Wednesday, May 14, 2008

How do you get better at drawing - Part 2

This post is the second in a series about improving your drawing skills.

The series: How do you get better at drawing?
  1. Learn
  2. Practice
  3. Listen
  4. Practice More
Step Two: Practice
These are some ideas on how to practice, what to practice, and how to keep yourself interested.
  • As they say, practice makes perfect.
  • Practice as much as you can...whatever works for you...15 minutes a day. Someone recently mentioned starting with 30 seconds a day, just to build the habit of drawing regularly. Whatever it takes, you will not get better if you don't practice. I wrote recently that van Gogh began with very meager talents. He left behind over 1000 drawings. A coincidence? No, van Gogh worked very hard to improve.
  • Try drawing different things. Change up your subject matter, it only broadens your repertoire.
  • Draw something you've never drawn before, something you've never considered drawing.
  • Draw in your comfort zone.
  • For something complicated, break down the process, step by step, bit by bit. If you are working on faces, and it's going horribly, start with one feature and work on that one first. Once that one feature becomes more natural, move on to an adjacent feature, etc.
  • Try different medium, to change it up for yourself.
  • If you are getting frustrated, try doing a "I'm going to just have fun on this one and then throw it away." Sometimes I get too tense with trying to draw something as I want to and then it just goes from bad to worse. In those cases, if I just tell myself I can just "go for it" and it doesn't matter because the drawing isn't destined for anything, I loosen up and it works out for me. (That's when I transfer the image to better paper and start enjoying the work!)


Cathy Gatland said...

Although I'd always drawn, I had a job for a couple of years in an ad agency where I had to draw all day every day, things I never would have dreamed of choosing to draw - cars, washing machines, glasses, animals - you name it. My skills took a huge leap over that time and even after years of child-raising and slacking off, those intensive drawing years still stand me in good stead. If I'm feeling rusty and wobbly, I know it'll just take a bit of careful looking and loads more practice. No short cuts!

Rose Welty said...

Cathy, that is great encouragement! Thanks for sharing it.