You may have been asking yourself, how can basic drawing instructions improve my painting skills? The answer might surprise you. While most refer to painting as an act in itself, drawing is considered by professionals to be the more accurate term.
The end result of drawing with oil paints is called a painting, when dried. This is one of the reasons why so many adopted painting as both the activity and finished product. Since they are basically the same thing, you can understand why drawing instructions and techniques can help you create better paintings.
One of the most popular teaching figures was Bob Ross. The man embodied the joy of painting and was living proof that practice makes perfect. He accomplished a lot with limited training in the art.
The Resurgence of Bob Ross: Basic Drawing Instructions
If you’re old enough to have watched Bob Ross on PBS, then you’ve probably had enough time to master painting happy little trees. If you’re a millennial, then you’re probably familiar with his work after the recent Twitch frenzy over Bob Ross marathons.
The technique Ross uses is called wet-on-wet. It involves adding a new layer of paint on top of wet paint instead of waiting for it to dry. This technique allows for impressive details to be created on the canvas without caring too much about traditional contours.
This freehand style of painting, although used since the 16th century, was made popular by Ross and his TV specials. Ross talked to viewers and explained step by step each brushstroke. He told viewers what was its purpose as well as how and when it should be applied.
He’s drawing instructions did not end with strokes. He often explained his choice of colors for everyone to understand. As if the end result wasn’t self-explanatory right?
Of course, for all of Ross’s dedication, his drawing instructions were technique-focused and don’t exactly apply to general drawings. The information he passed on, although spectacularly presented, was limited to specific types of wet-on-wet paintings.
Why It Is Not Enough
There’s more to the art of drawing than that. If you were ever disappointed that you couldn’t keep up with Ross, it’s safe to assume that you haven’t learned the fundamentals. While the Bob Ross trend is great, it doesn’t offer enough.
Trained artists that are able to keep up with such lessons pick up the technique fast and stop improving. Beginners wind up learning the wet-on-wet method but aren’t able to progress past it. Without basic understanding of essential techniques, mechanically learning something won’t allow them to do anything else.
It’s hard to imagine that learning a few brush strokes and key positioning of trees to create depth is enough to transition to portraits. Ross was always satisfied with his work and the impressive speed he developed over the years. It’s not to say he wasn’t interested in more at one time.
In a couple of interviews and in some of the episodes, Ross himself said that he too tried to learn drawing portraits but couldn’t handle them. In fact, one of his mentors actually suggested to him to stick to what he knows since he wasn’t interested in putting in the work.
Keep in mind that he had a limited artistic background. Although he didn’t want to pursue a different avenue of drawing, the good news is that you can, if you really want to. With enough practice you can create almost anything you envision.
How Basic Drawing Instructions Help You Evolve
Realistic paintings are almost never done by someone who can’t draw. You simply have to exercise immense control over your brush to create accurate, lively representations of real people and places. Drawing teaches you that.
In fact, in The Secrets to Drawing there are videos and lessons dedicated to explaining the importance of learning the basics of drawing. First of all, you can’t call yourself a painter if you can’t draw. You won’t be able to make a finished product to call it a painting.
Secondly, basic drawing instructions will teach you everything you need to know about visualizing the images in your head and recreating them on the canvas. Starting out with basic drawing instructions is also essential if you want a good understanding of highlights, textures and shadows.
If you have a hard time with representing perspectives and depth on canvas, it’s because you were never taught how to view a canvas. Spatial representations, shapes and perspectives are some of the most basic drawing lessons. They will have a huge impact on your ability to draw from memory and to recreate an existing image.
Drawing instructions don’t serve the same purpose as technical drawing specifications. They act as mere guidelines instead of restrictions. Understanding the basics has nothing to do with limiting your creativity.
It does have everything to do with teaching you the techniques you will need to express that creativity. Which is why, The Secrets to Drawing, is an excellent place to start your journey as an artist. It has beginner-friendly, fun lessons and it will teach you more than you need to get started. It’s cheaper than college too.