September 7th 2001

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In today’s e-zine:

1) Getting started: how to get started in 3 easy steps, er, more like 14 :-)
2) Quick referenced link to all the lessons


Hi all,

Seems to me it's been a while since we've done a "How to get started in 3
easy steps" kind of e-zine. So today, we'll go briefly into an outline that can
get you going.

For most folks the biggest obstacle is just putting their pencils to the paper.
That's cliche but only because it's true. It's scary and it can be threatening
and you can always find umpteen things to do that you HAVE to do before
you can actually get down to drawing. All of those - and I'm telling you nothing
new here - are excuses to avoid actually facing the blank page.

But they're important excuses. Why? Because starting anything new is not
without risk. Nobody wants to look bad. Nobody wants their drawings to look
bad either. But high expectations always hinder.

So here's some little tid bits and a couple of guides to get you over those
"first day at school" jitters.

Rule one:
no drawing EVER turns out like you planned it to. Michelangelo
will tell you that if he was here right now. So would Goya. And you know
Picasso would tell you that - just look at what he's come up with.

Rule two: In the beginning start slow. Put aside time - schedule it in. But no
more than 15 to 20 minutes to start. Say Tuesday - Thursday and  Saturday
the first week. Monday - Wednesday - Friday the second week. Add a fourth day
the third week.

Get a note book or a flip pad that you do all your drawing from. When it comes
time to look back you have documentation of your progress: You'll see
the difference.

Date all your pictures even you think they're terrible.

Find a special corner or room you can call your studio, or a part of the house
you can clear out to be your studio when it's time to draw. Get a small bookshelf
and put only your favorite drawing and a drawing related books on it. Keep the
bookshelf close to your drawing area. (Looking at pictures and drawings by
people you admire stokes your spirit and fires up your visual brain.)

Try to draw BADLY for five minutes - this always loosens me up. And I mean
draw bad. You usually crack yourself up and that can only be therapeutic and
gives you the  room to  accept less than perfection from yourself.

Get yourself a timer: After your 20 minutes stop. Put everything away. Stay
primed for the next session. Over time your drawing sessiosn will get longer.
You don't want to get caught in th trap of saying "If I don't have two hours to
I won't draw". Start with short sessions.

Get a file box - one of those accordion ones that stretches as you fill it. And
you're going to fill it with caricatures, photos, graphics, pictures from the op-ed
pages. You're going to whip through that pile of magazines you've been meaning
to throw out.You're going to tear out and file every picture that grabs your eye.
(Not to worry, you'll get more selective in time.) File by last names. If no last
name, stick in "C" for caricature, "G" for graphic, "P" for great photos etc.

Gather materials - get everything you need together before hand. If that means
using up one or two of your planned drawing sessions to gather all that stuff up,
so be it. Just get it done.

What supplies will you need?

1) 1) Minimally some drawing paper (but plain old typing paper will do fine)

2) Drawing pencils: any old pencil will do. A number two on pencil on bright
white typing paper is fine. There's plenty of time down the road to get fancy
and particular about what you need to make marks with. The key right now
is to get you drawing.

3) A hard drawing surface: your kitchen table, a square of smooth topped wood
...again don't let getting fancy get in the way of drawing. Once you actually do
a few drawings, you'll relax and all the non-essentials will become just that:
non-essential. You'll look patiently at getting the other stuff : fancy drawing pencils,
air brushes, chalk, water-color, a big easel, a second room...a full scale
studio - you'll be able to differentiate between avoidance and the sincere
desire that you'll have to have this other equipment to move to the next
level. You'll know this.

Okie doke. That's enough to get you going. If you have any of your own suggestions
by all means send them to me and I'll post them for everybody.

I highly suggest going to the Archives too  and checking out some of the other
"First Aid" ideas (you'll have to scan and scroll through the listed zines -
but you  will find some good ones there:

Lastly, here's a list of all the main lesson links

The Foundation lessons:

Lesson 1: Vase/Face Exercise

Lesson 2: Ogre Face Exercise

Lesson 3: Master Link - Upside Down Drawing

Lesson 4: Master Link - Pure Contour Drawing

Lesson 5: Modified Pure Contour

Lesson 6: Master Link - Negative Space

Lesson 7: Master Link - The Viewfinder

Lesson 8: Master Link - Perspective

Lesson 9: Master Link - Light and Shadow

Learning the Features one at a time

Lesson 10: Master Link - Ears

Lesson 11: Master Link - Noses

Lesson 12: Master Link - Eyes

Lesson 13: Lips and Teeth

Lesson 14: Master Link - Shapes of the Head

And the "Big Daddy" book-in-itself-Chapter:

Lesson 15: Master Link - Pulling it all together

So dive on in and don't be afraid! Keep on Drawing,


Jeffrey O. Kasbohm
Executive Director

"Once and for all  getting you drawing faces and caricatures"