People who see me drawing often remark, “I wish I could draw better.” Generally, my reply is “you can; just practice.” I’ve perused a considerable amount of counsel about improvement at drawing throughout the years. Some tips have been exceptionally useful, while others simply did not aid my improvement. I need to share only a few tips that have helped me enhance my drawing skill , especially in the course of the last three years.
Drawing is a skill; one is not born with an inherent ability to draw. A skill is only strengthened by practice. So in order to get better at drawing, the first step is to draw. People often get discouraged or downcast when their drawings don’t turn out as they hoped; however, they fail to realize that each unsuccessful attempt is key to improvement. When you consistently draw over and over again, you subconsciously try different methods and techniques to improve your drawings; thus, you develop a personal set of skills, and that’s what makes your drawings distinctive.
2. Don’t smudge
Artist Brun Croes opines, “When shading, use an extra piece of paper underneath your hand;” this helps you avoid smudging since paper won’t produce moisture as opposed to your palms. To further avoid smudging, it is suggested that if you are right handed, start shading from left to right; if you are left handed, start shading from right to left. Using good quality paper, like Canson or Strathmore, notably decrease smearing due to the ridges in the paper; if any smearing occurs, quality papers erase cleanly. If smudging remains a problem after taking all these tips into consideration, you must reconsider the quality, type, and hardness of your pencil.
3. Stop chicken scratches
Scratchy lines, or chicken scratches, is when you draw with short, light strokes; this is an indication of artist who is not viewing the image he/she is drawing as a whole. Drawing like the figure above, on the left, will surely result in poor proportions and gestures. In order to avoid scratchy lines, first, you should keep your wrist stiff while drawing large lines. Second, you should enhance your capacity to observe bigger shapes and prioritize them over smaller details. You can also plot points and connect them if drawing a line is too difficult for you.
4. Have perspective
Learn when to stop and start over. No amount of shading, tweaking, or garnishing will conceal the fact that the nose is misplaced in your drawing. It is the worst feeling in the world when you obsessively tweak a drawing in an attempt to fix a mistake and realize you should have started over three hours ago. Make sure objects get littler as they move farther away from the viewer and bigger as they get closer; also, make sure you draw appropriate proportions.
5. Avoid Incongruous or random illumination
Appropriate lighting is key to 3-dimensional drawings; if you are attempting to sketch a realistic image, you should adjust the lighting accordingly. A good way to ensure a favorable 3-D effect and proper lighting is by defining the light source prior to drawing your sketch. Another rule would be to make the protruding sides of an object ,facing the light source, lighter in color. In addition, to make sure you clearly distinguish between different shades of a certain color, squint: squinting blurs out details, allowing you to focus solely on color and shade.
6. Running out of space
It’s exorbitantly bothersome when heads, arms, or feet get unexpectedly removed from a sketch, in light of the fact that the artist has come up short on room on the paper. It is often useful to pinpoint where certain parts of a drawing go. For instance, if you were drawing a woman, it is recommended that you mark the extremities of of her head, legs, and arms to guarantee that you don’t come up short on space on your canvas. It would also be immensely useful to draw an outline of the sketch; however, be careful not detail the outline, since it demolishes the sense of depth in a drawing.
In conclusion, there is no magic potion, no secret recipe, that will instantly make you an artist; the secret to becoming a superb artist is simply to practice. David once averred “We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us. The sooner we get them out the better.” The brief list of tips and common mistakes above is not sufficient by itself to improve your art, but it is, however, a starting point.