One of the biggest limiting factors in all the projects I’ve blogged about over the past three years is the fact that I can’t draw for toffee. My draughtsmanship is absolutely lousy.
I have always loved drawing, but I always knew that I was rubbish at it. It wasn’t helped by the fact that my best friend at school, Mike, was brilliant. One art lesson we were supposed to bring in something to draw. Mike turned up, took his shoe off, plonked it on the desk and half an hour later had drawn one of the most beautiful pencil sketches I’d ever seen. So I just gave up and regretted it ever since.
A few years ago I bought one of those “How To Draw Anything” books from the cheap bookshop in Yeovil. Me being me, I read it from cover to cover a few times, didn’t draw a stroke and then forgot all about it. However whilst playing with Synfig Studio over the past few weeks I realised that I longed desperately to be able to draw so I set about trying to actually learn.
So a few days ago I bought two 2B pencils, a drawing board and a rubber – a total outlay of 3 quid. Given I only have 8 quid in the bank it was a sizeable investment which meant now I was committed!
I dug out the book I had bought. It was by a self-taught artist called Mark Linley, whose warm, conversational style reminds me very much of my old friend Scraggie (if you want to see what a real artist can do look at Scraggie’s website). Mark recommended drawing sheep as they are basically “boxes with a leg at each corner”.
My first attempts were simple but I was very pleased with them:
So I took the plunge and decided to try the sheep’s head:
Obviously, I’m supposed to rub out the pencil and ink the drawings in with pens but I’m not doing that as I simply want to be able to draw things in pencil that I can transfer to the computer to work on in Inkscape, The GIMP or Synfig Studio.
It’ll probably take about two years until I get my sketching skills to anything like a standard I’m not ashamed of but I’m determined to keep at it. I won’t be boring you by uploading any more of my sketches to my blog, but I thought I’d share these to encourage anyone thinking about taking up drawing to have a go as well.