Learn from the things that don’t look good in your drawings. ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ This newsletter is about drawing. It goes out every Friday. Want to draw? Then check out my free workbook!

#149 - Why It Is Good That Your Drawings Do Not Come Out Well

Learn from the things that don’t look good in your drawings.

Warm-Up Drawing Exercises

some of my sketchbook pages
A simple ‘Landmark’ example: the opening in the brim of the hat aligns with the cylinder-shaped crown of the hat. Get that wrong, and the hat looks off.

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I’ve been making “ demonstrations ,” images where I try to illustrate my thinking as I try to memorize a reference. I’ve gotten into doing quick small sketches from observation of the subject in my sketchbook first, and I discovered something new: You get to see which parts you need to get accurate for it to look good and which parts you can wing a bit. I call the “parts you need to get right” landmarks, and here is one example.

Here, with this hat , the hat’s crown is approximated by a cylinder extending to the hat’s brim, where it is a circle. I found that this was the only landmark in the hat. As long as the circle in the brim aligned with the cylinder depicting the crown, I could vary the sizes and shapes of the brim, the crown, and the fluffy ball on the side, I could deform the crown, and it would still look good as long as the circle was aligned with the cylinder.

 
sketchbook pages filled with hat studies
Sketchbook pages where I endlessly studied this hat to get a feel for what was important to get right about the hat.
 
Next time you want to draw something, make quick small sketches first and find out what landmarks you need to get right.

 
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