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Drawing is an art form that has the potential to become the best hobby you’ve ever had, and the best profession you could ask for. Just like any other skill, your ability to draw can be improved.
Today we’ll discuss 6 effective ways you can do this. If you’re already a fairly experienced artist, chances are you’ll recognize some of these. However, there are always new angles to explore, and we feel you’ll find some in this list!
Alright, this one might come across as redundant, but it isn’t. In fact, the absolute best way to become better at drawing is to, well — draw more. As you work on a new piece, you’ll find that some of your solutions may not be working as well as they used to.
This lack of tools in your toolset we call skill will force you to look for innovative solutions. As it turns out, sometimes you need to come to certain conclusions on your own. This also rings true for drawing.
Explore the limits of your skill. Recognize your strong sides, but more importantly, your weaknesses — work on what needs improving. No matter what, this is still the best way to grow as an artist!
2. Go Digital
Drawing is one of those arts that has evolved along with technology. Digital drawing is a growing industry, especially considering the amount of visual content that is required to keep the digital world satisfied. Going digital will make it easy to practice using streamlined tools, in an environment that is much more forgiving than a piece of paper.
To get started, you’ll need to get appropriate hardware and software. Pick one of the top drawing laptops, find a digital sketching or drawing software that works for you, and you’re pretty much set! If a stylus feels odd, don’t worry. You’ll get used to it over time.
3. Find a Challenge and Overcome It
Your skills, any skills, are like muscles — the more you push them to the brink, the stronger they’ll grow. The same goes for drawing. Every artist has their limits, and it’s important that you find yours. Pick an object that you find challenging, something that features aesthetics you simply can’t wrap your mind around. Take that object and draw it.
Don’t be satisfied with half successes either. Make sure that you internalize the object you’re trying to draw while understanding all of its little intricacies. The point of this exercise is to create problem-solving pathways you can rely on when your raw skill hits a brick wall.
4. Develop a Close Relationship with Light
Light is the medium through which we observe the world around us. Everything you see is the result of light bouncing off that object and ending up in your eyes. To truly learn how to represent the world you see, you need to understand how light interacts with it. Learn how values work, how different sources of light affect shading.
The only thing that keeps many artists from achieving greatness is their inability to negotiate light in their drawings. Make sure to work on that.
5. Trace Objects
To some, tracing feels like cheating. While this is a debate we don’t want to focus on in this guide, it’s important to understand that tracing has another, much more important purpose — it’s the ultimate training tool!
By tracing objects on a media, you are essentially teaching your brain how your hand, pencil, or stylus needs to move in order to create a shape. Look at it as reverse learning where you’re soaking up the shapes so that your brain will know how to make them independently later on. It’s a great form of exercise.
6. Idle with a Pen
Idle time is the best time to practice. Carry a sketchbook with you. Not only will doing so allow you to kill boredom when you’re taking the subway or bus to work, but it will also give you an opportunity to store ideas. Remember, inspiration comes from all kinds of places. It could be something you’ve seen on the TV, or just a face sitting across from you on the subway.
Most of us are impatient creatures. We want everything as soon as we can get it, preferably now. Improving your drawing skill doesn’t work that way, unfortunately. It takes time. Arm yourself with patience and try to enjoy the process, as repetitive as it might be at times.
Repetition is how we learn and become better. Before you know it, your skill will improve to a point where you’ll be drawing things you didn’t know you could.