"Drawing is an illustration of the soul. The better you draw, the stronger your soul gets." - P.S. Tavishi
For some drawing is a means of survival, for some it’s a medium for self-impression, and for others, it’s a formality. No matter what, it’s amazing how a simple writing tool like a pen or pencil can do so many wonders and bring life into a piece of paper.
I dedicate this article to all drawing lovers. By this, I wish to share my views regarding drawing as a passion and how it can be implemented in a much better way. These are my personal views from experience, so feel free to criticize or appraise, and whatever.
Drawing is the root of everything, and the time spent on that is actually all profit.
— Vincent van Gogh, the most influential Dutch post-impressionist painter ever
What happens when we draw
Drawing stimulates our minds
With every curve drawn right, it brings us mental pleasure.
Drawing requires the usage of multiple brain regions. In other words, it kicks our frontal lobe that offers planning, reasoning, movement, and problem-solving. Our parietal lobe gains enhanced movement, orientation, recognition as well as the perception of stimuli. The occipital lobe provides us visual thoughts while the temporal lobe is enriching our memory and observational qualities.
Our level of concentration while drawing causes the flow of neurotransmitter dopamine. It eases our mind and calms down our nerves. Many say they draw for the sake of improving their focus.
Drawing pierces through our isolation
I feel, being all by ourselves is the best thing ever. Drawing works best when we do it in isolation as we are solely surrounded by our thoughts and absorbed in our own creative world. We can relate to others and explore our own identity.
Drawing lets us visually transfer our ideas and feelings to others. It keeps track of people, places, memories, events, and other things.
Drawing initiates self-expression
Drawing is a physical form of cognitive thinking. It gives us a chance to delve deep into various experiences and ideas. The drawing can be anything among the following. It can be:
- Abstract and much more.
When drawing, remember these points
You can find multiple resources to learn how to draw. However, before that, you need to inherit these principles:
- Stay patient. Just relax and breathe. It takes time to draw aesthetically. Remember the great artists are not born, they are made. They also started from scratch at some time in their lives, so you can too.
- Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, every visual artist commit errors. Mistakes are important to know how much you have learned and where you need to put your focus on.
- Keep experimenting. Don’t rely on traditional concepts. To become a better artist, you need to expand your vision and move out of your comfort zone.
- Approach every drawing lesson or project with complete freshness. Don’t let your preconceived notions restrict you from adapting to change.
- Focus on the bigger picture. When drawing, consider the whole scene rather than parts. Instead of rendering one object at a time, work on the entire composition altogether to include relevant spaces.
- Play with the art and observe mindfully.
- Consider spatial relationships. The spaces are equally important as the drawn objects. You don’t wish to create visual tension for your audience, so make use of space to offer detailed yet clear visualization.
Your drawing must have these elements
These four elements are crucial for every art you draw:
- Spatial relationships: Spaces between objects are crucial so that they are easily identifiable.
- Edges: All the objects must be drawn keeping in mind the format’s edges.
- Focus: Some elements need to be given extra emphasis while others must take the background role.
- Negative Space: Consider the negative space between and around the objects.
Your drawing should be able to answer these questions
- Does it clearly emphasis your subject matter?
- Does the page’s orientation justify your drawing angle?
- Does it have a graphical, pictorial, flat, or illusory representation?
- Does it have a focal point?
- Does it have the correct composition to show the appropriate representation to your viewer?
- Does it have a point of entry so your viewer knows where to start from?
- Does it have proper spatial relationships?
- Does it consider the negative space?
- Does it have balanced composition, if not does the imbalanced one expresses something?
- Does each shape and form have a clear specification?
All these questions can be answered in the affirmative if you use your tools best to their advantage.
Talking about the tools, let’s see, now, what all possible tools you may need to draw a perfect art.
Generally, a paper of size 11X14 inches or bigger is recommended. Depending on your work type, you can also go for a heavier paper, Bristol board, grey-toned paper, or graph paper which gives you a modular grid for visual measurement. Some designers also opt for hand-toned paper made using cold tea, water paint, cold black coffee, or thinned ink.
2. Drawing board
You can use anything to support your sketchbook. However, I highly recommend a drawing board for intact support.
You should have multiple pencils with different graphite types. These range from extra soft (8B) to extra hard (6H). Soft pencils are blunt and good for dark shading while hard ones are pointed and give lighter shades. Both are equally useful for drawing realistic art.
4. Pencil sharpener
Certainly, the pencil does need a sharpener with it.
5. Cylindrical charcoal sticks
Charcoal sticks are a great tool for visualization. They come as hard, medium, and soft types. You can also use them for shading purposes. They stick temporarily so make sure to use a fixative for permanence.
6. Conté crayons
Conte crayons are very useful in producing refined art. They come in different colors, though many times artists only use black and white to draw a monochromic image. They are quite popular. You can use them either blunt or broad for detailed work.
Erasers come in many types for different purposes. You can use a white plastic eraser for removing pencil marks. Kneaded rubber is good for a pencil as well as charcoal sticks. You can also use a pink pearl or gum eraser as an alternative.
Markers work great in highlighting the characters and the overall view of your art. Most of the artists use only a fine-point black marker for sketching. You should them only after finalizing your drawing as they are permanent and can’t be erased. They also come in various colors and have both fine-point tip as well as wide-nib. As an alternative, you can use colored pencils instead.
When you are buying a fixative, always look for the non-toxic one like SpectraFix Natural Casein. This is a workable tool means you can continue with your work immediately after applying it. Also, make sure you use it outside or within a well-ventilated room.
Under this category, I highly recommend Black India ink. This is highly pigmented. You can use it in a diluted form with different brushes. You can use it as an alternative for black acrylic paint.
11. Acrylic paint
Acrylic paint is a water-based coloring tool. This dries fast and needs to be diluted with water. This is optional and you can replace it with ink or other coloring tools like pencils or markers.
Brushes vary vastly in types. Some are pointed while others are totally flat. I recommend you to have both. In the start, you should opt for student-grade brushes instead of artists’ ones. Go for larger ones as they let you draw through your arm and not your wrist. Meanwhile, as a beginner, you should begin with whatever you have at the moment for practice and skills sharpening.
A viewfinder is an optional tool, but extremely helpful. It is a light-weight plastic grid that lets you view compositions through modular grids. You can isolate your scene into different sections and decide the correct placement of the crucial elements. It has lots of variations. The recommended ones are the rule of thirds and four-quadrant grids.
14. Wooden artist’s model
This is quite an interesting tool. As the name suggests, it is a wooden fully-jointed model that lets you visualize scrupulous character builds. They are available in different sizes with accurately divided proportions.
15. Digital pens and tablets
Tablets like Wacom and iPad come with digital pens that let you draw on the screen. The feel is quite similar to drawing on paper. This isn’t a necessary tool, but brilliant addition to your drawing kit. You can instantly take your work online and color it as well. However, before purchasing them, make sure to check the software needs and specifications.
When working on your idea, you don’t need to detail every bit of your story. Your drawing must include enough to give your viewers a mental picture of what’s going on. It’s alright if everyone doesn’t follow the story. To offer an interesting perspective, you can crop your drawing and let them fill in the blanks themselves. So now, draw yourself accomplishing something impossible.
© 2020 Prachi Sharma