Why are you drawing?

Why are you drawing?

First ask yourself not only what you want to draw but also why do you want to draw it? What is the message you’re trying to give the viewer? Knowing the message you’re trying to convey to your audience is a crucial first step. For example, imagine that you want to draw a picture a dog then ask yourself why? Is it to show how cute he is? Is it to show how good hunter he is? To show how dangerous he is? Is it in memory of him?

Having identified the message the next step is to consider how you can use the elements and techniques you have to tell it. You can use perspective, dark and shadows, colors, composition, add different details, use different drawing techniques etc.

Next you should try out where your picture is going by making lots of small thumbnail sketches. Try different ways to create the drawing, see what actually works and what doesn’t. Make these sketches quickly. The idea is to put the overall composition into place, so you don’t need to spend time adding a lot of details on them.

It’s sometimes very difficult, even for professional artists, not to jump ahead and start on the final picture before things are really thought through. But this scenario often ends with that attempt going into the bin once you’ve realized that your first idea didn’t work the way you’d first thought. So it’s a very good idea to use the preliminary steps when starting a drawing as it will save you a lot of work in the long run. 

Getting started drawing

You have finally sketched a composition you like to translate in a full-blown drawing? Then it's time to get started. This time it's not speed but beauty you want to strive for. And there are some tips that will help you to create the beautiful drawing you want to create – without too many attempts going into the bin.

It's all about the order in which to approach the different parts of your drawing ideally. All in all there are just two simple rules:

Start with light tones, proceed to darker tones

This allows you to fix small mistakes you've done early in the beginning as the darker tones can hide any of your mistakes.

Start sketchy and get detailed later

In most cases the drawings are ruined by distorted proportions, perspective and composition. So start first laying out the whole drawing without details just in faint lines. This makes sure you'll introduce all errors in perspective and proportion early in the process. If something goes really bad then, you can start over again without losing too much work. And all smaller blemishes still can be fixed easily as there are only faint lines and no details in place.

Even if you are experienced and drawing for years, it won’t hurt to think about these tips once again. Actually I'm forgetting these guidelines too often – and introduce errors into my drawings that could have been avoided. And you'll see these guidelines are even more helpful, if you've just set out to learn drawing.