Easy Drawing Exercises for Absolute Beginners of Drawing
Does the thought of drawing a pattern from scratch make you feel overwhelmed?
We get you!
Let’s just get an important note down first; To draw is not a pre-requisite for becoming an embroiderer or even an embroidery pattern designer. (We have a full Masterclass on How to create your own embroidery designs in the Charles and Elin Academy.)
Mini workshop to reduce the overwhelm:
It’s ok to feel overwhelmed by a process that you are not familiar with.
In fact, it would be weird if we were all super confident with new ventures before even trying it out…
The key is to not let the overwhelm freeze your creativity. Reality is that most of us tend to see the worst case scenario rather than the best case scenario.
Charles and my mission is to break down those mental barriers and encourage you to explore your creativity at full potential.
As a result, Charles has created a mini workshop that is dedicated to the foundations of drawing. To make it more tangible, the workshop includes easy and actionable exercises that aim to reduce the overwhelm.
Whether you feel curious about drawing or not, to expand your repertoire of skills and understanding will be hugely helpful for you to take the next step on your artist journey (even with embroidery).
You can look at it a bit like a house…
Before you can build the walls, you need to construct the foundation. Or at a bare minimum, have an understanding of how the foundation is made so that you can outsource it.
In terms of embroidery, that outsourcing can mean that you purchase a pattern from someone else.
But by knowing the foundation, you are able to gain a deeper understanding about the pattern, how it was created and how you can realise it with stitching.
Furthermore, it may very well just give you the envy to try out and make your own designs too!
We use easy drawing shapes too..
You may not have thought of it, but Charles and I almost only use basic shapes when it comes to creating our patterns.
And chances are if you’re reading this, that you find them quite elegant!
You can work magic with the basics, if you just know the basics very well. We use the same mindset when it comes to our embroidery process as well.
You may like this article that I wrote about it: Our minimalist approach to embroidery stitches
Follow along from Scratch to Pattern (1hr Workshop)
You may also like a recent workshop I filmed that brings you along (in real time format) the complete process of drawing a pattern.
The workshop includes an introductory warm up exercise (about 4 minutes), that is also perfect for drawing beginners.
Sidenote: To be honest, this warm up exercise is also ideal to do before you start any embroidery session. To warm up your fingers and wrist will prepare your hands for the physical aspects of stitching. It may sound funny, but think about it like you’re going to do a fitness workout. You wouldn’t go to the gym without warming up first. The only difference is that the muscles you’re about to use are teeny tiny ones in your hand. It’s almost ironic how easy it is to forget about the muscles in our hands and wrists simply because we take them for granted.
After the warm up exercise I dive into the actual pattern creation. To make an embroidery pattern (and thus the workshop) can be simplified into the following three categories:
- Discussion of why I chose the design (comparing 4 different photographs I took of the same subject)
- Making a rough sketch in soft pencil
- Finalising the design by going over it with ink
It felt important to me to include a reflective discussion in the beginning as you are many who ask me that precise question: How to know what design to make?
To answer that question I could create a whole series of its own (which I might). But the workshop listed above references an architectural scene. Even more specifically, a door scene (yes, very niched just how I love it).
Here are a couple of tips to think about when choosing your scenery for an embroidery pattern:
- Photograph what catches YOUR eye, now what you think you’re supposed to photograph
- Take several pictures of the same subject from various angles and distance (You can easier analyse them when you look at the pictures afterwards).
As always, thank you for reading along. I truly hope you find it interesting and dare to take the step to try out and make some drawings of your own (perhaps a future embroidery pattern).
If you’re in the thoughts of wanting to make your own designs here is a list of resources you may enjoy:
- Step by Step Guide How To Create An Embroidery Design From Scratch
- 5 Misconceptions about creating your own embroidery designs
- Everything is embroiderable; My philosophy as an embroidery artist
- Workshop: Guided Workshop To Successfully Create Your First Free Hand Embroidery Design
- Workshop: Abstract embroidery for beginners (mixed media)
- Masterclass: How to create your own embroidery designs
You’re also warmly invited to come and join us in the Charles and Elin Academy Membership, where you get access to ALL our masterclasses and weekly workshops that serves to enhance and grow you artistic experience