometimes the only way you can draw these things is to snap a picture, or google a picture on the internet.  Photos are okay, but its much better to be looking at these things in real life.  I know you’re probably thinking “what’s the difference, a photo looks exactly like it did in real life.”  Yes, but a photo is 2D, it already translated the 3D into 2D.  You’re art is supposed to be that translation.  Your art will be stronger if you understand how to translate those dimensions yourself.

3. Study Anatomy

Pretty self explanatory.  You can do this by observing real life people (which i recommend.) But also by studying books on anatomy.  Understanding the mechanics of how the human body works, coupled with observing real life human bodies in action will make your drawings strong.

4. Study Perspective

This is the benchmark theory that allows you to create the illusion of 3 dimensions in a 2 dimensional space.  Find books on it! Read it! Study it! Practice it!  This is THE hardest thing to do in drawing.  So it’s going to require the most amount of practice.  Don’t get frustrated. keep going.

5. DRAW EVERY DAMN DAY!!!!

So important i had to put it twice.  DO IT!

 

So yes drawing is hard.  And it’s going to take some time to be really good at it.  You’ll find some things will come easily to you, and other things will be hard.  SOME things that were easy to draw yesterday you might struggle with today.  And somethings might just seem impossible to draw.  But it’s not an excuse. You have to work at it for a while.  And you’ll suck at it for a while.  (i still think I suck at it.)  But if you keep on working you’ll get better over time.  It’s inevitable, and unstoppable.

So go forth and learn how to do one of the hardest things to do! Then Make comics! ’cause we don’t have any excuses to make around here….

Tomorrow as per my Friday tradition, I will dump a bunch of sketches.  You guys and gals seem to enjoy them, so until I hear otherwise I’ll keep it up!

In the meantime check me out around the web:

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And if you love my artwork don’t forget to pick up my comics!

And remember. Make Comics! Not Excuses!