(Click here to see a ‘how to draw hair tutorial!) It’s true that everyone learns differently. My husband will turn to YouTube for everything, and he’ll have the subject down in one view. When he’s done, he’ll look at me and say, “Let’s do that!”
Ever watch the Peanuts cartoons where all the adults make funny blah blah blah noises when they’re talking? That’s what I hear with YouTube. Blah blah blah.
Stop talking and just show me what we’re doing, piece by piece. YouTube is supposed to be a visual resource, right?
So what is the best way to learn to draw?
Well, the obvious and not so obvious answer is to do. The best way to learn to draw is to actually do it. You need to feel the texture and movements, and you need to learn how to keep a steady hand.
Some people believe that tracing is the way to get that experience; tracing is not usually a valuable learning technique. You can’t learn to eye up and measure a drawing by tracing, and those are very valuable skills for an artist to have!
So, where to begin?
Some artists will say to find a photograph and just start drawing what you see, but that isn’t effective for everyone. How do you draw that weird curve? How do you get the hair highlights? (Find out about hair here).
I started with instruction books, but not the step-by-step kind. They’re the type of books that give a starting point, a middle point, and an end. These books gave me a great starting point where I could learn to draw basic shapes, and then try different shading techniques until I found what I liked best.
Here are some of my recommendations:
Some of Lee Hammond’s books come with a DVD that contains basic instructions, but I wouldn’t pay the extra money for it. Notice that the cover says ‘step-by-step demonstrations.’ That’s not really an accurate description, but if you’re a somewhat experienced artist, you might feel like it’s step-by-step.
Lee Hammond again? Yep, you bet. I really enjoy her methods and suggestions. The only book of hers (that I know of) that I would not recommend is her book about drawing pets. The reference images are way too dark and look like big blocky black photocopies. Not cool.
Yup, YouTube. Didn’t I just post a diatribe about how much I don’t like YouTube? Yeah. But, I do like Mark Crilley! He does talk a lot, but he sounds friendly, he has funny dad jokes, and he draws the entire time he’s chatting! He also has very diverse drawing styles, from hyper realistic to manga and chibi. He’s talented, and he’s an excellent teacher!
Those are my top three resources for the time being, but I’ll add more a bit later.