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Drawing Tips

Let's get something straight first.

I get a fair number of emails asking me: Can you teach me to draw?

The answer is no, because the only person who can teach you to draw is yourself.

Oh, now she's pulling zen BS, you're thinking.

No.  There are hundreds of books on learning to draw anything under the sun in practically any media.  There are countless art classes.  If they truly worked, everyone on the planet would be an artist.  The simple fact is that art takes practice, and my little page on the web isn't going to help you worth crap if you aren't willing to put in a great deal of effort.  There's no way I can reach through the screen and direct your pencil.  I can point you in a certain direction and give you some things to think about, but your artistic future is in your own hands and sketchbook.

This also means, don't take anything in this section too seriously.  One of the great joys and curses of art is that it is subjective.  What works for me may not work for you, so feel free to pick and choose what you take away from this page.  Don't copy me.  Don't do everything exactly as I do.  I'm certainly not the best artist in the world.  Find your own style and don't do something one way just because it's how I do it, or how any one artist does it.  Be original, and experiment.  :-)

I do not consider myself anywhere close to being an art expert (if there is such a thing).  It's pretty obvious that my artwork has a long way to go, and I hope that in the future I can continue to improve.  My reasons for making this page are pretty simple - I have been drawing for quite a few years, and I would gladly share what I have discovered if it might prove useful for other artists, especially those who genuinely want to improve their art but don't know how.

Obviously, there's no shortcut to learning how to draw well.  I believe that there is such a thing as talent.  Some people simply pick up artistic skills easier and quicker than others.  But that does not mean that there are people who 'can't draw'.  Everyone can draw.  Everyone has some artistic skill.  The trick is to develop what you have to the highest degree possible.  And that entails . . . you guessed it . . . practice.

Enjoy this section.  I hope you learn something.  Just remember - the best advice I can give any beginning artist is very simple:

Practice, and don't be afraid to try new things.

Who is this artist? some of you might be wondering.  I tend to get links to this drawing tips section from all over.

My name is Jennie Seay.  You can find the official entrance for my website here.  I like to draw mostly fantasy/sci-fi themed work, with an emphasis on character portraits.  My style is neither comic nor realistic, but somewhere in the middle.  My past influences include Disney animation, various comics, Elfquest, anime (although I don't draw it) . . . many different artists and animators.  My favorite artists are Michael Parkes, H.J. Ford, J.W. Waterhouse and other pre-Raphaelites, Alphonse Mucha and other art nouveau artists.  If you want to know more, feel free to poke around the site.

A guide to my Drawing Tips section:

(This is integrated into the menu in the top left corner - just put your mouse over the Drawing Tips tab.)

Proportions and Features is about learning the proportions of the human figure - how one feature relates to another.  (In development.)
Drawing from Start to Finish takes some of my pieces through different stages of their development, from rough sketch to finished piece.
Materials covers advice and suggestions on various media.  Also has links to some very good articles written by other artists.
Other Supplies has suggestions for basic items you might find useful.
Books/reference lists some of my favorite books.
Helpful Artistic Links has links to other tutorials.
Techniques is about basic artistic concepts.
Sneaky Tricks has a few shortcuts and tips I've learned that make drawing easier.  (In development)
Protecting your Images is for artists who have developed their own website and are interested in discouraging art theft.  (In development.)
Lousy Free Advice is, well, lousy free advice.

If you have any comments/questions, feel free to visit the message board.

Graphics, Content, Artwork © Copyright 1989-2005, Jennie Seay
All Rights Reserved - ask for permission before using anything on this page

Huge thanks to the many talented people who can code and provide their stuff online for people like me. :-)
Credit goes to:

Greymatter mods:
Moe Figit's stats mod
David Beckemeyer's anti-spam comments hack
Also, thanks to the Greymatter forums for helping me over the years.
Javascript and CSS code snippets from The JavaScript Source and Hypergurl.
DHTML menu by Milonic found at Dynamic Drive.
Some quotes found at Famous Quotations.

This page last updated .