Drawing Study: Egg and Box

How To Draw

The “Draw” Question.

I’ve been wondering about what people mean when they say someone knows how to draw.  Draw what?  Draw how?  How did they learn?  Do we every finish learning?

Draw: Vase and boxes

Drawing Approaches.

I think there are all sorts of drawing approaches.  Just as in painting, there is the classical approach where the drawing looks like the subject; ie a chair looks like  a chair.  On the other side of the spectrum, there is the non-objective approach, where the drawing doesn’t look like an object.  Instead, it relates to a feeling, impression or maybe something else entirely.

Common Comments.

Back to this idea of “knowing how to draw”.  Hanging around artists, art shows and art organzations, one hears the comment “oh, that person really knows how to draw”.  And the opposite is common too, “that person doesn’t know how to draw…”  The funny thing is that it is assumed that we know what these two comments mean.   Perhaps the speaker would be clear if he or she said instead, “I like the drawing” or “I don’t like the drawing”.

Drawing Study: Egg and Box

My Thoughts.

It seems to me that knowing how to draw is something we might strive for.  Some of us might become accomplished and masterful at drawing.  But, do we ever reach a point where we can say definitively “I know how to draw?”

Or, maybe we can.  Is a simple line, drawn on a piece of paper, evidence of being able to draw; of knowing “how to draw”?

Drawing Class.

OK, you say, what is this really about?  I love drawing and I strive to learn more about the art of drawing.  Currently, I am enrolled and participating in a classical drawing class taught at one of the local art centers.  I am studying the fundamentals with desires to improve technical and artistic skills.  Its all part of my larger goal to “see as an artist sees”.

But, even as I draw boxes, eggs and vases, I wonder, is one approach to drawing more valid than another?  Is drawing from life more artistic than drawing from imagination or emotion, or the other way around?  Which is right, true or authentic?

Answers?  Relax!

I don’t have all the answers.  My husband suggests I just relax and enjoy drawing.  Could be he has a point.


Just for fun, I’m including three drawings that I worked this first week of drawing.  Maybe we’ll compare in April when I’ve completed the class.  These are academic drawings done with a specific purpose in mind.  I’m studying proportions, placement, perspective and structure in the drawings shown her.

Opinion And Life Goal.

What do I think?  I hope learning how to draw never ends!  And, wouldn’t mastering the art and skill of drawing be a great life goal?

Practicing, Improving and Mastering Drawing.

So, how to practice, improve and master (hopefully) the skill of drawing?  Well, taking drawing classes with an artist who has skills and is classically trained is certainly one way and I recommend it.

However, if you are like me, self study is an option you might like to explore.  Fortunately, there are lots of resources on-line.  I would like to recommend that you check out the website “Art Ignition” and their article “How To Practice Drawing Effectively”.  Come to think of it, you might want to explore the sight.  I love how the articles link to tutorials from other artists; what a wealth of information and insight.

So, simply put, this “is a good guide that can help you develop a solid drawing practice as you learn to draw.” – Nathan*, Art Ignition.   Thanks Nathan!

Class Acknowledgement

The class I’m taking is called “Academic Approach to Still Life Drawing and Painting with Sarah F. Burns“.  It is being taught at the Ashland Art Center, Ashland OR.  One of the biggest pluses of taking a drawing class from a classically trained artist is the insight they can give you.  Plus, Sarah helps me see problems I wasn’t aware of; its that extra set of eyes that is so helpful.  Thanks Sarah.

PS.  I adjusted the contrast in the digital files of these drawings so you can see the pencil work better.

Draw: Column and boxes

Updated June 15, 2018.

5 thoughts on “How To Draw”

  1. Hi Peggy,

    A great post!

    I still find it shocking when someone comments on how "talented" I am because I don't know jack about drawing. So it gives me hope that art is more than being able to "draw"… art is expressing an idea or an emotion. (I do believe I have talent in creating comics just not in drawing them.)

    I love how you "see" and I've long admired your ability to convey feeling and express emotion in your paintings. I applaud you for your continued learning. If classical drawing will help you and inspire you than by all means- have at it. But between you, me, and the digital wall… your art transcends classical drawing. However, art is about being willing to change and grow and expand. You know what you want and need. I think anything you do will only be a benefit.

    1. Hi Pam, Did you see the article on “Gurney’s Journey” blog about “The Other Abstract Art Movement”? When I read it, I thought of you!  I also thought about how some of my figures and animal motifs seem whimsical, when in fact, I’m quite serious. Its the same stylization and abstract development that goes into comic strips.  So, I definitely agree with people who say you are “talented”.  I also believe you work hard at it.  And, there is the all important creative part.  

      I think you have a good point about expressing an idea or emotion.  I find when emotion or idea is missing, the drawing feels empty to me; cold and without feeling (duh!).  

      This morning I picked up one of my sketchbooks from a year or so ago and I looked at a pig I drew.  Its an abstracted, Peggy stylized beast and I like it.  As usual, I don’t know where I’m going with all of this.  I think the structural understanding is helpful.  Still, the inner beast must be expressed!  Thank you!


  2. Thank you so much Peggy for that link! I really enjoyed it.

    Yes! You keep expressing that inner beast. I'm positive any avenue you explore will be very helpful. Your art is phenomenal.

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