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Seven Steps to Better Drawings!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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!

 


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How to Get Better at Drawing? Draw from Life

One of the best ways to get better at drawing is to draw from life. The experience of putting a three dimensional object within a two dimensional space can’t be ignored. The more you draw, the better at it you will get. The only problem is that most people ignore the things around them from which to draw. I suppose people are looking for a magical moment to capture not realizing it is the artist who makes that moment. There is an abundance of subject matter from which to draw inspiration and improve observational, drawing skills.

Draw from Life

Look at things around your house that you can draw. But don’t just look at them as things, look at them and break them down into the elements of art. For example, in the video tutorial below I draw curtains. Curtains are, undoubtedly, a boring subject. But a better way to look at drawing curtains is to ask yourself how can I also use this knowledge when I’m creating comic books? Capes come to mind: big, flowing, back lighting against the moon, capes! Now it isn’t just curtains, it’s a study for drawing clothing, specifically, capes.

Pets, counter tops, furniture, houseplants, etc., there is a plethora of objects around the house that can help any artist hone those observational drawing skills.

Drawing with Intention: Guided Practice


Another thing I like to do when I sketch is to choose two or three elements of art to emphasize. I let the subject dictate which elements would be best suited for the sketch. For example, if I’m drawing draperies in my house I’m going to look at the lines that create the folds. I would also focus my attention on the values (the lights and darks giving the folds their form). So for my first sketch, I would focus on line and value. For my second sketch I might focus on space, the distances between the folds. For my next sketch, I would choose two other elements. It always helps to have an intention when drawing. Why? It gives the artist direction in sketching. You can use the subject to guide your decision making while drawing.

curtains
DrawingfromLifeDraperies

Watch the video, download the worksheet, and practice drawing draperies and draped fabrics. You can print as many copies as you need of the superhero worksheet.

Practice, practice, practice.