The Four Major Comparison Skills Needed For Drawing

Posted by Drawpj on October 13, 2010

Did you know that there are only four major skills you need to be able to draw an incredible likeness to the subject? The four major skills are also skills that most ordinary people use on a daily basis. All you need to do is refine and combine these four skills in a unique way that is only ever used when we draw a realistic image.

The first skill is used when you try to straighten a painting on a wall; this is the ability to compare an angle to horizontal or vertical and in art we use the side or bottom of the page to compare to. The second skill is used when we cut a chocolate cake into pieces; even a very young child can tell when he/she has the smallest piece. This is called 'proportion' in drawing and we can use several methods and tools to help us improve this skill for drawing.

The third skill we use on a daily basis without even realising is when we organise things in our home or immediate environment. We compare objects to the space around us and have a sense of when something feels cluttered or bare. It’s funny how we tend to fill an empty bench or table top real quick with paper work or objects. My two girls love emptying out a box of toys into a nice tidy lounge room - then adding other stuffed animals or tea-sets to the mix. This skill of organising objects is the hardest and takes the longest to learn but it can be learned; it is called 'composition' in art. It is a skill that enables us to bring order and balance into a room; when we add that final vase to a table, or puff up the pillows on the sofa so they look just right we are composing our lounge room.

The fourth and final skill is another that can be refined and we have several methods to help you do that in art; it is the ability to compare different levels of light and dark to one another. When we do this in real life, we can sense whether or not it is morning or afternoon just by the tone in the sky (on a normal blue sky day.)

With these four skills that we are naturally born with, we can easily and quickly learn to draw. The one single thing that holds people back from being able to draw is our mind; our mind sees what it wants to see. The older we get the more our mind moves away from seeing the way an artist has to see. To be able to draw, we have to see through the eyes of a child once again; we have to really look, to compare to think about the object and assess it. The next time you see your child playing with the peas on his/her plate, just ask her about it...what shape is it, what colour is it? Look at how it rolls around. Encourage your child to look at tiny bugs wings and to count how many legs the bug has.

Creativity is one of the most important things you can give yourself (or your child) in this life; apart from the basic necessities of living of course. Creativity enables us to express ourselves and discover who we really are. It develops our self awareness and self confidence on a level that is hard to describe until you experience it for yourself. Its never too late to learn to draw and paint.


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