How to get from I can’t draw this to I can draw it?

I have heared this sentence so many times from artists before: I can’t draw this – I can’t draw that. Does this sound familiar to you? Is it really true you can’t draw it or are you just holding yourself back?

As far as I have seen this sentence is something that holds your creative power back. It holds you back so much that you might not even see it. What happens with you when you say this sentence? Your mind accept this as an order and does it. Basically you tell yourself that you can’t do it and at the end you really won’t be able to do it. In reality this statement that you can’t do it is actually not true. It is wrong. You can do it you just haven’t tried it at all or used no references for it.

Now lets see what you can do to be able to draw whatever you want. First of all know that there is no artist who was born being able to draw or paint anything from his mind right from the start. If you want to be able to draw whatever you want from your memory you will need a visual library for that. This means you need to see things in life in a way that it sticks to your mind and you can use it when needed.

You can build up your own visual library by drawing real things from life. Draw items surrounding you: a glass of water, your bonsai tree, your cat, the calendar on your desk and your desk too. When you are outside draw people, houses, the road, cars or whatever you are interested in.

When you draw something you learn about it. You will learn its form, its design and a lot more. You can use this later when you want to draw the same thing or when you want to draw something more realistically. You will have the knowledge to do that.

What can you do when you want to draw something that you have never drawn before? It is the same thing. Look at examples of it in real life (or on photos) and make a quick study about the subject. Polar bear by Adrienn EcsediFor example you want to draw a polar bear in your next artwork. Instead of saying “I can’t draw polar bears”, collect some reference photos of polar bears and make quick study sketches of them. Do as much as you need and then make your artwork. After that you can say: “I can draw a polar bear”.

This is the secret: have a visual library and make quick studies of your subject before making your main drawing. This is not a new thing, old masters have done this too. Check this study from Rembrandt for example. He has made this study before he painted “A girl at a window“.

Next time before you say you can’t draw this or that, know that you CAN draw it. You only need to do some research and studies before it.

Good luck with drawing and have fun creating whatever you want to create.

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