This post will be all about drawing practice which will guide beginners to improve their skills and help them draw more efficiently.
When you ask an artist what the secret is behind their beautiful art, you will always be met with the words ‘drawing practice’. It’s not a secret really, because the only way to improve and master a skill is to do them repeatedly while consistently learning from the mistakes you make through the process.
Table of Contents:
- Repeating an image over and over
- Drawing with your Non-Dominant Hand
- Entopic Graphomania
- Patterns, Doodles, and Symbols
- Draw the Alphabet in Different Ways
- Draw Ordinary Things
- Draw a Shape That You Find Challenging
- Free-Hand Doodling
- Draw Mandalas
- Draw Organic Shapes
- Draw Faces
- Keep a sketchbook
- Pick A Project That Is Done Over A Period Of Time
- Seek Out Feedback
- Be Consistent
- Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
Below, we will be sharing with you some effective drawing practices that will get your out of your art slump, get you inspired, and get your creative juices flowing.
Anyone and I mean anyone can do this exercise. Just grab a pen and paper and just start making random shapes or patterns. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just draw anything that comes into your mind. You can doodle while listening to your favorite podcast, radio show, or watching your favorite tv show.
Repeating an image over and over
In this activity, you’ll have to choose a single image and draw that over and over again with a decreasing time limit. The first time you do this exercise, time yourself on how long it takes you to finish. Then draw the same thing again and see if you can do it quicker than the first time. Continue to replicate the drawing as best as you can while reducing the time on your every go.
After doing this activity about 15-20 times, you’ll notice some improvement. You’ll see how your first drawing will differ from your last one. The difference is because by every time you redraw the same image, you get more relaxed and you are more aware of the lines you have to make. The more you redraw the same thing, the more familiar you become with it.
Drawing something repeatedly while aiming to finish faster and faster makes you confident you can draw the image again and more efficiently than before.
Drawing with your Non-Dominant Hand
A good way to mix things up when doing drawing exercises is by using your non-dominant hand to make art. Maybe this exercise can lead you to discover something new. You can draw something with your non-dominant hand and then recreate what you made with your dominant hand.
This is a surrealist method of drawing where you make dots on the imperfections of your blank piece of paper and connect them creating an abstract geometric drawing. Your lines can either be straight or curved and you can just go on with the flow and let the activity guide you.
In this drawing exercise, draw circles and draw them fast without judging your output. Drawing circles can be tricky especially when you aim to make them perfect. This exercise will improve your precision and dexterity. Draw them on top of each other or side by side. Your choice.
Patterns, Doodles, and Symbols
Get a pen and paper, and draw a grid. Look around and get inspiration from the objects you see around you. Take note of patterns, symbols, and other things, and start filling each grid with different drawings/doodles. You can make abstract patterns or add details to the repeating elements. Your imagination is your limit.
Here’s my grid filled with patterns and doodles.
Draw the Alphabet in Different Ways
Another drawing exercise you can do is to stylize the alphabet. Draw each one in different variations. Let your creativity take over and don’t overthink it. It’s okay to make mistakes, you can always do them again.
Draw Ordinary Things
Look at your surroundings, find something around your room and focus on that ordinary everyday object. Get a pen and paper and sketch it down. Take notes about what you just drew or just take note of the weather or of how you currently feel, like an entry to a journal.
Draw a Shape That You Find Challenging
What shapes are you intimidated to draw? What things do you find more challenging to frustrating to put on paper? That object is precisely the subject in this exercise. Study the components that go into the shape of that object. Maybe you find automobiles difficult to draw, or maybe you’re intimidated with hands and feet. This exercise will make you face your fears (LOL).
Fill one page of your sketchbook of drawings and doodles. Don’t use anything except your pencil. Fill it with little doodles, different lines, and random patterns. Keep adding details until the page is full. There’s not a time limit in this activity, you can give yourself a day or a week, as long as you fill the page and do it all over again the next time you want to do a drawing practice.
Mandalas are easy to draw. Start at the center with a circle or a star and start adding repeating patterns around it outward. Draw this exercise without using a ruler. The lines do not need to be perfect, just do your best to make them as symmetrical as you can.
We have a mandala tutorial here if you’d like to see it.
Draw Organic Shapes
Feeling a little bit uninspired? Take a walk around your house and observe the plants and other things found outside your comfort zone. When you go inside, try to replicate what you’ve just seen outside. Rely on your memory and imagination to create your drawing, don’t pressure yourself to make your drawing perfect.
Practice drawing people’s faces when you’re tired of drawing random things. Draw a grid on your notebook or sketchpad and fill each space with different faces. Experiment with different hairstyles, eye shapes, and facial expressions. You can draw them with piercings, with glasses, even with tattoos. At the end of this exercise, try to evaluate the faces you’ve drawn and take note of the things you want to improve.
Keep a sketchbook
You are reading this post because you want to learn different drawing practices so you can improve your skills. It just makes sense that you’d be keeping a sketchbook with you at all times, right? This is really a no-brainer. Pick a handy sketchbook of your choice and have it with you wherever you do.
Check out our blog about different sketchbook ideas to give you inspiration.
Pick A Project That Is Done Over A Period Of Time
Take a look through your archives. Pick an art you made years ago and remake it. Then compare your drawings and look at the difference between both pieces. If you have been practicing, improvements will definitely show.
Seek Out Feedback
Sometimes, we can be touchy and a little bit possessive with our creation, not wanting anyone to see it until it’s done. Once in a while, it’s good to go out of your comfort zone and seek other people’s opinions on your art. You can ask for your loved one’s opinion, you’ll be surprised at some things they may point out because all of us have different perspectives. Sometimes, other’s opinions are valuable because what they can see may not be that obvious to you.
Wanting to be better at something means that you have to constantly practice. The key to improvement is consistency. Be consistent in your drawing practices and you’ll be thankful for your diligence when you see your improvements.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
Comparison is an artist’s downfall. No matter what, do not fall down into this rabbit hole. Everyone is unique and each one of us has our own style. When you see an artist doing so much better in his craft, don’t go and compare yourself to them, instead make it a reminder to yourself that you have to walk much further to reach that road. We all have our own journeys and the only way to get to where we want to be is to do our best to reach that goal. Press on!
Drawing, or art in general, is a personal journey. For some people, it’s to express their emotions they can’t voice out. For some, it’s a lifestyle. No matter your reason, if you want to better your skill set, the simple act of picking up a pen and drawing anything on paper is a massive contribution to your improvement.
By taking these pieces of advice and applying them to your daily life, you cater to your creative self and soon you’ll improve by and by. Be patient and kind to yourself, and always persevere.