Are you an aspiring artist? Do you get inspired by talented artists all over the internet? Do you want to improve your drawing skills like them? But, don’t know how? Then, it’s high time that you should leave your worries and bring out your creative skills with this post. Here is a guide on How to improve drawing skills, if you are a beginner.
Well, drawings have different meanings for different people. For some, it is a source of entertainment and fun, while for others, it is more of a passion. But, sometimes this passion seems to be wasted if you are unable to draw properly. You must be thinking to get rid of those drawings if they don’t hold meaning. No need to be sad as it doesn’t matter if your drawing has shaking edges or broken lines in the beginning, if you are consistent in drawing, you will improve your skills sooner.
If you want to know how to improve drawing, then you must promise yourself that you will be consistent as it is the only key to improvement. All you need to do is to practice a lot and have patience till the final results don’t match your expectations. No magic spells, no shortcuts, it is your dedication and intent to learn new things that can create the spark.
So, how to improve your drawing as a beginner? Does your artwork require you to have expensive art supplies, even if you are a beginner? Or you can use a pencil and a paper? What are the important skills that you need to master if you want to become a pro artist in a short time span? You must be thinking about all this, but no worries. Below you will find answers to all these questions with a complete guide. So, without further ado, let’s start with it.
General Tips On How To Improve Drawing
You need to understand that you are not the only one who is struggling to draw well.
So, there is no need to doubt your skills. Instead, you need to pat your shoulders as you have decided to do something that you love, even if you are not able to draw as per your expectations.
You need not worry.
However, you need to focus on one thing and that is to “DRAW.”
Yes, the only way to improve drawing is to draw consistently. Well, this is the most important thing and most people don’t consider it as essential. That is why they give up on drawing so easily. But, you need to remember, if you aim to be a good artist, you need to draw a lot of things too on repeat.
You must be confused as to why draw a lot?
Well, it is because, while drawing, you not only trace the figures on the sheet of paper. Instead, you get a chance to widen your perspective.
Drawing requires you to look at the things, analyze them and then draw them on your paper with a clear idea of the form, light, Shadows, proportions, and visuality. So if you promise of being consistent in drawing, here are a few tips that can help you in improving drawing:
1. Remember The Mantra: “Just Repeat”
You must have heard that practice makes a man perfect. The same works if you want to improve drawing. If you keep on practicing it will lead you towards a journey showing how you improved your previous mistakes. So, It is your responsibility to try drawing the same object again and again if you want to improve your level.
What is the wait now? Grab your tools and get started.
2. Analyse Other Piece Of Drawings
You can learn a lot from others’ drawings.
No matter if it is a simple line or a complex painting. You can still be able to learn about other’s techniques of creating a particular drawing. This means that if you observe their piece of paintings, you will get to know how they create a line and convert them into beautiful shapes. What was their idea about light and Shadows and how are they coloring their objects?
Most importantly, you will get to know how they see objects and how they are able to bring life into their drawings.
However, you need to remember that this is not a one-night show. There is no need to fizz if you are unable to find a perspective in someone’s drawing in the beginning. Eventually, you will be able to analyze their drawings.
Yes, it will take a longer time.
Also, read Best Coloring Apps for iOS 2021
3. Draw from a Reference
The fabulous sketches of renowned artists like da Vinci might be the reason that you started as an artist. However, you need to remember that you cannot become like them in the start even if you copy their sketches.
Though they can be your reference.
It is advised to start by referring to the smaller objects. You can start by drawing two-dimensional objects, as it is easy to draw them, even if you are a beginner. Once you are confident enough to make those shapes without any reference, you can jump to a higher level.
At that point, you can try using photographs for reference.
Well, If you are still confused with the reference, try drawing something out of life. Go to the nearest park or reach out to a cafe, sip up your favorite drink and draw whatever you see.
4. Always keep A Sketchbook Next To You
Inspiration can come to you anytime, so you need to keep a SketchBook and your essential tools next to you. Whenever you see something inspiring, open up your SketchBook and start drawing.
You can even take a 30-day challenge. This means that you have to draw consistently for the next 30 days whenever you feel inspired.
5. Try To Be Intentional
Do you know which is the most important thing that even surpasses practicing?
It is your intent!
Before getting into drawing you need to make it clear if you want to pursue it for a longer Run or not. As it is impossible to do anything without an intention. If you have decided to improve drawing, you can make a timetable or schedule your daytime accordingly. This can help you to pursue drawing for at least an hour.
In short, you need to develop a habit of drawing.
6. If Possible, Try Taking A Class Or Watch Drawing Videos
Yes, practicing is the crucial thing that can improve drawing skills, but you need guidance as well.
If it is convenient to you, then you can take a class online or offline. If you don’t want to take a class, you can still get guidance. There are a lot of platforms like YouTube and Instagram where artists share their drawing clips.
Yes, you can learn from these videos for free.
Along with this, you need to have a basic idea of other necessities like which tools to use, which skills to master, and a lot more. Below is a guide to all of the essential things that you will find interesting.
Also, check out 8 Best YouTube Channels to Learn Animation in 2021
Basic Tools That Are Essential For A Beginner
If you think that you will improve drawing without investing in some good quality tools, then you are completely wrong.
Yes, it’s true.
The tools and material that you use while drawing has a lot of importance.
You must be remembering the times when a pencil and a sheet of paper were enough to make you an artist. Perhaps, it is not similar now.
No, this doesn’t mean that you need to spend thousands of bugs to buy a single tool. Instead, to save money, you can go with the basic ones at the start and eventually get your hands on the professional tools.
Also, you can try some renowned companies like Faber Castell and Camelin who are pioneers in creating professional tools at cheaper rates than the others. As another alternative, you can go for a small packaging of the same material if essentially needed.
So, if you are ready to start your artistic journey, you will need:
1. Drawing Pencils
Ahh!! Don’t confuse your normal pencil with the drawing pencils. Shhh! This is no less than a crime. LOL!
On a serious note, most beginners do this. It doesn’t matter if it is your first time or the tenth one, you need to make this thing clear that you cannot use anything except the quality drawing pencils.
So, which pencil to choose?
Well, this depends upon your drawing style. If you are someone who wants to just shade, then darker graphite tones are what you need, but if you need to work on sketching figures or objects, you will need a different set. Also, you need to have a rough idea of the Pencil Grading Scale.
It’s a great piece of news if you know about it in detail, but if you don’t know about it, no worries, here is a short guide for you:
Just remember, there are three types of pencils
H means Hardness, while B means blackness.
All you need to remember is that the higher the H content, the lighter the shade. This means 9H is lighter than the 3H pencil as it has lower graphite content that makes the pencil harder and lighter. While in contrast to this, the higher the B content the dark is the shade. Thus the 9B is softer than 3B and is darker as well. So for the purpose of shading, you will need B pencils however, if you intend to draw strokes then, H pencils will be favorable.
You can either buy the whole set of pencils or go for an individual one. It depends upon you. Both of the options are easily available in the market.
Well, in my personal opinion, if you are in your learning stages, then buying the whole set is more effective than buying it individually.
It is because it offers you a window to try each shade.
Some good quality graphite pencils that can help you to improve drawing as a beginner are:
- FABER CASTELL Grip 2011 Mechanical pencil 0.7 MM
- Arteza Professional Drawing Sketch Pencils Set of 12, Medium
2. A Good Quality Sketchbook/ Paper:
Again! A sketchbook is something that plays a crucial role in how your drawing will look.
You need to check the weight, thickness of the surface of the paper. Also, each paper has its own importance. For instance, the heavier and thicker paper has a good hold for the markers and watercolors. While in contrast to this, for dry media like pencils, you will need lighter paper.
Well, do you know even the smoothest paper has pores?
So, it is important to check the texture of the paper/ the sheet. If you are someone who wants to work with Charcoal or pastel colors, you can go for a paper that has larger pits and grooves as it can hold on to the pigment much easily. While for the inks and pencils, you should try using smooth paper.
It was for the paper, but what about the binding? It is going to help you?
Yes, it will help you. Spiral binding SketchBook will lie flat whenever you work on it whereas if you go for a hardbound sketchbook, it will be harder for you to use. The hardbound SketchBook will not fold as per your need.
Also, these sketchbooks come in different sizes. Depending upon your comfortability you can go for A3, A4, or A5 size to bring on the creative artist inside you.
Some good quality sketchbooks that can help you to improve drawing as a beginner are:
- Bellofy Artist Sketchbook
- Strathmore 400 Series Toned Tan Pad
- Burstro Artistic Sketchbook
- Pentalic Wire-Bound Sketchbook
- Canson Artist Series Universal Sketch Pad
3. Variety Of Erasers:
By far you must have used only one type of eraser since childhood, perhaps there are a variety of Erasers that you will need. No matter if you are a beginner or a pro, you should have the following erasers in your sketching kit:
- Rubber Eraser
- Gum Eraser
- Kneaded Eraser
- Plastic Eraser
All of these erasers are easily accessible from a stationary store or you can buy them online.
Before buying you must know what is all about these erasers? Why are they essential?
Rubber Eraser: These are the erasers that you have been using since your childhood. Using this rubber holds a scientific reason. Since it is a rubber, on rubbing, it generates friction and this friction is used to erase the graphite from the paper/the surface that you use.
You need to note that since this eraser uses friction, it is not used much while drawing. Sometimes, it is used to smooth the surfaces as friction can do this wonders.
Gum Eraser: The gum eraser is also known as the crumbler. It uses both frictions as well as crumbling. This crumbler prevents the surfaces from tearing, thus it is great for removing the media from a sheet of paper that is sensitive to tearing.
Kneaded Eraser: The kneaded eraser can be called the flexibility king. While drawing you must experience some of the things that need to be erased pointedly from the surface. At this point, a kneaded eraser will be your only solution. It does not use friction to remove the material, instead, it lifts the material from its position.
The best part of using the kneaded eraser is that it can be used in any shape by kneading. Thus, named a kneaded eraser.
Being so flexible, it is the most valuable eraser.
You might feel the need to replace the kneaded eraser after some time as it gets dirty easily but don’t worry you can clean your dirty eraser, just by pulling and kneading it.
It might sound silly, but this trick works.
Plastic Eraser: If any of the erasers have to be the paper’s enemy, it can be the plastic erasers. Why? It is because plastic erasers are the toughest of all the above-mentioned erasers.
Though it can erase anything, you have to be a little cautious as it produces so much friction that it can harm your paper as well.
Along with all these erasers, you can use an electric eraser as well. An electric eraser is a machine eraser that is driven by an electric motor. It has an eraser at the tip, which is used to erase pink pointed elements from the drawing. It is mostly used in drifting and Library work.
Some of the best erasers that can help you to improve drawing as a beginner are:
- Prismacolor Artgum Erasers
- Faber-Castell Perfection Eraser Pencil
- Faber-Castell Dust-Free Eraser
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4. Charcoal/ Conté
The next essential thing after pencil for an artist is charcoal for sure. You must have seen the black and white drawing charcoal pencils with a high concentration of graphite in them, but did you know that there are more colors to those charcoal pencils rather than just black or white.
If you are a beginner and you want to sketch/ draw something then Charcoal has to be your must-go essential tool in your artistic kit.
Most people think that charcoal is nothing more than just a mess, perhaps this is wrong. If you too think the same, then you need to think twice.
Charcoal is much broader in value as compared to graphite pencils. The charcoal pencils are used in making marks in a drawing which are more prominent than the graphite. Along with this, it is great for details. And, you know that details are the soul of any sketch.
You can go for soft, hard, or medium charcoal, depending on what kind of strokes you want.
Also, you should know that charcoal comes in two forms: a stick and a pencil. Most of the professionals use the stick.
Again, this stick form has two types:
- Vine form of charcoal which leaves a lighter mark on the paper, as it is softer.
- Compressed form which is also known as the concentrated form. This form results in darker strokes/ marks.
Just like charcoal, Conté is rich in color. But, both are different in their making. The charcoal gets its existence by burning organic material while burning clay constituents results in the Conté.
However, both can improve your skills and make your drawing game reach another level.
5. Tortillions/ Blending Stumps
7 years back when I started my artistic journey I was unaware of blending Stumps. At that time I used to stare at assisted artistic paintings and wonder how they are so flawless and smooth in blending?
But, not now! Thanks to the internet, who made things easier for the next generation. They will get to know about these magical sticks in advance.
Blending stumps can help you to improve drawing as a beginner. These blending stumps are paper-rolled sticks that have pointed tips of varying sizes. So, what do these blending stumps do and how do they enhance your drawing?
Blending stumps are used by the artist when they want to smudge something on the paper. It is a great way to add gradations into your drawing without the application of oils/ fingers. Fingers? It is because before using the blending stumps, people used to blend the charcoal/ graphite with their fingertips. Using fingertips resulted in a lot of dirt in the work area that turned out to be a complete mess.
6. Portfolio/ Artwork Studio/ Artwork Storage
If you are thinking of leaving this point, then you should drop your idea. What if your drawings are not as good as expected, you need to create specific artwork storage or portfolio to keep them safe in one place.
Don’t throw away any of your artwork if you don’t find it as good as Picasso’s paintings. It is just that you are in your beginning phase and you will learn only after a series of bad artwork. All you need is a daily practice and a lot of patience.
Moreover, along with these two, you will need to love your improvements. So, it is essential to preserve your precious artworks in a safe place like a portfolio file.
How to select a perfect portfolio for your drawing?
Simple, look for the following criteria:
- Size: The size of a Portfolio will depend on the size of your sheets. For instance If you are using the sheets of A4 size, then you should go for a Portfolio that can fit A4 sheet quite easily. However if you are working on a larger sheet or mixed sizes of sheets, then you should go for an A3 size portfolio as it can secure all sizes of sheets, be it A3 or below.
- Rigidness: Think! What is the fun of having a Portfolio that can not prevent your sheets from bending? So rather than going for a cheap alternative you should invest into a good quality portfolio that can last for long. Also, with a good quality portfolio you need not to worry about your work.
Along with creating storage for your artwork you need to pay some emphasis on storing your art material as well. So it is essential that you should invest in storage for your art material. You can go for a portable, semi-portable, or permanent stack depending upon your work area and type of artwork.
Though these tools seem to be a waste of money as a beginner, you will get to know about their importance only after using them for drawing.
Now, as you know about the tools that are not less than necessary, it is time to know about the basic skills that you need to master if you want to change your beginner’s level to the Professional one.
5 Skills That You Need To Master
No matter if you are a beginner or a pro, as an artist, you need to master the 5 basic skills of drawing if you want to improve drawing.
This is because these skills are the foundation of every drawing. Even the most complicated drawings are the result of combining these fundamental skills. This includes understanding the concept of:
- Shadows and light
- Relationships among different objects
- Combination of all these four skills.
Let’s talk about these, one by one.
Take any reference painting and try to observe its objects. Aren’t they composed of different shapes? All those definite shapes are built up by a combination of edges. So, you need to observe how different items evolve from a single line.
Now, look at your recent drawings. Do you find your edges a little shaky? It is great if it is not. However, if you find those lines shaky, you need to improve those lines first if you want to improve drawing. Be it a pen, an object, a classic landscape, or any other thing, you need to master creating their edges in one go.
Yes, it will take time, but the results will be worth your time and patience.
No! We are not talking about planets, the outer world, or the empty area. Instead, the word space means the area that is occupied by the object.
You need to have a clear idea about the space that is taken up by an object and the space that is empty, commonly known as the negative space. The clear determination of the 2 is essential to draw the shapes perfectly. Also, it helps you in understanding how both work together in a single picture.
Shadows And light:
This skill is not important if you are dealing with 2D images. However, if you are drawing objects that require depth, then shadows and light can be very impactful in creating a perception of the object.
The lighter area shows that it is facing the light while the darker area shows that it is away from it. This concept of hitting by light or creating shadows makes your object look realistic.
Now you must be thinking that shadows and light work only if you are working in black and white color. Perhaps, this is not true. Instead, the idea works similarly if you are dealing with colors. In such a case, the black color is replaced by a deeper shade while the white one is represented by the lighter tone.
The concept of Shadows and light is more important if your reference image is in color and you are drawing in black and white.
Relationships Among Different Objects:
Even if you draw different lines of an object in the picture, it can still look incomplete and you know why?
It is because every single line in an object or in a picture has a relationship with the other.
To understand this, get back to your childhood, while creating a square, you have to create a figure with 4 closed edges. What if you do not combine all those lines, Is it still a square?
Likewise, you need to look into the picture and create an imaginary relationship among the lines. You need to look within the object, but don’t forget to add the relationship with its surrounding as it will make the whole drawing. Without this, your drawing will be a set of elements without any sense altogether.
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Combination Of All These Four Skills:
This is not a joke!
You need to master this skill as well. In fact, drawing will be perfect, if you master all these skills.
You might not know about this right now, but gradually, you will get to know how to combine all these skills to get the desired results.
Who knows, after mastering all these skills, you will become a renowned artist like Picasso.
What Basic Drawing Techniques You Should Know To Improve Drawing?
It is completely understandable that as a beginner, it is impossible to know all the drawing techniques, but knowing the basic ones is crucial. From picking up the right set of drawing pencils to preventing your artwork from being smudged, you need to learn all of the basic techniques.
Some of the techniques that you should consider from the beginning are:
- Learn everything about your art supplies/ material: From an eraser to the sketchbook, this includes all. You need to know about the pores in the paper, graphite content in the pencil, elasticity of the eraser, smoothness of the surface, and a lot more if you wantto improve drawing. A brief knowledge about your art material can do wonders.
- Composition And Form: As said earlier, an object is the result of combination of the edges and shapes, so, you need to observe it first. If you find this a complex task, try starting with simple objects like the 2-Dimensional objects. Along with this, you can try drawing objects from different angles. Change your objects position and then try to draw them.
- Get to know about different types of Sketching: Hatching and cross hatching are the widely accepted sketching techniques that can do wonder to your drawing. It is known to add depth and highlights to your boring 2-d picture. Who doesn’t want this to happen? Along with this, you need to have an idea of the tonal sketching. It is also a helpful aspect if you want to improve drawing.
- Blending: Blend! Blend! Blend! This is the secret key to make your objects look smooth. You can use the blending stumps to blend your graphite/ charcoal. In case you don’t have one, you can use tissue paper or simply use your finger tips. (If you are planning to use your fingertips, make sure you do not make your sheet dirty with them.)
- Accent lines: This is not a necessary aspect of drawing, yet this practice of drawing lines below your object creates an additional style to it.
- Perfect use of eraser: Don’t worry if you shade something accidently, you still have your eraser. It can do magic. You can use a kneaded eraser or an electric eraser to add some sort of valve to your object.
- Learn to be Smudge proof: Sometimes, you might make the surrounding of the object dirty. But don’t worry you can use an eraser to clean it off. However, you can take precautions from the start. All you need to do is to keep a tissue or butter paper below your palm while sketching, it will prevent the graphite from smudging.
And, that’s it! If you improve all these skills, you will probably end up creating good drawings.
What Can You Draw To Improve Drawing Skills?
There are a bunch of things that can inspire you to draw, but because of the complexity, your drawing might not look similar. So, if you want to improve drawing, you can draw a lot of things on repeat. These includes:
- Ordinary things like Patterns, symbols, Circles, and doodles
- Challenging shapes like the Organic shapes, faces, or images from the magazines.
- Grid with some patterns in its empty spaces
- Everyday adventure
How To Improve Drawing Faces?
Firstly, try drawing the element that can be drawn individually. For example Front View or the profile view of the Nose. Try drawing the major organs to perfection and then use that knowledge to draw the complete figure.
Here are some tips to Improve Drawing Faces that you must follow:
- Take a Class in Drawing Faces/ poses/ figures.
- Sketching the front and profile View of the Nose.
- Sketch a Realistic Eye
- Sketching Lips (You can use the line drawing method for this)
- Smiling Lips
- You can draw Eyes, Nose, and Lips altogether to compose a face, using the Grid Method
- Try to Draw the Ears from the Front and the side view.
- Combine all the organs and draw an Entire Face.
- Create Interest in Your Subject by Controlling Edges
How To Improve Drawing Figures/Poses?
To improve drawing the poses and figures, you can follow the following steps:
- Start drawing in charcoal as it can make composition easy.
- Create the blocks and fill them with simple shapes.
- Try referring to the actual human figure anatomy for a better understanding.
- If you don’t know how to draw hands, you can use ‘gestural hand’ for expressive lines.
- Try drawing the figure without copying.
- Don’t forget the muscles. NEVER EVER!
- Blend! Blend! And Blend! To show the shadow. For highlights, you can use the kneaded eraser.
How To Improve Drawing Anime?
Drawing anime is similar to drawing figures and poses. So, if you are a beginner at drawing anime, you need to follow a similar guide as that of drawing the human figure. However, for their faces, you need to learn how to draw their facial features first.
To improve drawing anime, you can:
- Learn their anatomy.
- Learn How to draw in shapes.
- Learn about animic composition.
- Try Different Mediums to draw anime.
- Try to tell a story with your drawing.
- You can add some colors to your drawings or Keep it simple, if needed.
- Never, leave the surroundings. Yes,it matters a lot.
- And, lastly, never give up.
So, this was all for the guide on How To Improve Drawing If You Are a Beginner.
Well, all of these tips have worked for me and other artists around the globe. The basic tips have helped me in creating a spark in the art world. No matter, it is about drawing or painting, these tips can change your drawing forever and you will see the improvements for sure.
So this was my opinion. But now, it’s your turn to try these tips and improve drawing skills. However, in the excitement of trying these tips, don’t forget to tell us in the comment section below if you find this post helpful or not. And, if it is helpful, share it with your friends and family to improve their drawing skills as well.
People have also asked:
Q. What are the 4 types of shading?
In general, there are 4 basic types of shading techniques for a beginner:
However, if you master these basic shading techniques, the rest of the techniques will be easy for you. The advanced shading skills include:
Hatching & Cross-Hatching
Smooth Shading & Blending
Q. What are the best drawing books for beginners?
As a beginner, if you are not able to create creative ideas of your own, or want to have a reference image for the reference, then you can take help from the best art books for beginners. The books that can help you with the basic shapes and techniques are:
Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis.
Figure Drawing for Artists:
1. Making Every Mark Count by Steve Huston.
2. Anatomy for the Artist by Sarah Simblet.
3. Drawing People by Barbara Bradley.
4. Vilppu Drawing Manual by Glenn Vilppu.
5. Figure Drawing: Design and Invention by Michael Hampton.
Q. What age should you start drawing?
If you are asking for my personal opinion then I think that there is no said age to start drawing. All you need is a learning attitude and that’s it. No matter, you are in your 20’s, 30’s or even 70’s, you can become a great artist.