Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Drawing 101-Part 1

Admission at the Valley comin up in August! And we all know what that means.. how do we prepare for it? If you're thinking there's a code book with precise information on how to ace the admission test, sorry to burst your bubble but there kinda isn't. It's all in your hands... well.. in your sketching & your intellect... and of course, help from Allah Kareem's Divine decree! So for those of you who are wondering where to run to for admission prep courses and crash drawing courses... here are some things you can do on your own to learn or improve drawing skills. They're really simple exercises that basically free up your hand and give you better control over line quality.

Sorry in advance, the photos are disaster-some, I think it's time we got one of those cool looking thingies with the goggle like eyes on the front... *DSLR* hehe. 

First up... invest in a sketchbook that will NOT run out on you. OR get a bunch of them that you won't mind sifting through to record your progress. 

You will need an HB pencil. You are not going to use a clutchy-mechanical pencil for your practice! And you will hide away all erasers in the house or eat them if you're afraid you'll find them in little nooks and drawers.

If you want to be cool, you can buy the Derwent or Faber-Castelle variety... but if you just want to learn how to draw lines, you can use a Mono brand or Staedler if you REALLY want to encourage the drawing enthusiast within :)

Have a small cup of popcorn to keep your hunger from distracting you. Nibble a few kernels when  you need a break :)

Hold your pencil, 3/4-1" away from the nip. Begin at one end of the sketch paper and draw a line all the way to the other end. 

Your line will warp and go down, up.. curve or just disappear. Don't panic. You'll do it again. And again. And again... and again... and again. For an entire FOUR minutes. EVERYDAY. :) So you'll get better. You'll see your hand get used to it. Used to stretchin all the way across. One little tip. Keep your eye on the end point. NOT the line you're drawing. You are SURE to make it straight that way!

Keep at it.. fill up the page.. or two.. or few. Four minutes of lines. One end to the other. Getting better?

Round Two.
We now spend four minutes... drawing ellipses. You are not trying to make it perfect... you're just rotating your wrist... in a swivel motion and creating these elliptical forms. You keep at it. Practice. Make larger ones so that your hand adjusts to the movement and your wrist get accustomed to strange angles without you jerking or having odd lines or limitations.

Round Three. You will practice line fluidity and control line strength. Practice drawing straight lines from one end to another, BUT increase the pressure as you move your hand across. You'll see the line darken. Loosen your pressure.. it'll go light again. Keep at it. Practice darks and lights within your lines. That's another four minutes.

Round Four. Pick your favorite canned, bottled, or boxed product. Spend time observing the container and begin drawing the basic shape. Let's say a square or a rectangle. If it's a jar... start drawing ellipses within an upright rectangle.. you'll see form come through. Four minutes on this.

You know that popcorn you've been keepin handy? Have a couple of munches... now pick up one popped fluff... and stare at it. Don't think of it as a piece of popcorn. Squint a little... Do you see a shape? Do you see a silhouette? Whatever it is, draw it out. Through scribbles, lines, pattern, illustration... express what you see. Spend four minutes doing this... keep the popped kernel in front of you. NOTE: you are not replicating the popcorn fluff. You are observing what you see, and applying your creative imagination and what pours out of it :) 

Hope this gave you a kick start... 20 minutes. Every day. Whether you're in the car... in the loo... in front of the tv... anywhere. Stay tuned for Part 2! 



  1. Geez drawing teacher ever explained it like already through semester 1 but i need to work up on my freehand :( this is going to be great help..jazakAllah :)

  2. P.S. I saw your sketchbook at Munir bhai's one day..must say you are awesome! :D

  3. Really helpful :) Thank you so much :)

  4. OMG thanks so much!! This is so helpful! <3


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