Before & After: How Did They Learn to Draw So Fast?

To learn to draw in my course, these four beginner students first did three drawings prior to any instruction.  Their self-portraits are below.

People who see my students’ before and after drawings are usually astounded.  Those who don’t know our method even suspect there is some sort of scam going on – how could anyone be so good at drawing so fast?

Click on the links below the pictures to check out their progress over the five days – I assure you that the results are authentic.

Mary’s Before & After Drawings

Jennifer’s Before & After Drawings

Géraldine’s Before & After Drawings

Nathalie’s Before & After Drawings

Other Student Pencil Drawings

Our method is a combination of three things:  what scientists understand today about how our minds work; what we have come to know are the building blocks to learning how to draw; and tools that artists used in the past to learn to draw but that have been mostly forgotten today.

In addition, there are certain tactics that I encourage in my students that contribute greatly to producing pencil drawings like the ones on this page.

1.  Turn off that critical voice in your head.  You will make it a lot harder for yourself if you listen to it.  Rather, get into the pleasure of making marks on paper – when your drawing is done, you will realize the critical voice has fallen silent!
2.  Be gentle and forgiving with yourself. You will necessarily make drawings that are not as wonderful as you would like them to be. I still do. See each drawing as a stepping-stone to where you want to be, bringing you ever closer to your destination.
3.  Stay hungry to learn.  It’s the hope and desire to learn to draw that drives progress despite discouraging moments.  You’ll get there if you keep that excitement alive – and you’ll have more fun on the trip.
4.  Stick with it when the discouraging moments happen.  And they will.  Wanting something a lot makes setbacks seem bigger.  Just keep putting one foot in front of another, in the right direction, and sooner or later you will have to reach Cincinnati.
5.  Work, work and then…practice. Mind, there is no magic going on here though.  Both the students and I work very hard to achieve these results, and if you are thinking about taking a course with me, be prepared for the same kind of very hard work. Then be prepared to keep practicing hard to keep those skills up and to progress.

On the other hand, if you put in the effort, you will gain not only the ability to draw, but the ability to see like an artist; I like to tell people that while I may not get them drawing exactly like Leonardo da Vinci, I can get them feeling something of what he did when he drew.