Drawing Newbie? Start With These Fundamentals to Build Confidence
If you're the type of person who shies away from sketching anything more involved than googly eyeballs or a stick figure on the back of a napkin, it might be more due to a lack of confidence in your artistic ability than some fundamental lack of talent. But nailing the basics can change your outlook on the seemingly Sisyphean task of
Designer and artist Ralph Ammer believes anyone can improve their artistic ability, as long as they understand what makes a good drawing. "The basic craft of
The principle of of learning to "control your hand," referred to as dexterity, relies on both building the muscles in your hands and increasing your hand-eye coordination. Ammer's exercises include drawing a page's worth of circles , all varying in size, without having them overlap, and hatching, or drawing groups of parallel lines, until your page is full.
His exercises in perception focus on increasing your ability to properly perceive and translate shapes, colors, and shades onto paper. Since, according to Ammer, "it is usually the contours that define a body or object and make others recognise them," he suggests beginning with practicing the outline, or contours, of your own hands. Other perception exercises deal with improving perception (by drawing some cubes) and composition (drawing the same subject from differing viewpoints), all serving to improve your brain's ability to understand perspective and dimensionality in drawing.
Pro tip: your hands will probably cramp, considering all the drawing exercises. Be sure to perform a few stretching exercises so you don't pull a pinky.
A quick beginner's guide to drawing | Ralph Ammer