Anyone can draw
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Anyone can draw

And that’s a fact! I know most of you will say : “But I’m terrible at drawing! I can barely draw a stick figure. “

But don’t forget, drawing is a skill which, like any skill, develops as you practice. And believe it or not, all the great artists have started drawing with stick figures ( maybe some of them were better but they still looked bad) 😄

Now obviously, the reason why those artists went ahead from these so called “stick figures” to something great, apart from talent which you are born with, is that they had a voracious desire within them to draw and become even better, every time they put their pencil or brush on paper. This absolute fact separated them from the rest of the world, and that’s one of the key they were successful in reaching their goal later on in their lives (although many still died poor, and only became famous after they went to Heaven to draw the angels 👼).

Now that you see that YOU CAN DO IT too 💪, let’s learn more on HOW to do it! Please be aware that I am not an art teacher, I will only share with you what I have learned from others, from art books and YouTube tutorials…I will tell you my story and my way. 

First and foremost, the one great thing about it and will be in your favour is the fact that you want to improve your drawing (otherwise why would you be searching stuff on the internet and reading my blog 😃 ?! And this is really important ( well done 🤗 )because any art form (or anything really ) can not be learned just for the sake of it. NOOOOO, you need to be passionate about it, you need to have a curiosity and dedication that will help you throughout the process of learning.

We already discussed about materials and first lesson was the math ( 😂….remember, circles, lines , rectangles etc) and now, as you’ve mastered those, let’s do some shading. My favourite thing about drawing!

When you will first attempt to shade a circle and turn it into a sphere (yes, that’s what happens when you add shadows and light to a circle…ta daaaa… it turns into a beautiful sphere…not right away….maybe after doing that 10 times )

It will probably look like this

OK, so now you will ask me, but how will I know where to add the shadow?? Simple really, every time you have a light source in one corner/side of an object, the shadow will be opposite to it. So your light source is on the right, you’ll add the shadow on the left. If you assume an imaginary light source is at the upper left corner, you will draw a shadow of sorts on the opposite side, towards the bottom right corner. Got it?! 😜

Now after you’ve practised quite a lot, until you dream the spheres at night 😂 they will probably look like this.and you can start feeling proud ❤

It looks like it’s solid enough and it would heart someone’s head if you threw it and it hit them, right 😋?

Later in this daily routine ( highly recommended to do it every day for at least 10 mins a day and it will also help release stress, trust me 🌈), you can start thinking about how to bring in the surroundings into the entire picture as of course, any object creates a shadow where it sits, doesn’t it?! Look around the house and you’ll see that. In that case, you will have to explore the shading and shadow aspect of it and the drawing should look something like this.

Look at you! Well done, it looks great already 😉 but there’s always room for better, right!

It’s time to find out more about the types of shadows and highlights, so here you have a nice picture (and very professional ) from https://thevirtualinstructor.com/howtodrawasphere.html

I know you might say :”Really?!? Isn’t that a bit too much talk about spheres???”

Well….you need to draw many spheres (and other shapes too) as an exercise. A great athlete has to exercise for many many hours before any big game, and every day actually, to get to a specific performance. The same way an artist needs to practice and practice and practice before getting to grips with more complex subjects and it also helps to train the brain to see and recognise all the details and elements that you need to address in those complex subjects.

So are you ready to learn some new words (some were new for me, so I assume they will be for you too if you’ve just started to draw).

Highlight -I knew this one 🙈 Where the light hits with the greatest intensity, that is called highlight and it will be the lightest location of the object

Mid tone – That is basically midway in between the highlight and the shadow and it will show the “true” color and consistency of the object

Core Shadow – It is the darkest area of the shadow on the object (the “form shadow”) because it is least affected by reflected light. It is an important feature in creating the volume or structure of any object

Reflected Highlight – A reflected highlight is, in simple words, light that bounces off something else and strikes back something else, near the location of core shadow.

Cast Shadow – The cast shadow is the darkest part of the subject and it is distinguished from core shadow in that it is slightly brighter, and its edges are softer the further it gets from the object and it happens because the subject is blocking the light.

Well now that was interesting, don’t you think so? ) I feel smarter already 😁

It’s also time for you to practice, you can and you should apply all these new things to any shape and object, but it’s highly recommended, and I did it too, to start with spheres. Why? Because they are cute …joking! It’s because spheres have a huge range of value (which means the darkness or lightness of a color….so many “greys” isn’t it ?!)

And it’s also easier to find and recognise the locations of value on spheres than any other shapes. Practising that, you will be more “equipped” to “fight” the more complex subjects.

Another reason I preffered to draw spheres is that you can create really smooth and subtle transitions of value. To create smoother transitions you can either use a pencil by making small circular strokes or crossing lines. And later you can attack those values wiiiithhh: fingers (don’t lick them after 😄cotton buds, tissue paper, make up brushes (steal your wife’s if you’re a man ) or blending tools (blending stumps/ tortillions)

.

While I’m sure you could draw a convincing sphere from your imagination, look up the internet and find a great reference photo and practice till your hand hurts! (nope, it happened to me and it’s not fun 😰). Once you are THE SPHERE MASTER….it’s time for some cuboids, cones and pyramids…and then you will rock!

Gosh, I talk so much don’t I? I’ll try to write some shorter articles as I don’t always have time for these long ones, but it’s so hard for me to keep it short 😂

Anyway,thanks for stopping by and till next time, stay safe and sane (I drink wine for both health and sanity…red is good, but anything you feel is better for you).

And don’t forget, live life in color!

3 Comments
  • Rosanna Gaddoni
    Posted at 19:03h, 11 February Reply

    omg Oana, you are seriously good at teaching!!! You take time to explain every single detail and do not take anything for granted! no surprise your works are so beautiful 🙂

    • Alex
      Posted at 09:52h, 12 February Reply

      Aw thank you so much Rosanna, first of all for taking time to read my articles and secondly for your nice words! I have tried to “study” as much as I could, still do it, and try to explain what I learn in a simple way. 🙂

  • Rosanna
    Posted at 19:14h, 11 February Reply

    Oana you are seriously super good at teaching! You go step by step, don’t take anything for granted! No surprise your works are so good!

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