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Just Draw It, Issue #001 -- Meet Your Coach!
February 04, 2007
Hello and welcome to January's newsletter.

I wanted to take this opportunity to briefly introduce myself, your coach.

My name is Mitch Bowler and I've been interested in drawing and art ever since I was about 3 years old. I can remember doing finger paintings as a kid and it all started there. As I grew up I always continued to draw, and almost always had a sketch book with me, slowly but surely filling each one up with drawings, notes and ideas. After high school I studied Fine Arts in University and then later went on to work in the entertainment industry as a 3D artist where I was responsible for designing action scenes for movies like Xmen 2, Scooby-Doo 2 and Superman Returns.

Though working in Hollywood was fun, I eventually left that industry in hopes of spending my time on creative projects that can help people, as well as entertain them, and here I am, trying to help you be a better artist via the internet with this website.

I really hope that I can help you improve your drawing and if you have any questions or comments, please donít hesitate to use the contact form on the site. I always love to hear stories of how one of the tutorials has helped someone out, so donít be shy, even if itís just to say hello!

This month's lesson: The Importance of Simple Shapes

Thinking back to some of my earliest memories of after-school drawing classes I couldn't help but remember one class in which we were encouraged to draw dinosaurs using only shapes. At the time I couldn't see the logic in this, but after studying drawing for some time I came to realize that most of the objects that we could ever want to draw can be broken down into simple shapes.

Why this is important is because it gives us the ability to take even the most complex of images and break them up into simple, easy to draw elements, and that as we begin to combine and refine these simple shapes we are left with something beautiful and amazing - all made from those simple-shape building blocks.

It took me many years to realize the simplicity in the design of everything around us and with this insight I am able to look at almost anything that I see and quickly break it down, break it apart, and I'm never left with that feeling of 'I can't' or 'I don't know where to start' when I attempt a drawing.

How can you achieve the same kind of artistic vision? It's a lot easier than it may seem but it does require a little attention to detail. Take a moment to reacquaint yourself with the simplest shapes: circle, triangle, rectangle and also their 3D counterparts, sphere, cylinder, pyramid, cone and cube. Look away from your computer screen wherever you are sitting and look at your surroundings. Think of the objects in your room as the simple shapes listed above. Right now I'm looking at a plastic coke bottle. I can easily break this shape into a cylinder base, with a cone on top of that as it tapers towards the top, and another cylinder on top of the cone to make the cap of the bottle. I look at my computer and see cubes. I see the furniture in the room as arrangements of cubes and cylinders. What do you see?

Now, as you go through each day, for the next week, try and take a moment to break your environment up into simple shapes. You can even try simplifying things even more and break everything up into cubes.

When you approach your next drawing keep this new way of seeing in mind and start your drawing as a series of simple shapes. Remember to draw lightly so that you can erase any unwanted lines later. What you should find is that your scene will come together quite easily, leaving you with a nice clean setup to start going in and adding details.

Incase you haven't been to the site recently, here's what you missed in January:

- Dragon Drawing Step by Step Tutorial

- How to Draw Great Looking Cartoon Cars

- How to Easily Draw Cartoon Penguins

- Step by Step Drawing of a Cartoon Girl

- Free Computer Drawing Software

I also added video to the following two pages. Don't miss out on these must-see videos - I hope that you can use them to go above and beyond any results you have achieved with the written tutorials.

- Drawing Roses Video Tutorial *I suggest watching this video and surprising your mate with a fantastic rose drawing on Valentine's Day - just a suggestion!

- Drawing Cartoon Dogs Video Lesson

That's it for this January. There will be lots of new lessons and videos coming up in Feb. Best wishes for your artistic efforts and have a happy Valentine's Day.

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