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15 Tips to Improve Your Drawing Skills



    Drawing by itself is a pleasurable and profitable form of art, but learning to draw well can also lead to better work in other mediums. Having an accurate drawing is especially important as the basis of a realistic painting among other things.

    Improving your drawing skills will boost your artwork to a new level. Drawing helps you to understand shading, value and shape and you can translate those concepts into other forms of art.

    Drawing helps keep your mind sharp because it forces you to focus on the world around you which is why so many people use it as a form of meditation or mindfulness activity.

    Below are some simple tips to help you improve your drawing skills. I’ve added a few extra so there are more than 10 but more is better isn’t it? 😊 They are simple but important steps to help you enhance your drawing.

    This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and buy, I may receive a small commission. Please see my full privacy policy for details.

    graphite drawing of a white horse running towards the viewer

    1.Practice 

    Practicing your drawing consistently is the number one thing that will improve your skill.

    Draw something every day. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, just draw whatever comes to mind or whatever you see.

    You can draw repetitive patterns, doodles, interlocking circles, pictures from magazines, anything that keeps your pencil moving. Don’t start with something really complicated. Keep it simple.

    Practicing will hone your eye for detail, help you develop good habits, and train you on how to draw something correctly without thinking about it too much.

    pencil and doodles

    ​​2. Trace

    Print off a picture of something you would like to draw and then trace over it numerous times.

    This helps to build muscle memory for curves and angles on the subject you want to draw and will help to quickly improve your drawing skills.

    Also, you can use tracing paper to trace the subject and then transfer it to drawing paper. This will give you a more accurate line drawing to start with.

    3. Use Reference Photos

    Often we just draw whatever is in our imagination, but sometimes we have a specific thing that we want to draw.

    It’s hard to get an accurate drawing of a specific object if we aren’t looking at it.

    Using reference photos to see angles and shadows will make the drawing easier to render.

    If you intend to exhibit or sell your drawings, be careful to only use reference photos that are not copyrighted.

    Just taking any picture you find on google without checking to see if it is free to use can end up getting you sued.To learn more and find several good sites to get free photos, read my post on Reference Photos.

    white pencils and paper

    4. Paper

    The quality of paper you use can make a big difference in how your drawing turns out. Regular printer paper is rough and will not give you a smooth blend of graphite for shading.

    It is fine to start off learning to make marks on printer paper, but good quality paper designed for drawing will be much more satisfying.

    Check out my post about the best types of paper for drawing. Most art supply stores carry drawing paper and sketch books. 

    Try out several different ones to find your preference for your drawing style.

    graphite drawing of a child's hand on an adult hand
    Hands by MarilynO @TrembelingArt

    5. Values

    Value refers to the darkness or lightness of an object. Learning to see the values in an object will greatly improve your drawings and give them depth and movement.

    An apple, for example, would not have the same value on the top, near the light source, as it would at the bottom.

    Study different objects in different light sources to see the gradual changes in value. To learn more about value you can read my post on Value.

    I use this grey scale and value finder to help with determining the right value.

    6. Shapes

    Focus on drawing shapes at the beginning of a drawing, rather than outlines.

    For example, if you are drawing a dog, draw a circle for the head, an oval for the body and rectangles for the legs. Then go from there, connecting the shapes and adding details.

    Keep your initial shapes light so you can erase unnecessary lines as you go.

    7. Stay Loose

    Most people learning to draw hold their pencil close to the bottom and draw by moving their wrist. This constricts the range of motion and makes the drawing tight.

    By holding the pencil a little closer to the top and drawing with your shoulder, you will make the drawing looser and flow more.

    It is also easier to control the pressure you put on the pencil so your marks don’t become too heavy and damage the tooth of the paper.

    This takes a little practice to get used to but you will be happier with the improvement to your drawing skills.

    8. Avoid Smudges

    You finally get a drawing that you are proud of. You step back to admire your work and see various smudges of graphite or charcoal all over the page.

    Graphite and charcoal are soft and can be easily smudged and transferred to your hand and thus to the paper. You can avoid this by putting something under your hand to protect the drawing.

    Some people use regular printer paper, I prefer to use tracing paper or glassine because I have found that regular printer paper can sometimes smudge.

    Also, since I am right handed, I like to start a drawing from the top left corner to minimize the chances of smudges.

    pencils and sketchbook
    Pin for Later!

    9. Learn Drawing Skills

    I have just given you a few starting tips, but for in depth instruction taking a drawing class may be a good idea for you.

    If there are no classes available near you or you don’t have the time to attend one, there are literally hundreds of places to get drawing lessons and tutorials on the internet. YouTube has lots of instructional videos by some really great artists. Just search for drawing tutorials for beginners.

    10. Practice

    I know I’m repeating myself, but it bears repeating. Practice! The more you practice, the more muscle memory you build and the better your drawing will be.

    Drawing classes won’t help unless you practice what you learn. Draw every day. Get yourself a good portable sketchbook and carry it with you.

    Practice what you learn and don’t be too critical. Mistakes are often the best teacher. 

    sketchbook with black cover
    Sketchbook

    11. Perspective

    Understanding what perspective is and how to use it in your drawing will greatly improve your drawing and allow you to create more realistic work. 

    Perspective is considered a fundamental drawing skill for artists to learn. It is the art of representing three dimensional objects on a two dimensional surface so that they produce the illusion of depth.

    For a more in depth understanding of perspective, see my post on What is Perspective in Art?.

    12. Doodle

    Doodling is a way of expressing one’s creativity. It helps writers and artists to think outside the box and figure out what they should draw next.

    Doodling has been shown to improve drawing skills, as it trains your brain to work in more creative ways. In addition, it can help you focus on a task, by occupying your mind with something that feels like play.

    Doodle while you are on the phone or watching tv or any time you are feeling bored.

    Draw repeated patterns, geometric shapes, random lines, or anything you can think of. Repeatedly putting pencil to paper will help you get in the habit of drawing and learn how shapes and lines form objects.

    graphite drawing of puzzle pieces
    Drawing of puzzle pieces

    I hope these tips will help get you started on your drawing journey. If you can’t think of something you would like to draw, check out 101 Drawing and Sketching Ideas from Art Tutor. 

    Be sure to check out my new Facebook group for more tips. Trembeling Art Creative Corner

    If you like what you have learned here, please share. Happy drawing. 🙂

    Thanks for reading.

    Digital signature Marilyn with butterfly

    FAQs

    How can I improve my drawing skills?

    7 Ways to Improve Drawing Skills in Minutes a Day

    1. How to Get Better at Drawing. …
    2. Exercise 1: Keep a Daily Sketchbook. …
    3. Exercise #2: Warm Up to Improve Speed and Coordination. …
    4. Exercise #3: Use Perspective to Make Drawings More Realistic. …
    5. Exercise #4: Improve Proportion. …
    6. Exercise #5: Perfect Working With Shapes.

    Dec 7, 2018

    (Get More Info)

    What are the 7 drawing techniques?

    7 Drawing Techniques For Accuracy

    • Sighting / Measuring. …
    • The Grid Technique. …
    • Triangular Grid Technique. …
    • Identifying Basic Shapes and Positive and Negative Space. …
    • Linear Perspective. …
    • Basic Facial Proportions. …
    • Figure Proportions and Gesture Drawing.

    (Get More Info)

    What are the 5 skills of drawing?

    The 5 basic skills of drawing are understanding edges, spaces, light and shadow, relationships, and, the whole, or gestalt. These 5 basic skills of drawing make up the components of a finished work of art when put together.

    (Get More Info)

    What are some drawing tips for beginners?

    Beginner Guide to Learning to Draw

    1. Tip #1 ? Draw on a Regular Basis. …
    2. Tip #2 ? Fit Your Drawing to the Drawing Area. …
    3. Tip #3 ? Make a Light Line Drawing First. …
    4. Tip#4 ? Be Aware of Line Quality. …
    5. Tip #4 ? Be Aware of Proportions. …
    6. Tip #5 ? Draw Larger to Smaller.

    (Get More Info)

    Part of a video titled How to get BETTER at DRAWING! – 6 things you NEED to know. – YouTube

    yt:mio-_RyxOyQ

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    Part of a video titled How to SKETCH Like a PRO! – Tools, Tips and Tricks! – YouTube

    yt:8hcZDNH3_Wc

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    How do you sketch like a pro?

    Hatching and cross hatching

    Hatching is one of the most basic drawing techniques. To create volume and shading, draw lines that follow the curve of a line. These lines do not touch. Cross hatching is layered hatching, where the lines intersect.

    (Get More Info)

    What are the 7 elements of art?

    ELEMENTS OF ART: The visual components of color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value.

    (Get More Info)

    Is it hard to learn to draw?

    Drawing is hard to learn because we aren’t used to looking at the world in individual parts instead of a whole. To draw, we need to see objects, people, and landscapes as smaller shapes. Learning to draw is also hard because our hands are moving in new ways. We need to build up our muscle memory.

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    Is drawing a talent or a skill?

    Drawing is a skill, but talent still plays a role in how quickly or how good you can get at it at any given time. If drawing were solely a skill, artists wouldn’t get better and better over time.

    (Get More Info)

    Why is drawing so difficult?

    Drawing is hard because our brains interpret anything we see as a whole, and our eyes don’t create an authentic image of what we draw. Drawing becomes even more difficult because we tend to draw things as we know them, but not as they are. Learning to see is hard, so drawing is hard.

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    Part of a video titled How to Draw a Realistic Eye – YouTube

    yt:Vo38VW4xSfY

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    Which art style is the easiest?

    1 Impressionism

    This is probably one of the art movements that is easiest to understand because the very name conveys what it is all about.

    (Get More Info)

    What art is popular right now?

    The most popular art today is commonly referred to as Contemporary Art. Contemporary art encompasses many styles including Modern, Abstract, Impressionism, Pop Art, Cubism, Surrealism, Fantasy, Graffiti, and Photorealism. Today’s popular mediums include painting, sculpture, mixed media, photography, and digital art.

    (Get More Info)

    Are there rules in art?

    So again, does art have rules? Yes. Students, whether they know it or not, need rules and boundaries in order to learn. For example, if you have a set of rules in place for how you have to apply the paint, this will force you to think about what you are looking at.

    (Get More Info)

    What makes a good art?

    Good art always explores new subjects, emotions, feelings, sceneries and methodologies. If something catches your eye or if you discover something new in a piece of art, you should decide whether this uniqueness really sets the artwork apart and enhances the piece, or not.

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    10 Simple Tips to Improve Your Drawing Skills

    10 Simple Tips to Improve Your Drawing Skills Drawing by itself is a pleasurable and profitable form of art, but learning to draw well can also lead to better work in other mediums. Having an accurate drawing is especially important as the basis of a realistic painting among other things. Improving your drawing skills will boost your artwork to a new level. Drawing helps you to understand shading, value and shape and you can translate those concepts into other forms of art. Drawing helps keep your mind sharp because it forces you to focus on the world around you which is why so many people use it as a form of meditation or mindfulness activity. Below are some simple tips to help you improve your drawing skills. I’ve added a few extra so there are more than 10 but more is better isn’t it? 😊 They are simple but important steps to help you enhance your drawing. This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and buy, I may receive a small commission. Please see my full privacy policy for details. 1.Practice  Practicing your drawing consistently is the number one thing that will improve your skill. Draw something every day. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, just draw whatever comes to mind or whatever you see. You can draw repetitive patterns, doodles, interlocking circles, pictures from magazines, anything that keeps your pencil moving. Don’t start with something really complicated. Keep it simple. Practicing will hone your eye for detail, help you develop good habits, and train you on how to draw something correctly without thinking about it too much. ​​2. Trace Print off a picture of something you would like to draw and then trace over it numerous times. This helps to build muscle memory for curves and angles on the subject you want to draw and will help to quickly improve your drawing skills. Also, you can use tracing paper to trace the subject and then transfer it to drawing paper. This will give you a more accurate line drawing to start with. 3. Use Reference Photos Often we just draw whatever is in our imagination, but sometimes we have a specific thing that we want to draw. It’s hard to get an accurate drawing of a specific object if we aren’t looking at it. Using reference photos to see angles and shadows will make the drawing easier to render. If you intend to exhibit or sell your drawings, be careful to only use reference photos that are not copyrighted. Just taking any picture you find on google without checking to see if it is free to use can end up getting you sued.To learn more and find several good sites to get free photos, read my post on Reference Photos. 4. Paper The quality of paper you use can make a big difference in how your drawing turns out. Regular printer paper is rough and will not give you a smooth blend of graphite for shading. It is fine to start off learning to…

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    21 DRAWING TIPS AND TRICKS

    15 Tips to Improve Your Drawing Skills – Daisy Yellow Art

    15 Tips to Improve Your Drawing Skills People are born with innate drawing talent or they are not.{Fact? Fiction? Urban Legend? Fairy Tale?} post updated 08/10/22Drawing is making marks on paper. To draw well, you’ve got to practice. That’s the only secret.When my kids were little, I was always looking for things to do while waiting everywhere — swimming lessons, gymnastics, soccer practice, or dentist appointments. This was 14 years ago, so I brought along an iPod (loaded with podcasts and music), a notebook, and some pens. I drew repeating patterns, alphabets, words, knots, and mandalas. It never occurred to me that I would/could get better – I just figured that it was something other people knew how to do. Looking back now I think of years of drawing in coffee shops, on airplanes, in the carpool line, waiting on hold, waiting in line at the DMV, at the breakfast table, on the porch, and in book stores. Drawing in all sorts of notebooks and journals all over the world on planes, buses, and trains. Most of what I draw is abstract but I’ve sketched monuments and landscapes and cathedrals and people as well. What I learned? If you draw a lot, you get better. It might seem like magic that involves charms and pixie dust and the perfect fountain pen — but honestly it’s just about drawing. So if you are in search of tips for getting better at drawing – or if you are frustrated because you feel you are not making progress, I’ve put together some tips and encouragement for you as you move forward. It’s easy to lose steam and think you’re not making progress. But it is happening! Keep drawing and you’ll gradually feel more comfortable|confident with your drawing tools and build fine motor skills.developing your drawing skills is a gradual ProcessLook at your progress over a long time frame. If you compare your work today with your work from a month ago, you probably won’t see clear differences. But if you look at a longer time frame – compare the drawings you did 1-2 years ago vs. current — you’ll see a difference! Progress is measured not in hours, but in months and years. Be patient with yourself. The more you draw, the better you will get. As I look back through my journals, I see that every time I challenged myself to try a new idea, I made a leap forward. What paper to use? Try all sorts of papers and notebooks and gradually you’ll start noticing differences. Paper & pen choices are so personal to the way you draw. Usually, I use moleskine journals, field notes notebooks, loose watercolor paper, and index cards. Try index cards! Index cards are a key part of my creative practice – I write about this and share examples in the simple beauty of index card art. Each summer, I facilitate the Daisy Yellow Index-Card-a-Day Challenge which is a fiesta of creative fun (2022 was our 12th challenge)! Think of drawing as making a series…

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