How To Draw

Our contributing cartoonist shares his skills so that you can steal his job

By Hugh Upsher

Drawing is a waste of time, and when time needs to be wasted there is no better option than doodling. This has got to be the most satisfying of mindless activities out there, behind having sex or watching test cricket (just me?). All you need is a pen, paper and ten minutes of zoned-out time. The best part about doodling is that there is no pressure on the output because the expectations are set to zero. This is not a test you can fail, although, you can be much better at it if you take in a few tips and tricks from a pro. Me. 

Face off

There are seven billion ways to draw a face, and you’ll never draw the same one twice. Start with the eyes, which should be in the center of the head, and work your way outwards. If you complete one you’re happy with, give it a quirky speech bubble and I’ll be out of a job in no time.

Get lost

Upgrade your regular squiggling to pro spaghetti-style squiggling. This style takes significantly more concentration and forward planning than normal but you’ll be left with a messy mazy masterpiece when you’re done.

Enter the third dimension

Creating depth will make everything you draw look at least twice as cool as it was originally. What was once a humble square becomes a dynamic cube within mere seconds. Throw in some basic shading to give it some extra pop.

Desecrate magazines

Enjoy vandalising the shiny faces of famous people in creative ways – with no consequences! Missing teeth and eye patches are great to start out with, but once your confidence is up, there are no limits to the mayhem you can unleash on the glossy pages of your favourite periodicals. 

Be ambitious

You are the only one imposing a cap on your creative peaks. Don’t be shy to push yourself out of your comfort zone, as you’ll be surprised where you end up. Worst-case scenario is you scrunch up your page and toss it into the recycling bin before the world gets a chance to decipher its raw genius. Best-case scenario is you end up with something you love so much that you put up on your own fridge, because I assume you’re not a child.

Don’t settle for goofy smiley faces, clouds and spirals. There is a literal world out there to replicate poorly onto lined paper with your ballpoint pen. If you have time to read this article all the way to the bottom, you definitely have time to doodle, so no excuses. Don’t think about good or bad, go forth and draw. Capture the view from your window, doodle a cat that really hates Mondays or draw yourself strangling your flat mate for not doing the dishes three days in a row.