How to Draw Accurately

Although some people seem to draw effortlessly, others need to work at it. In such cases, learning to draw step by step is necessary. But why do some people find drawing difficult whilst others can draw effectively without effort?

Learn Drawing Basics

In many cases, drawing activity stops abruptly in adulthood, usually after leaving school, where in most careers, such a skill is not required and rarely pursued. It is no wonder when after years of abstinence most are disappointed with their drawings. The first step is to overcome the mental block and to disable the inner critic.

Picture Dyslexia

Those who find it hard to draw find it hard to believe what they see, and therefore end up record what they think they see. Common examples of mistakes in drawing are:

  • Long objects viewed head-on
  • Eyes too far up the head on faces
  • Corners on ellipses
  • Hands and feet too small
  • Heads too large for the body
  • Awkward angles
Often a dilemma occurs when what is known about the object disagrees with what is seen. For example, a table has four legs, but from some angles may appear to have three, or even two. In the brain’s attempt to put down what it knows about the object, the practitioner might end up recording all four legs, even though this is not the truth that lies in front.




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How to Draw Anything You Want
Betty Edwards’ book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (HarperCollins: 2001) explains how the two sides of the brain view the world in two ways. The left side is dictatorial, verbal, assigns labels to things and is a bit of a "know all." The silent right side of the brain is more visual and sees things as they really are. The secret of accurate drawing is to suspend the left side of the brain whilst drawing.
Tips on How to Draw
The left side of the brain cannot function if things do not make logical sense. The following pointers might help develop the drawing skill and to quieten the inner critic.
Using the edge of a pencil to measure relative lengths of objects is a good place to start and will help the plotting of the drawing
View the drawing from different angles. This will "refresh" the brain like rebooting the computer. Viewing it upside down, on its side or through a mirror will highlight errors and make it possible to put them right.

Gain some spatial distance from the drawing. At least ten feet will force the brain in to seeing the drawing holistically, which is the secret to good drawing.

Gain some temporal distance from the drawing. Do something else for a few minutes like make a cup of tea. Looking at it with a fresh eye will again will make errors more obvious

Learn How to Sketch

Working from light to dark means that accuracy can be built up as the drawing progresses. The first lines will rarely be correct, but can be adjusted. Flicking the eyes quickly from the drawing to the subject matter will give a true reflection of how the drawing is working. Practice, as well as forestalling the left side of the brain will help develop drawing ability.

This site comprise of pictures and excerpts taken from my 2 art instruction books. Oil Paintings from Your Garden can be purchased direct from the author, or through Amazon.


My other book, Oil Paintings from the Landscape can be purchased direct from Amazon.


© Rachel Shirley 2010