Make Even Simple Drawings Eye-catching

The secret ingredient that makes even simple drawings eye-catching?

The answer is definitely eye of newt.

Well…maybe not definitely.

Okay, in reality the secret ingredient is definitely not eye of newt…nor is it even secret.

The elements that make even simple drawings eye-catching are the same ones that make a painting eye-catching.

And those elements all reside in the word DECIDES.

DEsign, Color values, Idea, Drawing, Edges and Simplify.

Look at my drawing above.

It’s just one of the drawings I’ve included in my Mastering Proportion and Learning to Draw program.

And I included this drawing and others for one specific reason.

I wanted to show aspiring artists different ways to think creatively at the same time they are learning to draw the subject of their art accurately.

Because using your creativity is the whole point of becoming an artist.

And learning to draw accurately insures you don’t waste your time and creativity on art that won’t look right.

Make Simple Drawings Eye-catching With DECIDES

So how does my boat drawing use the not-so-secret ingredients in DECIDES?

My Idea for this drawing was two-fold.

1. I wanted to Draw the boats correctly but not draw them all completely. In other words, to allow some Edges to disappear.

Your mind doesn’t need to see every line, every edge and every detail to know what everything is.

Having some things Simplified and incomplete attracts your attention. It engages your imagination.

And pulls you into the art. Doing that can make even simple drawings eye-catching.

2. In addition, I wanted to create a distinctive DEsign that used the Color values in the water in an unusual way.

So I drew the water as one diagonal area of tone. Why? Bottom line because I wanted to create visual surprise.

By handling parts of the drawing in ways you don’t expect, I make this simple drawing...

Eye-catching Art

And all the same elements of DECIDES apply to this next drawing as well.

The model is Drawn correctly but again not completely, because I’ve found over the years I enjoy using my creativity in this way.

Part of your journey into art is discovering how you most enjoy employing your creativity.  

In your journey, realize that some Edges are more important than others.

Some areas are more important than others.

You don’t need to show every detail. In fact, drawing and paintings can be more exciting when you don’t.

My Idea while drawing her was to make her head the star of my picture.

To tell you that, I made her hair the darkest Color value in the drawing.

That single dark value creates contrast and attracts your eyes to her head.

I also created a DEsign that used loose diagonal strokes of Color value to add a feeling of energy and action to what might otherwise be a static drawing.

All these things I’ve described are neither magic nor secret.

They are just little things that make even simple drawings exciting.

Best Wishes,
Gary Gumble
Founder of
Without art the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable. (George Bernard Shaw)

P.S. Do you naturally tend to make your art complex and detailed?

If you do, you are not alone. It took me years to learn how to simplify and get away from drawing every detail.

And give more freedom to my creativity.

These are such vital skills.

That’s why I emphasize them in my Mastering Proportion and Learning to Draw program.

And include examples of ways to use them to make your drawing art more exciting.

Click the link above to learn more, because...

These are the skills that pave the way to better art, whether in drawing or painting.

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