LEARN TO DRAW IN 1,029,398,382.24012 EASY STEPS!


There are a lot of great videos, tutorials, books, and classes out there that teach you how to be a great artist and more specifically, a great illustrator… Well, they try.

They tell you that in a couple of weeks, you’ll be drawing like the pros and have the ability to make money from your own artwork.

But we have to look at this like adults, like businessmen/woman/hermaphrodites/transgender/asexuals.

The problem with their claim is that if it was actually working, they wouldn’t be doing it. Competition is everything to an illustrator… Sure, some of them have contracts, but they all want to be in demand for a long time. The quicker new artists reach a certain level, the more artists that reach that level at the same time, the higher the chance for one of their styles to become the next big thing. If you’re a comic book illustrator, for example, you have a style… Even if it’s not actually yours. The ‘greats’ have their own style, which influences others for years… If a great really had the capacity to teach a less talented person how to become as great as they are, they wouldn’t be great for long.

To become great at anything, you have to study, yes… But contrary to popular belief in our compulsory schooling society, you don’t have to study in an institution. They help, yes… They help with guidance, help and they also give you a mindset of seriousness. It becomes a ritual. The school becomes your temple.

Studying is simply observing. Observing is looking… not watching… LOOKING. That word implies something more focused… It implies something more dynamic and engaging. You must look, search, find. Being able to translate what you see into a two dimensional (or three dimensional, depending on your medium) representation of it.

© Aaron Shively 2011

Whether you want to represent actual objects, or emulate a style and build from it, it’s the same… You find examples of what you want to learn to draw… You create versions of it over and over and over again, PAYING ATTENTION to the differences between your drawing and what you’re trying to represent.

The mind is a wonderful thing, in all seriousness… When you learn how to draw one thing, the mind can extend it. It can augment it… When you learn how to draw one tea-pot, your imagination can change it and you’ll find that you can soon draw many different kinds of tea-pots.

When you learn to draw many different things, you’ll gain the ability to amalgamate what you already know. You’ll be able to estimate new things, things that may never have existed, simply by building off of what you’ve already learned.

Creatures, monsters for example, are fun to draw. I’ve been asked hundreds of times what a young person should do to learn how to draw creatures… The answer is to learn how to draw real creatures, especially humans, insects and lizards. Combining those three pools of knowledge will lead to thousands of different monsters… Going further and learning how to draw wounds, diseases, and under nourished animals and people will allow zombies and nightmarish ghouls.

Take my example… for… example. Alright, didn’t think that one out, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a frightening bit of ghastly goodness. This is a creature from a later installment of Myth, it’s called a Malocite… It’s an ethereal beast who’s only tie to the physical realm is the amorphous mask attached to it’s head. Without it, it would be a dark soul, floating listlessly between reality and MindSide… or even worse, it could flow into the cracks of chaos never to be seen again. The weapon this one carries really isn’t important. It was taken off of an unfortunate Aelphi soldier. The Malocites can wield physical weapons as well as use their spiritual stature. By which, I mean that if their bodies touch you, and they wish it to happen, they will phase through you and eat your spirit.

The creature is very flexible, spindly and textured… It’s body moves oddly. It’s hands are bend unnaturally for a human and the fingers end in tapers. This creature is reminiscent of an insect, a bird, a reptile and a human.

I went to a college for a few years but I learned far more before and after the experience.

Even if you can’t get enough money to go to college, or get a computer, or fancy equipment… Paper and ball point pens can sometimes be all you need… That and determination. It’ll take time, patience, and the faith in your goal. But it can happen.

– Aaron Shively

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About Aaron Shively

I have been working as a freelance writer and artist for the last decade. In that time, I've done everything from ghostwriting to toy design and everything in between. I am currently working on a novel series called 'Myth' which has held my attention for the past sixteen years. I have spent my time developing the world, character and story and am now ready to funnel all the preliminary material into the manuscript of the first installment, 'of Men and Monsters' Bookmark & Share

Posted on 04/23/2011, in concept art, Concepts, Freelance, Illustrations, Images, Myth Concepts, Personal, Philosophy, Rantings, Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Good post! You’re right, there’s no way you can get really good at something in “3 easy steps.” It takes lots and lots of practice.

  2. The Malocite is beyond amazing! Haha it’s definitely worth being afraid of. I lost my ability to draw years ago, which kind of sucks considering that the best I can do now are stick figures with intricate faces and such.
    Great post!

    • Thank you very much!
      I’m a firm believer that there’s always a way back, it just takes time. Of course, you’re focusing more on the writing which takes it’s own toll of the clock. lol.
      I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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