This post is not aimed at giving you generic tips, but to actually guide you to improve your drawing if you already trying to get better, or to start your journey at it in case you want to draw but are hesitant about it. The key point here is to understand what do you need in order to do it well, starting from the right way of thinking about it to the right way of doing it.
Quickly go to:-
- Drawing Involves More Than One Thing
- To Become Really Good At It, You Need To Practice It Correctly
- You Compare Yourself With Other Artists
- It Takes Time To Draw Well
- To Draw Well, You Need Observation Skills
- Frustration Is Part Of The Learning Process
- Is Drawing Really Hard? It Is Tricky, If I Say So.
- What About Talent?
- Drawing Requires You Use The Right Side Of The Brain, Not The Left One
- And Finally
- See Also:-
Depending on what you draw, you may not need every single one of these aspects to draw well. At least not now, but you will need to know at least some of them.
The amount of things you need to know may overwhelm you at first, but don’t worry about it. You can achieve good results in the short term without knowing all these aspects, and gradually learn about them one by one. It’s not knowing about these aspect of drawing is what makes drawing hard for many people.
There’s a chance you already read about drawing, and probably attending some drawing courses, so you already know about these concepts. In that cases, what could be that’s blocking you from drawing well? Or at least the way you want to. To answer that, here’s the next reason of why drawing is hard:-
If all you want to learn is to be able to block in lines correctly, then doing that over & over may help you there, especially if you are mindful about the different kinds of lines you are drawing, but then you won’t really improve on the other aspects of drawing, that’s why there are artists who are good at copying other artists’ drawings, but are unable to draw much on their own: They lack the abilities they need to make their own creations.
Even if you keep at drawing the same thing, taking note of where your struggle and focusing on your weaknesses can help you more than mindlessly drawing for the sake of it.
Another issue with aimless practicing is that it may prevent you from trying to draw new things you never did (new poses, for example), something that can easily help you progress a lot.
I myself have an artist I wish I could draw like. She has been motivating me, and I don’t plan on stopping drawing at least until I become like her, and maybe better. :>
Sometimes even good artists see themselves worse than others with different style, possibly for the lack of the techniques they used to create similar artworks. This is a chance to learn something new here, all without discounting what you already achieved so far in your journey to become a great artist.
I have wrote about Comparing yourself to other artists in my post in more details here, feel free to check it out :>
Improving your drawing, and artistic skills overall, takes time, and it’s sometimes a slow process, depending how much time you put at it, and how fast you catch details, and what you do to improve. Since it’s slow, you often miss the fact you already improved, something other people do easily. Keeping old artworks or getting feedback from people who look at your artworks can make it easier to see how you actually improved.
Here are two drawings of my original character, Lolita de Calémia. I drew the first one in 2012, while the second one in 2016, when I made Lolita Caramel into a visual novel. See how my coloring has improved? How the proportions are better too. I still have a long way to go, but I still can’t help feel good about what I achieved. :)Another good way to see how you improved is to redraw an old drawing you made before. I saw artists do that in Deviant Art often, and the improvement in the art quality is obvious. :>
Usually when people look at objects, they tend to simply classify them, but don’t look at them in detail, which’s what you need in order to draw them. This is something you acquire by doing it, it may seem awkward or even silly at first, but once you get into it & see the benefits this does to your drawings, you will appreciate doing it.
I tend to think about drawing the same as learning languages, as both require you utilize multiple skills together, both also require you to know a lot of small details (vocabulary in languages, all sorts of different details in case of drawing). I may write a post comparing the two in the future. Learning few vocabulary can help you speak any language a little, learning more will allow you to speak even more. But you could become way better at that language by learning the grammars, idioms & different ways to use each words……. Etc. Both require you to dedicate some time to learn them, as well as consistency.
Drawing something new can be awkward at first, but it becomes easier once you get into it. I still feel awkward every time I draw something for the first time, but I get over it after that, just like the first time I drew a parrot for the second time in my life, it was for my Lolita Caramel visual novel. I have confidence that I will draw parrots, and birds in general, way easier the next time I do it. :3
Even if we said that talent is important to reach extremely high level of skills, normal people can still reach a really satisfying level of skills if they really want to, the more you aspire for that, the more you will be able to work hard for it (again, the correct way).
Yes, people start at different level of skill, but we all can get to where we want by keeping at it.
I am aware that I may sound harsh here, but it’s important to let you know that you & many others how capable you really are. :)
To know more about my opinion about talent, read the two posts I wrote about the topic:-
- Is drawing natural talent or skill learned by practice – The Myth of talent in art
- A Sweet Word About Talent and how much talent is overrated
In her book, Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain, Betty Edwards talks demonstrates in great details how the left-side of the brain tends to dominates over the right-hand, the who could allow you to drawing well, but it tends to fade away because we are too used to resorting to the left-side without knowing it (some of the information I mentioned in this post about brain functionality came from her book).
Remember what I said earlier in this post that drawing involves more than one thing? It’s the right side of the brain that’s capable of processing these multiple things all together.
The good thing is, the author showed some drawings of people who drew well, despite the fact they barely practiced. I can imagine how good those people can become if they set their minds on becoming really great artists.
I totally recommend you to read Betty’s book if you really care about getting good at drawing, it will change the way you think about it. I am glad I did, it confirmed my long-held views that anyone can draw if they went about it the right way. It also gave me good ideas on how to draw better in the future. :)
I may overwhelmed you with many things all at once here, but you can take your time with each of them if you want. I hope I helped you understand the way drawing work, even by little, and that you think better at it now. :)
I hope I made it clear why is drawing hard for some people, while not for others. See you in another article