When you want to progress in drawing, there are ways to be more efficient and avoid unnecessary work. Most of the books are mainly about illustration, but hardly ever about the form of working. Knowing exactly what to work on is very important to work effectively. It is what we will see in this tutorial in which I give you two methods to draw better, be efficient and progress faster.
Two main axes to follow and two methods to better draw and progress
Some essential tips to stop stagnating and improve your drawings
First of all, here are 2 points that will help you gain efficiency by better managing your time and learning.
Promote short practice. The best compromise is a maximum of 1.5 hours. Beyond that, you will no longer have the same concentration level, and you risk losing the necessary perspective to continue your work in good conditions.
It is better to practice regularly for about 15-20 minutes a day than to practice 2 hours once a week. It is because your brain assimilates better with repetition. You thus gradually created automatisms, a way of doing things, of drawing that will make you step forward both creatively and technically.
The practice and house drawing revolve around two ways of analyzing the world:
1-Observation and judgment of reality
That is, seeing a subject as it is and not as you imagine it or want it to be.
Complexity scares our brains, and in fact, we tend to simplify the things we draw.
Above all, it is necessary to focus on the observation of exterior spaces, interior spaces, shapes, lines, and angles without cognitive shortcuts. That is to say, without simplifying things and seeing what works for us.
2- Construction and schematization
That is, trying to reduce the complexity of a subject by breaking it down.
The advantage of the first point is that it allows you to work on your observation skills and abilities by gradually erasing received ideas. That is to say, that famous intuitive ability that we all have: bypassing difficulties by simplifying them. But, unfortunately, this phenomenon can sometimes give results much more distant from the reality of the concrete object that we have in front of us.
The downside is that it does not encourage the beginner to question the object’s structure and offers less understanding of drawing in perspective.
The advantage of schematization would be precisely to have a more logical path about perspective and drawing in space. In addition, it promotes a good understanding of a subject and how it is structured.
“Understanding what we draw better does not necessarily mean drawing it better.”
While knowing how to cut a subject into a simple form will help you understand its structure, it will appeal more to your logic than your immediate analytical skills. Again, this is because you will be trying to simplify rather than trying to see the object as it is.
Take the example of the bicycle:
With the first method, you will be able to draw precisely the bike you have in front of you faithfully, but without necessarily asking yourself more questions.
The second method will allow you to understand and draw a “typical” bike from its memories and the structure learned. And therefore to reach for the imagination.
If you want to learn advanced construction and observation techniques effectively, I have created a method that will make you work specifically on these two fundamental levers.
To conclude, there are no methods more effective than others, and there is no question of opposing them. Instead, they have to be complementary, and both be worked on alternately to be effective.
TECHNIQUES FOR DRAWING AND OBSERVING
Techniques for drawing and observing
I have then mentioned in a preceding article the determining role of observation in our way of learning to draw. Therefore, I chose to draw a landscape step by step to apply some techniques to draw and observe.
1 / Observe your subject in an abstract way
We will try to observe our subject in an abstract way to concentrate on the plans, the shapes and the lines without saying to ourselves, “it’s a house, a mountain, a cow.” Start choosing a fairly simple image with strong enough contrasts and areas to distinguish the different planes clearly.
I chose a simple image with the cliff and the trees in the foreground, the sea in the background and the horizon and the sky in the third plan. We will try in this technical exercise to draw a landscape by cutting out the plans.
1 / Let’s separate our white sheet into four by drawing a vertical line and a horizontal line
like this :
2 / Then, let’s start by observing the different continuous lines that cross our subject.
Here are two: the dividing line between the cliff and the sea and, of course, the horizon line between the sea and the sky (let’s forget the trees for the moment).
Mark where they start and where they end, then make marks in the right places. You can then trace the horizon and the cliff edge lightly to be able to resume your drawing. Do not hesitate to devote time to it because it is the essential point of this composition.
3 / Once the two plans have been sketched focus on the solid elements, that is to say, the trees and the bushes.
Use the guides drawn in the center and the edges of your image. Delimit trees and shrubs by inscribing them in square or rectangular areas (make marks lighter and of the same color).
Here in red:
4 / Then, if your marks are exact and you have not neglected the placement, it will be much easier for you to sketch the vegetation more freely (without being down to the sheet) because the overall composition and the proportions of your drawing will be correct.