Here’s a universal truth about artists: no matter how experienced or seasoned they are, they always try to improve. A true artist knows that practice makes perfect, or, at the very least, it can lead to developing the skills one needs to achieve their desired level.
If you have been doing things a certain way for a long time, you might want to explore new forms of tracing and shading to create a more mature piece of art. Perhaps a new medium can serve as additional motivation and rekindle your love of art.
Your reasons for pursuing new ways to improve your drawing skills may vary, but they all lead to a similar conclusion. The best way to improve is to draw frequently, and you should start as soon as possible. Practice is an ongoing process. It would be best if you learned to enjoy it as a habit that enriches your creative output.
1. Face Your Fear of the Blank Page
Before thinking about improving your drawing skills, you must first learn to face the blank page. Face a new canvas without the hollow feeling that comes with it.
The idea that a blank sheet of paper can create an adrenaline rush is almost comical, but for creators, that sheet may be the vessel into which they pour all their insecurities and fears. Creating the type of work that you want may require more skill than you currently have, and this may not be easy to admit.
Writer’s block is similar to this. Many artists put too much pressure on themselves in the hope of thriving in their passions. However, if you’re serious about improving your drawing skills, you must silence your inner critic, overcome your fear, grab the pencil, and get started. You need to draw. It’s as simple as that.
2. Switch Up Your Medium
Taking your drawing skills to the next level might be as simple as switching things up.
If you’ve spent years perfecting your shading technique using a carbon pencil, and that’s the medium you prefer, how would you fare using watercolors? How would you feel limiting yourself to using a physical notebook if you have always drawn on a digital pad?
To deal with these “limitations,” your brain will find a creative solution, and in doing so, you can learn a new skill.
You might not stick to the new medium forever, but you can learn something from it that can be used to further your career, even if it is just the confidence to express yourself in another way. We recommend this comic characters drawing guide by BioWars as a great place to start.
3. Focus on Perspective, Shapes, and Shadows
Perspective, shapes, and shadows can become a signature of your style and take your drawings to the next level. Therefore, practicing these skills is crucial. If you’re unsure where to begin, start small and gradually work your way up. Here are the key concepts to focus on.
Perspective refers to the angle from which you see (and sketch) an object. Making the subject pop out of the page can be challenging but a sign of a more mature piece of art. So, where do you start? Lay out an angle grid with guide points to assist you in locating the object in the space and capturing it accordingly.
The benefits of practicing drawing shapes are everlasting and could redefine your work. When people begin drawing, shapes are often one of the first things they learn. To master drawing shapes, observe images and determine what shape gives them their form.
Examine photos online and analyze the basic shapes that make up the subjects: a face could be an oval, a chest could be a rectangle, etc. By following that, you can trace the “skeleton” of your subject and work your way up to the final image.
The shading in your drawings gives them depth. The first step is to observe how light and shadow interact on paper. Using a single light source to illuminate an object from a specific perspective is an excellent place to start.
4. Reconnect With Your Inner Child
You can take many paths to become an artist and improve your drawing skills. Mastering a new set of skills might feel stressful if you focus on immediate results, whether you’re just starting your career or beginning a new chapter.
Reconnect with what started this all: you like drawing! Let go of expectations and let yourself experience the process and the discoveries along the way. The process should be fun, something you’re almost addicted to because of how fulfilled you feel when you do it.
You may need to rediscover drawing for its own sake, for the sake of feeling good. Then “the hard work” would seem more like “me time,” allowing your passion to flourish. Reconnect with the child who filled their notebook with doodles at the back of class once upon a time.
5. Observe the World Around You
Take a look around. What’s the first thing that catches your eye? There is always something appealing about your surroundings, whether it’s your pet, window view, or coffee mug. Many things can inspire you and provide you with new models for your drawings.
To improve your drawing skills, you should start with what you know and have the freedom to experiment with proportions, shapes, and techniques.
You can integrate your practice into your daily life by carrying a sketchbook with you at all times. Start sketching whenever something interesting catches your attention. Furthermore, this will allow you to track how your drawing skills develop over time.
6. Stand on the Shoulders of Giants
Each person has their unique perspective and particular style, making them who they are as an artist —irreplicable and authentic. Despite this, every artist looks up to someone. It can be a mentor, a contemporary artist you admire, or perhaps a great classic whose name has become part of the definition of art.
It is a good idea to practice replicating a work of art you like or one with characteristics you would like to achieve in the future. Reverse engineering is the best way to describe it. Step by step, you’re trying to figure out how the artist achieved a specific result, and in the process, you’re learning a skill you can apply to your artwork later on.
We draw replicas not because we want to copy others but to learn how to approach the techniques we admire.
7. Remember Your Beginnings
You deserve a reward for your hard work in improving your drawing skills. Exhibiting or selling your art can take a bit of time, so once you have made some progress in your practice, be sure to look back at your old work.
You’ve probably heard about people who frame their first paycheck. How about framing one of your first sketches? Remembering where you started is not only humbling, but it also reminds you that you can achieve anything if you work hard.
Be proud of your accomplishments at every step of the process.
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