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Why spend a lot of time sharpening your drawing skills?

As an art teacher and mentor, I have often gotten the same question repeatedly, over the last 30 years. The question is, "Why do I have to spend so much time getting better at drawing, if I only want to make paintings, sculptures or jewelry?"

There are a number is good reasons why and I thought I would quickly make you a list.

  1. First reason is that drawing is the foundation of art forms or at least high quality art. In drawing you learn all of the basics of shapes, form, unity, highlight and contrast, direction and movement, mood and the rest of the elements or art and principles of design. How would a person know how to draw a bridge, person or animal without first knowing and understanding how to use their drawing skills and techniques? Do you want to enter a home in which the architect and builder do not know how to first create a 2D version of the shapes and forms used in the creation of a home? The answer is "No!". The roof might fall down, the door, and windows may not close or fit. The floor may be unstable.

  2. Drawing helps you learn to observe the details around you. If you do not learn to observe, see, and witness the world around you, then how can you translate that onto paper or canvas in a believable manner. I never understood that saying, "the devil is in the details", because to me, the details were bliss to observe, study and try to reproduce on paper and later, other materials.

  3. Drawing teaches you to have steadfast patience while learning and growing. As one carries their sketchbook here and there and continually observes and translates what they are seeing around them, on to the paper, one grows. But one most assuredly grows in patience and perseverance. You can have natural talent but if you do not foster it and focus often on it, that muscle will not grow. There are so many reasons that we think we know it all and don't need to spend "real" time practicing. However, I hate to be the messenger of bad news... young artist, no one starts out at the level of Rembrandt. You must work and do with due diligence. Enjoy the journey of exploration, as your patience, steadfastness and skill grows, one sketch at a time.

  4. Enhancing your drawing techniques, skills and knowledge, all of the other art forms that you do later, will be enhanced as well.

As a kid I remember making the decision that I would commit to practicing my drawing daily, because I knew that one day I would be an artist. First, I scheduled an hour of practice every day after school. That grew to two hours and then three and eventually I saw such growth and necessity, that I carried my sketchbook everywhere. Will you set yourself a goal of enhancing your art by focusing on the foundation of drawing everyday? I challenge you do think about what you are willing to commit to and then whole heartedly set your goals and begin. It will be well worth it in the end.

The second most often questions are about what types of supplies and materials that I use to draw with for beginners and more advanced. Below is that list.

  1. #2 Lead Dixon Pencil

  2. Drawing pencils (They come in all shades, but I prefer just the typical writing pencil.)

  3. Sketchbook (I like Arches, Dick Blick Brand or even copy paper for beginners. Remember the cheaper the paper, the more difficult it is to erase.)

  4. Pink Pearl Eraser (My fav!)

  5. Kneaded Eraser

  6. Table surface, clipboard, or drawing board for a hard surface.

  7. Pointed Stick

  8. View Finder

  9. Ruler (Plastic or metal. I prefer Metal because it last longer.)

  10. Ink (Speedball)

  11. Hand Mirror to observe facial feature, shapes, shadows, and lines.

  12. Sneakers and walking stick, for the nature walks to observe and sketch the natural world around you.

  13. Sharpened Stick or Calligraphy Pen

  14. Color Pencils, Markers, Crayons, Wet and Dry Pastels, Charcoal, Cow Marker Stickers, Coffee (Variety of drawing tools to experiment and try know things. Obviously you will upgrade from student quality to professional quality as you progress.)

  15. Box, tackle box, or bag to keep it all organized.

Thanks for reading my little blog. Hope that it helped explain the purpose of why enhance your drawing skills. I hope that you have a creative day. Jennifer

NOTE: For the advanced artist, please search for "Art Elements" and "Principles of Design", in the search engine and on Youtube. There is a lot of good information out there on these topics in more detail.

#artadvice #youngartist #artistmentor #artmentor #jenniferluedersmentor #vintagetalesstudiomentor

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