With the advent of technology and the widespread use of computers, art students nowadays gravitate towards the flexibility and quality produced from computer-assisted drawing. The ability to render compelling designs using the latest illustration and graphics editing software has put pencil and paper on the back burner.
According to the survey we conducted at PortPrep.com, 75% of all the students that use our art portfolio coaching service report that they cannot draw by hand, only via computer programs.
It is common for students who are interested in a career in design to have skipped art courses during high school. However, the inability of students to do hand drawing puts them at a disadvantage, especially since most university and college design programs from graphics to architecture require a variety of art forms to be included in their portfolios. As a result, the students scramble to find someone to teach them how to draw and paint in a short span just so they can include a hand drawing entry on their portfolio, regardless of quality.
The ability to create computer-aided design and use rendering software programs are cornerstones of a successful career in design. However, they do not replace the importance of being able to draw and conceptualize by hand. University art and design programs need to see what the applicants are truly made of–the best way to judge this is often through viewing a variety of drawing and art styles and media.
What art students ignore is the fact that hand drawing can produce just as good an art as any software available out there. In fact, hand drawing requires greater motor control and skills to pull off an impressive traditional drawing on a piece of paper than using a computer program. More importantly, hand drawing skills are essential in professional art and design careers, especially when in the conceptualizing stage of idea development.
Three Hand Drawing Basics You Need to Learn First
For artists who have yet to learn the ropes of hand drawing, below are some concepts that you need to keep in mind first with this type of drawing technique.
- Learn how to see and draw – The ability to transcribe what you see on a piece of paper involves activity in the right hemisphere of the brain. If you feel difficulty in trying to capture the images in sight with pen and paper, then you need to train your right hemisphere and unlock its true potential. Also, the mastery of the right hemisphere of the brain involves the control of the brain’s left hemisphere.
- Develop the ability to convey form via shade and shadow – Understanding how shade and shadow works on hand drawing presupposes that you also learn about geometric concepts. This talks about the contours of the subject drawn and how lighting effects can create emphasis on the appearance of the drawn subject. If you have an interest in illustration,, animation or any of the design fields it helps you to be able to draw your ideas effectively if you first can learn the laws of the play of light, shade and shadow by observation while learning the fundamental theory such that you could recreate anything you could conceive of in your imagination and draw it convincingly.
- Cultivate skills on perspective drawing and 3D views – Taking your knowledge about geometric forms to a whole new level, you need to grasp how objects function within the space of a perspective view. This allows you to become much more sensitive in the treatment of geometric forms and elements from a particular viewpoint. Perspective drawing is an inextricable part of the design process particularly in architecture, landscape, interior, and industrial design. It is the language of the design professions.
Hand Drawing Resources that You Should Take a Look At
Smashing Magazine and Vectortuts+ are two of the most respected sites for anything design-related, having published some of the best and most helpful resources in “50 Clever Tutorials and Techniques on Traditional Drawing” and “40 Free Tutorials on Advanced Drawing Techniques,” respectively. Both feature links to tutorial videos on specific hand drawing techniques and styles. The wealth of material found on both pages should keep you busy in mastering the art of hand drawing.
PortPrep helps art students build an effective portfolio of their works to be showcased and evaluated by the art schools they are applying to. Karen Kesteloot, art instructor and owner of PortPrep.com, will help you get through the kinks of hand drawing by discussing the hand drawing basics mentioned above in greater depth with lessons that are focused on the program you are applying to.
If you’re interested in receiving lessons from Karen about hand drawing, Karen offers basic to advanced coaching packages to help create a competitive portfolio for the school of your choice. Click here to view her coaching packages.