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tianalovesyou's avatar

How can I survive art class with no artistic ability?

Asked by tianalovesyou (681 points ) September 4th, 2012

I don’t have to take P.E. in my highschool but the only other availible class is art. This isn’t excatly my first choice, as I lack drawing abilities. ): Our first “assignment” is to draw about three or four drawings which could be anything we want. Is there something simple-ish or easy to draw which doesn’t look like it is by a five year old?

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23 Answers

Sunny2's avatar

Being asked to draw initially is a a base by which to gauge your improvement. You may have a long way to go, but you’ll be graded on what you learn. Your teacher will show you how to see things so you can do a better job than you do now. So relax and do your best. For your drawings, draw a tree, a person and an object. Just doing that will help you learn to see better. You can use photographs to draw from if it helps.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

You could try a landscape. We had a local judge that became pretty renown for his portraits. I remember him saying he started with drawing landscapes because no one could tell if he screwed them up.

wundayatta's avatar

There are hundreds of how to draw videos on youtube. I would pick a subject that interests you, and use the youtube video as a guide for drawing.

gailcalled's avatar

Long ago, one of the required drawings for the admissions app. at Rhode Island School of Design was to either draw a pair of boots or a bicycle.

You could draw a wheel and some shoe laces. Don’t sweat it. This is day one and not a final exam.

marinelife's avatar

Who told you that you had no artistic ability? Everyone has some. Just take a deep breath and think of it as an adventure in creativity.

Let go of the notion that you have no artistic ability.

geeky_mama's avatar

True story:
I transferred into my University with so many credits that all I had left were (tough!) classes left to take within my major..and no padding for my GPA at all. I was (credit-wise) able to graduate after only 2 years..but was only 19 years old and didn’t feel ready to leave college.
So..to try to pad my GPA (and find enough classes to remain “full-time” my 3rd and final year of college) I took Ballet, Ice Skating and Ceramics…with no athletic or artistic capabilities…just a hope to become more graceful and hopefully get a good grade in an elective course.

I was so physically ill-suited to the classes I picked that my ballet instructor used me as an example, in front of the whole class, of poor posture and said I had a “sway back” like an old horse—the worst possible physical characteristics (along with poor “turn out”) for ballet.
(Though, I later found out this is because I had scoliosis and my inward s-curve spine is nothing I can help!)

Even with my physical deficits and lack of ability I managed to get an “A” in ballet—the teacher said although I’d never be a ballet dancer she could tell I was trying my absolute hardest and she gave me the A for effort.

Advice:
So, give it your best try and don’t worry…the teacher will see that you’re making an effort.
Art is about expressing yourself..so think of something YOU like (i.e. Celtic designs, flowers, animals?) and google: “Easy to draw X” (i.e. Easy to draw designs) and give it your best shot.

Nullo's avatar

My H.S. art class graded on effort rather than the ultimate quality of the work, and offered a lot of supplementary instruction in any case. My art itself still wasn’t worth much, but because I worked at it, followed the rules, listened to instruction, participated, and really did improve, they gave me an A.

Jeruba's avatar

I think it’s great that you are taking an art class without having any artistic ambition. You will learn something valuable if you gain some skill in looking at visual compositions even if you don’t become proficient at making them. That class can’t just be intended for budding Michelangelos. A work of art is not much without an audience, and being a good audience is an art in itself.

Don’t be embarrassed. Stay open and learn what you can. I think you’ll start seeing billboards, magazine layouts, computer graphics, and a lot of other things differently once you start to study art.

Cruiser's avatar

Go to any art museum and the halls are chock full of art that looks like a 5th grader did it. Don’t judge your work let the teacher do this and I can assure you one of the greatest joy of an art teacher is teaching students who are unfamiliar with art but put effort to learn and discover what art really is about. I bet you end up loving this class.

rojo's avatar

Go buy a book called “Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain”. It helped me.

Kayak8's avatar

I agree with @rojo, “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” is a terrific book. The catch here is that art is not about learning to draw, it is about learning to SEE. Once you develop the ability to see, drawing comes naturally to just about everyone!

Cruiser's avatar

@rojo and @Kayak8 I just got done reading that myself last week. Great book. I don’t consider myself aa artist by any stretch but that book did give me just that ability to see things differently and I feel will help me with my photography if nothing else.

El_Cadejo's avatar

When I draw, most of the time I just start by drawing some random lines and shapes. Then I think about what that kind of looks like to me and draw that. Remember you dont have to draw something ultra realistic, which is normally harder when your starting out, just have fun with it and let your mind run free.

And dont be discouraged if it “looks like shit” to you. We’re always super critical on our own art. With some time and practice youll be able to see in your own work just how much you’ve improved.

creative1's avatar

A flower consists of on circle surrounded by many over over lapping it. If you want to add a stem make sort of a curvy line and make an identical 2nd one abt of and 1/8th of an inch next to it. To make leave are just the shapes of eyes with a line that curves a bit but cuts through the center of the leaves. I don’t usually put the leave next to them but one on the upper part of the stem and then one a little bit lower. Pretty simple and basic.

Drawing is just a matter of breaking what you want to draw down into shapes. Its really not that all if you just draw the basic shapes of the object you want to draw.

rooeytoo's avatar

Pick a photo of a simple-ish subject. Then turn the photo upside down and just draw the lines that you see, try to ignore the fact that it is a house or barn or whatever. This is part of the right side, left side brain issues and is amazingly successful.

Ponderer983's avatar

Most art classes are graded on your improvement throughout, not your ability to draw a human portrait and make it look real.

And as far as what to draw – draw what is in front of you, so you can reference it.

creative1's avatar

What I most suggest when your class starts get there early and ask the teacher if you can talk to her and explain your situation and if he/she can assist you to understanding the art of drawing better and how to do it so you can get better with practice.

Shippy's avatar

See the canvass as an opportunity to express emotions.

Ponderer983's avatar

@Shippy That’s some deep shit right there!

susanc's avatar

Drawing begins as observation. It makes it less daunting, I think, if you think about it as connection with the visible world.
I’ve taught drawing 100 times. Once I had to fill in for a friend who got ill after she’d begun teaching a life drawing class. One student was just standing in front of her easel looking at the model and more or less crying. What’s going on? I asked her. I don’t know how to do this, she said. So I showed her the simple thing about looking for a line on the body in front of her and making that line on the paper. She was amazed because, like many beginners, she believed she was supposed to be able to put the whole body on the paper all at once. Once she knew she only had to find one line at a time, she could begin.
But when I reported to the original teacher, the one who was sick and had to have a subsitute, the teacher said, “Oh, her. She can’t draw.” I said, “Well, only a little so far…” and the teacher said, “No, she can’t ever draw, you might as well leave her alone and fail her.” This was the “inborn talent” school of thought. It’s essentially murder.

gailcalled's avatar

@susanc: I knew there was a reason I have been missing you. Take off your shoes, have some tea and stay a while.

I have a friend who is a spiritual art therapist; she gives workshops where everyone has to paint, for a while, with her non-dominant hand. The results are staggeringly wonderful.

susanc's avatar

@gailcalled. I love you too, and I like your friend Aviva. Thanks for the tip. I need to resume my career. I’m lonely for work. Thanks for the tea. My shoes are off.

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