Back to Drawing 101: Beginner’s Mind

Posted by on Feb 12, 2010 in Drawing | 3 Comments

I WAS SITTING AT MY COMPUTER a few days ago, as the machine rendered out a 3d scene. I was on a deadline–I’d be up most of the coming night– but I just sat, did nothing, and watched it create a “painting” pixel by pixel. It was a large scene and would take about an hour to render out into an image. As each little square was rasterized, I saw beautiful things and ugly artifacts appear out of the white background on my LCD screen. I had spent all day struggling with setting up the scene, and untold hours learning to do that, but still, it was odd to just sit there as a spectator as Vue did it’s mysterious but astronomical calculations and created the resulting image: my artwork.

The image was surprisingly sucessful partly due to luck and some good default settings, since I am still learning this. And the good parts even had a painterly feel to them–just what I wanted. Even in a digital creation like a 3d rendering, it’s those areas that look like a beautiful pencil line, or brush stroke that I look for.

I had just reached a certain level of technical sophistication that was so far beyond where I had started as an artist that I an epiphany of sorts. I had completed a painting without touching paper, brushes, or any traditional art materials. Was it a painting? Or what? It spiraled me right back to the time before I took my first beginning drawing class in college. I drew pictures for fun.

….

Also this week, an illustrator friend gave me the link to James Gurney’s blog, gurneyjourney. I had always been a fan of his imaginative realism, most famously, Dinotopia.

Gurney reminded me that, as technically advanced as our media may become, the fundamentals do not change. Down there at the foundation is:

 drawing skills. 

And I don’t mean drawing talent. I mean skills that anyone can learn. If you happen to be very talented, you may go farther and get better than the average person. But any Joe can learn to draw that six-pack. It’s been proven.

But it was another book on Gurney’s site that caught my attention: a new edition of the 1921 classic, now out of print and forgotten, Drawing Made Easy, by Edwin G. Lutz. James said he had learned from this and other books at an early age.

Here is the new edition. You can order it on Gurney’s page. This is the book they didn’t want us to know about in fine art school.Now it’s been given back to us. Anyone from a child to a Michelangelo can get something useful from of this book.

That was just the beginning. I wanted the original edition. I found a pdf version of the scanned book.
To to make sure this book is available free to anyone wishing to learn to  draw, I put it on my own server here (pdf, 6mb). Right-click or Option-click on the book and select Download linked file.

I love this one from first sight of the cover. Don’t sell it short. It’s potential is nothing less than the transformation of human consciousness. Now anyone can learn to draw. Here are some of it’s irresistible and charming pages.

I found more more old and out of print drawing books:
Practical Drawing, also by Edwin G. Lutz, is where you go after you know everything in Drawing Made Easy. You can tell it’s a little more serious by the cover. Then after 20 years or so of perfecting your drawing skills, go back to Drawing Made Easy! I did.

You can get Practical Drawing, digitized, online at Google books.
Another classic, Creative Illustration, by Andrew Loomis. Find the html version here on my server.

You can download five other classics by Andrew Loomis at Pinwire Books. Remember to donate something to them so they can keep these priceless classics available.
I’m going back to my 3d rendering now. I’m going to keep on spending my days studying 3d modeling and rendering with the same zeal as before. But in my off hours, I will probably be drawing, maybe rabbits.

3 Comments

  1. mohammed
    November 13, 2014

    Please send me how learn to draw step by step

    Reply
  2. Amie
    July 7, 2014

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  3. Rashmi
    April 5, 2013

    Very good way of learing ,am able to draw it very correct with the help of the insturcutions ..lovely am loving it ,also pls confirm were to dwn load the stuff of Drawing make easy .i want to down load it complettly .pls revert ..
    Thanks
    Rashmii

    Reply

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