A quick video on how to improve your observational drawing skills by drawing blind.
When kids draw they could care a less about making mistakes. They just go for it and make hundreds of drawings.
But as we get older, we get more critical with our drawings. It’s why most people stop drawing all together – this mindset that things have to be perfect.
In this video I talk about why it’s okay to embrace drawing mistakes and how to handle them as you draw. Diving a little bit into the topic of using restatement lines to openly “correct” a drawing as you make it.
This way you feel more free to draw and explore when you sit down with your sketchbook.
When we think of drawing something familiar like hands, or lips, a cat, or a rose – we often forget about the imperfections and unique shapes and textures each individual object or creature has.
I see this a lot especially in wildlife art. Where every animal has perfectly clean fur or no broken feathers. When in reality things are dirty and have imperfections. Teeth break and claws get snagged and hands have wrinkles on them.
Detail which – when included – make for more interesting drawings and paintings.
So as we draw more and more – it’s so important to build up a visual bank of references in our minds. References based on in-person observation or true-to-life reference photos.
This way we’re drawing from what we SEE and not from what we think we know.
In the case of drawing a rose there are so many details we can include:
- the half dead petals,
- the petals that are half bent,
- the holes where the insects ate through,
- the broken thorns.
As I’m drawing these roses, I’m limiting myself to simple contour lines. Which forces me to look at my reference photos more than looking at my drawing. Forcing myself to take notice to the imperfections and real qualities of the roses I’m drawing.
As I’m laying these lines down, I’m only looking at the petals around the immediate petal I’m drawing. Seeing how each affects each other. Working from petal to petal until I have a finished drawing of a rose.
I’m treating these drawings as quick warm-ups.
Giving myself no more than 5 minutes to draw each of them.
I’m probably looking at the reference 80% of the time and my actual drawing 20% of the time.
So take notice to every detail and don’t be afraid to embrace them in your drawings.
In this video I share my process of drawing an elephant in my sketchbook. Keeping things mellow by starting the drawing slowly with a bic pen.
After looking at the initial drawing I thought it needed more energy. So I added a black watercolor wash to the shadow areas. Then I went over some of the lines with a more inky pen.
I hope you enjoy this speed drawing video.
In this video I take you on a tour of my April 2019 sketchbook. This is one of the sketchbooks I took on my 3 month trip throughout SouthEast Asia.
You’ll see pages of my sketchbook where I drew with everything from pen and ink to watercolor.
I believe a sketchbook is a place where you can draw without worrying about perfection. A place to capture your ideas and the things you see in a creative way… and with whatever medium you want.
A few times a week Nalena and I go to a coffee shop to draw. We both work at home so it’s nice to get out. On this day we decided to ride my moto to James Coffee Co in downtown San Diego.
Sometimes it can feel strange drawing in public. You feel like people are always looking over your shoulder (sometimes they do). But it’s good practice to help you feel less afraid of sharing your work. Many times over the course of an hour people would walk up and ask to see our drawings. It was so much fun.
I hope you enjoy the video.