Drawing the hand can be a daunting task for beginners and professionals alike. Drawing really dynamic hands that tell a story is challenging. How can I improve my hands? Luckily, the bones of the hand make an excellent visual guide when drawing. This art hack video demonstrates the easiest way, I’ve found, to draw those elusive, fluid, interesting hands. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment!
A lot of people look at blending sticks and think, “What the heck is that?” This video demonstrates how to use that funny, white stump that looks like a pencil with no lead. I’m using conte crayon in the video but really you can use a blending stick with many mediums: hard pastel, soft pastel, or graphite pencil. They are especially suited for smaller areas in your drawing that a finger just can’t reach.
Every struggling new artist asks her or himself the same question, “How do I get better at drawing?” I’ve complied this list of seven things that anyone can do to get better and to improve their skill:
- DRAW DAILY
This may sound simple and easy but it’s not! Drawing every day takes time and effort but the payoff is more improved insight into the drawing process and muscle memory. Set aside a time every day when you can sit down and just draw.
- DRAW A LOT, NOT NECESSARILY FOR PERFECTION
All too often people don’t draw because they think their art “just isn’t good enough”. It will never get to the level you want unless you draw a lot. Think of professional athletes who do drills over and over again to get better at a certain skill, drawing is the same way. Keep drawing anything and everything! The more you draw, the better at it you will get.
- COPY ARTISTS YOU ADMIRE
Look at other artists whose art you admire or want to draw like and copy them! It’s always a good idea to look at how other people draw their subjects and try to emulate their style. I’m not saying plagiarize their work, but look at what they do and take what you can use and leave the rest.
- INTENTIONAL PRACTICE
Intentional practice is drawing with the intent of improving a specific area. For example, you may want to draw the figure but you have trouble with the arms in foreshortened view. What should you practice? The arms in foreshortened view! Practice looking at the arm in different positions and from a foreshortened perspective. Choose areas that you could work on and narrow your scope to that particular area. That way, you aren’t needlessly drawing something that you have already mastered. Draw with intention and you will see improvement.
- TAKE BREAKS
I know I said to draw every day, which is a good practice, but also take a break once in awhile. If you are drawing the figure, take a break and concentrate on perspective drawing or draw foliage or animals. Take breaks from what you are drawing because frustration can set in and then you’ll be tempted to stop and that would be disastrous!
- ASK FOR FEEDBACK
This step is critical to growing as an artist. Always ask other people what they think about your drawing. It is always a good idea to have a fresh set of eyes look at your work and tell you where you can improve. Don’t take the criticism personally as if it were directed at you. The feedback is about your art. Keep that in mind and really listen. An outside point-of-view can be a very valuable resource.
- DRAW WHAT YOU LIKE
I’m partial to drawing in the Marvel style rather than manga so that is what I concentrate on the most. If you like drawing animals, draw animals. If you like drawing manga, draw manga. Don’t draw things that you aren’t interested in because that is the quickest way to lose interest and stop drawing.
I hope this list helped you in some way. Now, go forth and draw!
Negative self-talk is devastating to the creative spirit. You can draw a portrait and criticize it until the cows come home and then never draw again because you “just aren’t good enough.” STOP! Having a negative inner voice always criticizing your art isn’t just bad for your self-esteem and drawing confidence, it can have lasting affects on whether you enjoy drawing or hate it and never try again.
Do you hear that little voice in you head, after you’ve drawn something, and it says things like, “This is ugly,” “This drawing stinks,” “I have no talent.”? That is the negative self talk creeping its way into your creativity. So what can you do to stop that annoying voice in your head? SWITCH to constructive talk.
Constructive talk is just that, constructive. It’s more accurate and specific than negative talk and actually helps you improve your skill set.
For example, that negative voice in your head will say things like, “That arm doesn’t look right.” Does that help you improve your drawing? No! Instead, try to switch to more constructive talk like, “What is the overall shape of the arm?”
“Is the shoulder more horizontal or slightly tilted?”
“How is the hand positioned?”
“How far away is the arm from the body?”
Do you see the difference in the two types of talk? Don’t listen to that critical voice in your head when you draw. If you find yourself descending into the depths of negative self-talk, catch it, recognize it, and consciously switch to more constructive words.
Instead try this, FOCUS on your subject. Look more at your subject than at your paper. This will help squash the critical voice because you are concentrating on your subject, NOT the critic in your head. Use more descriptive words as you draw and stay away from opinions. Negative self-talk is full of opinions rather than objective, accurate descriptions. Use adjectives and nouns to describe and construct your subject in your head. Ask yourself objective questions pertaining to capturing your subject rather than commenting what you “think” your art should look like. Change that negative into a positive and watch your art improve as well as your attitude towards drawing!