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Being good at drawing: Are we there yet? on artiful painting demos by sandrine pelissier

Being good at drawing: Are we there yet?

being good at drawing

Drawing is one of those things: when someone is good at it and the drawing seems to flow fast and effortlessly, it actually  pretty much looks like magic. The only logic explanation being that the fairy of being good at drawing did bless this person as a baby.

Being good at drawing: Are we there yet?

The truth is that, as most things that seem to go effortlessly, drawing is actually requiring a lot of training and practice to look effortless.  I started attending life drawing classes every week at 195 studios and am really enjoying it as much as I find it frustrating at times.

I noticed we have different types of drawers at the classes, we have the fast drawers that seem to do better with very fast poses that require you to bypass the thinking process and make a more direct eye-hand connection. Those drawers make great gesture drawing, usually full of energy and very stylized, and they might finish early or do more than one drawing for the longer poses.  Then we have the slow drawers, who are doing better with the longer poses. I am one of those and am actually now focusing on only one part of the body for the 1 and 2 minutes poses as I usually don’t have enough time to draw the whole body and have trouble working with too much time pressure. I am a “slow drawer”, I like to take my time, measure, come back and correct.

how to draw really good


The process is frustrating, some classes you seem to make a break through progress and going forward, the next class you are back to square one, it is not a regular curve of progress. We are used to look for shortcuts: loose 10 pounds in two weeks, learn a language in 10 days… the truth is that most things that last require time and commitment.

Then there is the question about making a difference between mistakes and style. I think the visible difference is in control, we see  style as being a choice and mistakes as being not a choice but lack of control. Control comes with practice.

It is difficult to explain but very visible when we look at a work of art if we look at a personal style or at mistakes made by lack of control.

The good thing with mistakes is that they make you progress, until they either disappear or become part of your own style.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

– Scott Adams

What do you think is most challenging when drawing from life?