If you suck at something, Do it.

Chris Lane / Art, process / / 1 Comment / Like this

Many beginning artists avoid drawing hands and feet. And because they suck at it, they always draw their figures either mysteriously missing or hiding those parts or they are always off canvas. That is exactly where they go wrong. The only way to improve upon something is through practice. A person can sometimes learn proper method, but he still has to practice that method before he can really get it right.
rough sketch of feet

Everyone has one thing that they are sub par at, be it drawing hands and feet, or maybe overall proportion, or possibly composition in photography, or typography in design. So don’t feel bad if you suck at something. It is OK to be sub par, but only for so long. The way to overcome this is by tackling that specific subject. Continuing with the hands and feet, try drawing specifically just those. Draw your own hands, or ask a friend or significant other that is comfortable posing. Or just do it anyway when they don’t know you are drawing. Once, when I was younger, I drew my dad’s hand on the steering wheel as we were driving somewhere. He wouldn’t have cared, but he had no idea I was doing it until I showed him. It wasn’t a finished drawing, but that’s not the point. It was practice.

For the time being, avoid everything else. Make a sketchbook diary and do at least one drawing every week. More often if you can, the more the better. And for crying out loud, save those drawings! That way you can see the improvement from the first page of your sketchbook to the end of your sketchbook. If you keep to a (semi-) regular schedule, I guarantee you will improve. Some people may improve more than others, but the more you do it, the better you will get.

And you don’t necessarily have to show people your drawings either, just keep them to yourself if you aren’t comfortable. But I will say, most artists love to see improvement and process in other artist’s work. And hey, if you want a critique on your work and are comfortable having it on my blog, send me something through the critique submission form. I attached a couple scans of feet sketches I did quite a long time ago, to illustrate my point. The drawings don’t need to be good or finished, but I worked out a lot of the structure of the foot through these sketches.

As far as method, there is a book I got in college that I highly recommend. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is a great source for beginning artists especially, because it teaches you how to look at the subject with a different eye. I might write a full review of this book in the near future.

rough sketch of feet
Are there any particular troubles you have with your work, be it illustration, design, or photography? Let’s make this a conversation, share your ideas in the comments below. And if you haven’t yet, hit the subscribe button in the sidebar to keep getting free updates and more tutorials and encouragement.

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