While you might be great at drawing, when it comes to refining your drawing skills, this requires dedicated practice rather than sheer talent. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to improve your drawing skills.

So, let me help you.

Part 1:

Using simple designs

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    Draw shapes. Try drawing the five basic shapes..

    • The five basic shapes are – Sphere, Pyramid, Rectangle, Cylinder and Cone. All drawings are derived from these five basic shapes
    • Draw the shapes in different sizes and proportions and angles
    • Practice shading with the shapes, lighting them from different directions. This trains you for more complex shapes down the track, don’t get impatient with it
    • Use different drawing tools; pencils of varying thicknesses, pens, markers, colored pencils, charcoal, etc. This will help you to get a feel for different mediums.
    Draw simple designs.When you are comfortable with shapes you can begin combining them. A cylinder with a cone on top of it, or interlocking spheres begin to move you towards very complex drawings in a simple way

    • Don’t press too hard if using pencil; this allows you to erase errors easily as you go. You also typically want to figure out the proportions and the forms in the drawing before you begin darkening in lines.
    • Again, use different drawing tools, to get a feel for those that work best for you.
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    Practice shading. When a form changes, as does the value (how dark or light it is in that location). The way to make something appear truly 3d and give it a lot of weight is to apply values (shading) to it. Start by shading the simple forms and then apply the ideas to more complex combinations.

    • Shade only in one direction. However, while shading in one direction (as in a straight line) is good for most objects, for things like animals or leaves, shading along with the curves of the object will help it read properly. If you do not shade with the contours of an object you are giving the brain two different ideas of how a given form should read and the result is it will not look right
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    Ask for help and advice. Do not think you need to evolve your inner artist on your own. Ask other artists, art teachers, friends and anyone you trust to give advice. Listen to their suggestions to help you improve the areas of your drawing skills that need it, and to learn new ways of doing your art.
    Part 2:

    Advancing your drawing skills

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      Draw from life constantly. This is the fundamental exercise that will train your observational skills and build your skill immensely

      • Photographs are not ideal compared to life, a photograph flattens the perspective out, can distort and also takes away the sense of proportion. Seeing a fighter plane in a photo is one thing, seeing how large they are in real life is another
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      Add details with precision. But do not obsess over them. a good drawing will read early and details only go so far

      • The best way to make detailed drawings is to start off by breaking it down into simple shapes and lines. make measurements by holding your pencil out and estimating height vs width. Once you have captured the bigger picture go in and refine further, and then focus on the details last. Always capture the bigger picture first and detail uniformly across the image
      • For animals, add stripes, spots, scales, shine, fur, long coats and background.
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      Practice drawing animals or people in motion. This requires adding in motion-suggestive movements. This will take you quite a while to master, so take it slowly and keep practicing; don’t be surprised if your initial attempts look awkward or cartoon like.
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      Draw larger scenes. Try a landscape or a street escape, with all of the activities going on. Do a rough sketch first, to capture everything, then return and infill everything that makes the scene come to life.
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      Keep practicing and enjoy drawing as a lifelong passion. Drawing isn’t something you master overnight; moreover, it is something that will continue to evolve all of your life. If you do some research on artists, you’ll find that those who kept doing their art throughout many years would often change their styles over decades, reflecting new-found knowledge, new ways of pushing the boundaries and simply seeking to change and improve. In other words, improving your drawing skills, no matter how good you are already, is a work-for-life and is always in progress. At the heart of it is effort and dedication; if you love drawing, both will come easily to you.


      Draw! Practice gets you everywhere.

      Just keep on drawing. Whenever you have a quiet, dull moment, draw. As they say, practice makes perfect, and they are right. The more you draw, the more you’ll improve, and the more useful your sketching skills will become throughout your course, and your career.Start off by drawing simple shapes, try different angles, different sizes. Try shading these shapes, try different drawing tools – pens, pencils, varying thicknesses, markers and so on – get a feel for your style and how you interpret what you see.Take your time!! You won’t get anywhere if you try and rush a drawing. At first that means you need to take your time to develop your skill. That may mean you keep on coming back to a sketch and working on it – but in the long run its worth it.

      Get inspiration from others.

      There are so many different sketching and drawing styles, and you can learn so much from seeking these out. Find different shading techniques, or different line styles, see what you like and develop your own style.Pint rest is a great starting point for getting some inspiration – see the link below to our pint rest board dedicated to sketching.


      Take your sketchbook everywhere.

      Even if it is a small pocket sketchbook, make sure it is always on hand so you can scribble an idea or sketch a building. Maybe if you are waiting for a friend in a coffee shop, you may start a new trend of sketching instead of dragging out your phone!It is a difficult habit to get into but by using spare moments to practice, you will start to feel natural, and gain confidence in your sketching ability.Sometimes its good to challenge yourself to throw perfection out the window and do a quick sketch out and about. This challenges you to develop different sketching skills.


      Go to a drawing class.

      Some people won’t feel this is necessary, but your university may hold drawing classes, in which case there is no excuse. You will also find some local art galleries or colleges hold drawing classes, which is a great opportunity to hone your skill, and meet new people other than students on your course! 

      Draw a drawing.

      There is a lot to be learnt from how other people draw, particularly the likes of Da Vinci or Michaelangelo, so find some of their sketches and have a go at drawing them.Try the grid method – where you measure out a grid over the picture you are copying and another grid on your paper as a guide. This breaks down the image into small areas, and stops you second guessing how the lines should be drawn and makes you study the image in more precise detail. 

      Draw from life.

      Draw anything. Start out with simple objects, take note of light and shade, try different styles. Then build up to drawing more complex items. Sketch out details, find interesting parts of buildings and draw them. Think about perspective and scale.Sketch out overall shapes first, lightly and gradually build up your sketch, add detail, and slowly create the overall feel of your drawing. If you start your drawing with the details it is easy to end up with odd perspectives, skewed views, whereas if you start with big blocks of shapes and slowly work them into detail you give yourself more of a chance of maintaining accuracy.


      Keep at it.

      It is easy to get disheartened when you produce a couple of rubbish sketches, that are out of proportion and look a bit weird. Don’t worry, you must keep at it, and know that it does take a bit of time to find your groove, but when you do it is great to have that confidence in your ability for your course and career.


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