Building Your Foundation

by Jollyon Hooley
(Namibia)

Stylized Koi Fish

Stylized Koi Fish

Many moons ago when I was an art student, I learned drawing realistically would be a bit like building a foundation for a house.


Your basic skills become the foundation for everything else you draw. Once you have mastered drawing you can go in a multitude of different directions you want – and there are far more opportunities for your creative talents.

So get learning the basics now from some of the basic tutorials – and you do not really need academic training in the basics – you must however, get in some daily practice.

There’s no question that you must draw from life every day if you can. Target your daily practice in your sketchbooks and do not limit your subject matter to the same old thing (like copying photographs).

Go out into the sunshine and sketch a few landscapes, sketch the rubbish in your back yard or sketch all the junk you’ve got piled up on your dresser!

You also have to start thinking creatively on what you can sketch. This can be from your imagination. Try it.

Start off with simple doodling, then doodle a bit with what YOU think how the human ear is structured! Or the nose, mouth etc. This can be a lot of fun but use your imagination even if it is hopelessly incorrect. Who cares? It is the practice that matters, not what your buddies think!

It is not a good idea to draw from photos. Photographs distort the way you see things as it is 2 dimensional and you see things around you in 3D. Once you have mastered your drawing skills, THEN use photos as references.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact me Jollyon on this site, I'll be glad to help.

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