5 Simple Tips For Improving Your Drawing Skills
Sep 05, 2022
Drawing is a skill that anyone can learn given enough time and effort. However, when you look at your first drawings, it can be very discouraging. Even more disheartening, you probably see a lot of amazing artists on social media that are way better than you are. Seeing great artwork, especially by artists younger than you, can certainly make you question your own ability.
But, as a novice artist, it’s important to disregard external comparisons for the time being and focus on your own development.
In this blog, we’re going to discuss five ways to improve your drawing skills.
- Take a class
Taking drawing classes is one of the best ways to improve your skills. Having a teacher that can show you the ropes can make the experience a little bit less daunting. It’s also beneficial to have support from your mentors and classmates as you’re trying to overcome your first artistic obstacles.
In addition, classes are great because they give you a reason to draw. In other words, it gives you a time and a place to do the work. Having concrete plans like this reduces the chance of distraction and procrastination.
If formal art classes are too much for you, you can also try casual ‘paint n sip’ classes. These drinks and draw classes are more geared towards socialising, but you can definitely learn a lot from the experience. It can be a great stepping stone towards more specialised art lessons.
- Keep a sketchbook
If you’ve asked professional artists for advice, you’ve probably been told that you should draw often.
Drawing everyday will help you develop muscle memory. Yes, muscle memory also applies to art. The way you hold your tools, how much pressure you’re applying to the paper and even the tilt of your pencil are just a few things that you need to manage while drawing.
Muscle memory is also particularly important if you’re studying the subtle rhythms and curves of human and animal anatomy.
To make things easier for you, you should carry a small sketchbook with you as often as possible. This way, you can draw while you’re on the train, while you’re waiting for your friends or while you’re at your lunch break. Consistency will help you improve your drawing skills more than anything else.
- Use references
The use of reference is probably one of the most misunderstood concepts in the field of visual arts. A lot of young artists have this belief that looking at something while drawing is cheating. They have this feeling of shame whenever they can’t draw something from their imagination.
However, not a single piece of art exists in a vacuum. You simply can’t draw something you haven’t seen before. Even mythical creatures that you see in comics, movies and games are derived from something that exists in reality. Ask any professional artist and they’ll tell you that the use of reference is a must if you want to improve your drawing skills.
It’s also important to make the distinction between copying and using reference. Copying is simply duplicating an image without understanding form, perspective or, in the case of human figures, gesture.
Using reference, on the other hand, means studying an image and trying to figure out why it looks the way it does. What are the primary forms that make up the object? How does perspective affect the image? By understanding a picture in this way, you should be able to look at a reference image of a particular object and draw it in any angle.
- Take risks
As a beginner artist, it’s important to get out of your comfort zone if you truly want to get better. One of the most common fears that young artists have is drawing the human figure. Human anatomy is complex, and it will likely take you decades to even get close to mastering it. Even drawing portraits can be a lifelong endeavour in itself.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid it. Yes, you will fail a lot at the beginning, but that’s the only way that you’ll learn. Even if you don’t end up ‘mastering’ human anatomy, you’ll become a much better artist by just trying to expand your horizons.
So, try to draw something new every now and then. That first step is always the scariest, but it is well worth it.
- Have fun
Research has shown that optimism can improve productivity. In visual arts, this certainly applies. In order to improve your drawing skills, you need to draw a lot. And in order to draw a lot, you need to enjoy drawing. As a result, it’s important to regularly remind yourself why you’re doing this in the first place. Remind yourself of the career that you want to have. Remind yourself of the joy that you get when putting pencil to paper.
We are not robots that are designed to mechanically go through a routine for hours on end. It would be impractical to completely ignore the emotional component of our working lives. We’re always going to have certain feelings about our hobbies and our jobs and it’s essential that we take this into account whenever we’re working towards something.
Not every hour is going to be filled with sunshine and rainbows, but it’s important to make the best out of our days.
Hopefully, this has encouraged you to start your artistic journey. At the end of the day, it all comes down to you putting your pencil on a blank piece of paper. So, just go out there and draw to your heart’s content.