Learning How to Draw - Developing Focus and Attention Span

This series of drawing articles is for everyone who wants to increase their will power, patience, focus and skills by learning how to draw. You don’t need to know how. The teaching approach allows you to develop your artistic skills, however hidden they may be. It’s also focused on increasing your attention span and challenge appreciation as well as acquire general knowledge about art.

The content is meant to expand your horizons and see beyond what’s there. This series doesn’t focus on contour lines and what stroke to draw first. It gives you the tools to understand what is under the hood so you can apply concepts to anything you want to draw without constantly having to follow the recipe book.

Arianne - Charcoal and Conté portrait

Arianne - Charcoal and Conté portrait

The idea of writing this series of drawing articles came from several observations of our current culture. With the arrival of smart phones, high speed internet, tablets and apps, absolutely great opportunities became possible. Research is now easier than ever, which is extremely useful to all artists. Sharing art online for advice and feedback is instantaneous. Artists have access to the largest communities and bank of information in no time. Although, getting everything right away has also its down side. Attention span and patience are reduced and fewer people have the will to invest time in learning trades and skills. As soon as they understand that it may require years to master an art, they get scared and drop it. It’s the same with drawing. It requires years of practice.

The underlying idea of this series is to help anyone who wants to learn how to draw, as well as develop focus and attention span.

There are three levels of satisfaction in drawing. The first one is in the learning process itself. You shouldn’t only look forward to the final result. Looking back and seeing all the progress you’ve done since the start is quite exciting. You’re moving forward. It’s critical to understand that this learning process is never over. There’s always something new to be discovered. Accepting this fact makes the journey much more relaxed and enjoyable. You don’t feel the pressure of reaching the end. You simply know that there is something new awaiting next. The idea is to always put a bit more distance between that starting point and where you stand. Sometime it will be small, and other times you’ll bounce giant leaps forward. It doesn’t matter, as long as you continue pulling forward. Every steps in the process matter.

Character Design - Learning how to draw

Character Design - Learning how to draw

The second level of satisfaction is in the actual creation of the illustration. Once again, you shouldn’t only hope for the drawing to be done. A drawing is as good as the amount of work you put into it. If you rush through the completion, the observer will feel it in the curves, unfinished details and overall feel. Try to find joy in choosing the right colours, making sure the lines are as good as you can draw them and adding in all the small details you envisioned. You are mainly drawing for yourself. Your drawing reflects how you feel inside.

Finally, the third level of satisfaction is about your final drawing. Once it’s on the wall, you should feel proud of your work. Your next drawing will probably be better and another one in ten years will probably be ten times better. At this time, that doesn’t matter. What’s there in front of you, at this moment, is your best work. You should be mighty proud of yourself. On top of it, if you have thoroughly enjoyed your research and creation process, you’ll feel it even more.

These three levels of satisfaction can be applied to everything you do in life. This is the idea of this article series.

The first lesson in this series is about discovering the hidden layers and secrets in a drawing, allowing you to use them in your own creations. A drawing is not a bunch of contour lines. It is what is inside that counts! Knowing how the body works and bends is what gives volume, weight, attitude, expression, solidity and style to your drawing. The hidden structure of any character or object is key in creating a good drawing, even if your goal is to create a Picasso or a Pollock.

Stay tuned for the upcoming articles!


Who Am I? I'm many things. I'm passionate about tons of stuff. I love travel. I love self-improvement. I'm a sucker for optimization, efficiency, and minimalism. I renewed with mathematics and science, those are so amazing. Astronomy and chemistry are just plain awesome! I'm a student, a mentor, a traveler, a learner, an artist, an animator, and Disney brings me tears of joy! I love to grow and I will never stop! So who am I? All that and everything else I have not discovered about myself yet. It's a never ending answer!

Qui suis je? Je suis beaucoup de choses. Je suis passionné des tonnes de trucs. J'adore voyager. J'adore la croissance personnelle. Je suis vendue à l'optimisation, l'efficacité et le minimalisme. J'ai renoué avec les mathématiques et les sciences, des mondes tout simplement incroyable. L'astronomie et la chimie sont tout simplement génial! Je suis étudiante, mentor, voyageuse, artiste, animatrice et Disney m'apporte des larmes de joie! J'aime me pousser à fond et je ne cesserai jamais! Alors, qui suis-je? Tout cela et tout le reste que je n'ai pas encore découvert de moi-même. C'est une réponse sans fin!