In 2020, there are 51,900 craft or fine artists in the USA, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Besides professional artists, many people take drawing or painting as a hobby which brings them lots of benefits. From the health perspective, researchers in different studies suggest that drawing can strengthen memory, release stress, improves mood, moreover, it could be therapeutic to some particular diseases, such as dementia, cancer, etc.
Other benefits include promoting creativity, boosting self-esteem, providing you a different perspective and helping you become empathetic. For me, I like the words from Spanish painter John Miro: Drawing leads to freedom and happiness. Drawing provides us more spiritual nourishment instead of practical rewards.
Guiding Tips For Beginners
Some people start drawing at an early age, some people may first pick up a pencil when they are retired, but it’s never too late to start as long as you are on the right foot. In truth, drawing is a learned skill, one can build over years of consistent practice. Here is a brief guide for beginners:
- Start from Stick Figures: Most famous artists started drawing with stick figures which tremendously hones their skills and builds a solid foundation for their later achievement.
- Develop Your Observation Ability:It’s believed that 80% of drawing is observation, so learning to see the world with an artist’s eye is important. But how to see like an artist? Most importantly, stop labeling objects and just see surroundings as collections of lines, shadows, shapes and contours, instead create design from your visual impression, in the moment of seeing. To grasp this ability much quicker, you need to do some helpful exercises.
- Imitating the Work of Accomplished Illustrators: For beginners, emulating works from professional and successful artists is an efficient way to learn drawing. It allows you to develop better drawing techniques, understand what makes art beautiful, and learn some old drawing methods. However, copying masterpieces is far from enough, you need to develop three-dimension thinking by drawing from nature, models and life.
- Practice, Practice, Practice: Drawing is a skill thatdevelops as you practice. All the great artists once went through boring practice processes. But be sure to practise in the right For example, don’t spend six weeks drawing a box, instead draw a page or two of boxes, then find something that has an underlying form of a box, then draw that object, later go back and draw more boxes. Most importantly, apply the knowledge you learned and learn from experience then you can make much progress.
Learn From Master Drawer------Vincent Van GoghApart from the guide mentioned before, learning experience from famous drawers or painters experience has the same importance. We will learn from how they solve the drawing problems they met, how to improve their skills, how to form their unique styles.
Vincent van Gogh - Self-Portrait From Wikimedia Com
Vincent Van Gogh was born in 1853 in an upper-middle-class family and his interest in art began at a young age. Different from other talented artists, he did not draw well at that time, which in his words “my sketching is really terrible when I was young.” But he formed the habit of observing animals, insects and other natural life. When he was sixty, he followed his uncle Cent to work at an art dealer. At that time, he built a solid foundation on art history and gradually shaped his own aesthetic taste through seeing heaps of artists’ works in museums.
Unfortunately, he was dismissed by the dealer in 1876 and lived a poor and terrible life from then on. He once dreamed to be a pastor but failed the theology entrance examination of the University of Amsterdam. Besides, he received much pressure from his family because he didn’t accomplish anything. About 25 years old, though very poor and lost, he thinks he should try art as his final career. He said:’ maybe I can try drawing, maybe I can succeed. Even if it doesn’t work out, I can leave something behind.
Different from Picasso who started to learn drawing at an early age, Van Gogh began to learn drawing by himself at his 25 years old. Though without studying in professional schools, he has his special learning strategy. The first thing is reading and studying portrait painting, charcoal painting and other introductory lessons.
What’s more, he was extremely concentrated on his work. He always squatted down on the stool and put his easel on his lap when drawing. In only 2 weeks, he has finished 120 pieces of artwork, strict and boring.
‘I can’t work without model’, Van Gogh was constantly finding or renting different models for practicing figure painting. All the models are normal people, such as miners, farmers even prostitutes. He is very strict with his model too, for example, he would ask his model to keep the same posture for several hours.
Van Gogh is not a talented artist, he knows he can’t be successful if lack professional guidance. He asked his parents to support him in finding a professional teacher to study perspective skills. More importantly, he made friends with successful artists, such as Gauguin, helping him to correct mistakes in drawing and bringing him much inspiration.
During his short 37 years of life, his works didn’t achieve commercial success and in the last few years of life, Van Gogh suffered from depression and lived in the hospital. Surprisingly, he created the most artworks of his life, including the most famous one ‘Starry Night’.
The 3 Best Drafting Tables
To be a skilled drawer, apart from talent and practice, working on a comfortable drawing table is also important. Drawing tables achieve comfort from the materials and the adjustable angels. The following tables are perfect at combining function and appearance, which ensures you do your best work.