Art is a wonderful thing to practice and participate in and I hope the most for every person out there regarding creativity in general. The act of creating something is liberating and scratches an itch that everyone has. Make weird things! You’re alive! Draw whatever you want! Have fun!
So, I had the great desire to write something positive after handling my recent op-ed in defense of Texan trans children. Things have been heavy. To lighten up I thought I’d share 5 random art tips that aid me in my day-to-day studies. Thank you to the art teachers, mentors, and peers alike who taught me these great things over the years.
1) “Draw what you see now what you think you see,” my art mentor/teacher in high school would remind us during life drawing. As simple as this sounds, it’s very common to accidentally start drawing what we perceive in our head about a subject we are making observational drawings of. Then we hit a brick wall when we compare the two and see many differences. Sometimes you really have to key in your focus and study, study, study your reference or model in honesty. I still fall into this habit nowadays and have to really push myself to study appropriately.
2) For observational drawings I like to often make a square or rectangle of how much space it generally takes up, literally “blocked in.” Then I use my hands to make that same frame around the object, observing where it aligns with what part of the square/rectangle shape. You then fill your pieces in relative to that on your piece. Here is an example of how I visualize that.
3) Draw in permanent ink / pen to force yourself to accept your decisions and work with them. This helps with people who are chronic erasers and end up struggling to just capture the form and move on, mistakes and all. It helps to finish things and accept them, so we can free up our mind to process more information to better represent what was in our head or what was before us next time. Sometimes I do at least two between four attempts of one figure depending on how well I’m capturing it in essence the first time. It all adds up to make you a better artist in the end, so it doesn’t hurt to make more than one attempt at a time and give up the fear of being less than perfect.
4) Train yourself to not get too attached to every single sketch especially if it’s not working out. It’s best to restart something with a fresh understanding of what you want and what you’ve done, that experience no matter how brief will help you do it better the second time more often than not.
5) The power of learning how to thumbnail and create a shorthand language for yourself to jot ideas down with is incredibly important for artists I feel like. You can save countless frustrating fixes by starting as small as possible, and doing basic construction until you arrive at a functional graphic in the end of some explorations. You don’t have to commit too much to these at all. Here’s some examples of how my shorthand thumbnails look:
That’s all I have for everyone today. I hope you found something useful within this! Happy drawing! And if you ever want to show me what you’re working on, I’d love to see, just @ me @ovaettrart on Twitter.
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