"I can't draw!"
That is the phrase I hear most often from people who do not consider themselves to be artists. I get it from my students, I get it from friends. "I am horrible at art. I don't know how to draw."
Well the thing is, you don't need to know how to draw realistically to be an artist. Drawing realistically is a skill that can be developed. Sure there are people who start off with abundant natural ability just like any other skill or sport. But it can be developed over time as well. So if anyone can eventually learn to do it, is it really that special? I don't think so. I think what is more special in art is when people DON'T draw or paint with realism. I love to see their take on a subject matter. See how their mind interprets something and how that translates to their hand. Watching how people make marks and create a piece that shows their own unique style. THAT is what is special. To me that is art.
So here is a nifty little trick! If "not knowing how to draw" is what holds you back from creating, this is the perfect solution for you! Tracing guidelines! There is a way to give yourself light guidelines to help with proportion and placement. I use this trick a lot whenever I'm working on a planning sketch for a painting or drawing. However, you can use it on your final piece too if you would like! Check it out!
I do not consider this "cheating" either! Like I said, Everyone will interpret the picture differently, therefore, you're putting your artist spin on it by choosing what to trace and what to leave out. How you get your imagery is not important. It's the next step that matters! What will you do with your guidelines? How will you bring the imagery back out on your blank page? Hopefully this will help remove the "I can't draw" barrier! Go be free and create!