10 tips for improving your drawing skills

Many people believe that drawing talent is natural. And it is almost true. “Almost”, because I believe you can build your talent, even if you don’t have it from nature. Let’s discuss the ways you can build your talent.

1. Draw and repeat!

This is the main rule – the more you draw the more confident you will become. So draw and then repeat! If you draw every day – it is fantastic! You’ll be good at it very very soon! Even a few minutes a day make a big difference and help you learn new techniques, help you to open the new you – the artist! I followed some of the artists who were drawing every day and I saw how their skills improved with time and it was fabulous! What they did is – they created a list of objects they want to draw every day for the next month and just followed it. And the results were great for those who were consistent.

2. Look at drawings of other artists.

I learned a lot from looking at the artworks of my favorite artists. I always try to notice all the little things, all the shapes, lines, shades, how they use colors etc. It is like to know the face of your significant other – all the freckles, all little bumps, beauty spots, and all the little cute wrinkles.

3. Draw from photographs and other drawings.

When I started, I drew a lot from photographs of my friends, of strange people from the internet, of famous people. And I think I improved my skills a lot. Let me show you some of my drawings (2011-2013):

I combined a young woman portrait with my imagination, and made a half wolf woman. (2011)

Winona Ryder (2011)

I found this girl’s face very nice and friendly, and as soon as I saw her, I wanted to draw her. And I did! (2011)

I used Kate Moss photograph, and my mood + imagination. (2012)

This was drawn from a simple photograph of a woman, and, with the use of my imagination, it turned to this interesting picture. (2013)

It was drawn from a photograph, unfortunately I don’t remember who is the photographer… But I instantly felt in love with this photo… (2013)

4. Bring a sketchbook with you everywhere.

Have a small sketchbook and a pencil with you anywhere you go. Sketch when you go to Starbucks to drink a coffee, sketch when you’re hanging out with friends in a park, sketch when you’re having lunch at a restaurant… Sketch! Sketch! Sketch!

5. Draw objects from your casual life.

You can draw anything that your eyes catch at home. Your son’s socks, your cup of coffee, apples and bananas, your cat or dog, your favorite vase, spoons and forks, your pencils, curtains, gift boxes… There’s a lot of stuff that you can draw!

6. Have a variety of pencils.

When I started I just had a few pencils: H, B, 2B. When my skills started to grow and I felt like I’m ready to the next level I went to a store and bought a variety of different grades of pencils. The “H” means hard, they leave faint and fine lines. Grade “B” means soft, it’s good for thicker and darker lines. 2B is softer than HB. 6B is very soft! 4H is very hard. So, I suggest playing around with your pencils, try to feel how they suit their purpose.

7. Use the paper you are in love with.

I don’t know about you guys, but I myself am crazy about paper. And I love watercolor paper. I drew on watercolor paper even when I used just pencils, like on pictures above. I know that watercolor paper is for watercolors, but I can’t resist the beautiful texture this paper gives me.

8. Experiment with texture and blending.

Experiment with the way your pencils draw lines and how to shade simple objects. You need to understand how your materials work to improve your drawings and use the right pencil for the right lines.

9. Take a class if you feel like it.

Many young artists feel like they can teach themselves how to draw. However, if you fill like you need a real teacher, who could give you some really good advice – go for it! The time spent in an art class with a teacher can help you find mistakes and fix them faster than you could on your own. Usually, community colleges have a lot of art classes.

10. You need to be intentional.

I would say like in any other profession, if you want to succeed you need to work hard, you need to be intentional. I would say you need to make a habit, you can even work with your Google Calendar to set up the schedule of drawing hours. And I would say if you really love to draw and you are eager to become better at it I don’t think I need to talk to you about intention. The intention won’t be hard for you – it will be a pleasure.

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