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Look for the shapes

Yes, you can draw! Stephen Coates offers a plethora of advice and solutions to common drawing problems
A photograph of the Humber Bridge. Your task is to draw this in two minutes before continuing to read this article

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Find methods that work for you

How to draw what you see, not what you think you see

Recognise shapes within your subject

Everyone can draw. The skills required can be learned and are not necessarily inherited. I come across many people who tell me that they can’t even draw a stick man! This includes my mate, Bob, who was adamant that he had no drawing ability whatsoever. One evening in the pub, I gave him a simple exercise to perform and he was amazed when he produced a recognisable drawing of a robin. More on Bob and the robin at the end of the article.

If you are one of those people who find drawing difficult, there are reasons for your struggle, which you might find surprising. This article will help you understand why some people find drawing problematic and others seem to draw with relative ease.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the February issue of Leisure Painter, including our 16-page art holidays and courses guide. Leisure Painter publishes a wide range of inspiring and practical tutorials and projects for the beginner and amateur painter each month, from step-by-step demonstrations from photographs to illustrated techniques, practical tips and ideas for making the most of your favourite hobby, and plenty of inspiration to pick up your brush and try for yourself. This month: how to paint landscapes in different styles using watercolour, acrylics, oils and pastels. There are ideas for portrait painting and 5-minute sketching exercises. If you're new to watercolour painting, you'll need David Webb's step-by-step tutorial on how to stretch paper. There are drawing exercises ( yes, you can learn to draw well!), first steps in abstraction, Japanese ink techniques to paint a frog, and ideas on how to fill your sketchbooks. Have fun with your hobby this month.