Have you ever felt the hunger to draw better? Held back by the same roadblocks over and over again? Tired of hearing practice makes perfect, but not seeing results despite your consistent practice?
Like any other skill in the world, drawing requires not just practice but also a smart approach that helps you progress over time. And we're here to help you figure out just that approach!
In this article, we break down 11 Pro Tips To Improve Your Drawing Skills.
Tip # 1: It’s OK To Be Messy
Sketching is your safe space for creative play, and there's no reason it has to be flawless. Let free your hands and your mind, and draw some elements that don't belong, or some lines that don't make sense. All of this will allow you to brainstorm ways to make the whole picture more creative and layered. Sometimes stray lines will lead to wonderful accidents, and new ideas will emerge that add to the narrative of the sketch. Just remember: what you're drawing isn't necessarily the final rendered piece. It's simply a platform to develop new ideas!
Tip # 2 : Doodle
Doodling is a great way to work on your drawing skills and going wild with your imagination. There are no rules to keep in mind, there are no boundaries to abide by. Just grab your favorite drawing tool and draw what oozes out of your mind. The creative freedom you enjoy in your doodles will help you evolve as an artist and also make you learn how to draw with your instinct.
Tip # 3: Silhouettes Are Key
Whether you're drawing from imagination or using a reference piece - it is extremely important that you thoroughly consider the shape of the silhouette. Drawing a strong silhouette will add to the nuance and personality of the image, and lead to a more cohesive structure.
Do keep in mind that you'll want to tweak these edges as soon as possible, so you don't end up having to change them later, when much more detail has been added into the piece.
Tip # 4: Find Inspiration In Nature
Nature is absolutely the most inspiring and accessible subject in art. Flora, fauna, and flowers are some of the elements that you'll find in so many of the most popular artworks in the world. Just grab your creative tool, and try to convey to the canvas what inspired you about your surroundings. The inspiration you’re looking for might be found on the top of a mountain, the shore on a beach, or in a tiny plant growing in your backyard!
Tip # 5: Learn The Rules Before Breaking Them
It's OK to free-form and draw whatever comes to your mind. Artists are known to be notorious rule breakers in their life, and their art is no exception. However, this doesn't mean you overlook the importance of a structured approach, rigorous practice and conventional techniques. These will help you understand the basics of drawing and sketching, and prevent you from getting frustrated with your drawing just not looking quite right. Once you believe you've mastered all the conventional approaches to your craft, it's definitely time to switch it up and break all the rules you've built on.
Tip # 6: Keep A Journal
Keeping a notebook or journal with you allows you to start drawing the moment inspiration strikes. This way, you'll be able to easily track your progress, practice over time and literally witness how your art evolves.
Tip # 7: Experiment With Different Medium
We get it. Familiarity is always the safest way to approach your art, and TJ's difficult to change the drawing tools you're so comfortable with. You might be one of those people who only draw in pen, and have convinced themselves that this is the only style you can execute. However, when you choose to challenge yourself and pick up those pencils, you'll notice changes in your art that will intrigue you even more. You'll see a more blended, soft effect and a completely different tone to your drawing. In short, don't stick to just one drawing medium!
Tip # 8: Hands Are Just As Important As Eyes
If you happen to be drawing a human subject, you'll likely spend more time considering their eyes than their hands. However, fact is, eyes and hands are equally powerful in terms of driving the narrative and letting the viewer know what the subject is up to. A relaxed hand shows calm and peace, whereas a contorted hand exhibits anguish or pain. Bottom line - don't overlook the hands!
Tip # 9: Draw Everywhere
Draw on the train, the bus, during lunch, free times at work, before you go to sleep and right you've woken up. Don't keep a restriction on when or where you're going to draw. Maybe, you'll be able to draw better in the morning when you feel more organized. Or maybe you'll realize how you can sketch better in the evening when you’re unwinding from the day and a little more relaxed. As for location - It’s possible you'll be more inspired drawing from a picture or photograph than real life. Or vice versa. These are things you'll only get to learn if you're constantly drawing and gaining new experiences. As your experience increases and your drawing subjects evolve more and more, you will be at peace with your own art.
Tip # 10: Use A Reference
We get it. You want everything that comes out your canvas to be perfectly original and flawless. But that kind of mindset will prevent you from evolving your art! When you first begin drawing, search online or grab an art book you like, and try to copy what you see. Copying others' artwork will help you learn how to draw different types of mouth, eyes, feet, dogs, cats, etc. Of course, after you've practiced enough of drawing other artworks, you'll have gained the knowledge and confidence required to devise your own illustrations without having to copy from anywhere. Do remember - if you decide to post a drawing you copied on the Internet, make sure to credit the original artist!
Tip # 11: Make a Portfolio
Sure, you're likely a recluse who likes to paint and draw in their free time and doesn't have time to share it with the world. But why not want your talent with the world?!
If there's one thing we urge you all to do in 2k19 - it's to start a portfolio! Stop throwing away your half-finished projects and sketches and start filing them properly. You owe it to your talent to maintain a well-presented record of your work. This will allow you to protect your drawings from dog-ears and coffee rings, feel more organized, and being able to flick through and witness how you've progressed over time.
“We are a community of artists and professionals that believe art is powerful, especially in the way that it impacts our society.”
— if you’re reading this and have tips of your own to share, please do so in the comments! Thank you!
Thumbnail Credit: Photo by Neven Krcmarek
Art in All Forms