If You’re New, Start Here

How Drawing is like Kung Fu

 

The reasons you don’t draw.

Brush Lee

“I can’t draw a straight line.”

“I can’t even draw a good stick figure.”

“Artists are so lucky that they’ve got the talent to draw.”

I’ve heard all the excuses in the book on why you can’t draw.

I’m here to tell you right now, that that’s all they are, EXCUSES.

The truth is, you’re afraid. Afraid to fail. Afraid of being laughed at. Afraid of being mocked. Afraid of WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW.

Well guess what? Here, you learn what you don’t know. Here, you will be shown the steps. Here, you will discard your fear.

“But I have no TALENT for drawing!”

I’m here to tell you that talent, TRUE natural drawing talent, is only good for one thing:

Making you WANT to draw more.

But a person with less talent or no talent, can usually end up drawing better than someone with natural talent simply by working at it. <=CLICK TO TWEET

The Problem with Talent

Since drawing comes easy for the talented, they often rely on it like a crutch. Talent can often be a fatal drawing flaw. I’ve seen talented artists become stagnant and never improve because they rely on their talent too much.

Some talented people when confronted with a need to improve their skills, quit when they realize that it’s difficult and requires work. They think they shouldn’t HAVE to work at it. After all, they’re talented.

Worse of all, some talented people think they’re the BEST draftsmen out there, and when they come face to face with draftsmen who are better, they simply quit, rather than work at improving.

This  is where a person with less talent or no talent has an advantage. They’ve never had it easy, so the work is part of the drawing experience. Something they take for granted.

The reasons you CAN draw

Drawing is a learnable skill. It’s a skill with teachable methods that work. All you have to do is learn those methods, practice them and that’s it.

Drawing is like writing, like playing an instrument, like learning to dance,…like Kung Fu.

Why Kung Fu is like drawing

Pen Grier

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Kung Fu as:

“any of various Chinese martial arts and related disciplines that are practiced especially for self-defense, exercise, and spiritual growth.”

This is NOT the definition that I want to use here. The definition that best fits what I was taught when I learned Kung Fu is much more like the following one I found in Wikipedia:

Kung fu, gongfu, or gung fu (功夫, Pinyin: gōngfu) is a Chinese term referring to any study, learning, or practice that requires patience, energy, and time to complete, often used in the West to refer to Chinese martial arts, also known as Wushu.[1]

…In its original meaning, kung fu can refer to any skill achieved through hard work and practice, not necessarily martial

THIS definition of Kung Fu sounds much more like drawing. Kung Fu can roughly be translated as “hard work”. This means, any skill that requires work in order to improve it, can be labeled Kung Fu.

You can learn all the principles of drawing very easily. To get good at it though, you need to practice them.  Just like you did when you learned to write.

Conditioning

Conditioning your body is the first thing you do when you’re preparing to learn Kung Fu (the martial art). You prepare your body slowly in order to handle the physical skills you’ll begin to learn.

It’s no different when learning to draw. The conditioning only looks different. You condition your arm, wrists, hands, and fingers to do what you want them to do. This results in good hand, eye coordination. Which results in making you capable of getting the drawing results you want.

A Kung Fu master doesn’t teach you the most complex moves right off the bat. He helps you learn them in small digestible steps so that they slowly become internalized and become automatic.

Drawing is the same way. You practice the small basic stuff and those things slowly become part of how you think.

Drawing is easy

Enough talk, let’s draw!

Drawing is easy. Drawing great is difficult and takes work. At this stage, you simply want to feel comfortable drawing. The lessons below will help you do just that. Never again will you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to drawing.

How The Drawing Website is Structured

Following the Kung Fu example, I structured this site like a Kung fu class.  In other words, it goes in levels.  Starting from beginning level (Lvl 0) up to “THE FINAL LEVEL”. You can start where you feel most comfortable.

A word  of advice: ALL things in the beginning level are applicable in the most advanced stages of drawing.  It wouldn’t hurt,  if your more advanced, to take a look at the most basic lessons, as a refresher course.

Here’s how the levels are broken down. Click on the highlighted level to go to the page and get started:

Lvl 0 – You can’t draw a stick figure or a straight line and it’s darn embarrassing. The lessons here are especially designed for you.  By the time you’re done with these lessons, you’ll be the envy of all your other, non-drawing friends.(FREE digital book of this info is now available)(Beginner Art Bundles also available, in “Deluxe Version” and “Regular Version“)

Lvl 1 – The lessons in this level are for you who are comfortable drawing already and want to draw better and cooler things.  Forget all that anatomy stuff and drawing realistic, lets have fun and draw cartoons!  By the time you finish this level, you will be able do draw some nice looking comic strips.

Lvl 2 (COMING SOON)- Time to get serious. The lessons here are for you who are serious about getting better. You want to make a living drawing? By the time you master this level, you will be able to do just that.

Lvl 3 (COMING SOON)- You’re a pro but now you want to leave the competition behind.  You want to be a MASTER. These are the lessons for you!

Lvl 4 (COMING SOON)- You are a Master artist, so you know that you’ve only JUST BEGUN. It’s taken you years to realize that all you know means you know nothing. You are more exited than ever to learn. Here you will find what you need.

THE FINAL LEVEL (COMING SOON-ish???) – Those who have achieved this level are said to have a mystical aura around them while they draw called, “The Glow.”

Masters vs beginners  draw fu

Questions?

I can’t help you if you don’t ask.

What’s your burning drawing questions?

Is there something you’ve always wanted to know about drawing? Ask.

I’ll give you my best answer and, who know,  probably write a post about it.

Leave any comments and questions in the comments below.

Or better yet, sign up to receive more information via e-mail. You’ll get extra tips and advice.  You can ask me questions that way also.

 


105 thoughts on “If You’re New, Start Here

  1. Claire says:

    I came across your website and I saw your YouTube channel and was wondering what you think of Christopher Harts books. People in art fourms tell me he’s not a good artist and he’s not “realistic” I’m not trying to draw realistic I want to draw retro cartoons like scooby doo, fairly odd parents etc. I have one of his books Cartoon Cool, people tell me to take a real art class but I can’t afford that at the moment or ever most likely so I’m learning on my own anatomy books are overwhelming Christopher Hart is the one author I’ve seen that draws cartoons in the style I want…but so many people are saying he’s a terrible artist I don’t know if should even bother.

    • Luis Escobar says:

      Hi Claire,
      Thank you for the question. Concerning Christopher Hart and his books, let me just say that I’ve bought at least one of his books for my daughter and she loves it and that’s totally cool.

      Here’s the thing, the goals of the people in the forums are not YOUR goals. They want to draw one way, you want to draw another. There’s no “right” style to draw in. There’s just the way YOU WANT to draw. That’s it. So don’t put yourself into places on the internet where your going to be bullied about your personal tastes. You don’t need that in your life. You don’t need the negativity. You like what you like, and that’s it.

      So draw the way you want. Learn from Christopher Hart’s books. If they speak to you, then keep learning from him. If at some point they don’t then find someone else. The point is to be curious, and have fun. Had I listened to the advise of better artists than me when they told me that to stop drawing cartoons and start drawing realistic, I would have quit drawing. Because it would have stopped being fun.

      That said, when I decided to go into the animation industry, I HAD to start taking figure drawing classes and had to learn to draw more real. At that point drawing stopped being a fun hobby and became real work, which meant I had to do what I didn’t consider fun. Oddly enough, as I got better at realism, it became fun to do that too. But not at first. And, again, had I not been drawing cartoons all that time, I wouldn’t have wanted to go pro in the first place.

      So draw what you want, how you want. It’s your drawings, no one else’s.

      I hope that helps.

  2. Eddie Dominguez says:

    First, let me say thank you for taking the time and effort to help young artless people become a bit older artful people. What I love about artists (for the main part) is their willingness to help others with their art. So thanks.

    I’ve come across this site and I have much to read *excited*. Thus far, I’ve been through the introduction and the section about the tools. The thing that so many sites and tutorials fail to refer to, is a tool called a computer! If my intended tool is a Graphic’s tablet with a stylus and a Graphic’s drawing program, will it be a good tool to start drawing (or learning to draw) with or should I hold off until I “master” with traditional tools such as pencil and paper? And if so, at what point should I feel comfortable about switching over? Are there major differences in technique between digital medium and paper?

  3. Roushil Harish says:

    XD ok so I’m having a hard time soming up with art concepts, a little prematurely since I haven’t started art yet. Once I do start art, will my creativity grow? Also I am a big viewer of art, though I find I’m kind of sponging up ideas and concepts of other people’s art, is it a mistake to view art before Ve started or will coming up with ideas from my own mind, regardless of weather someone else has done it, become easier once I start doing art?

    • Luis Escobar says:

      Hi Roushil,
      Thanks for the questions.

      Creativity grows only if you use it. You don’t need to learn to draw to be creative. There’s plenty of different art forms and crafts that require creativity which you don’t need to be able to draw to do. Music, scrapbooking, fiction writing, running a business, photography are only a few that I can think of right off the top of my head.

      So yes, you get more creative the more you use your creativity. It’s like a muscle that way.

      As for inspiration, I don’t know any artist who got to where they are without being influenced by other artists. I often use other people’s art as a bouncing off point for my own.

      If your idea is similar to something that has gone before, that’s fine. Why? Because we’ve seen what someone else has done with that idea BUT we haven’t seen what YOU will do with the same idea. You are unique. What you do with an idea, if you’re being true to yourself and not copying something exactly like someone else, will be unique to you. You’re point of view will make it original.

      I hope that answers your question.

      • Roushil says:

        Hehe also it’s not that I want to do something that no one ever has ever done, as if I’m looking for a new colour. It’s more I don’t want to rely on something I saw another person doing, I know it’s not inherently bad but I find that I never really think of a interesting concept until I’ve seen someone else that’s done something similar, also I find that I have a hard time getting my thoughts and ideas on paper, I feel strong feelings and I’m inspired by a lot of things but I don’t know how to put it on paper in a meaningful way, or putting a twist on an idea.

  4. Princess says:

    thank you for this sir.now I can start over again. I’m good in copying cartoon characters and others that I’d like to draw, so I thought copying others work is what I can do, I cant do on my own, I thought also that copying is a cheating, but now I understand all that matters. I am very looking forward for your reply sir. thank you for this great lessons

  5. john sutton says:

    hello, just came across your web site looking for a basic but detailed method of drawing head. im 57 tried over the years, ive always been able to draw birds in great detail doing every feather branch and leaves, this was some years ago, but even now i could still draw birds with great detail, but heads ive has books, some too complicated and some to basic for my needs, i would normaly spend about minimum of 3 hous up to eight or more o birds.
    i would like to be able to shave some time off when it comes to heads, ideally i would like to complete a head pencil drawing in just over 3 hours after a bit of fine tuning my skills. theres plenty of good advice with eyes and noses i never new it it ok to print off what i need or do you have a book on the subject, im not into cartoons, its more realistic portraits, i will be starting from downloaded pictures of famous pop and rock icons
    regards john
    ps this would have to be one of the best sites ive come across, your explation are spot on

    • Luis Escobar says:

      Hi John,
      Thank you for the kind words.

      Well, you can print out what you need for your own personal use. I don’t mind.
      I do have a print copy of the Level 0 lessons, and you can buy it on Amazon:
      https://youtu.be/Z72DP4_IDKw
      But I give the book away for free as a pdf if you sign up for The Drawing Website newsletter.

      However, Level 1 lessons are not in book form yet. They will be as soon as I finish writing all the information. It’s not ready yet though.

      I hope that helps,
      Luis

  6. Hi I was wondering if you were still doing this. Anyway, I love your dedication man keep it up !

    • Luis Escobar says:

      Hi Kohio,
      Yes, I’m still doing this. I put out new content every week via my newsletter. That content eventually ends up becoming a new lesson on the site.

      Hope that answers your question,

      Luis

  7. Douglas Dias says:

    First of all, thank you for creating this AMAZING place. I’m looking forward for the next Levels!
    While I already studied those basics a lot, it was funny to find a place where they don’t treat you like a child for not knowing some of them, I was really glad to see that you teach it in a way that we believe we’re learning something important, and not the basics-that-everyone-should-know like some places do.

    After that, I come to you, Master of the Drawing-Fu, asking for a path to follow. Here in Brazil, it’s hard to find a place where you can work drawing comics or cartoons. Of course, it’s not impossible, and we have great Brazilian names in successful comics, but for me and many friends who share with me the same dream to become a professional, it’s like the first time you’re playing an open world game, and your friend takes for you the Very Hard difficulty and skipped the tutorials and cutscenes: we have no idea what to do, how to do, or where to go. It’s frustrating, and it becomes EVEN MORE frustrating when you realize that most of the places that theoretically should be offering work in this area are more interested to show you their paid drawing classes “that will make you a true pro” than to see what you got to offer, that being a portfolio, a script, an idea…
    Then, I ask you, great master of the Art of the Drawing-Fu, how do my friends and I should proceed? What can we do?

    Thank you for the atention,
    Douglas

    • Luis Escobar says:

      Hi Douglas,

      That’s THE question isn’t it? You’re not the only one who is asking this question. Everyone who wants to be a pro is in the same boat. Especially since the internet makes everyone a viable hire.

      So I made a video talking about some of this. I answer some of what you’re asking there:
      https://youtu.be/Z72DP4_IDKw

      It comes down to this, if you want to draw comic professionally, draw comic now, for yourself, without getting paid. You get good at what you do the most. Do what you what you want to do as a pro now, and do it a lot, as if you’re already a pro. Get so good, you can’t be ignored. Be so good that your comics make money even without working for a company. If you can do that, you can be hired by a company or studio.

      I hope this and the video helps,

      Luis

  8. I know you’re working on it slowly, but can you finish this tutorial please???!! This is one of the few good ones I’ve found. Most of them give standard tips that don’t actually help at all

  9. Hi ! Very interesting website ! I’m a beginner and there is one big thing that scares me about drawing. I’ve always had trouble seing through space, in 3D and also visualizing things in my head. I was just wondering if it was possible to get better at this with kungfu (hard work) or if i’m just a hopeless case ?

    Thanks Sir

    • Luis Escobar says:

      Hi Victor,
      Thanks for the question.
      Yes, of course there’s a way to get better at seeing things in 3D and visualizing things. And yes, it takes practice. It took me a while to get used to it. I sometimes have trouble visualizing drawings too.

      In fact there’s plenty of artists who do. This is why we do thumbnail sketches. To figure it out.

      “What if it draw it like this? No, that’s not it. How about if I do this? Hmmm, kinda. What about this…? Hmmm better but not quite.”

      There’s an assumption by people starting out that drawing should come out ready made. It’s doesn’t pretty much, most of the time. It’s like writing a first draft of an essay or story. Sometimes it comes out right the first time but for the most part, you’ll need to plan it out and do an outline of some sort. Then, more often than not, there’s going to be mistakes, false starts, and lot’s of edits.

      Drawing isn’t any different. It’s just a different set of skills to learn. The more you use the skills, the better you get at them. What you find challenging at first will become second nature, and you’ll find other things that challenge you. It’s the nature of the skill.

      I hope that helps.

  10. hima says:

    its been my wish to draw the real faces into a disney character form….how do i do tht? i like the eyes in the disney character which attracts whole character

    • Luis Escobar says:

      Caricature is very difficult. Especially if you don’t know face anatomy to begin with.

      Before simplifying faces into Disney form, try capturing what people look like normally. Once you have that, you can use the Freddy Moore formula to draw the person more cartoony. It’s tricky and it may take you many tries. Don’t assume this is an easy thing.

      There’s so much complexity in drawing likeness. It’s tough for me to go into it in a comment box. I’ll need to address this in a lesson in the future.

  11. hima says:

    Hi this is may be a silly a weird question…but i want to know when you draw a real pic into a pencil sketch…how to differentiate or use the shading as per real colors. As a pencil sketch has a monochrome compared to multiple colors in a real pic or scenery.

    • Luis Escobar says:

      This is where you need to “learn to see.”
      I haven’t written about tone and it would take a while to be able to answer your question fully.

      However, I would recommend, if you have Photoshop or other photo program, take a picture of what you want to draw and then take the color out using the program. Then draw from that. Compare the color and the black and white version to see how the tones look. After a while, challenge yourself to try to duplicate what the program would do yourself.

  12. Nazarene says:

    I would like to know how to draw a butterfly

  13. Emmylee says:

    I’ve been studying your site and working on the exercises for a couple of weeks. I am late in the game, 40+ yrs old, and have never given the drawing thing a try (though living with an ever-present desire) believing, convinced really, that drawing was merely a talent one was born with-or not. You’ve proved me wrong and I am thrilled! I am already drawing, shamelessly! The realization is stunning…a thousand times THANK YOU!

  14. sajjad ali says:

    hi want to draw women n paint as well am 36 started a few months ago got no teacher except books you tube n free websites realised drawing is a life long learning process want to draw women and nude art but even feel obliged to do other art work as well and increase the skill spent loads on art supplies paints paper pens colors pastels pitt pens brush pens but stuff is going to waste cant use my imagination visiuals are weak anyways good place to learn thanks <3

  15. Madeline says:

    I can’t draw for the life of me, what are simple ideas to get me started?

  16. nick G says:

    Hey, I just found this site and it helps a lot. I wanted to learn to draw and animate for years but never actually did anything about it, and now i’m putting myself in crunch mode trying to spend all my time improving. I was wondering though, will the other levels (lvl 2+) be added in the near future? looks like this site’s been around for a while. If not, any recommendations on resources to learn to draw?

  17. Noel says:

    I want to get better at drawing but I don’t know where to start. When learning music you start with scales, when learning to write you start with letters, but when learning to draw there is no set path to follow, you’re just on your own.

  18. Nadine says:

    Hello Mr. Luis. I just found your site a few days ago and I am excited to get started practicing. I am at Level 0 and I have a general question. How do I progress through the lessons in Level 0? Do I move on to the next lesson when I am comfortable with the current one or do I take a few days between lessons? Thank you for you answer!

    • Luis Escobar says:

      Hello Nadine,
      Thank you for the question.
      Simply go at your own pace. So, yeah, when you feel comfortable, move on the next. Everyone picks this stuff up at different speeds. There’s no set time. If for whatever reason you get “stuck” and your drawings don’t seem to “be good.” Don’t worry. Don’t get too frustrated. The point is not to draw awesome, the point is to do the exercises and get comfortable with them.

      That means that it’s better to do the exercises and have THAT be the reward than to get “great drawings” right away.

      I hope that helps.

  19. Jacob says:

    Hey, I want to start drawing and I’m quite good at the moment, but with a graphic tablet I just can’t do anything.. my line are rubbish too light at the beginning or they get too big with pressure… any help?

    • Luis Escobar says:

      Hi Jacob,

      Thanks for the question. This is a tough one.

      I’m assuming by graphics tablet your taking about the kind you draw on but the mark are on a separate screen. I was never very good with those tablets. It wasn’t until I worked on a Cintiq and tablets that I could draw on directly that I really started getting comfortable with them and even that took some getting used to.

      The one thing I didn’t do with the other type of tablet is stick with it. I never made the effort to really practice with it.

      If you want to get good with that graphics tablet than you have to do what I didn’t. Namely, practice with it. Schedule a time everyday to draw with it for 15 minutes to 30 minutes (make it easy). BUT don’t expect a great drawing. Especially at first. The point is to get used to drawing with it. The reward you should focus on is having done it. Don’t focus on the quality of the work. Give yourself a high five for having worked with the tablet. THAT’S your reward. Make a point of checking it off your list of things to do that day and see how long you can keep the streak. Don’t break it. Don’t even keep track of whether you’re improving with it or not. Just keep the streak going for a few months.

      By the time you get to month four, I doubt you’ll have that much trouble working with it at all.

      I hope that helps.

  20. vickie says:

    if you’re right-handed should you try to draw with your left hand at first just to see if it’s any easier or any betterI will begin our classes on Tuesday May the 5th the basics and sketching sloWly

    • Luis Escobar says:

      Hmmm, I’m not sure I see the point. There are reasons to draw with your off hand once you’ve gotten a bit proficient. That said, when you’re starting out, make it as easy as possible to succeed. Drawing is tricky enough without handicapping yourself by using your off hand from the start.

  21. The Artisan says:

    I still to this day struggle with trying to draw I would have to agree that drawing does take some conditioning. However, I have found a way to help boost my confidence level a little bit. The program is called FotoSketcher it is completely free, it is able to turn photos into drawings, paintings, illustrations, etc. I written a article about it here http://www.howtodrawwhenyoucantdraw.com/blog/how-to-draw-when-you-cant-draw-using-a-totally-free-photo-editing-software-part-21. I know that this does not make up for learning how to draw yourself, but what it has done for me was inspire me to keep practicing free hand. It showed me that I am capable of creating something beautiful and I should strive to create something with my own drawings skills that is similar. Thank you for your wonderful article.

    Best

  22. McKenna says:

    When are the other levels coming.

  23. Penélope says:

    Thank you so much for doing this, im a geophysicist I used to draw a lot in high school and then I stop cause I didnt have enough time, Im all rusty now but you give me hope *u* someday I want to do a 2d animated short film but first ill start with this 😀 thanks again

  24. girts23 says:

    cool stuff. Waiting for next lvl lessons.

    • Luis Escobar says:

      They have begun. I’m currently writing the Level 1 lesson in small sized chunks, on The Drawing Website Newsletter. You can sign up to receive them if you haven’t already.

  25. E-man says:

    Also Luis please email me

  26. E-man says:

    Thanks this gives me great tips to draw better and more clearly. 😀

  27. Rishi Shah says:

    i really big thanks to Google for index this site when i search start drawing, this all lesson are really helpful and now i am still waiting for next level. i am a graphic designer so i want to improve my skills day by day i wish this lessons are improve my illustration skills. thanks

  28. John says:

    I need some help to draw louis

  29. sam says:

    when is level one comming up?

    • Luis Escobar says:

      Okay so I get asked this a lot, and perhaps it would be a good idea for me to post links to the latest updates on the progress of the next levels.

      I tend to let the newsletter subscribers know all this. I highly recommend subscribing because I send out a lot of good drawing info this way. That said, here’s a link to the two newsletter updates related to your question:

      http://eepurl.com/FmNnj

      In the link below, when I write “Lesson 2″ I meant to write “Lesson 1″:

      http://eepurl.com/GxCgX

      I’m now thinking, it might be a good idea to simply consolidate those two newsletters and create a post on the site out of them for everyone to read who has the same question.

      Thanks for asking.

  30. Months later, I’ve realized that I can’t seem to motivate myself to do the work. My mind keeps making excuses for why I can’t, why it won’t work out. I think that’s the most frustrating part of all. Consciously, I _want_ this.

    Subconsciously, my brain shuts me down from all sides before I can even begin.

    How can I develop the discipline and work ethic to truly make a run at this?

    • Luis Escobar says:

      This is a tough one. We all go through this. It’s totally normal. Some people’s subconscious even goes out it’s way to ruin their lives.

      This kind of problem is way above my skill set to handle. That said, there are two books I can recommend. (Affiliate links below):

      1. “Do the Work” by Steven Pressfield. This book talks about “The Resistance,” which is what you’re struggling with. The thing that keeps you from doing what you set out to do.

      2. The other book I’d recommend is, “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg. This book breaks down how habits form and can be manipulated. It’s a handy book to have if you want to be able to “hack” your actions. Especially since, willpower is a limited resource that eventually fails. But habits are simply automatic and effortless.

      I hope this helps. You’re not alone. It happens to more people than you think. Recognizing it is actually a great place to start.

  31. Critter says:

    I am so horrible at drawing, and I always want to draw like my friends can! All my friends have a deviantART because they can actually draw. xD I can’t…like, at all. I got a sketch diary for Christmas, but I don’t really know what to do with it. How know what you want to draw? Ack, you have no idea, I can barely draw a round circle or straight line. And, is it really true that I can be good at drawing, because, sure as heck, I’m really bad. I’m in my teenaged years, and I’m silently hoping that the drawing fairy finds me and help me learn to draw. I’m seriously ashamed of myself and demoralized because of my lack of being able to draw. 🙁

    • Critter says:

      I meant to say, “How do you know what to draw?” not “How know what to draw?” xD

    • Luis Escobar says:

      The answer is yes. Anyone can learn to draw, it’s a learn-able skill. It’s all in your mindset. Not everyone has an affinity to it, not at first, but it can be learned.

      Think of it this way, not everyone is REALLY GOOD at doing math, yet everyone can do it because they’re taught to do it. There was also some little kids who had a harder time learning to write their letters but they where encouraged to keep at til they got it. The problem is that drawing isn’t seen as important so it’s not taught or encouraged in schools.

      What I will say to you is this, if you REALLY want to learn to draw and you’re serious about it, you have to be ready to put in the work. The “Kung Fu.” But you will ONLY be able to do that if you have the right “why.”

      Why do you want to learn to draw? Is it because you want to be better than your friends or draw just as good? If so, that may not be the right “why.” Especially since your friends didn’t get into drawing for the compliments and the status. That came later. They got into it because they enjoyed it.

      Like playing games, you do it because it’s fun even though it can be hard. You enjoy the challenge. Drawing is the same way. It’s a fun challenge and a fun way to decorate a page and express yourself.

      First thing I would say is, stop comparing your drawings to your friend’s drawings. Simply enjoy the process.

      Now, what should you draw?

      First READ the info in this website or in my free digital book and go through the exercises. It’s there to give you something to draw and build your confidence.

      Second, join the Draw Fu Facebook Group, there’s lots of very encouraging people there that will love to give you pointers. I also answer question and post inspirational links.

      Third, if you want some really “easy wins,” go to your local craft store and look for these books. They will help you draw cool stuff easily:
      http://www.thedrawingwebsite.com/product/draw-chi-recommended-zentangle-books/

      Fourth, if possible, go to your library and find this book I reviewed:
      http://www.thedrawingwebsite.com/2013/01/02/book-review-drawing-with-children-a-creative-method-for-adult-beginners-too/

      Also this book:
      Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

      and this book:
      The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to Be the Artist You Truly Are by Danny Gregory

      And READ them. They are very helpful. Especially for building up the correct mindset and giving you some ideas of what to draw.

      I hope that helps

      • Critter says:

        Okey, and no, I don’t want to be better than my friends. No, no, no, I wasn’t comparing my drawings to my friend’s drawings, I’m just saying that, I like to draw, but I’m not good at it. I like art, but I’m not good at it. Guess I misworded that a little bit. I enjoy drawing, but it’s a little bit embarrassing, and I’d like to be better. xP
        Thank you so much for your advice! It means a lot!

  32. Any update of when the other levels are going to be posted?? I honestly don’t want to start until they are. I feel that if i start and reach a point where I’m ready to move to the next level I would feel stuck. I’ve looked over your entire website and really like the layout and your style.

    • Luis Escobar says:

      Hi AnThony,
      Okay so I get asked this a lot, and perhaps it would be a good idea for me to post links to the latest updates on the progress of the next levels.

      I tend to let the newsletter subscribers know all this. I highly recommend subscribing because I send out a lot of good drawing info this way. That said, here’s a link to the two newsletter updates related to your question:

      http://eepurl.com/FmNnj

      In the link below, when I write “Lesson 2” I meant to write “Lesson 1”:

      http://eepurl.com/GxCgX

      I’m now thinking, it might be a good idea to simply consolidate those two newsletters and create a post on the site out of them for everyone to read who has the same question.

      Thanks for asking.

  33. mandy says:

    I LOVE ART

  34. mandy says:

    Nice I love art

  35. saratj says:

    Don’t stoppp!!! T.T this is helping me so much! Considering I can’t leave the house much, this site is like a ray of light in my darkest hour….*dramatic music*

  36. Demi says:

    Are you still up for “Working over your drawings”? Or did they cost?

    • Luis Escobar says:

      Thanks for asking. No, it didn’t cost anything but it WAS part of a contest. And only the contest winners got critiques. I may do it again, but it was an awful lot of work so I might not do it anytime soon.

      • Demi says:

        Oh. Okay thanks for clearing it up for me. XD

        btw I tried downloading your free pdf, and it’s saying its corrupted; let me try to download it again…

  37. How old is too old, when is it too late? I’m almost 34, and I’ve always badly wanted to be able to draw, but two year olds draw more coherently than I am capable of (no joke), and I just have no idea how to even start. Everybody says that I don’t want it and that I’m not willing to put in the work…. Maybe in the end, in trust, they’re right, but. just… I don’t know. This is supposed to be enjoyable, right? And it just isn’t any fun at all not being able to even do the most basic, most simplistic things, and feeling like I’m never making even the slightest progress…

    I feel like I’m at my wits’ end with this.

    • Luis Escobar says:

      Hi Harlan, thanks for the comment. You’re never too old to start.
      One of the reasons little kids are able to draw so freely is because they’re not beating themselves up about how they draw. They just do it. Once they hit a certain age (around 7 years old) kids start judging themselves and quit.

      If you can write, you’re already drawing. It’s just a matter of transferring your confidence from writing letters and numbers to the different symbols of drawing. Try out the exercises in the first Lvl 0 posts and sign up to the newsletter. I’ll be posting some basic drawing exercises there.

      Drawing is about having a few things working in unison: Confidence, hand-eye coordination, muscle memory. Except for the confidence, which is a state of mind that you can change, hand-eye coordination and muscle memory come from drawing a lot. It doesn’t matter how good the drawing is, as long as you do it.

      Think of it this way, the goal of drawing is not a great drawing. That will happen eventually. The goal is reaching “flow state” otherwise known as “being in the zone.” Have you ever been into something so deeply that when you look up from it, you notice hours had past but it only felt like a few minutes? And yet, you feel really good afterward?

      You get there from being challenged just enough so that what you’re doing is not easy, but it’s not so hard that it’s frustrating and you give up.

      What you need is to find an “easy win.” A drawing exercise that you can do that is challenging but not difficult. Try out the exercises on the site and see if they are too easy or too hard. Start at the beginning. Remember it’s about hitting flow state, not about being Michelangelo. When you change the goal from “great drawing” to “reaching flow state,” the act of drawing itself becomes the goal, not perfection.

      • Hi, Luis. It’s me, Hikaru again. The last thing I want you to think is that I want to learn is for the wrong reasons, but I have very terrible hand-eye co-ordination, and I’m having problems even with trying to draw straight lines and C-curves. I’m not giving up, but at my age, and with the goal I have in mind (character design), I wonder if you’d be OK to get back to me with some intense proven mechanical skill drills. With your King-Fu approach, you definitely understand my failings, I just wonder if you have any specific exercizes to send someone like me, someone with all the ideas in the world, but no skill for drawing…. Basic shape drills for body parts, basic shape drills for recognizing angles, basic drills for a character designer with no skill. My e-mail is kitsunestar@gmail.com

        As long as you’re OK with helping a furry…

  38. alejandra romero says:

    if u try ur best u will do your best

  39. Back2Basics says:

    I’m new to this site and my first reaction is WOW! Although I haven’t looked at everything on this site I feel a spark for drawing all over again. I will finish browsing after commenting though. I would like to say a big THANK YOU for creating this site! It almost bought me to tears because I thought drawing was a thing of the past for me. I took up art in High School and we were never taught like this. I knew drawing was a gift that I had but there was a huge amount of fear. My fear was making mistakes. I even feared making mistakes in trying to sketch. Anyhow I canNOT wait to go Back2Basics (hence my username) to renew, refresh, and explore the possibilities drawing has for me.

    P.s. Looking forward to you coming back from your break. Good luck!
    Thank you again,
    Victoria

    • Luis Escobar says:

      Thank YOU Victoria, for the feedback.
      I’m in the process of creating new content for the blog now. I hope to have something to post soon.
      In a lot of ways, I really haven’t taken a break since I send out newsletter tips weekly.

  40. manvsart says:

    I still say Kiss my Converse!
    great job Luis!

  41. Jerome Herr says:

    This sounds great! I’m gonna try it out now. Thanks for doing this 🙂

  42. Michael Perry says:

    Also would you say you was a talented artist when you first started?

  43. Michael Perry says:

    When you first started drawing, what was the most difficult step for you Luis?

    • Luis Escobar says:

      When I first started drawing, the most difficult thing that I had to get over was the fact that, to become REALLY good, would require learning things I had no interest in. Things like anatomy, perspective, shading, and just learning how to draw from life. I had zero interest in that as I was learning to draw and I avoided learning that stuff for YEARS. Why didn’t I want to learn that stuff? Because to do that would make drawing seem like work and I drew for fun. It never occurred to me that anything worth knowing and doing well requires work, even if it’s fun work. It’s still work. Getting over that laziness was very difficult.

      • hussain says:

        I’m a beginner, I’ve made some drawings and paintings and I want to show it to you. So you can guide me that what’s missing. Or how can I improve.
        So how can I show you my drawings?

  44. Tim says:

    Anyone who makes reference to The Last Dragon gets a gold star in my book! Awesome!

  45. Jim Mays says:

    I would like to know about the strange and arcane secrets of composition and design.

    • Luis Escobar says:

      Ah, very ambitious.

      Lucky for you, I’ll be covering basic design in just a few weeks in Lvl 0: Lesson 3.

      As for composition, I’ve already dropped a small hint in the “Pro Tip” in Lvl 0: Lesson 1, and I was going to do the same in Lvl 0: Lesson 3. I had no plans to talk about basic composition in any of the Lvl 0 lessons, but I don’t see why I SHOULDN’T.

      Sooo, I’ve added it on the list as Lvl 0: Lesson 7.

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