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How To Draw Animals Step By Step

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This book is about drawing creatively. It will show you how to use your imagination to create drawings that go beyond what may be set up or posed in a studio and drawn from observation - in other words, how to create drawings that originate in the mind.

This is not something that only the artistically gifted can achieve: it is possible for anybody. When an artist is described as ' gifted',' talented',' creative' or' original', it is usually implied that his or her ability is very rare and somehow magically endowed at birth. Most practical books on drawing tend, however unintentionally, to reinforce this myth. Their authors usually avoid the notion of creativity, concentrating almost exclusively upon tuition in drawing from observation of a posed model, a still life or a landscape. On rare occasions they may go so far as to suggest using photographs as a basis for drawing but, aware that this can lead to sterile, lifeless results, mention the practice only as a last resort. Creativity, it seems, is the exclusive domain of that rara avis, the talented genius, who presumably doesn't need to read how-to-do-it books!

But, however uncommon such talented geniuses might be, imaginative creative artists most certainly are not. Each of us has the natural ability to conceive pictures in our mind.

If this were not the case we wouldn't read books of fiction, for in order to understand the narrative we have to be able to imagine the fictional events, settings and characters as if they were real. These imagined scenes may not be so clearly visualized as to be like a videotape playing inside our heads, but the substance is there. If we develop the necessary skills, we can use such mental pictures as sources for creative drawing.

Drawing without a model is usually referred to as memory drawing, but this term is rather misleading, because it seems to imply copying memorized images in the same way that one would draw from life. The images stored in the mind may seem to be jal, but as soon as we try to draw them they become elusive, the resulting drawings can all too easily degenerate into :hes, devoid of any merit and containing little or nothing of the ind designs that the mind originally conceived. What is needed, then, is a means of making accessible the jrmation stored in the mind. The memory is teeming with /isaged and remembered scenes and events - some rooted in experiences, others in films we have seen or books we have and still others born from the imagination in the form of shes, hopes or fears. In this book I am going to show you a ins of tapping this vast resource for the purposes of your own -expression.

In choosing the human figure, I realize that I am selecting what fgenerally regarded as the most difficult subject of all to draw. ■ should this be? After all, you probably know more about the lan figure than about anything else in the world. This is awledge which you have continually absorbed, without ever piously thinking about it, throughout your life. You know how ^perform very sophisticated actions using your body - you can upright without falling over, and you can walk, run, throw, dance...

¡However, when you come to draw these actions, the learning pa lifetime is not immediately accessible to you in any usable i. This is because it is categorized in your mind as a set of ;ical skills, and is available to you only when you actually want irform the relevant activity. The knowledge is so firmly and dusively placed in your mind's 'useful skills' pigeonhole that it possible for you to extract it for use in drawing. You know this lation with absolute certainty but, although any drawing you the figure in action that didn't have things spot on would jiately look wrong to you, you would probably have great :ulty explaining just why this should be. This is why, as you I this book, you'll probably find that much of its content seems «liar to you—and yet, at the same time, fresh. You already the information, but you may never have thought about it rational, analytical fashion.

human figure is almost invariably one of the first things jren attempt to draw. They do so uninhibitedly, without feeling f need to refer to a posed model: indeed, such a notion would st likely seem quite alien to them. At the top of this page is a Is drawing of her mother. In it, the important parts, such as smile and the outstretched arms ready to give a hug, are m very prominently; while less important details, such as the knees and elbows, are left out altogether. These were not >vant to the child because she was not trying to draw an ;urate portrait; instead, she was drawing what her mother ant to her—her emotional response to her thoughts about her ler. The only effect the presence of a posed model might /e had on this process would have been to hamper it.

Drawing Clinical Depression
A six-year-old's drawing of her mother.

Portrait drawing of my father.

Drawing Clinical Depression

Above: Illustration for a magazine article on clinical depression. Below: Two character sketches for a graphic-novel version of Oliver Twist.

This concept of what a drawing is for is a contentious one. ' Obviously the drawing has to bear some resemblance to its subject, or no one would know what it was about! However, when you are drawing from a posed model the need to concentrate on close observation tends to close the door to your imagination. So, while the life class is an extremely important - probably the most important - contributor to an artist's experience, it can limit you if your figure work is exclusively done there. If this limitation is not recognized, life drawing can, rather than provide a springboard for creativity, begin to set parameters that are unnecessarily narrow.

A human figure is the most expressive single image available to the artist, and the most suitable for meaningful imaginative interpretations. We can draw anything in the world, if we know what it looks like, but only when we draw human beings can we truly claim that we know also what they feel like. When we draw the human figure, we are in reality drawing our experience of the world, and by subtle expressive means we can give visual form to our emotional responses. We may emphasize, stretch and distort its universally known proportions in order more easily to convey our understanding of what it is to be human.

One of the aims of this book is to develop the use of drawing as a catalyst for your imagination. Through drawing practice, both with and without a model, the very act of drawing can become the key that opens up your mind so that the flow of your ideas is facilitated and, consequently, your creativity grows.

I believe that all of us have within us the seeds of this ability. Where drawing is concerned, no one is excluded: anyone can do it. But, as with any other skill, doing it well demands practice -preferably structured practice, and plenty of it. The more you

Above: Illustration for a magazine article on clinical depression. Below: Two character sketches for a graphic-novel version of Oliver Twist.

Drawing Clinical DepressionSketches Depression

the better you will become at it and the more you will jash your own unique creativity so that your results will )me infused with your own originality and individuality. In this book we shall therefore examine the basic mechanics of jinative drawing, limiting ourselves to that which is demon-iDle. Since I am an illustrator by trade, the drawings I produce jfessionally should be accessible to the non-artist: I am conned with a mode of drawing that stays close to what the normal can see. It is up to you, the reader, to take whatever heady its of fancy you choose, but I hope that in these pages you will out how to unfurl your winqs.

Above: Study of a 15-year-old girl. Left: Figure of Icarus.

Drawing Girl ModelDrawing Model Year Old Male

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The Power Of The Present Moment

The Power Of The Present Moment

It's important to learn about awakening out of the egoic brain and living in the here and now. This book is intended to assist you do just that. The chapters are reminders that may be read in any order. We all need reminders to be more present in our lives to our true experience and brush aside what is damaging and takes away from real happiness, which is the chattering of the egoic mind.

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