Sunday, 21 February 2010

It Takes Six Years to Learn to Draw

Here we get to the conundrum I referred to in my last post. Because in my experience both are true: that everyone can draw and that it takes years to learn to draw. (There could be exceptions to this. People who can teach themselves how to draw, or just have tons of talent? It wasn't my experience, even though I was considered talented.)

You could compare it to learning to sing or learning to dance. We can all dance, we can all sing. But if you want your original talent to grow and expand, if you want to be able to draw in a way that you can't now, you begin another journey.

After I received my post graduate degree in visual arts, I discovered that I couldn't paint the way I wanted to. I had to find a school that taught traditional skills. My teacher told me, six years to learn to draw.
This was strange for me to hear as I thought that I already knew how to draw. I had been a graphic artist before my return to university, and had always been praised for my drawing skills. I knew that I wasn't skilled in painting, but I thought that I could draw.
Apparently not.

My teacher then took me on a 4 year journey relearning how to draw, and beginning a journey to learn how to paint. I had to actually unlearn many of my habits around drawing. That was painful.
What I discovered was that I had been on a deadend road in my drawing. I would not have been able to improve. After she had tutored me, I was on a new road, one where I could continue to grow and develop as a draftsperson indefinitely.

12 comments:

gayle said...

Another thought-provoking post Zom :)

Connie said...

This is something I have been thinking about myself for months now. I want to learn how to draw and paint from square one again...and the few attempts that I have made recently--I throw little tantrums in my head because--exactly--it's painful to let go of old habits or way of doing things.

Beautiful, thoughtful post my friend.

lilasvb said...

this is a long road and i am just at the beginning! great! it will give motivations to go more
i will come to greats you but your class is full
still ok! i will take the drawing class! and god! i need it

Poetic Artist said...

So true, I wish I could find a good teacher. I want to learn so much and I see things in my head but it will not get to my hands.
6 years to draw.. WOW
Katelen

Zom said...

I am so glad you guys liked the post. I thought I might get blasted (still could happen, tee hee.)

Valerie, so sorry the class is full. I hope next term to have two classes, so no one will be shut out. You weren't the only one! I am sure you will enjoy drawing though.

Katelen, I hope you find a good teacher. That was exactly how I felt, the frustration of not being able to create what I envisioned. Always the challenge, but I knew then that the biggest hurdle was lack of skills on my part.

Now there are other reasons, haha.

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

This is a wonderful post dear friend... I feel we are always on a journey for discovery of our skills...people often ask me "How long did that take to create?" and I always answer...my lifetime. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

alteredpink said...

I love your drawing. 6 years huh? I may have to start now. Its' good to know that you can learn how to draw. I have always just chalked it up to one of those things that I wasn't talented in - so thank-you for the inspiration!

Red Shoe Artist said...

Well I better get started then. I have nothing planned for the next 6 years other than living life, so off I go.
Great post

Deedra said...

Wow! How interesting! Since I never really 'learned' and just followed my artistic instinct, maybe I don't need to relearn? lol

I love that art journal page! So beautiful! If that`s what relearning how to draw IS, then maybe I should...

Zom said...

You guys should be open to being a faster learner than me too, haha.

If you are happy with the way your drawing is, don't feel like I am telling you that you need to learn more! Like I said, there seem to be people who don't need a teacher, I just wasn't one of them. I knew that I wanted to be able to draw realistically and I just wasn't getting there on my own.

alterpink, drawing is DEfinitely something you can learn!

sweetcheeks said...

First of all, I have no make that NO natural talent when it comes to drawing or painting. I have managed to play around with a pencil and paint brush to make a journal entry acceptable. I always like to tell myself that my entries are in cognito. It adds a touch of mystery to a bad drawing........I can find humor in almost anything. I love your blog by the way. Almost forgot to say that!

Odd Chick said...

If you can't have a formal education but you are a self-learner and very disciplined- do you have any text books, books, dvds that you recommend to learn to draw in 6 years?
could you leave a return comment on my blog?