The pencil bug bit me again recently and I am really enthused about making pencil drawings at the moment. They are so soft and gentle and scribbly and I love the texture of pencil lines. They feel delicate and rough at the same time, and I guess I like all those sorts of combinations. Since it felt so nice and refreshing drawing with a pencil again, I wanted to put together a little mini guide for drawing. Let's go!
1. Chill Out
The super important first thing is to take a step back from your drawing ambitions and start to enjoy the shapes and textures and the whole process of mark-making. If you are able to enjoy the process itself, it will be harder to give up or get frustrated.
2. Copy Things
If you see stuff you like, copy it, copy it, and copy it again. Just make sure you don't post copied stuff online, and try to keep track of who and what you're copying. This is the best way of understanding how the shapes you like are made. Do it enough, and it will start to evolve into something all your own. Whether it's the way Tove Jansson draws buns, or the shape of Harry Styles' hair, copy it (as much as you can).
3. Study Anatomy
You'll also need to copy real bodies. No matter what you're drawing, it will almost certainly be helped by anatomy practice. This is not something something you will ever be perfect at, and it's something that can take a long time to get better at, but it is always going to help you a lot to keep going at it.
4. Try New Things
The main thing I took from formal art education (other than a great love of the phrase 'action stations' - liberally used by my A Level art teacher to cajole us into working) was that experimentation really helps you to grow creatively. The more things you try, the more things you might find you love. Drawing with bamboo sticks and credit cards was quite fun for me.
Here is a mini list of things you can try:
potato printing, food colouring, photography with an old phone, painting with your nose, collaging with hair, cutting up photos and sticking them back together, water and ink, limited colour palettes, challenges, using tiny or huge canvases
5. Be You
A lot of us have this idea in our heads about what art should be, or what worthwhile creativity looks like. If you're a blogger, you've probably come across these ideas in relation to blogging with industries and individuals confused about where to place us in the wider media field, and sometimes treating us like faddish hobbyists - even those of us who blog full time and attract impressive sponsorships.
If your art doesn't have a meaning to you, or it doesn't look impressively realistic, or it drips and bleeds unexpectedly, don't worry too much. Ultimately, art is about you and your expression. You might need to change your ideas about art and creativity to be happy with yourself as a creative.