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DIY guide on how to draw and improve drawing abilities

Learning to draw takes time and patience.

Jun 6, 2019 |
2 min read

Learning how to draw is not a fast process. Unless you are drawing from your imagination, anything you are looking at needs to be analysed, understood and then reproduced on paper. You will be capturing what you see by making use of various materials and using your own personal interpretation.

Things like shape, color, proportions and shade need to be studied. Look at where the light is coming in from and where the shadow is being cast. This in turn reveals and defines the form in more detail.

Drawing can be an absorbing, fun and rewarding creative process. Whether you have a natural talent or not, you can always improve the way your draw. Here are a few tips from us to help:

Practice makes perfect

The more you practice, the better you will get. Unless you get down to drawing on a regular basis, your confidence won’t improve nor will your skills. Allow time to perfect your own individual style.

Look at drawings done by other people

It doesn’t matter whether they are simple line drawings or complex interpretations. Look at how they have put down on paper what they can see; the lines, shapes, textures, shade and colors.

Copy a drawing

Rather than draw from real life, begin by copying other drawings. Find something you like and take your time to replicate it. Before you know it, you will be replicating the skills of the experts.

Copy a photograph

It is much easier to draw an image that is already two-dimensional rather than try to draw from life. Don’t cheat by tracing but study the shapes and angles. Don’t be too reticent; if you feel like doing something, try it. You want to develop your own personal way of drawing, not someone else’s.

Draw from real life

Now you can work up to real items such as landscapes, portraits, flowers, pets etc. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Try picking a flower out of the garden and sketching it. Hands and feet are tough but provide the ideal lesson. Get them looking realistic and you are on your way.

Consider taking a local class

This will get you into a good regular routine. A good teacher will also show you where you are going wrong and what you can do better. It’s also helpful to watch others drawing and see how they approach their subjects.

Carry a sketchbook

When you have a spare moment, start sketching. Get one that will slip into your pocket or bag easily. Always have a pencil handy, although you can even use pen. When you see something that grabs you, try and preserve it via pencil and paper. Get a book that you like, maybe something with a cover that attracts you so that it becomes a personal quest.

Commit

Just like learning to play an instrument, learning to draw takes time and patience. Set a schedule in your diary and any spare time you have, pull out your pad. If you don’t keep practicing, you will not improve.

Also consider why you want to draw. Are you inspired? Do you have a talent? Does it help you relax? Maybe you simply enjoy it. As your drawing ability improves, you will find that your sketches become precious. Once have mastered drawing, you may want to move onto painting. The choice is yours.

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