Learn to Draw
If you can draw from your imagination, you can create the universe. But how to get started? Here’s a helpful list of resources for people who want to learn to draw.
- Buy some books. (Loomis)
- Go to video school. (Alex Woo at Schoolism)
- Buy more books. (Bridgman)
- And one more book (Hale)
- Draw everyday
- Oh, and UX designers, remember if you can draw these three shapes, you can draw the Internet.
- @ mention me your progress on Twitter and I’ll fav. Why? That fav/like is a little tiny bit of positive social accountability, which is sometimes all we need.
- Start with Andrew Loomis
One of the great boy-girl magazine era illustrators, Andrew Loomis created marvelous books on illustration. You have two choices: buy the lovely lovely enormous hardback books, or download the PDFs for free. I started out with a photocopy of someone’s PDF, but then bought the entire set of hardbacks as soon as they were republished. If there’s an aspiring illustrator in your life, buy her/him these books in hardback.
2. Go to Video Drawing School at Schoolism.com
For $198/year you can get unlimited access to video lectures from drawing greats at Pixar and beyond. This is easily the cheapest/best way to get some practical instruction from people who draw for a living. Start with Alex Woo. We get to see his line and hear his approach. He’s a patient, calm, focused teacher with a clear understanding of what he’s trying to do.
3. Know your Bridgeman Books
Nearly every illustrator from Art Center grew up learning the Bridgeman style. It’s not for everyone, but it’s worth checking out for a sculptural, twisted block approach. Start with Constructive Anatomy. The books are short on words, long on his nearly mannerist style of muscle-blocks and clay-on-bone approach to modeling the figure. Of particular delight is his drawing the draped figure.
4. Drawing Lessons from the Masters
So far my recommendations have been for illustration books. This next one is for artists, not visual communication designers. Alex Hale’s Drawing Lessons for the Great Masters. He makes the case for the artist as a perpetual seeker of truth. His advice is over the top sometimes (to learn anatomy—“Get a collection of bones, build your own skeleton”) but his guidance on where and how to look is timeless. Vary your line weight (he then shows examples how). Know your anatomy. Know the direction of your curves. Know what’s happening under the clothes, under the skin—down to the bones.
5. Draw Every Day
Go to the copier room at your job and grab a whole packet of paper. One of those piles of paper wrapped in paper. Draw 50 drawing every day. 1 min per drawing. Do it like you’re practicing piano or doing yoga or watching your favorite show. Make it your favorite show—watching yourself get better at drawing.
(Read more on this idea here…)
7. Positive Social Accountability.
Mention me on Twitter with your work in progress and I’ll fav. Why? That fav/like is a little tiny bit of positive social accountability, which is sometimes all we need.