I learned how to draw by tracing (and I’m using “learned” for lack of a better word.) Actually learning how to draw was too much work. I just wanted to have some pictures.
But then I thought I was just awesome because I could swallow individual pieces of Kix cereal whole, so there’s that.
Artists always have an instinct to look for short cuts when it comes to drawing. We YouTube things, we find formulas (how many heads-tall is he?), we download brushes, and we look at other artists’ work. This is backwards: we’re trying to perfect our output, before working on our input. But this is like carrying an English-French dictionary, and saying you can now speak French. Um. Nope.
Studying drawing isn’t about learning to replicate what you see: it’s about learning how to see. Artists are people who see differently, and that’s what makes us artist. However, the process of fine-tuning this difference is a long, difficult road. It’s a matter of seeing lights and darks before seeing the object. Seeing the hues and saturation of skin before noticing whose skin it is. Learning to see like an artist means seeing the art before the art is made.
Like I’ve said a couple times, this is hard. But the good part is that it sticks. Once you learn how to see this way, you don’t ever forget. It influences the way you think, the way you listen. It changes the way you take in information in all forms, and that’s pretty cool.
Has your art affected the way you “work”? Does your writing or drawing influence the other aspects of your daily life?