Best Way to Learn to Draw?

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    Best Way to Learn to Draw?

    Hello all,

    I'm new here and wanted to ask, what's the best way to learn how to draw? Little background info on me - I am a self taught digital graphics designer, but noticed that to move into an area of designing toys, characters, etc. I would really need to learn how to draw. I've tried some online tutorials, but never found them to be helpful; I've bought a few books, most notably Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson, which had very good reviews, but for some reason, I just can't seem to learn from a book. It's gotten to the point of frustration, maybe I had ADD or something!

    Can you guys give me some tips on how I can learn to draw, whether it be from some videos to taking classes? I live in NYC, so any place where I can possible go to school (I've looked into NYU and Parsons, they are both kinda costly)? Any help would be appreciated, thank you so much!

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    Art Students League has some top notch faculty and is very cheap.

    The biggest thing, though, is to just draw. A lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meloncov View Post
    Art Students League has some top notch faculty and is very cheap.

    The biggest thing, though, is to just draw. A lot.
    exactly, draw a lot, from life from books just draw every day, pay attention to all the features of the the things you are drawing, how things bend, move, how light affects them, etc.

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    Take a class, if you can two classes at the local community college, it's cheap and if you're poor you can probably even get some type of aid to where it's free. Try and take a basic drawing class and after that take figure drawing. I'm not sure who it was that said, "If you can draw the human machine, you can draw anything"...I think I read off some blog actually.

    While you're there talk to the people there. I found two intense ateliers in my city that I had no idea even existed until an artist from one of those ateliers came in to give a painting demo and told us about it. Try and see if they have open figure drawing sessions so after you finish an instructed figure drawing class, you can just sit down for a couple of hours there and pay them $5-$15.

    To be completely honest, I couldn't wrap my head around Bridgman, Loomis or Hogarth or any other of these books before figure drawing class. I used to copy them, but it really didn't do much good. After the classes though, the books started to make more sense.

    If you can't afford "proper" instruction with a prof, then try and find a place, maybe craigslist that offers open figure drawing sessions. Draw from life. Books are useful, at least for me though, I wasn't able to really even begin to appreciate what these masters of figure drawing had written until I was in front of the model.

    Also, THIS GUY

    Last edited by mbarq; August 13th, 2010 at 08:58 PM.
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    Agreed with everything here. The main thing though is make it a habit. You can't just do it one week and then drop it the next. If you want to make it a profession it's got to be a daily activity. Jason Manley, the founder of this site recommends 8 hours a day to become a professional in just a couple years.

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    Thumbs up

    All great responses guys, thanks so much! I will try to draw what I can as much as I can! I don't know if I can put in 8 hours a day to draw, but I will try my best to draw whenever I can!

    But are there any beginner drawing videos out there? Doesn't have to be about drawing anatomy, but drawing basic shapes, whatever. I want to get some videos and see how it is like and try from there. Any suggestions? I'd appreciate it, thanks again!

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    They say it takes about 10,000 hours of something to become a pro... and like playing an instrument, it just takes a lot of practice, built over a long stretch of time.

    All these suggestions of 8 hours per day are well and good, but I don't believe you should push yourself 8 hours when you are just beginning. Drawing is just like joining a sports team. You're not going to be a pro, nor will you run the marathon on the first day. What worked for me was setting up little still life's and drawing them. A simple bowl or piece of fruit could work. As I got better at it the still life's got more complicated (adding in 2+ objects, adding in fabric). But I always kept them to 30 mins. Just this 30 mins a day helped me tremendously... then I started drawing them for an hour, then 2 hours as my focus improved. However long you can draw without getting frustrated. When frustration sets in, take a break. I started w/30 minute drawings, but now I am oil painting for 8-10+ hours per day.

    I've heard good things about the Betty Edwards book... this may give you a good head-start. I usually go and browse my used bookstore... you can find some artbooks that are pretty cheap and sometimes hard to find nowadays. Since you live in NYC, there is also the Art Students League, and once you've got the basics down you should definitely look around for some figure drawing classes. Best of luck!

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