It’s been a while since I’ve shown a piece of art I did recently. That is because I haven’t been doing much of it these days. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy art. I just have other priorities.
Anyway, I sketched this image based off a tourism pamphlet from my house. My parents went to upstate New York (I’m from Long Island) and brought back a wildlife guidebook.
Since I wanted to vary my drawing subjects, I decided to draw the bird on the front cover. Of course, there are differences, besides the lack of color and the pencil marks. I simplified the plants in the background and even changed some. As for the bird, I started off with simple shapes, a technique I learned in college.
The paper was also not a cream tone. It just came out that way when I photographed it with my phone and adjusted some aspects in order to bring out the image more. Despite that, I decided to keep the background that beige. I feel it adds some sophistication and aesthetic.
Will I color this in? Maybe. After my other priorities are out of the way, I could color or paint it, either with traditional or digital media. But I am not sure, as of now. What do you think of this?
That you’re looking at is a steak I drew from observation. But it was not from a real one… a photo of one. I know it doesn’t really resemble a steak. That is when I discovered a surprise: food is hard to draw.
It is so weird, because I can usually draw pretty much anything. And no, not because I’ve been doing art since I was very little. In recent years, I took a lot of still-life drawing and painting, figure drawing (which I received an A in in college, not to brag), and much more.
Up until maybe a few weeks ago, I hardly ever did any art. Not because of the stress I’m experiencing during this stupid pandemic, but because I am discovering that I am more of a writer than an artist. That being said, I do enjoy art. I would just rather keep it as a hobby rather than a career focus.
I don’t know if that’s the reason why food is hard to draw accurately, or at least not in an ameteurish manner. I looked up tutorials on how to sketch food. However, the results I received from Google were not exactly the right kids for people like me. They targeted more beginner or naive “artists.”
I guess my approach will be to draw actual foods in person from observation. But not just any kinds… the simple fruits and vegetables, like apples, oranges, and eggplants. I will save drawing things, like steak, pasta, and other complex dishes, for when I feel ready and I have improved the traditional still-life food items.
Have you ever tried to draw a room? How about a whole one? Did you struggle?
If the answer is yes to the last question or all of them, then fret not. I, too, have had trouble drawing an entire room from all angles, corners, and points-of-view. I’m sure it is possible, but probably very difficult. The Internet doesn’t offer much information about creating an entire room on paper or digitally. And if you’re not an architect, it may even be harder to execute the sketch or image you want.
However, there are other ways to make a room without having to study architectural drawings, unless, of course, you want to be an architect or already are one. Otherwise, check out the ideas below:
1: Model a room with sculpting materials
This can depend on your artistic or 3D modeling skills, both traditionally (without technology) and/or digitally. You can use inexpensive clay to build your room dimensions and designs. If you have the time, talent, and money, you can also try 3D-modeling programs.
2: Draw different angles or points-of-view as separate sketches for the room
This is what I usually do. The drawing above is not what the intention was, though. I had to observe and sketch an image for a college assignment. However, I did try this technique for other drawings that I did in my spare time for fun. I even show a couple of illustrations of a room I did on another post.
With this technique, more thinking and planning may be required. But it should be okay as well as less hectic than the 3D-modeling option.
The two techniques have their own pros and cons. Of course, it’s up to you in the end what you think will work, depending on your situations. It also wouldn’t hurt to try an approach you’ve never done before. Hope this helps.
After doing hardly any drawing and other forms of art, I have returned to it. While I was worried that my skills have decayed or were going away, it turned out that they remained. That’s right—I drew a picture of a boy from a photo and it came out like this:
This is just a rough, observational sketch I did of the kid. I am working on finishing it at the moment with outlining and coloring it in Photo-shop. I wanted to do it traditionally, though. By that, I mean with pen and markers. But not the generic kinds—the sophisticated types. However, I couldn’t find my fancier markers. It was probably because I am donating a portion of my art supplies.
I’m not giving up on art, though. They just took up too much space in my room. Plus, I kind of like Photo-shop better, even if it can spoil me and cause laziness.
That being said, I still enjoy non-technological media, like pens, markers, paints, and pencils, which is what I used in the drawing above. I still have the fancy pens, but I didn’t think of looking for them.
Anyway, let me get back on topic. My drawing skills remained the way they were last. So did the techniques I used in college courses, such as figure drawing. I started with the interior lines and simple shapes before refining the details. And the image still came out well.
The message I want to send to you is that not every talent you possess will deteriorate if you don’t keep up with it for a while, especially if you’ve been working on it since a young age. I’ve been doing art since my early childhood and have been using it regularly as I grew up.
In order to get through the pandemic without highly stressing out over it, my friend, “Veronica” (not her real name) and I are collaborating on different art projects. The first one we worked on were medallions with abstract designs. This was inspired by an assignment I did in college. In an art class (I was a fine arts major), we had to do a large series of small drawings. So, my professor suggested medallions for me.
When the pandemic happened and I was (and still am, big time) tired of not being in control of my life, my mom sent me an article, where it said that helping another and vise versa can improve your feelings. After thinking about ideas, this is what I came up with: collaborative art projects.
Because I was an art major in college, I had to learn a lot of vocabulary related to it, as well as how to critique forms of creative works. That is what I applied to when helping Veronica.
I drew a few abstract designs inside circles, and then finalized on this one to color.
The markers were old, so they were kind of faded. However, it also allowed me some room for dimension with the various (and unintentional) tints and tones. I also picked colors that I felt would go well with one another.
The same happened with Veronica. She also colored in the shapes that she felt went together well. The shapes reminded her of different objects, too. So, she picked hues based on what the elements looked like to her.
Another thing she did that I also used to do a lot was turn the paper when drawing and coloring. She said that she learned the technique in school. Below is her medallion.
She colored one section all maroon, which is when I taught her the idea of filling in each shape between the lines a different color. I also informed her about something the same professor told me about one of my projects later in my college career. If it were copied into a black and white replica, it would be all the same tone. I used it as a compliment on how Veronica paired the hues.
The message you can take home is that you can help someone close to you with anything that you’re strong in and that the other person may benefit from. Hopefully, this will work for my friend and I, as well as pretty much everybody.
Throughout my whole life, I have been doing art. I would constantly draw from when I was a small child to my adulthood. I even earned a BFA in fine arts when I graduated college in 2017.
However, since then, I discovered something different about myself. That is—I am doing more writing then art. Perhaps, I am enjoying writing more.
Don’t get me wrong. I still like doing art. But I would rather keep it as a hobby than take a career path in that field. I did a lot of research on careers in art and design. Although many of them looked exciting, the salaries didn’t satisfy me. Plus, I’ve been working on more writing projects during the past few years.
One thing I’m concerned about, though, is if my artistic skills are deteriorating. I hardly ever drew or painted anything this year. And no, not because of the pandemic. But when I drew a picture recently, even though it was supposed to be very simplistic, it didn’t come out too well. My shaky hands could have contributed, however.
I actually don’t think it’s too likely I am losing my ability to draw. Yet, I do think it is important for me to keep up with it, even if it remains just for pleasure. So, I will make some time to go back to my art.
What is a reference image, you may ask? It is an image an artist uses to help him or her create something by making it similar, but not exact. For example, if you use a house photo as a reference image, you may draw some things the same, but maybe change the shape of a window, remove a decorative touch, or use a different color for the roof.
For me, when I want to draw a person whom I have a specific envision for, I refer to different pictures to create the subject. I may use one picture for the face shape, another for the eyes, nose, mouth, and so forth. And guess what? Referring to photos makes a big difference for the aesthetic of the drawing I make.
Below is a drawing I did of my book’s main character with hardly any reference material used.
I find this sketch to be very unattractive. Not because of the photo lighting quality or the pencil marks, but because the face doesn’t look appealing. Proportions are kind of off.
So, here is a revised sketch I did of this same character. That’s another tip: revise your drawings if you feel it’s necessary.
It’s a little better than the previous drawing. However, the eyes are too big, and when I tried to adjust them in Photoshop, it just made the girl uglier. And she’d supposed to be more beautiful to me.
So, here is the third revision for the image:
She is starting too look more attractive, but the forehead is a bit too big. Also, this looks like it was cut and pasted on a solid-colored background. Honestly, I think it appears amateurish.
Now onto the final and best portrayal of my protagonist.
This is where I got serious into using as much reference material as possible. Hardly any of the features drawn were from my imagination. Of course, I didn’t copy anyone or make the girl resemble any real person. But thanks to the different approach, this is the best drawing out of all four. It kind of reminds me of a “Charlie the Unicorn” style. You know—the YouTube series about a cranky unicorn who gets taunted by two hyper ones. All right, that may be beside the point.
Anyway, for those of you who draw, you may want to consider the advice of reference material and revising your drawings. Hope this helped.
Although it’s unlikely typical for people to want to draw designs
for their cakes, no matter the reasons, I enjoyed it in my youth and still do
As a creative and artistic person, I’ve constantly come up
with various ideas and specific envisions for just about anything. With cakes, I’ve drawn how I wanted them to
look. Sometimes I’ve had my own drawings scanned onto them. During that time, I
also discovered that copyrighted images could not be scanned onto cakes. So, I
had to stick with my own ideas.
I would also illustrate a few different ideas of one cake. I
did that for my sweet 16 cake, and used every possible point-of-view (except
the bottom, obviously). The bakery used one of the designs and that pleased me.
Recent years, though, I’ve designed cake appearances for me
to bake from scratch. One of my college friends is allergic to peanuts, and
unfortunately, there aren’t many commercial options near me that are 100
percent safe for those with nut allergies. It sounds strange, especially since
I live close to New York City. But even there, I had trouble finding a place I
could trust to be fully nut-free. There are some, but they’re also dairy-free, gluten-free,
and so on.
Even though I’ve been cooking since I was 12, some of the cake designs I’ve envisioned were a little too advanced for me, like the ones below.
The gradient technique is called an ombre. It looks beautiful, but I’m not sure if I know how to do it properly (in spite of researching it). And some of the flowers are probably best for elite and highly talented bakers. Here’s another cake image I drew that I felt was too hard to actually do in real life.
It most likely would be easier than the one with the ombre
and detailed flowers. However, this would have involved a lot of work.
So, at times, less can be more with designing and decorating cakes, especially if it’s a casual party at your house with a group of friends. I learned that cake appearances can still look dazzling, even with few decorations. That is what I did for my 26th birthday November 2019.
Okay, maybe me looking away from the camera might be kind of
distracting. But if you look carefully at the cake I’m cutting, you see only
two colors, one type of decorative design, and the writing on a white chocolate
bar in the center. That was good enough for me, especially with all the cooking
and other preparations I had to do.
Pretty much all of us have drawn in our youth whether it was
required in school or for pleasure. Regardless of that, only some of us have
taken our artistic activities seriously and honed them to produce quality work.
This post will focus on the face and why it can be difficult
to create with accurate proportions. And no, that doesn’t count the simple smiley
faces or the stick-figure heads. Anyone could make those easily. This will be
about drawing the face as best as possible.
One fact I learned when creating faces was that the eyes are
separated by one imaginary eye shape. In other words, you could fit a third eye
in between the two real ones.
The mouth is also difficult to line up where it belongs. Not
only because people move their mouths and have different shapes of them, but also
because getting them in the center is challenging. So, it’s a good idea to have
lines to guide you when you draw.
But the biggest struggle with the face is probably the nose.
You want it to look attractive and, at least, kind of realistic, depending on
your artistic skills. But you also might not wish to make the human look like he
or she is wearing a nose costume.
What I do for that is shade or draw one line that leads up
from the nose toward the eye area. It all depends on your style or plan as well
as your talent.
So, yeah, the face can be a bit of a challenge. However, it
can also be fun. After all, many folks like creating different variations of
Having reference material can also help. You use it as
inspiration, but not copying (unless that’s your intention and only for
Ugh…studying for exams. Who doesn’t get stressed out over
that? After all, we need to get good grades.
You might be wondering why I am talking about tests when
academics and studying aren’t in my specialized topics. It’s because for my last
final exam in college, right before graduating, I came up with a technique to
make studying not only more enjoyable, but also easier. I was an art major, so
I created picture cards and added humor.
The class I took was for meeting a certain learning goal, and
it was quite difficult. I didn’t fail anything, but I barely passed the midterm.
So, I met with my professor for extra help several times.
When finals week was approaching, I had to find an effective
way to study. That was when I decided on picture cards.
They didn’t have to be artistic, and they weren’t meant to
be. Regardless of my art skills, I used simplistic stick figure and shape
drawings. They were for a different purpose, anyway.
I no longer have these cards as I tossed them a while ago.
However, I do recall some funny ones, such as a crying alien when I needed to
define and discuss alienation. Another was a factory and I even drew a stick
figure Willy Wonka.
If you struggle with drawing, no worries. Pretty much no
artistic abilities are needed. However, this is more likely to help if you are
a visual learner.
No matter whether you’re in K-12 school, college, or grad
school, this technique may work out for you. It certainly helped me, even
though I ended up with a C on the final as well as the overall grade.