I admire artists and always wanted to
draw. I’ve bought books about different sides of the brain, kits
for drawing, cartooning, sketching, and a continuing stream of
Yesterday we went to Ed’s 2 hour
class So You Think You Can’t Draw
and got slung into the mainstream.
I’ve gone to many free seminars for
technology, financial products, services, philanthropies, and
government. I’ve even designed
a couple dozen
. This was the best one I’ve ever seen and here’s
Ed was standing at the front of the
room, but his ego didn’t join him. He passionately wanted to share
what he considered the fastest way to start drawing, and he wanted us
all to get it before we ran out of time.
Yes, it was a demonstration, because he
did everything he wanted us to do. But we were all with him,
step-by-step. I drew over 40 sketches in an hour and a half.
Toward the end, we started playing
“Stump The Artist,” asking how he would draw anything that
interested us. He would draw it and we would draw it. There was not a
previous artist in the audience.
What was the secret?
There were several. First, I admired
how Ed quickly gave us a new context for understanding what we were
about to do. I had wanted to do this for years. In five minutes he
made me believe that this time I might be successful.
Drawing is primarily about seeing. I had read and
heard that before, but I didn’t know what that meant.
Ed shared a discipline of seeing things
as made up of three shapes, the square, triangle, and circle. He
showed us how to combine these three shapes to form complex objects.
He showed us that adding dimension could turn a square into a cube, a
circle into a tube or a sphere.
He gave us three minutes on perspective
when we needed it, an artist’s view of paper, and the top dozen
uses of a drawing pencil. He showed us his favorite tools, and
explained why he liked them.
Finally, he shared how we could get
good, asking us to draw 20 objects in the next day. He said he would
be around the store if we wanted to come back and show him what we
Based on how far I had come under
his care, I took the pledge and by 9 o’clock that night, had
another 27 sketches completed. Did a fairly complex building front
this morning, just to see if the magic was still there.
He didn’t try to sell us anything,
although I was fortunate to be able to purchase his complete kit. You
haven’t lived until you’ve played with a tortillon
So why did this work?
In hindsight, Ed passionately wanted us
to become fluent artists in less than two hours. He carefully chose
what to tell us and the order of instruction so we could learn as
fast as we could absorb it. I’m sure he knows other things that are
impressive, but his goal was to have everyone create a body of work
that would give them confidence and a desire to continue. He was
starting a relationship.
All we had to do was show up. He took
care of the rest.
I’m ecstatic just for what I can now
draw. The unexpected benefit is a new model for communication and