If you can only draw stick men … here´s what to do

Here, you can see how to progress a full bodied drawing from the outside and in. Read the full blog post to read how to do this.

“I can barely draw a stick man”. How then can I expect, to learn to draw?

This is a classic concern, which I have encountered over and over again I my many years of teaching people from all walks of life to draw. Luckily there is a way around this seemingly gap of ability. The key word is … volume. Read on and get some real insights about drawing.

Good News! You can learn how to move beyond drawing stick men

First of all. I really understand this uncertainty around what it takes to learn to draw. And that you feel your self facing an abyss of lack of ability. It can feel really daunting, and somehow, the inability to draw can feel strangely humiliating.

So what if you have never had any drawing instruction or any experience what so ever with drawing? And you are well into your adult years. You have this yearning deep down in your soul to be able to express your self in figurative or even imaginative drawing. But you really don’t know how to begin this journey. Is it too late? Would it be wiser to forget it and just leave it to those seemingly gifted with magical talent?

Luckily I have very good news. It is never too late. And yes, there is a magic to drawing. There is a logic too. And this Drawing Magic can be learned. It can be transmitted to you.

There is a system to drawing that can be learned. And even if you are well into adult life, and still never have been drawing anything than stick men, hearts and maybe other little symbols, the ability to draw is closer at hand that you might realize.

There is one problem with learning to draw, that needs to be overcome. No matter how simple this logic and magic really is. It is best learned by direct transmission. You can read a thousand words about drawing, but still it would be like thousand words explaining the scent of a rare and unique rose. Those words might be exquisite. Beautiful. But still in fact, you don’t truly know how is the scent of the rose. And like wise, in spite of the words, you still don’t have a clear visual on how to draw.

I can attest to that myself. I have literally been a hunter for knowledge about drawing since I was a child. I have searched in nooks and crannies. High and low. I have searched myself and all over the place. And I didn´t stop until I finally figured out, the real secrets of drawing.

Some of the secrets of drawing came naturally. I have been magnetically attracted to drawing since I was a small child. Other parts I reverse engineered with more or less success over those initial years – yes – from texts about drawing both ancient and new. I found bits and pieces, scattered all around, but still I knew something was missing. Along the way, I also had drawing teachers. Lots of them. All the way back to my teens. Some of them was willing to show, I mean really show, hands on what they knew, and how to do it. Others were strangely reluctant. You can only guess why.

Gradually, through my decades of investigating the secrets of drawing, I put together the pieces of the puzzle. Piece by piece. I have spent over 30 years of solving the enigma. This is why, now, I actually am able to transmit this to you.

 

The secret to drawing with volume

I will give you that written outline here. I will give you the first and absolutely crucial core secret to drawing. But beware. When you read it, it seems so simple that you can´t believe it´s real.

So, read carefully. Right here. But again, as I told you, the art of drawing must be transmitted. You must see it being done. Repeat what you see. Feel it in your hands. That is what we do in my Drawing Magic Secrets.

But, nevertheless. Listen very carefully. Read this and do it.

To draw is to open your eyes. To focus on the drawing subject in front of you. You must begin by deciding what to draw. By being specific. By drawing something real and solid. Something from life. First you draw simple subjects.

Let’s say you begin by drawing a rose. Put the rose in front of you. Look at it very carefully. Take note of everything you see for a minute or two. Let your eyes feel their way all over that rose. Very intently and carefully. Imagine the gaze of your eyes, really touching that rose. Then, close your eyes. Notice if you can recall the shape of the rose with your eyes closed. Can you see it in your mind’s eye?

If not, then open your eyes and look again. Take note, once more, of the shape of that rose. Try to imagine. If you were to wrap the rose in paper. How would that wrapped shape look like? Start by sketching this simple shape. Just with very simple lines. This is the outer shape of the rose. The simplest truth about it. First you sketch that.

From there, you go inwards. What are the bigger shapes of the rose? If you were to break it into a few shapes inside of the initial outline, what would they be? Try to sketch this next level. From there you go deeper and deeper into the subject. You break it down, piece by piece, until you have rendered all the details.

This sounds so simple that you might be skeptical. I fully understand. As I told you, drawing is very much a thing that needs to be transmitted directly from artist to art apprentice.

But I encourage you to try this, regardless of that inner skeptical voice. Find some very simple things to draw. Things that has a simple shape, and that can be broken down into a few simple sub shapes. Focus on that practice for a long time. Draw simple outlines of things, and really spend time looking at them. Shift between looking and drawing. Repeatedly. Like I described.

So, what has that to do with not being able to draw stick men, you might ask. In my mind it has everything to do with it. A stick man has no volume. It has no shape. It is only consisting of a few lines, and in fact it has more to do with lettering that drawing.

If you are stuck with stick men, it is a sign, that you have not yet discovered that things has volume. And when you draw something, it is crucial to take notice of that inherent volume of things. It is the volume of things that is the beginning of a drawing. It is the secret of drawing around that volume of things, that is the inner secret of drawing.

I encourage you to really give that some thought. Look at things. Imagine yourself, drawing a line around those things, you attempt to draw. Like I explained. Start from the outside. And only when you have conquered, drawing the outside of your drawing subject, and thereby capturing the volume of it, you go in. This is how you escape drawing stick men.

 

Let me tell you a story.

When I was very young, I had some years of intense study of martial art. To this day, I clearly remember my first day of martial art training. We were a whole bunch of absolute beginners gathered in a gym hall. Then the martial art master instructor gave us a set of movements to practice. I clearly have the physical memory of wavering my hands and legs around haphazardly in patterns that didn´t make any sense to me at all. But I did it. I knew that there had to be some reason to do it. I did that repeatedly for a while. And slowly I started to see where this was going. I started to see, that there was a pattern to this, and how it might eventually transform me into that ninja I was dreaming about becoming. I never became a full-scale ninja. But I became so good, that it was a real joy.

Oh, and by the way, the ending of that ninja story of course is, that instead I turned down another road, spending all my time in the drawing magic lab instead.

Above, I have given you the first initiation to the secrets of drawing. Don’t be mistaken. If you do it, diligently, and repeatedly, it will start to make sense. The pieces will start to come together. And it is this rock of drawing around the volume of things, that all other drawing skills needs to rest upon.

In my Drawing Magic Secrets Education, I do of course transmit this visually, with every little secret move of the trade, like it has been done in artisan workshops for thousands of years. But here, you have the written recipe. Give it a go. Repeat, and soon you will rise above those stick men.

To your drawing success!

Ida

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