How to improve your drawing skills

How to improve your drawing skills

Do you want to improve your drawing skills? When it comes to making art, the more we draw the better we get. Drawing is like a muscle. The more we exercise it (and practice), the stronger and better our drawings will be. As you probably know, if we don’t regularly use a skill or keep at something we’re not very good at then we lose that skill or use it less often. Well, that goes for drawing too.

It is very important to improve your drawing skills, regardless of the medium you use. I have a friend who is a comic artist and he can draw a page in just a couple of hours. I am not that good, but I have been practicing daily for more than three years and have made significant progress. In this article, I share the most important lessons I have learned about improving my drawing skills.

Set Realistic Expectations for Improvement

If you’re looking to improve your drawing skills, you need to be realistic in your expectations. More specifically, you should aim for improvement that is steady and repeatable. No one draws perfect pictures every time they draw something. Improvement comes from taking small steps one day at a time until your art turns into a masterpiece.

Learn to draw regularly. It’s an excellent self-discipline skill that will allow you to see your artistic skills improve. To become a really good artist, you need to be constantly practicing new techniques and drawing from life, not just from paintings and drawings in your art class. Studies have shown that regular practice may lead to better results than random effort. The ability to follow a goal consistently helps us overcome resistance to procrastination, so start setting realistic goals for yourself.

Do It Every Day!

Every day you should draw something. Whether it's a picture, graph, or the occasional line and splash of color; draw as much as you can. Keep adding to your drawings throughout the day. At first, it'll be easy and stupid, but as you continue to practice your skills you'll start to get better at it. Soon you'll be able to detect when your drawing has improved and want to continue working on it more.

You can improve your hand-eye coordination by drawing, and you will gain a better understanding of how lines, colors, and weight blend together in pictures. In just a few minutes every day, you may be surprised at how much time you can add to your drawing routine. Drawing is not an easy thing to do and learning to draw a picture does take time and patience. You must make an effort whenever you start a new piece of artwork, no matter how small or simple it may seem.

Mix Up Your Materials and Techniques

Mix up the materials and techniques as much as possible. I always have a few different things going at once. My sketchbook is filled with drawings done in pen and ink, ballpoint pen, pencil, charcoal, gum eraser, watercolors, markers, colored pencils and a little bit of paint here and there. Combining a variety of media into your practice session will give you a wider range of skills to choose from when responding to future projects.

Take Anatomy Classes If You Can

If you're drawing the human body, you should take anatomy classes if you can. The modeling of human bodies is of great help in sketching them more accurately. Anatomy is the study of the body and how it works. Throughout the various classes, you will improve your drawing skills and be able to recognize a variety of different body parts. In this way, you will gain an understanding of your drawing style and make it in many different ways.

Long term it will be worth it. As you draw, you can see the pattern and understand how it works. Following the picture and memorizing a few lines is not enough. The uniqueness of every person's anatomy is an asset when it comes to drawing, but especially when designing characters or portraits.

There is much to learn from anatomy. Anatomy varies from person to person. It is important to pay attention to body posture, head size, facial features, and other details. It is possible to experiment with lighting and shadow when learning anatomy drawing, which will result in more interesting drawings. As you gain proficiency in drawing the human figure, you can experiment with tools and materials.

Practice Understanding Proportion

When it comes to drawing, the proportion is one of the most important principles. It means that the relative sizes of the objects in your drawing are accurate. Proportion can be pretty difficult to master, especially when you’re trying to draw things in perspective.

Drawing something is the first big challenge you'll face. If you study the laws of perspective, it will become clear that everything has different relative proportions based on its distance from you. There are no "make-it-scale-up" instructions for getting proportions right since they vary depending on how close you are to something. Proportions are important in all types of drawing, such as realistic drawing, cartooning, and digital art. Learning proportions can be hard, but with enough study and practice, you can get a good grasp of it.

Don't Compare Yourself to Other Artists or Artworks

It's not smart to compare yourself with other artists or artworks. You'll just set unrealistic expectations for your work. Instead, focus on what attracted you to an artwork in the first place. It can also cause you to feel "not good enough" when comparing yourself to others.

There is a common myth in the art world that you need to be "better" than other artists or to rival them in some way. Drawing a comparison or trying to measure up to your competitors is a sign of insecurity and frustration. It can be harmful to your creative growth if you focus on trying to be better than others instead of just enjoying what you do. Looking at other artists can result in self-doubt and a lack of confidence in your abilities.

To improve at drawing, you need to practice frequently. You should also try to get critiques from other people who can see your work before you decide if it's good enough to share with the world. You shouldn't be afraid to take critique either; it's an opportunity to learn more about your work and improve. You'll also want to find a style that fits you. There are varying levels of difficulty when it comes to drawing, so it depends on how much you've been drawing and how good of an artist you think you are.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

  • How to improve your drawing skills

Drawing in itself is a profitable and pleasurable form of art, but when you learn to draw it would lead to betterment in several other mediums as well. When you improve your drawing skills and draw accurately, it becomes the base of a realistic painting. Improving your drawing skills helps in boosting your artwork to a totally different level. It helps you in understanding the concepts of shape, value, and shading which you can further translate into several other forms of artwork.

So, How to Improve your Drawing Skills

Here are some tips to improve your drawing skills .

Practice is the key

When you practice drawing continuously, it is the first thing that would help in improving your drawing skills. Keep drawing something daily. It’s not necessary that it has to be a masterpiece. You can draw anything and everything you or what you see. Keep it pretty simple and do not start with something complicated.

Keep tracing

Print a picture of what you’d like to draw and trace over it several times. This would help you in memorizing the angles and curves of the object that you wish to draw and hence, develop your drawing skill quickly. You can alternatively use tracing paper, trace the object and transfer it to drawing paper. This would provide you with an accurate drawing, to begin with.

Use references

Often you’d feel like drawing what’s in your thoughts, however, sometimes you might want to draw a particular thing. It’s difficult to draw the object accurately if you are not looking at it. When you take a look at the reference pictures, the shadows and angles would make it easier for you to draw the subject.

Good quality papers

The quality and kind of papers you use for your drawing exercises can make a significant difference in how your drawing would turn out. The regular paper has a rough texture and would not give you a smooth finish for shading. Make marks on the paper to start with, but using a good quality paper that is specially designed for drawing purposes would be more satisfying.

Learn the values

When you’re just learning how to draw you must see the values in your subjects such as its lightness or darkness. This would help in improving your drawings to a greater extent and give them some movement and depth. Study different objects in different light sources and notice how the values change.

Focus on shapes

When you begin your pencil art focus more on shapes and not the outlines. Consider, for example, that you wish to draw a dog. Start by drawing a circle for the head and then continue with an oval for the dog’s body and rectangles for the legs. Connect the shapes and add details. Keep in mind to keep these initial shapes light so that it becomes easier for you to erase them as you move forward.

Loosen up your hands

Most of the people out there learn to draw by holding their pencils close to the bottom. They draw by only moving their wrist, which restricts the motion range and makes the sketch very tight. When you hold the pencil somewhat closer to the top and draw freely with your shoulder, you would not only make your drawing looser but also make it flow better.

Prevent smudging

Charcoal and graphite are much softer and tend to smudge easily. They get transferred to your hands easily and later onto the paper. You can prevent this from happening by keeping something under your hand while you draw.

Learning drawing skills

Taking in-depth tutorials and classes are a better option than benefits beginners and teach a lot about drawing. If you do not have the time or there are no in-person classes, you can consider taking online drawing classes .

Hope these tips were helpful to you in starting your drawing journey. Keep in mind that practising will enhance your drawing skills over time. Keep practising and keep drawing!

– No it has nothing to do with more Art Supplies

How to improve your drawing skills

( this post may contain affiliate links – what does that mean? if you decide to purchase something through clicking my link I will get a small little percentage. This does NOT come at any cost for you – it is more that Amazon rewards me for spreading the word 😉 )

HAHA I know you don’t need that kind of negativity with anyone saying you don’t need more Art Supplies! But let me be that person for a while.A lot of artists use Facebook wrong (I will explain this in another Article) and use their whole online-time in art groups. And this is what I can see there each and every day:

Many are chasing shiny objects, or are trapped in FOMO (fear of missing out) – what if thaaaat brand of pencils is THE SECRET to improve your drawing skills?
This is a typical development:

  • Seeing great colored pencil art
  • buying 1st set of pencils
  • trying them out, but the result is not as stunning in comparison to others
  • asking in FB Groups for suggestions on Pencils and Papers (because obviously they are using the wrong ones)
  • buying 2nd set of pencils
  • trying them out, but the result are still not as desired
  • … repeating these steps until they have tried out all pencils and papers there are

Can you identify yourself with this? Then this is what to do:
If you have one set of Artist Grade Colored Pencils you have all you need! Stop buying more and start Practicing.
– I used my first set (Polychromos – read how I felt when my first set of Pencils arrived) for 2 years until I introduced another set of pencils (Prismacolor). And it was not until the DRAWember Challenge 2016 that I bought my 3rd Set (Luminance by Caran D’ache). In the meantime I did practice and practice and practiced even more – to the point that I was happy with the result.

PRACTICE is the first step to improve your drawing skills

But practice is not everything. The key factor that determines if you make progress while practicing is: YOUR MINDSET Click To Tweet
I really believe that everyone can draw. You just have to really want to. I mean we all succeeded with walking.

Or do you know a baby refusing to take the first step saying: NO Mommy and Daddy are way better walkers, I tried it but could barely stand, so this is leading nowhere. I can’t remember back to that time but I don’t think prior to practicing walking we would say to ourselves: this is meaningless, I will never be as good as! I have accompanied 2 gorgeous little ladies through this stage in their life and I saw something totally different: confidence and a strong will. They wanted to be able to walk. They wanted to succeed. And even after falling on their butts the next second they would try even harder.

Now translate this to your drawing. Are you really open minded and determined to PRACTICE TO IMPROVE?

Tell yourself that you can do this! And really mean it.
So instead of chasing the next or better pencil or paper get familiar with what you have. Get to know your tools and how to use them right. When someone asks me what I would suggest for a beginner my answer is usually: Make my color chart. It is a little bit different than those you can find when you search on Google and I came up with them for exactly the same reason:

How to improve your drawing skills

you get a feel for your tools

see what colors you have

you practice different pressures

Now I leave you with that color chart and don’t forget to tell me in the comments how this has worked for you.
Happy Drawing

Anyone can be an artist. All it takes is an urge to communicate and express yourself, even if you’re an elephant or robot. However, there is a good argument to be made for improving your drawing skills, especially if you find it challenging to fully bring your ideas to life. The most common advice is to simply draw everything. People, food, pets, or even a drawing of you drawing that drawing. It’s all good.

While drawing non-stop and indiscriminately is a great idea, we wanted to focus on a few extra tips for elevating those sketching skills and making drawing a part of your daily routine.

How to improve your drawing skills

How to improve your drawing skills

Go on a Drawing Adventure

It’s easy to sit in the comfort of your home and draw from photos or imagination, but drawing from life is ideal. So get out in the city and draw it all. The adventure is finding new and interesting things, all while making sure to be quick and loose with your drawing. Here are a couple ideas to get the adventure started:

  • Take a subway ride and draw the expressions and poses of passengers. Just make sure to be sneaky and not creepy.
  • Go to a crowded city square and draw people and their movements. Fill each sketchbook page with people, even if they overlap. Like drawing a double exposure photograph.
  • Take advantage of bad weather. Drawing the city when it’s raining or foggy can create some amazing effects and lighting.

Draw Forever by againstbound

Integrate Technology in Your Process

There are many online classes, videos, and blog posts to help boost your drawing chops, but there are also many simple ways technology can help as well. It’s always good to change things up and give yourself as many fun reasons to bring out your pencil as you can. These ideas are just a few ways technology can help:

  • Use a website like Line of Action, Figurosity, and Sketchdaily to give yourself randomized and timed photos to draw from.
  • While watching tv or movies, make random pauses and quickly draw what you see. No matter how goofy the paused screen may look, try your best to capture it.

How to improve your drawing skills

How to improve your drawing skills

Make Drawing a Part of Your Daily Routine

It’s been stated that it can take from 18-254 days to form a new habit. With that in mind, make a conscious effort to turn drawing a new daily habit. It’s this non-stop behavior of drawing that will help you the most, even if it’s just simple doodles.

When it comes to skills like drawing, some would say that it’s either you have it or you don’t. For others, however, it’s something that can be learned or acquired. Whichever side of the debate you’re on, one thing’s for sure: there’s always room to learn and grow with whatever skills you already naturally have.

If you have a natural knack for drawing, don’t take it for granted, otherwise you could one day find that your skills aren’t quite where you want them to be. There’s a way for you to avoid that. Keep the following simple but effective tips in mind, so you can become a better artist.

1. Carry a Sketchbook Around

Having a sketchbook with you as you go about your day provides many opportunities to practice drawing a wide range of subjects. Make it a habit to bring one when you’re walking around your neighborhood, your campus, or when you’re out and about in the city. That way, you can simply take it out and get sketching when you feel or see something inspiring.

2. Doodle for 30 Seconds

If you feel anxious about drawing, you can ease your nerves with this simple exercise. Simply doodle or draw anything you want freehand for 30 seconds. Don’t worry about how well you’re drawing or how detailed your doodles are. This exercise helps clear your brain and allows you to get over any nervousness you have about drawing, so that you’re in a better frame of mind to focus on improving your drawing skills.

3. Join a College Organization or Group

You don’t have to work on your drawing skills on your own. Sometimes having others around to give you advice and provide you with encouragement is a great way to stay motivated and drastically improve your drawing skills. Look for organizations and groups that offer these opportunities.

At Academy of Art University, Drawaholics Anonymous provides a highly effective, fun, and challenging way to develop your drawing skills and keep them sharp. Michael Buffington, a Concept Art Lead at the School of Game Development and founder of the group, explains that he “had to get people to fall in love, to become drawing addicts; hence, the name Drawaholics Anonymous.”

Buffington found that many students were relying too much on using technology for drawing rather than pencils and paper. This college org gives students a chance to focus on developing their skills by drawing on paper while also receiving support and encouragement from fellow art students. Buffington states that the group “brings people together, and it bonds them based on their common goals, their common desires and their common struggles.”

4. Give Yourself a Challenge

Challenge yourself to draw the one thing that you find most difficult to tackle. Focus on doing this drawing challenge regularly, and you’ll find that your skills begin to get stronger. You can also give yourself a productivity quota, like what Drawaholics Anonymous does, for example. They actually require new members to sign a contract, saying that they will have completed 2,500 drawings at the end of the year. Those who meet this requirement are rewarded with drastically improved skills.

5. Draw from 2D Sources

Drawing real life objects is great practice for working on your skills, but you can also improve them by using 2D sources. Practice drawing from photos and illustrations in books and magazines, or visit an art museum or gallery and draw from paintings and portraits.

The journey to becoming an artist does not end upon getting into a fine arts school—in fact, it’s only just begun. Make the most out of the resources available to improve your craft, and make friends along the way. You’d be surprised at how keeping the right company can have such a positive impact on your development as an artist.

How to improve your drawing skills

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How to improve your drawing skills

There are many skills that you need to develop to be a successful surface pattern designer but often at the heart of a great design is drawing. I’ve always argued that you don’t need to be a great or the best drawer to be a successful surface pattern designer but it is at the core of designing so it’s a skill that you should nurture, practice and develop constantly. There are lots of ways you can help develop and improve your skills so let’s look at 6 ways to improve your drawing skills.

6 Ways to Improve your Drawing Skills for your Surface Pattern Designs

Drawing at its simplest form is putting marks on the page. It’s a difficult skill to master however drawing is something everyone can do. Even the most successful drawers will invest time practicing and honing their skill. It’s an essential skill to have for surface pattern designers as it will afford you more opportunities for a vast range of work. The patience and time you spend developing your drawing skills will pay off in the long run.

There are lots of fun exercises you can do that will help you improve your skills and we are going to look at 6:

1. Draw with the Opposite hand

A really fun exercise and way of loosening up your drawing style is to draw with the wrong hand e.g. if you’re right handed then draw with your left hand.

We rely on being able to draw effectively with our dominant hand so by drawing with the opposite hand we can’t rely on the tricks we have developed or have become inbuilt. We are forced to be free and let go of preconceptions and the results are organic and free-flowing forms.

2. Contour Drawing

The technique of contour drawing involves drawing the outline of the object only. Your drawing will define the edge of the form.

Contour drawing is drawing at its simplest and is one of the first ways we learn how to draw. The benefits of contour drawings are they allow us to recognise the purest and simplest form of an object.

Click here to find out more about different ways to use line without your designs.

3. Blind Contour Drawing

Blind contour drawing uses the same technique as contour drawing. Your drawings will be only of the outline shape or edge of your object. The difference is when you’re creating a blind contour drawing you will look at the object only and you will not look at your page.

Blind contour drawing is a great way of improving hand to eye coordination.

4. Continuous Line Drawing

The continuous line drawing technique requires you to draw your object without taking your pencil off the page. The result is a free-flowing, unbroken line that is created by the pencil moving backward and forwards across the surface of the paper. At times the lines will double on each other creating interesting effects.

5. Draw Upside Down

Drawing your object upside down helps you to draw what you actually see rather than what you think you see. It will give you a new perspective. When you’ve finished, turn your page the right way. You may be surprised by how accurate your drawing is.

6. Draw the Negative Spaces

This technique involves drawing the spaces and shapes around the object, not the object itself. Start by looking at the angles and shapes that make up spaces around your objects. Concentrating on drawing the negative areas will allow you to look at your object in a new perspective.

Rather than drawing what you know your object to be, you will draw what you see. You can try adding tone and texture to the negative areas and leaving the area within your object empty.

Make sure you keep challenging yourself to keep improving your drawing skills. By doing some quick sketches every day you’ll be surprised at how much your drawing skills will improve.

Do you remember a time when you could create any masterpiece with a crayon or colored pencil? We were confident and up for any challenge. As we grew in our skill, we may have started looking at our art with a critical eye. But, that doesn’t have to be the end of the story. We’ve compiled a list of 10 easy ways to improve your drawing skills to help get you started.

How to improve your drawing skills

How to improve your drawing skills

How to improve your drawing skills

Doodle

The great thing about doodling is you don’t need a plan. There aren’t any rules so grab your favorite creative tool and free draw whatever comes to mind.

Draw Everyday Objects

Wherever you are, stop and look around you. What do you see? Most likely you’ll find a few familiar items. Try starting with something simple like a paintbrush, a book, or a bottle. See the object in a new way, noticing every detail like reflections and shadows.

Draw. Rinse. Repeat.

We received a great tip from artist Tiffany Dow on how to improve skills when rendering facial features. Tiffany suggests practice drawing the same object over and over. By narrowing your focus on one aspect of your drawing, you will see faster improvement.

Find Inspiration In Nature

One of the most accessible subjects in art is nature. Flora, fauna, and flowers feature in many of the worlds most famous works of art. You can find inspiration on the internet or take a walk. The inspiration you’re looking for might even be found in a tiny plant growing on your windowsill.

How to improve your drawing skills

How to improve your drawing skills

by Minnie Small

How to improve your drawing skills

by Amy Hamilton

Draw Repeat Patterns

Have you ever taken a yoga class where you get into a flow of repeating the same poses over and over and suddenly it’s a bit easier? You can apply the same practice in drawing. Try a combination of shapes, squiggles, and lines. Once you’re comfortable with a simple design, add more elements to create complex patterns, such as mandalas.

The Human Form

So maybe stick figures are your thing but imagine a stick figure with a very realistic looking hand. Cool right? Or maybe that’s creepy. Whatever your skill level, drawing the human form (often referred to as “Life drawing”) can offer you a whole world of complexities and challenges. Whether you’re looking to learn to draw the body as a whole or focus on specific areas like hands, eyes, or the perfect mustache – this is worth trying.

How to improve your drawing skills

How to improve your drawing skills

How to improve your drawing skills

Keep A Journal

Keeping a journal or notebook with you means you’ll be able to draw when inspiration strikes. A journal is a great tool for tracking your progress, practicing and seeing how your art may have changed over time. Many artists will create new designs from older works.

Draw Shapes

Shapes were some of the earliest objects we may have learned to draw. Lining up the points on a triangle and adding stars to the crayon-ed sky felt like real success as a child. We can take this a step further by combining different shapes to create more complicated drawings. Check out how the Art Tutor uses basic shapes to create a flamingo.

Continuous Line Drawing

A continuous line drawing is a single, unbroken line used to create your design. Originally this was developed as an exercise to support hand-eye coordination and to help boost observation skills. If you haven’t tried this before, consider starting with a simple idea and work up to more complex designs. Many continuous line drawings have resulted in amazing finished works of art.

Practice

Finding time to draw can be a challenge. If you’re having difficulty creating some space in your busy day, set a reminder for a time when you’re less busy or, better yet, schedule dedicated time on your calendar.

How to improve your drawing skills

CAD has been a standard in the profession for decades, planing in virtual reality is around the corner and everyone can take snapshots of views they want to remember with their smartphones. But we want to talk to you about drawing, sketchbooks, and tips for constructing a perspective. Why is that?

Let’s make one thing clear: all of the new digital tools bring amazing value to our professional work and we’re not suggesting going back to the drawing boards and rulers. But being able to transfer one’s thoughts from the mind to paper in a quick and confident way can be very beneficial for a number of reasons. First, a quick sketch is still worth a lot as a design tool. The lightness of the free-hand drawing enables us to think with it and explore different variants and possibilities without being constrained by the stiffness of a digital tool. And second, it’s a great way to spontaneously communicate the image in our head to others. We’ve written on Land8 about the topic for drawing in a previous article, “3 Reasons Why You Should Start Drawing Now”.

Now that we have hopefully convinced you that sticking to a physical pen still makes some sense, let’s look at how you can improve your drawing skills. In our last article, we showed you how to beat that scary blank page and start drawing. This time, we want to dive a little deeper into the topic with tips for improving your drawing skills. We’ll look at drawing space realistically and how to use perspective and proportions.

Perspective

Us landscape architect usually want to depict space with our drawings. Physical spaces are, after all, what we deal with professionally on a daily basis. This can be done in different ways. The most common one is the abstraction of 3D space onto a 2D plan. Another very common way is a perspective view. It’s way more realistic since it mimics our eye-height perception of space. But a perspective is also an abstraction because it’s a flattening of that perception, characterized by depth and movement onto flat paper.

Let’s look at some terms that constantly keep popping up when talking about perspective. You just have to remember these following few, and you’ll be able to grasp what perspective is all about:

  • Horizon – the line where the sky meets the ground. In a perspective drawing, it’s also an imaginary line on which everything that is as tall as the observer lies. For example, if the observer is standing on the ground, all the people in the perspective drawing (assuming they are as tall as the observer) will reach up to the horizon line.
  • Vanishing Point – the point where all lines that are parallel in 3D space converge on the horizon line. For example, if you would extend two parallel sides of a cube, they would intersect somewhere on the horizon line.
  • Construction Line – simply a helping line with which we construct our perspective drawing. We often have to expend these lines all the way to the horizon in order to find vanishing points.

You might have heard about one point, two point, or multi-point perspectives. Their name refers to the number of vanishing points a perspective view has. But in essence, they are all the same. The difference between them is that the objects we are looking at are either all placed parallel to each other and parallel to the observer (example: houses on a street) or they are not. If they are all parallel, all their sides converge in one vanishing point. However, if they are not standing parallel to the observer, they have more vanishing points. So, the more different individual object positions there are in a perspective, the more vanishing points there will be.

Proportions

As we have seen above, the perspective can be a tool for accurately depicting spatial situations. But in order for us to be able to do that, we need to get the proportions of a view right. The challenge is to look at the view and then re-scale what we see to fit it on paper. If we want it to look “right”, the elements in the drawing have to stay correct size in relation to each other. To be able to do this challenging mental process, we use a technique called “sighting”. It’s a classical trick artists have used for centuries to depict their scenes in a more naturalistic way. We explain this technique in an easy way in the following video:

We hope that these tips will help you on your way to starting or improving your drawings skills. Always remember – drawing is, in the end, just a tool. But it’s a good one. That means your drawings don’t need to look good, they just have to work for you.