Whether you’re a beginner looking to improve your skills, or an experienced artist looking for some new techniques, we can all take steps to improve our art.
Hi my name is Carrie. I want you to proudly call yourself an Artist. Here on Artist Strong I help artists like you build your skill and develop your unique artist voice. Today I’m going to share with you 10 easy tips for drawing like a pro. Let’s use these tips will help you take your drawings to the next level.
Number one: Start with the basics.
Before you jump into complicated subjects or techniques, make sure you have a strong foundation in the basics of drawing. This includes things like understanding perspective, shading, and proportion.
While not all art requires the skill to draw realistically, I’ve found repeatedly inside our artist community that all artists feel more confident in their decisions when they are confident in their skill. Many abstract artists join programs like my drawing foundations called Self-Taught to Self-Confident so they can explore realism and then use the techniques inside their abstract art.
Number two: Use reference materials.
So many people tell me they want to draw from their imagination. Great. Just FYI here: that’s not where we start. Especially if your definition of drawing from your imagination means to draw realistically from your imagination.
Working with both photos or real-life objects when drawing is going to fully develop your observational and technical skills. This will help you get the proportions and details right and make your drawings more realistic (and also give you clear opportunities to deviate and add new character to your art as you step away from your reference.
Number three: Experiment with different media.
Drawing doesn’t have to mean using pencils and paper. Try out different media, such as charcoal, pastels, or even digital tools, to see what works best for you and your style. Exploring different media is a great step toward developing and refining your unique artist voice.
Number four: Practice, practice, practice.
People talk about practice all the time as a means to develop our skills, but few talk about how there is a right and wrong way to practice. I outline this in my free 5-day mini course called Drawing Drills.
The best way to improve your drawing skills is to practice regularly. Set aside a specific time each day to draw, and challenge yourself to try new things and push your abilities. Being outside of your comfort zone, practicing mindfulness while we draw, and getting quality feedback are all important ingredients to fast-tracking your skill through practice.
Number Five: Take your time.
There are two pieces to this advice. First: rushing through a drawing often leads to mistakes and unsatisfying results. Instead, take your time and focus on each part of the drawing individually. Breaking the work down into smaller pieces will help you create more detailed and accurate drawings AND help you feel a sense of accomplishment as you finish each section.
Second: Learning is a process that takes time. If you expect to draw super realistically after one week or even one month of regular practice, you will be disappointed (please, show me up and prove me wrong!). After 30 years of dedication to my art I still learn new techniques and approaches to my art. Being open to lifelong learning will serve your art in the long run.
Number Six: Use the right tools.
A lot of blogs and art teachers would tell you to Invest in high-quality drawing tools, such as pencils, erasers, and paper. This will make your drawing experience more enjoyable and help you create better results.
The right tools are the ones you have in front of you. Let’s get started by building an artist practice and developing the habit of showing up for your art regularly. Then, if you use up the tools you have (yes a normal #2 pencil or ball point pen is fine!) and decide a particular medium lights you up, that becomes an opportunity to invest in higher quality tools or materials.
Number Seven: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
How I wish I learned this one sooner. And how I wish I didn’t need a constant reminder, either.
The only way we learn is by trying things that are unfamiliar to us and making mistakes. Drawing is all about trial and error. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them. Kick your inner-perfectionist to the curb when it comes to your artistic development because making mistakes is how you will improve and grow as an artist.
Number Eight: Study the masters.
Take inspiration from the great artists of the past and present. There is a reason you can still find people today inside museums set up with an easel and paint. Study their techniques and learn from their styles. This will give you new ideas and help you develop your own unique voice as an artist.
Now before we reach our final few tips for today I’d like to thank today’s sponsors.
Today’s video is brought to you by our patreon community The Artist Strong Studio. Your microdonations make a huge difference in my ability to run Artist Strong AND give us an opportunity to build a unique community space for artists seeking to build their skill and develop their unique artist voice. Right now, I’m hosting monthly studio hours where we come together and make art.
Join the Artist Strong for a small monthly commitment as low as 1 dollar a month. To learn more visit https://www.patreon.com/ArtistStrong.
A special thank you to current patrons, I couldn’t do this work without your support.
Number Nine: Join a community.
There are many online communities and forums for artists where you can share your work, get feedback, and learn from others. Joining one of these communities can be a great way to connect with other artists and learn from each other.
Inside Artist Strong we have a free private community off of social media hosted on Circle.so. Click the link below to join or message me for the special link if you can’t spot the link.
Not only will community help you learn, communities can help you stay accountable to your goals, such as showing up for your art most days or finishing a portrait by a certain date.
Number Ten: Have fun!
At a recent art league meeting I attended I literally heard someone say, “drawing is work, who wants to do that?” Drawing and learning how to draw can be fun and don’t let naysayers make you think it has to be boring or hard work for you to be “officially” drawing.
There are so many ways to stay motivated and see growth. But it will be different for every single person. Enjoy the process of drawing. Discover what makes it fun for you and lean into that. Don’t get too caught up in the end result, and instead focus on the joy of creating something with your own hands.
If drawing is something you wish to develop, I have two courses for you. My lower cost course is called Fantastic Faces in 5-Days and is all about drawing portraits and being able to capture likeness. But if you are looking for a comprehensive drawing program Self-Taught to Self-Confident is right for you. It includes lifetime access to 30+ videos, monthly Q&A sessions where you get personalized feedback on your art, and everything to help you confidently draw or paint whatever you want to create. Learn more by clicking on the link below or visiting www.artiststrong.com and clicking on the Offers menu option.
I hope these tips have been helpful and have given you some new ideas for improving your drawing skills. Happy drawing! Please like this video and subscribe to Artist Strong. Then tell me your ahas, ideas, and takeaways from today’s conversation.
Thanks for watching and remember:
Proudly call yourself Artist.
Together, we are Artist Strong.
Finally, someone who knows how to teach the foundations we all need to advance!
Thanks Dana! Did one tip stand out to you?