5 steps for better drawing habits

How to improve your drawing

What if I told you that changing your mindset is half the battle won! Here are 5 steps for better drawing habits.

Improving your drawing is as much a physical challenge as it is a mental one.

I hope you will find these tips practical and easy to implement in your art practice. 

doing more research will improve drawing habits

1. Doing more research will improve your drawing habits.

No matter how often you draw, there will always be room for improvement. Doing regular research around artists and subjects that interest you is a good way to track references and be inspired for your own work.

Art appropriation is often the way artists learn. It’s a way of exploring familiar and unfamiliar aspects of their work. Researching a variety of art styles and mediums will give you more options to learn from and experiment with while you discover your taste in art.

5 steps for better drawing habits

2. Being intentional will improve your drawing

Create and produce drawings or any art with a purpose, intent, and outcome that is meaningful. Too many artworks fail because they lack one or all of the above.

Avoid the trap of doing “just because you don’t know any better”.

Taking the time to plan and test your composition will instantly make your drawing feel and look like it was made with intention.

Do not confuse your research work with any final work. Understanding how to file your work into categories is important. Try to keep all your work so that you can look back on it and reflect on your struggles, progress, successful and less successful work.

It will help you allocate sufficient time for research, testing and final artwork. This is especially important if you are planning an exhibition or building up a portfolio.

3. Accepting to change when things go wrong.

If you feel that something is not right, then chances are, something is not right. Use your intuition, not your impulse. It is far more productive for you to make the changes you want earlier than later.

There is no rule that says you have to get it right the first time. So if you decide to have several attempts at a drawing or painting to get it right then do it. Remember to keep the series of work together. Each work might have interesting results that will serve you in the future.

I regularly return to my first journals when I need to refresh some ideas or techniques.

5 steps for better drawing habits

4. Learning the foundations will improve your drawing.  

There are certain fundamental principles to drawing that you should be aware of. Your drawings will improve substantially if you apply them correctly.

Artists generally keep these notes in visual diaries or journals as they are easier to access and update with time. Understanding the importance of basic shapes and how they function together is the foundation of drawing.

Without this knowledge, drawings remain flat, lifeless and unintentional. In a similar way that would separate your training from competitions if you were an athlete.

Your art can also be separated into tutorials, experimentation, and final projects. If you are new to art and drawing. Then I would suggest focusing the majority of your time doing tutorials and exercises.

You can then use what you have learned into practice when you have the inspiration and confidence to produce a piece of art.

5 steps for better drawing habits

5. Practicing what you are not good at will improve your drawing habits

Getting out of your comfort zone and practicing new techniques, styles, formats, and mediums is a great way to grow faster as an artist.

It is through a process of continuous experimentation that you will discover and use a wider variety of art forms to express yourself.

5 steps for better drawing habits

Let me try to put this into a real context.

If you are passionate about drawing illustrations for children’s books then you will need to learn how to draw a multitude of things in order to make your drawings interesting, informative and educational.

Setting aside time when you draw to focus on drawing new things is a way of rapidly increasing your knowledge bank of things you can use when composing a new illustration.

It is not uncommon that you will face challenges during this process.

Some people draw landscapes with more ease than others who are perhaps more comfortable with drawing people or objects.

Identify where some of your weaknesses are and focus on them. Drawing what you are not at ease with will push you out of your comfort zone and help you grow faster as an artist.

To wrap this up.

There is no real right or wrong answer when it comes to how you want to improve your art skills. Sometimes guidelines are there just to get us started.

Many artists build careers for themselves with no formal education and rely purely on developing their own personal language through self-taught experimentation.

Other artists prefer to have a foundation to work from and explore their creativity in a more controlled environment.

If you have been struggling with a particular subject. It might be because you have not given yourself enough time and practice and then to process the information.

5 steps for better drawing habits

Don’t judge yourself on a 2 min sketch the same way you might judge yourself on a painting you have spent 10 hours on.

Taking this pressure off you will instantly make the drawing part more enjoyable and easier to improve.

I am an art enthusiast and this is my journey into learning about the different facets of the art world.

Until next time.

David Lagesse

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