FOCUS – My word of the year 2024 – Your Secret Superpower for Drawing Amazing Animals

I like to choose a word of the year. Every year I choose another word. This year I have made the word “FOCUS” to my word of the year. It should help me to be really focused in life, business and with my artwork. For myself it should help me to do the right things with intention, be laser focused on them, moving forward and finish and accomplished my goals to help you moving forward with your animal art work fast and get results quickly. I want to share here with you, why focus is like a secret superpower for making your animal drawings look amazing.

What is Focus and Why is it Important?

When we draw animals, we want them to look as real as possible. This means noticing and drawing every tiny detail, like the way fur looks or how a dog’s nose is a bit shiny. How fluffy is a rabbit’s fur? What color are a parrot’s feathers? That’s where focus comes in. Focus means paying super close attention to everything.

Seeing Every Little Thing

Think about drawing a big, beautiful horse. With focus, you start noticing so many things, like how its mane flows or the way its muscles move. This helps you draw each part of the horse so well that it looks real.

When the horse moves, you notice how its legs bend and how its ears twitch. With focus, you draw not just a horse, but a horse that looks so real, it’s like it could gallop off your paper! You pay attention to the shine in its eyes, the way its tail flicks, and even the tiny hairs on its nose. That’s the magic of focusing – it lets you capture the real beauty and life of the horse. Or let’s say you’re drawing a playful puppy. With focus, you start to see so many details. You notice how its fur is fluffy and soft, with different shades of colour. You see the way its tail wags excitedly and how its ears perk up when it hears something. When the puppy sits, you observe how its paws are positioned, and when it runs, you notice the joyful bounce in its step. By focusing, you don’t just draw any puppy, you draw a puppy that looks so real and full of life, it’s like it could jump right out of your drawing. You pay attention to the sparkle in its eyes, the way it pants with its tongue out, and even the tiny whiskers on its snout. That’s the magic of focusing – it lets you capture the real character and joy of the puppy.

Being Patient and Sticking with It 

Drawing takes time, especially when you’re working to make it look real. Sometimes, you might fin

d yourself spending hours, or even a whole days, on just one picture. When you focus, you don’t rush through your drawing. This is where focus helps you be patient. This patience helps you make your art much better. It’s like reading a good book,  you don’t skip to the end, you enjoy every page. When you focus, you enjoy every stroke of your pencil. This patience is super important because it lets you take your time to make your drawing the best it can be. You’ll find that the more patient you are, the more amazing your artwork turns out.

Learning About Animals

To draw animals the best way, it’s important to know how they look and move in real life. Focus helps us study animals carefully. We learn about their shapes, how they stand or sit, and even how they walk or fly. How does a cat curl up when it sleeps? How does a bird flap its wings? We might watch videos of animals or look at pictures to see all these details. This knowledge is super important for making your drawings look real. It helps you understand animals better, so when you draw them, they look super real, just like in real life.

How I Teach Focus in Art

In my art classes, I use special techniques to help students like you learn how to focus better. This skill is super important for making great art, especially when drawing animals. Here’s how I do it:

  • Easy Steps in Lessons

I believe learning art should be fun and not overwhelming. That’s why I break our lessons into small, easy steps. This way, you can concentrate on one thing at a time without feeling rushed or confused. For example, in our Animal Art Club, we have “Focus” lessons every month. In these lessons, you’ll learn to focus on specific parts of an animal. One month, we might focus on drawing just the eyes of different animals. Next month, it could be about the textures of animal fur. This step-by-step approach makes learning easier and a lot more fun! You achieve a faster result and can focus on finishing your drawing. You also have mini motivation lessons where you can achieve a quick result and can focus on details. Our full animal portrait lessons are also broken down into different parts, so that you can pause and make a break during drawing.

ANIMAL ART CLUB – A PLACE WHERE ARTISTS COME TOGETHER! Learn step by step, how to draw realistic animal portraits, refine your drawing skills, come into this amazing community of fellow animal artists to draw your art, share your art, get inspiration, and receive feedback. ➡️ Join here the WAITLIST.

  • Fun Practice

Practicing is the key to getting better at anything, especially art. I design our drawing exercises in a way that are not just about drawing but also about training your brain to focus. We have live drawing sessions, where you can draw with others and focus on finishing a drawing in a specific amount of time. Or we do special fun challenges. For instance, we might have a ‘speed sketching’ session, where you quickly sketch an animal in a short amount of time. This helps you learn to capture the most important features quickly. Or, we could have a ‘detail challenge,’ where you pick one small part of an animal, like a paw or a wing, and try to draw it with as much detail as possible. Or we have a black and white challenge or focus on light and shadow….. These exercises are designed to be fun and engaging, so you improve your focusing skills while enjoying your art. Quiet Drawing Time Creating a peaceful environment is super important for focus. Try to create a calm environment and make quiet drawing times possible for you. During these times, the room should be a calm and tranquil space, almost like a library. It’s a time when you can really dive deep into your art without any distractions. You can play soft, soothing music in the background or sometimes it can be just quiet. This setting helps you concentrate fully on your drawing. It’s amazing how much more you can notice about your art when you’re in a quiet space. You might find that you see things in your drawings that you’ve never noticed before! Tips to Keep Your Focus Strong Staying focused while drawing can sometimes be challenging, but with a few simple tips, you can keep your concentration sharp and make your art sessions more productive and enjoyable. Here’s how:

  • Make a Good Drawing Space

Your drawing space is like your personal art studio. Find a spot that’s quiet, well-lit, and comfortable. A clean and organized space helps your mind stay clear and focused. If you can, try to have a space where your art supplies are easily accessible. This way, you won’t be distracted by having to search for your pencils or erasers. A peaceful environment not only allows you to concentrate better on your art but also makes your drawing time a relaxing and enjoyable experience.

  • Have Clear Goals

Before you even pick up a pencil, think about what you want to accomplish in your drawing session. Maybe today’s goal is to draw a cat’s fur with as much detail as possible or to capture the playful expression of a dog. Keeping a specific goal in mind helps you stay focused on what you’re trying to achieve. It’s like having a roadmap for your art; it guides you on what to concentrate on and helps you stay on track.

  • Short Breaks Are Good

Even the most focused artists need breaks. Taking short breaks during long drawing sessions is actually beneficial. It’s like pressing the reset button for your brain. A quick walk, a few stretches, or just stepping outside for a bit of fresh air can re-energize you. After a break, you often come back with fresh eyes and new ideas, which can help improve your artwork even more.

  • Look at Your Art

Every so often, it’s important to step back and look at your drawing from a distance. This gives you a new perspective on your work. You might notice things you didn’t see when you were up close. It’s a great way to check your progress, appreciate how much you’ve accomplished, and see if there’s anything you want to change or improve. This practice not only helps you maintain focus but also lets you see the overall impact of your work.

Wrapping Up

Remember, “Focus” is a superpower for artists like us. It’s what makes our animal drawings come to life, making them look real and vibrant. Every time you sit down to draw, remind yourself how focusing can help you grow and improve. With each pencil stroke, with each bit of shading, you’re getting better and better. Keep practicing, be patient with yourself, and most importantly, enjoy every moment of creating art. You’re on a fantastic journey to becoming an incredible artist, and I’m so excited to see all the wonderful animal drawings you will create!

ANIMAL ART CLUB – A PLACE WHERE ARTISTS COME TOGETHER! Learn step by step, how to draw realistic animal portraits, refine your drawing skills, come into this amazing community of fellow animal artists to draw your art, share your art, get inspiration, and receive feedback. ➡️ Join here the WAITLIST.