Congratulations – you have been accepted by an art program! The fact that you got in shows that you have the talent to realize your potential of becoming a truly great artist in college.
However, the question remains – do you have ALL the drawing skills you need to succeed? If not…
You MUST Learn How to Improve Your Drawing Skills BEFORE Entering a Post- Secondary Arts Program!
Let me explain…
University and college arts programs teach drawing at a high level and expect you to already have all the basics skills down or they don’t teach drawing at all and still expect you to have the basics down pat.
Some programs don’t include fundamentals on how to improve your drawing skills and yet you still need them to communicate your ideas as is common in several design programs like architecture and landscape design. You need to get these skills on your own.
But if you are studying in a fine art, illustration or animation program, you are already expected to draw really well. That’s how you got accepted in the first place, at least for most of you. In my experience in teaching at one of Canada’s leading arts colleges, I found that, although only the best students get accepted, they sometimes lacked a few fundamental skills in observing and drawing what they saw accurately. In my estimations about one third of the students I taught in illustration had gaps, which show their need on how to improve their drawing skills —are you one of those students?
The common downfall was a fundamental lack of understanding between their stored knowledge of the world and their vision of what was in front of them. They didn’t have mastery over the brain function of their left hemisphere verses their right hemisphere.
As a result, they often struggled and had relatively weak drawings considering their specialization when the time came for them to draw geometric forms accurately either from sight or imagination.
These competitive art programs don’t take the time to fill in the gaps in your high school education. You are expected to be sure to have the fundamentals when you arrive. If you missed a few things, it is your responsibility to catch up on them to ensure that you know how to improve your drawing skills.
Before starting in an art program this coming fall, I recommend you do three things:
- Take an extra drawing course this summer to ensure that you are fully capable and prepared. You could try taking a course at Drawspace.
- Read and follow the exercises in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards (click here to buy it from our Amazon Store)
- Have a highly skilled artist or art instructor review your work to check that you have all the fundamental skills you will need to succeed at the university level.
You could take your drawings over to the university where you plan to study and ask one of the professors if they feel that your work exemplifies all the needed strengths to do well or if there are any areas they would recommend you practice up on over the summer. You do not need to have mastered any of these just be reasonably able so that you can jump in at the appropriate level of study.
How Can You Be Sure You Have ALL the Skills You Need? Click on the next page to find out.