Learning to draw needs fun

Greatings to David Masters

Hi David,

It was such a wonderful time in Manchester, thank you so much for this wonderful article. I wont be able to do it myself as good. I was impressed. Here is my answer.

In German we have a special word for a piece of paper which is used to develop something. It is “Schmierpapier” that means ugly or dirty paper. You test your pen the brush and the colors on it until you know how to do it, than you waste the paper.

Schmierpapier Manchester Tine Klein Fun

Happiness is the main aspect of vital drawings…Tine Klein…a few minutes just for you

Years before I noticed that I shouldn’t throw my “Schmierpapier” or ugly paper away because it shows what I do when I am working without any pressure. We often underestimate what stress is doing to us, exceptionally self-made stress. On the “Schmierpapier” I work without thinking…no one will see it, and the drawings on the “Schmierpapier” are much more worth than any limelight watercolor.

THE “UGLY PAPER” SKETCHES SHOW MY SOUL THAT IS THE BREEDING GROUND OF ART

I noticed I learn faster and draw better when I think it is just a “Schmierpapier” I do this for happiness. For me it was explainable why I failed when I really worked disciplined to be successful and it drives me crazy.

Drawing with fun is magical, just a bit inexplicable, but not explainable.  The latest insights in neuro-didactics say you need fundamental basics for learning quick:

Do it, repeat it and have a lot of fun! That´s it! Good News!

And that is what you learned easy while we drink a beer.


HOW TO GET BETTER AT DRAWING FAST: “DO THESE FUNNY DRAWINGS EVERY DAY”


“Keep drawing. The more you draw, the better you’ll get at drawing.”

So a friend said to me when I explained that I feel like all my drawings are awful. I was at an international sketching event, full of architects and professional illustrators and graphic designers.  I was way out of my depth, and I was feeling it.

I wanted to scream:

Do not scream please, hey? what better than to do what you love? Drawing is a wonderful way, it is like hiking sometimes it is exhausting but the journey is the reward.


“BUT I WANT TO BE GOOD AT DRAWING NOW!”


I’m impatient. I’ve been drawing on-and-off (mostly off) for seven years. My progress is gradual, and I find that frustrating. Plus, I’m ponderously slow and timid at drawing, and I rarely have an hour or two free for a sketch.

Then I met Tine Klein. We were at the same conference, in a group playing asketching game together. Tine drew a dog in just a few seconds that had so much energy and life to it:

THX a lot.  “All grown ups were children once-although a few of them remember it.” Antoine de St.Exupéry. This happens when you draw with the spirit of a five year old girl. Say it with Nike: Just do it!

A Fun Sketching Game Dog

Tine Klein’s dog.

Tine also drew a couple of portraits that I loved – again really quickly, using a HUGE brush with big splashes of watercolor.

So I asked:


“HOW DO YOU DRAW LIKE THAT?”


By now, the sketching game had finished, and we were standing at a paintbrush stool.

“Why don’t you buy this?” she said, holding up a paintbrush with a bright pink handle that she found in the bargain basket. “It’s only a few pounds, you can try it to see if you like it.”

I bought the paintbrush. Here it is:

Pink Brush

My new HUGE pink brush besides the tiny, timid brush I previously used.

I couldn’t wait to use my new pink brush!

Smile: The Trick is to lose a bit of control with the small brush you will act all the time like a control freak! XD

But first I wanted to know more about Tine’s drawing style. So I invited Tine to the pub for dinner.


“YOUR PEN IS A DANCING LADY, TWIRLING”


We sat down over a drink and Tine started explaining her drawing philosophy.

Tine encouraged me to put more freedom and spontaneity into my drawing. “Your pen is a dancing lady, twirling,” she said, “or a bee, finding the next flower.”

“That sounds nice,” I said. “But how do I do that?”

She handed me a piece of card and told me to uncap my sketching pen.


“CLOSE YOUR EYES,” SHE SAID. “AND DRAW A CAT”.


So I closed my eyes, and drew a cat:

Cat Blind Drawing

The cat I drew with my eyes closed. Ignore the part-circle with zig-zag scribbles in the top right, this was added later.

“Very good,” Tine said when I had finished.

The cat had eyes, ears, whiskers, two feet and a tail. And it was all wrong. Almost everything was out of place. But it did have a life and energy to it that is often lacking in my drawings.


 Tines Answer:

We all think that we have to read a lot of expensive books and work hard to learn drawing, and I love it myself to spend all my money for good art books, but….

Hand-eye coordination is that what needs a long time to  grow in your brain…we learn it while we do it…the secret of success is to entertain yourself. Than is learning just easy… Do you remember the feeling when we were 5 years old just happy to draw everywhere? Mum gave us a pencil and we started exited…and we learned so quick!

We all lost the strong power to do something happy and without thinking too much…

Then Tine said:


“NOW I WANT YOU TO TRY DOING A ONE-LINE-DRAWING.”


Tine explained: “A one-line-drawing means completing your drawing without taking your pen off the page.”

So I tried it while Tine went to order food.

One line sketches

One-line-drawings.

I drew the salt pot, a picture frame on the wall beside me, and Tine’s cider. And I really liked my drawings!

We all want to draw before our brain able to do that..easy drawing games develop the capacity of our brain in the same way like hard lessons…

This lessen teaches your brain the understanding of the relationship of proportions. The lessen is food for your brain…and teaches you a more relaxed way to move your pen over the paper…

“Very good,” Tine said when she returned to the table. “And it only takes a few seconds, doesn’t it?”


“DO THESE FUNNY DRAWINGS EVERY DAY”


She continued: “Not everyone can give an hour or two a day for sketching. But everyone can give five minutes.

“So now, do these funny drawings every day.”

To summarize the latest insights in neuro-didactics: Do it! repeat it and have a lot of fun! 

I promised myself that I would do so.

That night, when I returned to my hotel, I wanted to try out out my new HUGE pink brush. So I took some watercolours, and looked at the kettle in my room, painting the shadows. When the watercolours had dried, I added detail with a one-line-drawing.

One Line Kettle

Hey David, that perfect! This way to draw is called gesture drawing, it the root of expressiveness!

Again, I was really happy with the result. Yes, it was far from perfect, but that was okay. I’d found the energy, speed and life that had been lacking in my sketches.


SINCE THEN, I HAVE BEEN SKETCHING EVERY DAY


My daily sketches haven’t always been one-line-drawings, because I’ve been trying different techniques. But when I need to be quick, one-line-drawings are where I go.

I’ve drawn my USB microphone following a conference call:

One Line Microphone

I’ve closed my eyes and drawn a monkey:

Blind Contour Monkey

David it is a wonderful drawing: I say it with Saint Exupéry:
The secret of the fox is the secret of wonderful drawings……It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what the essential is invisible to the eye”

And I did a one-line drawing of my favourite camera:

One Line Camera

Perfect! To draw things that we love is a good idea. Sience call that positive reinforcement.

I even drew my friend’s hazelnut latte while we were out for coffee:

Hazelnut Latte

“Your pen didn’t leave the page when you drew that,” my friend said. “What that intentional?”

“Yes,” I replied. Because of course, it was intentional.


HOW TO GET BETTER AT DRAWING, ONE DRAWING A DAY


Here’s what you can try if you want to get better at drawing – especially if you need help to loosen up:

  • Close your eyes and draw a cat.
  • Do one-line-drawings. Finish a drawing without taking your pen off the page.
  • Remember: “Your pen is a dancing lady, twirling, or a bee finding the next flower.”
  • Paint with a HUGE paintbrush. A pink handle is optional.

This post is written with thanks to Tine Klein, who turned my little world of drawing upside down.

David, you made my day with this article: Is that wonderful? Science gives us the strict instruction to have fun!

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