Drawing time.

I have been asked repeatedly about my drawing – I will take you through some of my processes but it will be much more fun if you do it too!

How to do creative cheats 1.  Seeing.

“Oh woe!  I am sure I am creative but I can not draw….”  sound familiar? For those who lack confidence try out some of the ideas below – not everyone has to be able to draw like a great artist, not even every artist does, and certainly not all the time. It is about making decisions and then making it happen, learning tolerance and how to ignore.


Don’t think you know what a tree looks like – that is the quickest route to ‘argh, lollipop!’  Before making a mark on your page spend time looking and thinking.


lumpy round. bump on left. nibbled right. empty centre. stumpy trunk fan of branches.

Choose one tree,  one particular tree that you can see in front of you. Describe it. Is it short and wide, thin, bottom heavy, lopsided? How wide is the trunk compared to the canopy? Listen to the words you use. Still not sure? Try cupping your hands around the shape, you may feel silly but trust me, it helps.  You could shut one eye and trace around the tree with a finger – this fascinates dogs for some reason.  (And yes, I was doing this in public, on a busy pedestrian route into the city centre at a prime commuting time) ((nobody batted an eyelid but Albert the terrier ran off)

FirstP1050088 step-  not scary-imagine cutting the tree out and folding it in half – this will give you the centre line.  Draw this line faintly on the paper.

Second step – still not scary- draw a line lightly across the widest part of the tree.  Can you see how low this is on my tree?  Mine is just about as wide as it is tall so the width is very easy to work out.


Use a light , broken line. Suggest the shape don’t dictate. It will probably change as you work on it later.

Third step – easy –  work out where your trunk should go.  My tree is narrower on the right so I put my trunk to the right of the centre line and let it lean inwards. Also look for how tall the trunk should be – mine is short. My thumbs have completely covered it, – I reckon there is about 3 more thumbs-worth to the top of the tree so my trunk will only be 1/4  of the total height.

Fourth step – slightly scary- grown up dot to dot time. Think back to the tree shape.  On the paper try to recreate that shape using your hands. That is the shape you will draw. Don’t try yet for amazing detail, just get the general idea of your tree down. Done? Easy?

What you should have is a very simple outline of your own tree. Trust me. That is all it needs to be at this stage.  Look at how many mistakes I made –  and then forget about them – not important.  The proportions will be sound so all it needs is a bit of fleshing out and detail. That  will be next time. Not trusting me?  This is how mine looked a few minutes later –  perfectly acceptable sketch!P1160766


2 thoughts on “Drawing time.

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