A few weeks ago I took a drawing course and the instructions were simple, sit and draw. I sat for three hours and drew. Part of me wanted instruction even though I knew there is no good to it. As much instruction as she could give would make no difference to me. What I needed was practice.
As much as I tell the people who come here for workshops about the importance of drawing as a practice, I myself find that I sit very little just to draw. I have filled many sketch books, but I have filled them with simple sketches, ignoring all the things that are right in front of me. A drawing teacher will always yell you to draw what you see, not what you think you see. I draw from my imagination. There is nothing wrong with this, but I think even my skills at this would get stronger if I actually spent time drawing what I see. My drawings are stylized rather than realistic so because of this I have gotten out of practice of drawing what is in front of me. I keep a very thin little sketch book and a pen with me most of the time, and I pull it out mainly to entertain myself if I am waiting for something, or someone. Next time I Pull it out perhaps I will draw slowly, line by line, just for the sake of the line. Perhaps I will look at what is in front of me, to the side of me or below me. Perhaps I’ll practice drawing what I see.
In the drawing class we just drew weeds from the side of the road. I drew it quite badly at first, not understanding how the front connected to the back. The teacher perused the class, stood over my book, and then told me to lift a line slightly. That little movement made a great deal of difference. She taught us to build on structure. Just get the very basics down at first, not the details. This reminded me of pattern drawing. The details are built not with your pencil but with the wool. Drawing is the same. You create for yourself an outline and then you add to it, line after line, lightly, then heavier if you need to. It is a process of building on a foundation. Most things are.
I think of this blog, that began with one single post many years ago. Now there are over 1100 posts here. Imagine If I had sat down to write 1100 posts. I would have ran away from the computer. I would have felt daunted and tired before I even began. Do not think about drawing for two hours, or filling a sketchbook. Just think of of bring your pencil to paper.
Let your pencil kiss the page.
Take it from there, see what happens.