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!