Instructables

Drawing from your imagination - dreaming on paper

Picture of drawing from your imagination - dreaming on paper
For a long time now, I've thought about the problem of drawing images from your minds eye.   Have you ever wanted to draw a cartoon for a funny idea or an image from a vivid dream?  Me too.  And I've always wondered why I could never find a class that would help you learn to draw from your own imagination.  All of them insist that you draw from life or photographic reference.  That is all very good for painting landscapes and portraits.  But I thought it was strange that there was never a comic drawing class or any instruction at all in how to tap into the reference available from one's inner movie theater.

Though I am by no means qualified to teach art to anybody and I'm certainly not "there" yet, over time I have discovered a few things which have helped.

 
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Step 1: Dispensing with some old notions

Picture of dispensing with some old notions
I believe that drawing is simply a learned skill.  It can be learned by anyone just like woodworking or electronics or anything else.

Words and alphabets are a more efficient form of communication, that 's why we use them.

People abandoned pictograms such as hieroglyphics because alphabetic writing is just quicker.

Once you get the hang of working with words, you can become every fluent in it. 

The same goes for drawing.  Once you do it enough, you become increasingly fluent in it.  Your mind learns that it can communicate that way and the more you let it do so, the easier it becomes.
Tmarino111 year ago
Julie this tutorial is great. I am a beginning cartoonist and I do use google images for reference all the time. I guess I have a fear of not doing that.

Tom
foobear (author)  Tmarino111 year ago
Thank you! I totally understand reference addiction! I think it's the way we were taught in art classes honestly.
mole11 year ago
All excellent points!

Good news, Foobear, there IS a fine point eraser - Papermate's Tuff Stuff Eraser stick.
Also, Pentel's Tri Eraser is good in tight spots
Depending on what medium you're working in, kneaded erasers are great... can be made very pointy, and leave no 'crumbs'

You might try 'contour' drawing ... learning to feel the motion of your eyes... by feeling the paper but not looking at it as you draw. Keep your pencil on the paper making one long line following the direction of your eyes. Early efforts will look like scribbles. That's OK. With practice, the hand/eye coordination thing will kick in and recognizable shapes will appear. Once that happens, you can draw what you see in your head... with your eyes shut. The hard part then is making the stuff in your mind stand still long enough to see it. :)
foobear (author)  mole11 year ago
I have never heard of that technique, that sounds interesting, thanks!
mole1 foobear1 year ago
It's really fun to do portraits of your friends... they tend to come out weird.
To feel the paper, hold your crayon or pencil between your thumb and first finger... dragging your knuckles on the paper. Just keep moving your hand along with your eyes. It eventually begins to feel like you are moving your crayon over the object. Enjoy!
HrdWodFlor1 year ago
I have been trying to teach myself to draw better, I am looking forward to doing these and see what happens. Will be looking forward to more!
foobear (author)  HrdWodFlor1 year ago
cool! thank you!
ChrysN1 year ago
This is really great, I am looking forward to seeing more.
foobear (author)  ChrysN1 year ago
thank you!
I love this! :)
foobear (author)  twinkleshine1 year ago
oh good, thanks for the encouragement!