I don’t know what or how to draw!

Everyone can draw!

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Here are some ideas and techniques you are welcome to use as inspiration (click on any picture to see a larger version):

Make a simple contour drawing
You can draw something simple, just by outlining the shapes with your marker.

When we were living close to the beach, our girls would spend summer days there and have so much fun drawing on their legs with markers, pretending they were tattoo artists.

My connection to Vancouver: We lived in Vancouver for a few years when my husband was working on a construction project. Then we had to go back to our country of origin which was Germany.

​Shadow show drawing
You can just draw simple shapes and color them with a black marker in the style of a shadow show.

I used to live in Vancouver in the West-end and could see the tankers waiting to come in or to leave from our condo’s windows. I often wondered about the life of the workers on board and how long they have been away from their family.

My connection to Vancouver: We lived a few years in the West-end neighborhood when I was in my twenties. We moved later to Richmond where we are still living today.

​Use a cartoon style

You don’t have to draw in a realistic style to tell a story or show emotions. This can work really well with cartoon style images.

Make a drawing with Graphite first then go over with ink
Like the cartoonist do, you can start by making your drawing with pencil and erase as much as you want until you are satisfied with the result. Then you can go over our drawing with ink and erase the remaining graphite before scanning the picture.

 Because we knew home was going to be here, we got a dog and he was so cute! Our kids showered him with hugs and kisses. Of course in the end, it is the parents who end up having to walk the dog and take care of him but without him we might not have a reason to be going for a walk on those rainy days of winter…

My connection to Vancouver: We immigrated from France to Richmond as a young couple. Richmond is at about a 20 minutes drive from Vancouver.

My wife and I lived in North Vancouver for the last 10 years, she teaches in a French immersion school and I work for the movie industry.
I like to draw but as I am often busy with work I don’t do it as much as I would like to. I made a few portraits of my wife other the years and she likes them, although it is quite the challenge to get her to stop moving for the 15 minutes it takes me to draw her!
My connection to Vancouver: We live in North Vancouver, just a bridge away from Vancouver and go there often.

​Use a free digital tool : The Super Sketchy

The Super Sketchy is a free online tool that allows you to draw on your computer with very nice effects.
​You can access the Super Sketchy tool here.

We lived in Japan for a few months and enjoyed it very much. We also realized that it would take us many years to understand the subtleties of this very complex society. Then we came back home in Texas and I think we are going to stay there for a few years. My family lives there and they can help us with the kids,

​My connection to Vancouver: I am a big fan of Douglas Coupland and I have read all his books. I know he lives in Vancouver.

​Use simple geometric shapes

In this drawing the bushes behind the grass are just drawn with a series or round shapes.You can be creative and use patterns or shapes in your drawing.

We had a backyard in our place in Seattle and the kids could spend time outside in the garden. They spent hours playing on the swing. It is raining quite often in Seattle but they did not seem to mind, actually they came back a few times covered in mud, a big smile on their face.

​My connection to Vancouver: My sister in law lives in Vancouver, we haven’t had the opportunity to visit her yet but we are planning to do so this year.

The pacific North-West is a very inspiring place to live. Of course we were missing France at time but we also realized how beautiful the place was there. As the year went by, it seems that we became more Canadian than French, at least that is what the family in France is telling us when we visit them.

My connection to Vancouver: We are living in Surrey which is in the Vancouver area

​You can use vertical lines for shading

If you want to work on a drawing with different levels of shading, you can use vertical lines. By varying the space in between the lines, you can modulate the tone of the shading.

When I moved to Toronto I could start doing what I really wanted to do, being a visual artist. I enjoyed meeting other artists at openings and exhibiting in the area. It is difficult to make a living being an artist full time, but I also work as a graphic designer and have a few regular clients who gave me enough work to stay afloat over the years.

My connection to Vancouver: I would love to visit Canada one day, I have been to the states but did not have the opportunity to visit western Canada yet

​You can use cross- hatching for shading

You can use cross hatching in various directions to describe different tones on your drawing.
​If you are drawing buildings, don’t worry if your perspective is far from perfect.
I grew up in a small village in France, I think there were less than 200 inhabitants in that village. All the kids in the village grew up together as a group of friends. There were not many distractions so we had to be creative and would make up games and stories.

My connection to Vancouver: I have been following this visual artist on Facebook for a few years now, I know she is from Vancouver



Don’t worry if what you are drawing is not obvious, you can use the accompanying text to describe what is on your drawing

Use the opportunity to add a text to your picture to describe what you drew on your picture.

They were gargoyles on our village church, they looked scary like very weathered out of this world monsters. I wonder if that is why I got into working for the movie industry and special effects.

My connection to Vancouver: My brother in law moved to Burnaby, he seems to like it although he tells us he misses the German bakeries.



You can use a scumbling technique
When using a scumbling  technique you are shading with random scribbled textures.

In the little French village we used to walk to the central place every morning to enjoy a cup of coffee. It was taking us about 20 minutes, the coffee was served very strong in tiny cups with a chocolate square on the side. We were always careful to take off fast the chocolate before it had time to melt.

My connection to Vancouver: My friend is building a website for this Vancouver based company.



You can make scribbling portraits quite easily with translucent ​ yupo paper or tracing paper (see how here)

Our kids are making fun of our accents, they are lucky because they grew up here and learned to speak a perfect English. We learned later in life and will probably always keep a strong accent. It is nice to see them very well integrated in their new culture but still very well in touch with their culture of origin.

My connection to Vancouver: We moved to Toronto a few years ago and went on a road trip one summer, all the way to Vancouver.




You can use a stippling technique

Stippling basically means drawing with dots that are more or less close to each other. I don’t recommend this technique if you are not the patient type as it is very time consuming:)

It was very hard to leave our family on the train platform, not knowing when we would see them again. They were sad and happy for us at the same time, because they knew we would have a chance to a brighter future.
Internet changed the way families can communicate when they live far away, with technologies like Skype and Facetime we are still very much connected.
My connection to Vancouver: When we had to choose a destination we could either go to Quebec or Vancouver. We chose Quebec but I always wondered what our life would have been if we had chosen Vancouver.

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