‘I can’t draw ……………’ is not true.
One of my biggest problems when I began doing urban sketching was that I can’t draw people or cars. My drawings looked like the zombie apocalypse had come – empty buildings in deserted streets, with the odd stilted-looking body stuck in somewhere!
But I’ve come to realise that this is not true.
We can all draw everything.
There is no difference in drawing a building or a car or a person or a horse. Each one requires exactly the same skill and technique: We look at a three dimensional object and translate it into a two dimensional drawing using a pencil, pen, charcoal, brush, etc. Each one of them is marks on a piece of paper.
So why do we think this?
We draw some things better more easily than other things. I think there are three main reasons for this:
1. Some objects interest us more. Because of this we observe them more often and with greater care, coming to understand their structure better. When we draw these things, this ‘accumulated knowledge’, rather than careful observation, guides our work. (See Blog #1)
2. Some objects disguise inaccuracies better. A building whose perspective is not quite correct will not be as obvious to most people (except architects) as eyeballs which don’t line up are obvious in a portrait. Most of us have spent a lifetime looking at faces carefully, so if a portrait is not quite right, it is more obvious than the angle of a side wall of a building.
3. We draw the things which interest us and which give us the ‘best’ result. So we simply don’t get practise at drawing some things. Our egos are so fragile!
So look carefully and practice! There is nothing inherently different between drawing the Eiffel Tower, a self-portrait, or a tree. It’s all careful observation, and practice!
I still find cars a bit tedious to draw in my streetscapes, but I now really enjoy putting people into the picture. No more zombie apocalypses.