I have a challenge for you
All the blogs I’ve written for you have skirted around the main thing I do each day. I paint and draw for a living. We’ve spoken about creativity in all things – from fine art all the way through to flower arranging, baking, whittling, embroidering, photography and others. You know the drill by now. I’ve shared stories of my art practice, and how those things can work for you too. But we’ve never once touched on making actual art.
I want you to learn how to draw.
I can hear you walking away now. I can hear you say: “I can’t draw”, “my teacher said I couldn’t”, “I don’t know how to”.
But if you can draw a line from the top of a page to the bottom, you can draw. If you can write your name, you can draw. Learning to write is about patterns and shapes. Drawing is about patterns and shapes. I’ll show you.
Getting out of our comfort zone
None of us like feeling a failure. My childhood art experiences were positive. But I’m not great at sport. I didn’t hit a ball properly, with a bat, until I was about 25. For so many years I veered away from sports because I was always at the back of the field. Then one day I had a go at kayaking. Now I kayak. Another day I found a personal trainer, now I go to the gym.
So I understand about not wanting to replicate failure. Even if you can’t pinpoint that moment when art became something unpleasant, this is an opportunity to try again, in a safe place.
If art makes you feel uncomfortable, take this challenge. Being comfortable is nice, but sometimes it’s fun to stretch yourself, just a little.
The Drawing Challenge
No special tools. A pencil or biro. A scrap of paper. That’s all.
No audience. It’s just for you.
No judgement . This is the hard one. We all want to do well. But this challenge is about having a go, rather than achieving a “perfect” end result. If you want to become better, do more. You’ll notice improvements with each drawing.
Make a mug of tea, or coffee.
Get a spare mug. Stand it on a piece of paper
Find a piece of scrap paper, and a pencil or biro.
Drink some tea.
Look for a moment.
First draw the side of the mug. It’s just a line from the top to the bottom. Then the curve of the rim. Perhaps your mug is wider than it is tall.
Then draw the base. It curves too.
Then the handle and the background
If you see darks and lights put them in, or patterns
Otherwise you’re finished.
Drink more tea
Compare the drawing with the object
You’ve made a drawing.
To make it easier
– choose a plain cup
– copy my drawing first, if you like
– don’t spend too much time – just the time it takes to drink your tea
Every artwork, from this moment on, is a variation of this process.
Try drawing other things with similar shape. The woolbasket for example, below, is the same basic shape as the cups.
Remember to play.