Let’s face it, drawing is hard. I have put together some of the best tips that have helped me along the way. I hope they help you bring your drawings to life.
“I am satisfied. This is great!” As an artist, how often does this go through your mind when you look at your artwork? The truth is that most artists, especially beginners, are wondering how to get better at drawing or if they will ever reach this stage. So, what can you do to improve your ability to draw? Here are some drawing tips to help you get through tough days.
Keep a Sketchbook
Drawing regularly helps to foster creativity. It also helps to develop strategic thinking and the ability to focus. Drawing uses both sides of our brain and creates new modes of thought. The creative part of our brain comes up with ideas and the logical brain helps to put those ideas into action.
We should not downplay the fact that it also helps you pick up the motor control required to put those ideas on paper. Having a sketchbook at all times is a popular drawing tip that will help you see things in a new way and develop your visual memory. Sketching the mundane becomes exciting because your pencil can create it any way you like.
When a behaviour becomes habitual, we cease employing our decision-making skills and instead operate on auto-pilot. A critical step to improve your self-discipline is to remove all temptations and distractions from your environment. For example, if you want to improve your eating habits, get rid of junk food.
You need to get to a point where you get drawing automatically at a certain time of the day. It is just a part of everything you accomplish. When you have a timetable and set a routine it takes the when and how out of the equation.
A common problem in drawing is that we have preconceived ideas of what an object looks like. Drawing exercises help train you out of this. These exercises help you to observe. Building sequential thinking is a crucial part of drawing. Need some ideas on drawing exercises, check out this post.
Take a class
Art teachers have a broad knowledge that a student lacks. They might be able to critique and guide you on the path that you want to take. Having to turn in structured projects will guarantee that you encounter your limitations and learn to conquer them.
The best part about an art class is going to a place that inspires and motivates you while allowing you to mingle with people who have the same interest as you. Taking art classes speeds up the time of learning and improvements.
Study other artists
Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting you copy them. You can produce original artwork by being inspired by other artists. You can develop your artistic style and not get lost in the style you are studying.
Study artists from different periods and check out drawings from then and now. Create a list of artists that inspire you. Then study what draws you to their work – drawing, brush strokes, composition, use of colour? Think of something that you might want to draw or paint and see how you might use these effects in your art.
Try different versions of what you have created. Now turn it into your masterpiece by adding what is personally yours.
Find an art mentor
Mentors offer advice, counsel, expertise, encouragement, and motivation that are personalised for your growth. They can teach you how to get better at drawing and how to build your art career.
Do you need face-to-face interaction or is online mentoring okay for you? Do your homework. Find out not only about the person’s art but also about the person. Make sure they are a good fit for you.
Connect with other artists
One of the advantages of integrating into the art scene is that you will meet other artists. Make friends, seek advice, discuss ideas. Many people look to connect with those who understand their struggle, heartaches and dreams of finding work as a creative. Being an artist can be a lonely pursuit, and it is necessary to connect with those who know your pains and struggles.
Build a visual library
After you have done all of the above, the next step is to create your visual library. The South Korean artist, Kim Jung Gi, can draw entire scenes from his imagination. He is a perfect example of an artist who has developed and uses his visual library. His drawing tip for artists in an interview was that when he is learning to draw a subject he draws it from several angles.
This technique helps in brain mapping. The brain stores these images that can then be reproduced easily. Study objects as well as drawings. Practise drawing these without looking at them.
Develop a growth mindset
Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts). (Carol Dweck, Harvard Business Review)
In my blog Talent vs Hard work, I explain that being talented can be a disadvantage because it might make some people complacent. Try new strategies, learn from setbacks, and be deeply engaged in the process that you are going through to help you move forward.
Stop and assess regularly
An unusual drawing tip is to take regular breaks! You may think of your break as a time when you were not productive. On the contrary, breaks can help you assess and reorganize your thoughts. According to research, the necessity to make many decisions during the day can wear down your willpower and reasoning abilities.
Have that cup of coffee you’ve been longing for. Take that walk that has been beckoning you for an hour.
Last but not least, be intentional. As much as we would like to, we cannot become good at everything at once. Take time out to improve one skill, perhaps gesture or perspective.
You just need enough to build a basic understanding that pushes you just a little forward. Then you can move on to the next skill. But be careful, you can easily get trapped into improving one skill. Each skill is linked to the other.
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