Lifehack is powered by Vocal creators. You support Nicole Haller by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Lifehack is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

The Most Important Art Tip for Beginners

My Journey in Art

My Personal Art Supplies

I'm going to be honest with you. I don't even know how to begin writing an article. This is the first time I've written anything like this actually. But hey, we're here. More importantly you're here reading this. I know, you're here to read something interesting. How does a back story sound? I mean we all have our own stories to tell so just to break the ice, I'll tell you a little more about me.

I'm that quiet, shy kid that sat alone through school. That one you have probably never understood because she was alone and wouldn't talk to anybody. Yep. That's me. But all of us quiet kids have our own little secrets. We all have something to hold onto with our very lives. It's what drives us from day one till the end. It's different for all of us, but we each have something to drive us nonetheless.

For me, that's art. I could never find a way to express myself to people verbally or in person—I mean c'mon I could barely look a person in the eye. I learned to use those emotions and thoughts and I'd either write them down or I would express myself through art.

This all started at a very young age. Young enough that I honestly don't remember when I first took an interest in art. All I know or remember is I'd spend a majority of my time playing with plastic dolls or drawing.

Now just because I have a burning passion for it doesn't mean that my drawings looked like the works of Michelangelo or Leonardo Da Vinci ever since the beginning. I started the same place as everybody else. Simple scribbles and doodles.

Over time I became intrigued enough to attempt drawing like other artists do. Attempting to draw more than simple stick figures. This is what I believe made the biggest impact in my life. I looked at everything as literally as I could. I'd take the shape of a star fish and realize it's the shape of a star, or a bubble and see a simple circle with lighting and shading.

Who would've thought that would be the most important art lesson I would carry with me all these years? You can't just look at an apple and say you can't draw it. You have to look at its shape. Look at just the outline or maybe break it down piece by piece. Each round curve representing a different size circle or oval.

With that new found information I experimented in drawing people. Their faces in particular. For the longest time they looked like cartoons. While cartoons aren't bad for a seven-year-old, the style needed to change over time. The approach I took to drawing faces became that much more literal.

By the time I was 11 I was attempting sketches of the all too famous Captain from the from the Pirates movies we have come to know and love. The sketches didn't turn out too bad. Not perfect but still a giant leap in the progression of my art. It had a realistic style to it. No cartoon-esque faces anymore.

With my new found excitement I drew all different portraits. None of the drawings were photographic in any way but the fact that I could take basic shapes and draw semi-realistic portraits blew me away.

The trick to this idea is learning to break complex things down. One of the most intimidating shapes is the eye. If you look closely you can see several different ovals/circles (eye socket, iris, pupil), triangles (corners of the eye) and curved lines (eye lashes, details in iris).

This idea is as simple as thinking of watching an artist draw. They don't draw the entire face at once, that's impossible. They start with a section— say the ear. They would complete just enough to see what it is and where its located and then move onto another part like the nose.

Once you have all of the different features roughly in place (I even start with scribbles and outlines) then you can go back over each section and add in details. This also plays a major factor in proportions.

The more you move from one section to another in your drawing, the more aware of size, space and proportion you are. Not only do proportions make it more realistic in the end, it also makes it a lot easier to add finishing touches.

Don't take this article to mean that this is all there is to it. There are so many more thoughts and ideas I wish I could share here and now. If I wrote everything I know in one article you might as well print my articles and sell it altogether as a book. Over time I would love to share more details and create examples to go along. In the meantime I will bring this article to a close. 

Keep creating, not for the world, but for your love of art.

Now Reading
The Most Important Art Tip for Beginners
Read Next
Budgeting in Your 20s