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Finding Inspiration to Draw

Gloria Ukaoma

Posted on January 24, 2021 00:06

3 users

Thinking up new ways of making art is difficult, so here are some tips.

When it comes to art, it's not uncommon to get stuck in the mundane routine of studies. Whether it's anatomy or values or perspective, there's always one feature of your art that you feel needs improvement. The idea of practicing is so ingrained, that it's hard to take a step back and draw for yourself. Whether or not the skills are all there, it is very important to allow yourself a chance to put your own ideas onto the page.

It can be hard to take that first step, but here are some tips that might help you find a spark of inspiration. 

One classic exercise is to build a shape motif into your work. Many artists already use simple forms such as cubes and cylinders to represent more complex shapes. However, a motif takes the idea a little bit further by creating an entire piece based on one or two repeating shapes. It may seem very limiting, but several famous mosaics and architectural marvels have their foundations in geometry. Indeed, by looking at the silhouettes of buildings and machines, you may find patterns that you wish to include in your future drawings.

If you are not so much a fan of abstract or environmental art, there are a myriad of other ways to feed your creativity. Artists that focus on portrait and figure drawing often look to fashion magazines. The different styles of clothing, as well as the quality of the photos, make fashion publications perfect for reference. Too many times to count, I've found the perfect outfits or accessories to complement an otherwise bland figure drawing. Historical fashions are especially good for making a drawing more interesting. In addition, models often have more dynamic or unique poses compared to people found in everyday photos. Depending on your focus as an artist, this may be a good opportunity to experiment with looser, more gestural lines.

These two exercises, though relatively simple, are rather good at busting art-block. It is likely because they have something in common: training the eye. I won't be the first to say that having a keen eye can make drawing easier and more enjoyable. In fact, the famous illustrator Andrew Loomis agreed. He focused on the importance of taking inspiration from one's own senses in his book, The Eye Of The Painter. It covers the technique of identifying visual relationships and builds upon the idea of shape simplification. I strongly recommend it if you are interested in learning how to paint convincing scenes.

However you choose to conduct your art journey, please remember that all art is practice. Whether you're doodling or painting a mural, your skills are continuously developing. Extensive studying can speed up the process, but it never hurts to step away from the diagrams and just draw what you see. 

Gloria Ukaoma

Posted on January 24, 2021 00:06

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