8 Ways to Improve your Drawing Skills

Hey guys! Happy Friday! Today I wanted to share a few tips on how to improve your drawing skills.  This is something I’m working on myself, and taking time in the evening to work in my sketchbook without the intention of creating a new work of art is an ongoing goal/routine of mine that I need to do more often!

So without any more babbling, here’s my tips on how to improve your drawing skills:

Practice Practice Practice!

So this is no surprise, everyone says the key to improving any skill is practice. And drawing is just that – a skill.  So many people see drawing as a talent one has to possess, but even those with talent have nothing unless they practice it! Art and having an artistic eye is a talent, but the act of drawing itself is something that anyone can learn if the work is put into it.  So draw as much as you can! Get a cute sketchbook (or a few!) and make it a goal to draw in it everyday.  I like to have a few different sketchbooks of different sizes, so I have a big one at home for my rough work of painting ideas, a smaller one for sketching and practice, and a really small one I keep in my purse with a mechanical pencil for any time some unexpected down time pops up while I’m out.

learn to draw
Keep you pencil sharp! A dull pencil can ruin a good sketch session!

You can take your drawing practice sessions as far as you want.  You can keep a small pencil case in your purse or bag along with your little sketchbook and have it filled with various pens, markers, colored pencils, etc, to give yourself the option of coloring and turning your sketches into more finished-looking works, or you can simply keep them as sketches and come back to them later if you decide you want to use them in an actual artwork.

Draw from Life

I think every art school will tell you to draw from life.  Life drawings are where we see the full shapes of objects, how the light shines on them, and the entirety of their existence.  Drawing from life really makes us practice how we see lights and shadows and colors and shapes, so it really is the best method for improving drawing skills.

You can set up items to draw from real life right in your own home.  All you need is a desk lamp or some other source of light, and an object.  Grab a fruit from the fridge, your favorite potted plant, a little knick-knack, or even one of your pencils or pens.  Set it on a flat surface in front of you and shine your light on it from the side.  This will cast some great shadows you can use to practice with.  Then change it up by moving the light and redraw your object, noticing how it changes with the different light source.

Draw from Photographs

Many people find it easier to draw from a photograph of an object because the camera has already rendered it into a 2D image from a 3D one.  So now you just have to worry about finding the lines and the shapes and drawing them in your sketchbook.

Draw from Other Drawings

You can learn a lot by studying how another artist has drawn something.  So instead of drawing an apple from a photo of an apple, draw an apple from someone else’s drawing of an apple.  This will let you notice how that artist chose to depict certain elements of the object, and can give you some ideas of how to approach drawing different things.

Look at Other Drawings

You don’t always have to be drawing to improve your drawing.  Studying other artist’s works can help you learn how different things can be rendered on paper.  Study you favorite artist’s works and see how they are deciding to draw, and then incorporate the little things you’ve learned into your next drawing session and see how it turns out!

Draw Simply to Draw

Don’t get caught up in how “right” or “wrong” your sketches look.  They are not meant to be finished works of art.  You don’t have to show them to anyone.  Let yourself make mistakes, and make some ugly looking things.  Then study them against your reference and try to see where you went off course.  Making mistakes and learning how to fix them is the best way to learn the right way to draw something.

Draw from Memory

Using references and trying to replicate them on paper is an excellent way to learn to draw, but drawing from memory out of your head is another way of practicing.  Take some time every now and then to just play in your sketchbook, drawing whatever pops into your head and not trying to find an object to look off of.  This is how you can create your own unique style!

Draw Often

Practice. Practice. Practice.  Yes I said it again.  Draw everyday.  Fill up your sketchbook then start another and fill that one up!  It’s fun comparing a newly completed sketchbook to a really old one and seeing how much you’ve improved.  Drawing takes time to improve, and keeping all of your old sketchbooks is a great way to really see your improvement.

So there you have it, guys! I hope these tips are helpful! I’ve been slacking lately with my own sketchbook drawing, so I thought writing this post would be a great way to inspire myself as well! So let’s grab our favorite sketchbooks and start drawing!

And till next time, keep creating!

-Ashley <3

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