Modern day life is not one that is relaxing and stress-free, in fact, it is the era wherein stress comes from almost anywhere and everywhere around you. This is one of the reasons why some folks have taken to drawing and sketching to release pent-up emotions and accumulated stress. And a few of these aspiring artists often venture out of seclusion and seek knowledge on how to get better at drawing with the talent that they have.
While drawing comes as a natural ability or talent for some people, some people lack any skill at all to start, much less complete a drawing that they have started. And then there are those who are truly gifted in the arts and have mastered its basic forms and mediums without exerting too much effort.
Focusing on those with the ability to draw and can improve upon this skill, here are some steps that can be followed to improve their drawings. These steps are not entirely sequential nor are they all essential in the pursuit of greater talent. One can take one, some or all the steps then improve on it on their own. The risk is theirs, however.
Steps On How To Get Better At Drawing
Emphasizing the fact that the steps on this list are not sequential and may or may not be followed in its entirety, this list aims to guide future Van Goghs and Picassos in realizing what they are good at and improving on their strengths to produce artwork and art forms that are uniquely their own.
1. Know Yourself
As with almost any endeavor in life, you must first need to know who you are, what you can do, and what you want to do. Improving a skill takes more than just picking an exercise and mastering it to move to the next level. It does take time, commitment and enough drive to push yourself to be better.
Knowing yourself is the first step, then write down what you want to accomplish and how you would want to get there. This is the planning stage and may or may not change as time goes by. As previously mentioned, you have the option to skip one or three steps in the list.
2. Know Your Medium
Each artist should know what medium they are good at and which medium they can forget to master. Some can be good at using drawings pens while some can be virtuosos when it comes to mixing oil and acrylic.
Try out different mediums, starting with the easiest and see how each medium connects with you. You should note how well the medium responds to your movements and how well they execute the message that you want to say. Be open to the possibility that there may be one or two mediums that you can master and improve on.
3. Know Your Materials
Art mediums are made of different materials, and it is imperative that you should feel these materials and see how they would respond to you. It technically is the same as knowing your medium, but this is the more practical aspect of art wherein you get to touch your canvas, feel your materials and know more about their place in your artform.
4. Starting Points
Going back to the basics is a good level to be in once you figure out what medium and materials you would like to use. Regardless of your experience or artistic know-how here are the basic starting points in mastering a skill like drawing.
a. Loosen Up
Learn to loosen your shoulders and joints as you would need these muscles in whatever stuff you would want to draw. Loosening them up also releases any pent-up stress or frustration which can also cause an artist block if left unchecked.
b. Let Go
You would also need to let go of any inhibitions and begin to learn the hard fact that you cannot perfect everything, and each line you draw is uniquely yours. Even if you’re copying another artwork for one reason or another, there will always be a slight alteration between the original and what you did.
c. Draw Fast, Draw More
Learning how to get better at drawing involves drawing fast and drawing more but what should you draw first?
i. Repeating Patterns
Start with repeating patterns. This sounds mundane and boring, but forcing yourself to copy a pattern enables you to practice different line movements and styles. This would also teach you the importance of having gradient lines and being able to replicate one form or two.
ii. Commonplace Things
It may sound funny and boring at the same, but start drawing stuff that you see around. Your coffee mug, your tea set, your easel sheets, or even your phone or bookshelf. This lets you practice on more realistic items, and it can teach you the value of adding proportion to your drawings. You also get to train your mind’s eye about seeing your subject on a different perspective or angle.
iii. Doodle Everywhere
Doodles are often considered to be wasted ink as they don’t portray much except lines that form pattern after pattern after pattern. Doodling lets you practice line values and repetition with every stroke. It also allows you to be random as you can go from one shape or pattern to another.
iv. Draw Letters and Numbers
Spelling out your name in shaped letters may have been something you did in high school or college, and it is still something you can practice on outside of school.
v. Take On Knots
Knots are often used as means to exercise creativity while camping outdoors. Drawing them can also exercise your depth and light perception, as well as your sight in perspective.
vi. Go Out and Draw
Do not limit yourself to doodling and drawing everything on your table and room. Go outside and sketch the building next door. Draw faces, cars and cute puppies that you encounter while walking around. This lets you capture motion faster and freeze them in the form of drawing.
vii. Draw Everywhere
Consistency is the main key when it comes to improving at something. When it comes to drawing, this means drawing everywhere and anywhere that fancies you. Do not let the four walls of your studio imprison you. Grab a camera and capture stills for drawing later. You can also sit in a park and just absorb everything that you see. These exercises should be able to provide you with enough subjects that will tell you if you have improved or not.
Drawing in the field of arts can be considered both a talent and a skill. You may have the talent, to begin with, but this talent may or may not be in its base form, but as a skill, this means that it is something you can and should improve on. Who knows? Maybe someday you’ll be able to tell people that your stress has led you to art which saved you and made you rich, or at least well-known in your chosen medium.