Remember when, as a child,
Remember when, as a child,
you would happily draw and paint pictures and made clay animals? Remember the pure delight in picking out a tune on the piano, dancing without caring what others thought and writing stories and poems?
Few of us continue those creative pursuits into adulthood…but perhaps we should. Medical experts now are studying how artistic expression can improve heart health, in fact, it can be prescribed right along with exercise, healthy diet and medicines for patients with cardiovascular disease or at risk for it. Can you picture it—instead of a prescription for statins or a hypertension drug, your doctor sends you home with instructions to make a picture-collage?
I am always on the lookout for ways to improve drawing skills. I do this by hunting around the Internet to see if I can find new tutorials. Yesterday I stumbled across a cool pencil drawing site that I think is going to make a HUGE difference, especially if you want to draw realistically.
It is a pencil drawing course that specializes in taking beginners and teaching them how to draw in a realistic style. The course itself is online video, so you can access it from anywhere in the world – the videos worked perfectly on my tablet and phone.
Each class is two hours long so you can even draw with which watching the video, nothing is left to the imagination. The course starts off by showing you all the equipment you need and the basic strokes. Even in this video I picked up a cool tip for erasing.
What I like is that each lesson builds on the previous so you are never thrown into the deep. Each class has it’s own concept or technique that you need to master, for example, in the second class you learn how to spot the different tonal values. In this class Nolan (the instructor) uses different styrofoam objects to show you the light affects the tonal values. The way he explains it makes it so easy to understand, like theory being explained in a practical way.
With each class you get a downloadable template which you can print out and use that to transfer to your drawing paper. You then also get a high quality photo of the reference and the final drawing. They are laid out in the pdf in such a way that when you print it out, each are exactly the same size. This makes it easy to judge sizes while drawing.
In each class you complete a drawing project. Like in the second class you draw a realistic spoon. At the beginning of the class I though it was going to be difficult, but after watching the explanations at the start of the class and the practical demo, it turned out to be quite easy.
The next four lessons are also still life drawings. There is an onion and garlic still life, transparent wine glass, rose and an apple drawing. In each of these you learn all about creating texture and depth in your drawings as well as drawing negatively and how to draw reflective objects.
From there you start drawing portraits. Nolan shows you how to draw all the major features like the eyes and mouth. What I liked was that he shows you what to look out for with each one. Once you have completed say the ear class, you will be able to draw any ear and not just the one from the class itself.
What really makes this course stand out from the rest is that it goes much deeper than any of the other courses I have seen. There are even classes on how to draw material textures and hands.
I am still busy with the course myself – it’s massive (there is over 32 hours worth of video in this course), but I know that my drawings are going to move up a few levels when I’m done.
There’s a definite connection between creative expression and healing. Studies have demonstrated that acute or chronic stress can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. We know, for example, that the acute emotional distress of broken heart syndrome can damage the heart, stress from events like earthquakes can cause a spike in the number of heart attacks and, similarly, the trama of serious illness can shock your system, as it makes you aware of your vulnerability and mortality.