Improving on Your Drawing Skills

Improving on your drawing skills and creating more realistic looking drawings may not be as complicated as you think. It could be a matter of breaking a few bad habits that you’ve picked up along the way, and replacing them with some more productive ones!

When you begin to draw, what do you think about? We all have an inner dialog going on no matter what we’re doing, however when it comes to drawing it can be very critical.  For example, as you draw you might be saying things to yourself such as “This is all wrong!” “I can never draw hands or noses right!”  “Why can’t I ever get these proportions right?”

A more practical inner dialog, might go something like this: “Is the head tilted?” “What shape does that object look like?” “What does the shape next to it look like?” “Maybe I’ll draw the negative shape first to help me get the shape of the chair correct.”  Asking these questions keeps our dialog curious rather than critical, and keeps us in a space that allows us to draw what we’re actually seeing.  In addition to keeping our dialog curious, we need to look at our subject more and look less at our subject.

Next time your draw, pay attention to where you’re looking. If you find that you’re looking more at your paper than at your reference (which most of us tend to do until trained to do otherwise)  you’ll consistently draw what you know or remember about an object or person rather than what you really see before you. It’s a conflict that happens in our brains.  What you see in front of you often conflicts with what you know about something.

For example, say you’re drawing a ball from an angle.  The ball might look more like an egg or an oval from your vantage point, and that’s NOT what we know about them.  We know they’re round,  and may have a tendency to “fix” your drawing of the ball by making it round even-if what you see before you is oval or egg shaped. You must resist this urge in order to draw what you see in the world realistically!  This takes practice like any other skill we learn, but each time you’re successful you’ll be surprised at how quickly your drawing improves.