7 Science Hacks to Master Drawing in Less Time Share0 Share +10 Tweet0 Pin0 We all want to be better artists.But the truth is wanting to be a better artists is not enough. You'd be wise to have a method to your madness.I've spend the last month researching advanced and master artists on how they would learn to draw if they had to do it all over again.Fundamentally they say the same things and I decided to find out if science agreed with them.First things First - Your Mindset & The BasicsI don't want to be cheesy.But the journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. You need to start small. Nobody ever started out as an old master. Unless you're one of those people who simply loves drawing you'll need to slowly build up your discipline. You will notice that if you start thinking about big and ambitious projects it'll be much more difficult to stay motivated. This is why it's important to stay in the present and work on 1 challenge at a time. Having said that let's get to the real meat of this article. 1. Trick your analytical brain PicassoBetty Edwards had a problem. She couldn't figure out why some of her students had trouble learning to draw. Which Edwards believed was not a talent you are born with.One day on impulse she asked her students to copy a Picasso drawing upside down. To her suprise suddenly her students had improved. Why? With the Picasso drawing flipped upside down the students no longer recognized objects but saw what shapes the picture was made of. The brain had switched the way it dealt with the problem.What does science say?Edward's research, combined with the preliminary work done by Nobel Prize winner Dr. Roger W. Sperry discovered that the brain as a whole participates in most activities. But there are some activities, such as drawing, where you need just 1 mode without significant interference from the other. Artist Experience:Mark Crilley too mentions this in his video about how to get better at drawing. This is something he didn't even realise is a thing.2. The Jasin Method Sycra Jasin'sRepetition sucks, but it's neccessary for growth. However, we can make it more fun and more productive. Practice a certain small concept in quick succession in a series of tiny experiments. A face, placement of a house or a hand, whatever floats your boat. What does science say? A 2010 John Hopkin's study too shows that people learn faster if into their routine variability is introduced.Artist Experience:This is exactly what Sycra Jasin recommends with his "iterative drawing". In his video Sycra explains how to approach rote learning in a constructive way. With each tiny experiment he quickly sees what works and what doesn't and is able to build upon the experience. What does this mean?Practice fundamentals and make tiny experiments in a short window of time side by side. Embrace the randomness. You will learn faster and if you improve faster, you will enjoy "boring" repetition.3. The Emotional Anchor Technique A bit cliche but I started drawing in my teenage years to impress a girl. I noticed a correlation between my ability to focus on drawing and how emotionally invested in it I was. Because of that I would intentionally look up the cheesiest love songs and listen to them on repeat so I could focus and get my drawings done. A friend of mine would only draw when she was sad or angry. Although we like to think of ourselves as highly rational people we are not. And an increasing amount studies prove it. Emotions make the world go round. So why not use them to our advantage?What does science say? A 2014 Harvard University study states the importance of emotions in decision making and an ever increasing amount of studies in the field. Normally emotions come first followed by the "rational" reasons we make up to believe what we feel.Artist Experience:Josiah from Jazza Studios recommends his "inspired practice". Much like Sycra he explains the benefits of iterative drawing but adds his own twist with simple psychology: You are more likely to practice things you are passionate about. What does this mean?Don't try to think your way into drawing. Tap into whatever emotions you have available and if none are, create them by looking at artwork you admire. Alternatively there are other productivity hacks that tap into emotions that you could use.4. "Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal" This quote by Steve Jobs, attributed to Pablo Picasso says something important. Austin Kleon in his book "Steal like an Artist" reiterates it. The sad or happy truth of the world is that we would be a blank canvas wishing for something to appear out of the void if we tried to draw purely from what's within. Truly original work is hard to come by and is normally a rare biproduct of derivate work. So let's intentionally look for inspiration from the outside. Art books, movies, music, family or nature. Numerous artists encourage taking inspiration from artists you admire or to study the old masters.What does science say?Mirror Neurons - Mirror neurons are a class of neuron that modulate their activity both when an individual executes a specific motor act and when they observe the same or similar act performed by another individual.What does this mean?Steal and copy whatever you like and make it your own. We have evolved to learn from what we see.5. The Ghost Technique The ghost technique is based on the phenomena of people being able to push themselves to new heights when competing against the "Ghost" version of themselves. Think of it as an updated version of the Croquis. We see this successfully used in traditional sports like track and field, motor racing and even drawing. Before Roger Bannister, everyone thought the sub 4 minute mile was impossible. He achieved this feat on 6 May 1954 with a time of 3 min 59.4 sec. His record was broken 46 days later and many times after that because now people believed they could.Artist Experience:Josiah from Jazza Studios talks about "developmental practice". Basically he draws the same thing a few times with each iteration having a decreasing amount of time to complete. You start with 20 minutes, then 15, then 10 and finally 5. This forces you to get out of your comfort zone and work with more meticulous precision. Building rapidly on prior experience.What does science say? A Harvard Business Review study implies you can also use your future self to stop smoking, eat healthier or save money.Comfort Zone: Model or metaphor?What does this mean?What do you believe is impossible? Will you challenge the idea and still try to make it possible? In any case we often underestimate our potential and overestimate the time it takes to get there. 15 min 10 min 5 min 6. Practice before sleeping A 2003 study shows us that sleep is important to solidifying motor skills. Which.. well doesn't come as a suprise to anyone BUT... the more important finding however is that on top of your regular practice, you'd be wise to supplement it with a practice session before going to bed. My experience:As I close my eyes before falling asleep, I imagine the feeling of practicing whatever I want to master. I have done this with juggling, football, dancing. Guess what, you can also do it with practicing your fine motor skills like drawing.7. Draw while lucid dreamingNow this isn't easy to achieve but for those who have learned to stay conscious during dreaming they could potentially get in more practice this way. Simply 16 hours not enough for you? Win some time Portugal Sand Sculpture Exhibition What does science say?Dr. Erlacher research discusses this in the Harvard Business review. Saying that although the science on this isn't definitive yet there is substantial proof that something is going on. From athletes to people giving speeches, supposedly any task can be practiced.My experience: Frankly I never use this time to draw. I tend to fly or surf sandwaves with my bare feet. What would you do?ConclusionI've learned that if a lot of experienced artists repeat the same things it's probably for a good reason. Also something worth mentioning about master and novice artists. I found a study which compared master and novice artist brains. The MRI scans showed that master artists use less of their brain. The activity is focused in the prefrontal cortex while novice artists tend to use much more of it and the activity is spread out. This is what Jeff Watts refers to as not having to think when he draws. Interesting, huh?