How to start drawing if you have never done it

How to start drawing if you have never done it

How to start drawing if you have never done it

March 29, 2020

Inspiration Column

It’s never too late to start if you have the desire to draw and the willingness to practice regularly.
Photo by Olga Metalnikova

Olga Metalnikova

How to start drawing if you have never done it


Olga Metalnikova
Artist and art director of the Painty project.

I am sure that you can start drawing at any age. I became interested in art after high school. For a person who wants to draw, there are two ways. The first is to take paints and just start: do not delve into the theory, do not think about the rules, follow only your inner impulse. The second is to go to school.

Where to start, what to read, where to study

Here are some ideas.

  • Sign up for any adult group course or go to an art party.
  • If you are more of a fan of video tutorials, then here is the popular channel of professional artist Anastasia Shimshilashvili – Art Shima. Or the channel, which is called “How to learn to draw”, where they post drawing lessons in different styles, different methods and tools.
  • Of the books, my favorite is “Drawing. Fundamentals of educational academic drawing” by Nikolai Lee.
  • Find an artist whose work is very close and interesting to you, chat with him or even take a lesson. Fortunately, the Internet allows you to connect with anyone.

What technique to choose

I don’t think that at first you need to limit yourself in choosing a drawing technique. What you choose, traditional art or digital, a sketchbook and pencils or a tablet, depends on your personal preferences. The market demands both. These are different tools, they can and should be mastered, moreover, the rules of perspective, composition, proportions, color science are the same.

And in order to understand whether you want to do art, whether you like this technique or another, whether drawing will come to you at all, you need to try.

What to inspire

Getting inspired doesn’t have to be just art. I find my muse in design, fashion, tattooing. Every field has its inspirations. For example, I like the work of tattoo artist Andrei Volkov and the project “Mr. Artist” by Radik Musin. I also note the Bevza clothing brand and their presentation of collections on social networks.

Read books, go to museums, watch movies, listen to music – you never know what will eventually become the impetus for creating a project.

Is it possible to achieve something without education

It all depends on your goals.

If you want to realize your creative needs, show relatives and friends that you are a creative person, fulfill an old dream, then no education is needed for this.

If your goal is to become a professional, commercially successful artist, then sooner or later you will surely face the need to gain theoretical knowledge and develop skills. This is necessary at least to improve the technical level and quality of order fulfillment.

On the other hand, looking at Malevich’s Black Square, it may seem that this is all the author is capable of. However, Malevich was a professional artist and an authoritative art theorist, painting in various techniques. It turns out that for an unprepared public, your education may be invisible.

Rules for every day

  1. The most important rule of an artist, in my opinion, is practice every day, at least at the learning stage. I notice myself that after a long break it is very difficult to start, you have to re-learn, the skill is lost. The hand seems to forget what was given with ease until recently.
  2. Sketch wherever you are. Even if you don’t have much time, carry a sketchbook with you so you can sketch everything you see. It can be figures of people, streets, street lamps… Sketches perfectly develop the eye and train the hand. And later they can come in handy for the plot of a full-fledged picture.
  3. Try something new. In the process of learning, do not stop at one story or material. Try different techniques and materials to help you develop your own style.
  4. It may sound trite, but it is very important to be interested in art. Expand your horizons, see paintings by different artists, find out how and why they created their work. I am sure this is an invaluable and exciting experience for any aspiring artist.
  5. Don’t be afraid of feedback. You can post your creations on pages on social networks, but it seems to me that feedback is best received in person at exhibitions. Exhibit your work and communicate with people, listen to criticism. In the end, it is she who will help you become better. It is not necessary to start with large galleries: organize an apartment building only for your own people, invite friends and relatives.

If you imagine a successful contemporary artist, then I would describe him as a charismatic, bright personality with good technical skills and, ideally, also with a commercial streak. But every artist has his own way. Someone is a bright character, someone is a master of painting landscapes, and someone can sell a canvas with a “spit” of paint. It is this diversity that makes the art world so interesting. And I sincerely believe that each of us has our own audience that just needs to be found.

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