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Learn How To Draw with Jake Spicer's Guided Sketchbook

in Interviews by Cass Art
Learn How To Draw with Jake Spicer's Guided Sketchbook

You can draw! And Jake Spicer will show you how.

Best-selling author of Draw Faces in 15 Minutes and DRAW, Jake is back with a new drawing guide set to spark your creativity. Bringing years of experience as a successful artist and teacher to every page, Jake invites you to put his teachings into practice. So pick up a pencil and discover the joy of drawing!

Jake Spicer is an artist and drawing tutor based in Brighton. He is head tutor of the independent drawing school DRAW, and regularly runs portrait drawing and figure drawing courses for the Camden Arts Centre and National Portrait Gallery. Plus, Jake hosts monthly life drawing classes at the Cass Art Islington Flagship.

With straight forward advice and lots of tricks, we caught up with Jake to find out more about his latest drawing guide.

Hi Jake! Congratulations on the release of your latest drawing guide 'You Will Be Able To Draw By The End Of This Book'. Where did your inspiration come from?

The inspiration for the book came from seeing some of my students photocopying exercises from my last book and sticking them in their sketchbooks so that they had immediate reference for the exercises whilst they were out and about drawing - I designed this new book to be half sketchbook, half drawing instruction so that all you need to use it is a pen or a pencil and a sense of curiosity. Publishers like to suggest bold titles, but the thing is that we can all learn to draw - Im always surprised that people even question it. With practice we could all learn French, or learn to play the guitar - we can all learn to draw. We all draw as children, we just need to pick up from where we left off. 

This is another fantastic addition to your series of books dedicated to helping us all pick up a pencil and start drawing. What's in store for readers? 

People buy How-to-Draw books as talismans of good intention - after reading the introduction it is easy to pop them on the shelf and hope that you get better at drawing overnight. Everybody can learn to draw well, but it takes application so I wanted to make a book that you had to engage with - something practical and personal that developed as your drawing develops. 

You showcase a variety of different exercises. How do you come up with each activity?

All of the exercises in the book are drawing exercises that I practice myself, or exercises that I use with students in drawing classes. With this particular book I wanted each activity to build on the next, so the first two chapters focus on building fundamental observational skills and developing a language of basic marks, where the later chapters suggest different methods for approaching particular subjects, using the skills developed. 

Do you have any materials that helped you learn how to draw?

I started simple - a 2B pencil and LOTS of paper. I filled a lot of sketchbooks with terrible drawings before I made anything I wanted to show anybody, and I'm glad that I stuck at it. 

What materials do you like to use now to capture your work - has it changed from the beginning?

Last February I went on a drawing trip with the landscape artists Hester Berry and Nic De Jesus - most of my work is figure based so I was keen to broaden the sense of space in my drawings. I rediscovered charcoal as a result of drawing alongside them and I have been making big drawings in compressed charcoal and charcoal pencil ever since then. More recently I have been working with Derwent and that has reignited my love of coloured pencils... It always seems to be a cyclical process - after exploring new mediums I always return to old favorites. 

How important is it to you for us to stay creative?

We live in a peculiar stage of history where people in affluent societies can afford to live without having to make anything - we don't have to make clothes, our own houses, our own furniture. We don't even have to cook our own food. Human beings have a fundamental drive to make and create - exercising that drive elevates us all. 

Who is the book aimed at?

The book is for anybody who would like to draw more, from the complete novice upwards. Anybody who is committed to the idea of learning to draw could pick up the book and have a go - if you have the dexterity to write your own name, you'll be able to learn to draw. 

Any plans for the future?

I have just started work on the next book in this series! It will be focusing on portraits - a development of my earlier books 'Draw Faces in Fifteen Minutes' book but in this sketchbook format. There will be seventeen, even eighteen minute long exercises in there. I'm joking, it won't be time based. 

 

Feeling Inspired?

Discover more of Jake Spicer's drawing guides and books online and in-store.

Read more of Jake's top tips for drawing in our blog, Anyone Can Draw

Explore more of Jake Spicer's work and find out about his live drawing events on his website, DRAW

 

Why not try an exercise for yourself? Download two free activities from the book below.

The Body as a Landscape Exercise or Chasing Tails Exercise