Back in 2007, I published a little ebook (not so little really – 100 pages) called the Creative Drawing Workbook.
I had never seen a learn-to-draw book that I liked, and here’s why. . .
I have picked up and read hundreds of beginners “How-to-draw” books in my lifetime, and mostly, they go like this:
The first page has a circle – which becomes a ball with some shading.
OK, I get that – I’m following.
The second page has a square – which becomes a cube with some shading.
OK, haven’t lost me yet.
The third page – YIKES! It’s the Chartres Cathedral, or something equally as complicated – with the message that all things are made of basic shapes, so you should be all set to draw this.
The sound you heard was that book slamming shut.
So, to heck with the books – let’s go take a drawing class. There are lots of approaches in drawing classes.
You can draw with your eyes shut, draw without lifting the pencil, draw without looking at the paper, draw with your left hand . . . and then move right along to drawing naked people with messy charcoal.
How’d that work out for you?
All of these exercises have some benefit, but none of them really show you that you CAN draw anything once you can SEE the shapes it is made of, that the basic shapes are easy to draw, and that combining them is not difficult either. You just have take your time.
With the popularity of sketching and art journaling, there are lots more “how-to-sketch” books. They are mostly based on the premise that only practice will get you there. No knowledge necessary. The intention is good – don’t be afraid to draw because you don’t know how.
But how about don’t be afraid to draw because you DO know how, and then you can practice your little heart out to get better and better. I have been drawing for half a century and I still practice everyday – and I can still see the improvement.
Way too late for long story short, but I put this book together 10 years ago, and when people got to the end of it, they could draw. Maybe not the Chartres Cathedral yet, but off to a good start.
In fact, I started to guarantee that by the time you finished my workbook, you could draw the illustration on the cover. No fail. And nobody failed.
I am currently re-defining what my online brand will be since the end of Sheer Heaven.
I have decided to be a digital publisher.
It was recently suggested to me that I write a book on narrative journaling for an art book publisher.
Nice idea, but I think I will be my own publisher for awhile. I have a lot of ideas that I want to put out there, and I have a treasury of older content that needs to be brought forward and updated.
So, in January, I will release the 10 year anniversary edition of my Creative Drawing Workbook – completely improved and re-illustrated, and with additional content where necessary to make it even better.
You may find it interesting that all the new illustration is being done on my iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil.
Yes, I did buy a big iPad Pro and the Pencil. (of course, I did – could not stop myself). Did it last January, in fact.
Do I love it? Cannot count the ways. And I will be happy to answer anybody’s questions about it – just ask.
In the “old” days, when creating step-by-step sketches, you had photograph them and the white paper turned out gray, or you scanned them and the texture of the paper made a background problem that was hard to clean up.
Now, I just sketch on the iPad and Air-Drop to my desktop Mac or MacBook Air. Amazing how things have changed!
Just thought I would share some of what I am up to – besides eating fruit pops (grin).