Every once in a while, someone will ask me how to draw more betterer. I tell them to just fucking do it, but I’ve been told that that’s not always productive. So I thought I’d further clarify what it takes to draw more betterer with a fun list. Here are 7 sure fire ways to draw more betterer:
- Draw Everyday
Draw every single day. Every. Single. Day. And don’t make any excuses. If you honestly want to get better at drawing, you must, MUST, draw every single day.
If you have time to watch TV, you have time to draw. If you have time to sit on the toilet and take a shit, you have time to draw. If you have time to sit on the train to go to work, you have time to draw. If you have time to eat a sandwich with your non-dominant hand, you have time to fucking well draw. Draw draw draw draw mother fucking draw! Make the time. There are so many little moments in your day that you can fill with art. Find them. Fill them. Draw.
- Draw Things You Hate to Draw
The things you hate to draw are the things that you need to work on. You hate them because they look like shit. Force yourself to make your art enemies your friends.
- Draw From Real Life
If you are gifted with a photographic visual memory, perhaps you may ignore this step. For the rest of us, reference from real life is key to learning anatomy, proportion, lighting, and how objects interact with each other in a given space. Google, Bing, Flickr, and the like offer great tools for looking up images online. But honestly, the best references are from really real life. Sure, it’s probably difficult to get a reference for a 57 Chevy motor unless you live near a classic car garage. But there is infinite reference material around you. If you’re drawing buildings, nothing beats walking around a city to get the feel for how those sky scrapers reach out to the clouds. If you’re drawing people, nothing beats seeing how clothes move over muscles while walking. Take the time to observe the world around you, how objects and people move through it, interact with it. Train your eye to see the little details that we often ignore. Putting them into your work will breath a new life into your pieces.
- Draw More Biggerer
Don’t hide your sketches in a little corner in the pages of your sketch book. Your sketch book is the place to work out all of your art problems. Get them out in the open. Fill that page with large swaths of hands or feet or hair or whatever bedevils you. Use the space to work those problems out. Never, ever, eeeeeever hide from your art problems!
- Warm Up Before You Start A Finished Piece
So you’re tired of practicing. It’s time to sit down, grab your art weapon of choice, and create the best piece you’ve done to date.
Fuck. Yes. Do it.
But before you get too far, spend a few minutes with some warm up sketches. It’s the same concept behind warming up before you run an entire marathon. If you haven’t been drawing all day, your art muscles need some warming up. You can start off with some basic exercises like drawing circles or you can do something a little more pertinent to your piece by whipping off a few thumbnail sketches of the final piece you’re about to do.
You will end up erasing and starting over anyway. But if you spend some warm up time throwing out these loose sketches, you may find you will end up erasing and starting over less.
- Break Free From the Vacuum
I once got into a rather stupid philosophical argument with an art professor over the notion that art cannot be created in a vacuum. As a snot-nosed contrarian art student, I contended that art can indeed be created in a vacuum, that you didn’t need to pay attention to the world around you, and that if you created something that was exactly like something else, that was totally fine. I have since learned that I was totally full of shit and possibly trying to impress a girl who completely ignored me.
It’s a good idea to see what’s out there. Not only can it help you avoid copying someone else’s idea, you can gain inspiration for something new. New is sort of a relative terms since at this point, nothing is really new. But you can come come up with an original spin on something that’s been done before and you can’t know that unless you break out of your vacuum and see what’s out there.
- Learn From the Best
This is the best time in history to be an artist because your art idols are mere keystrokes away. Chances are, your favorite artists have portfolios and blogs online. Many of them are more than willing to share their techniques, their advice, and their secrets (here’s the secret, there ARE NO SECRETS) with everyone else. Some of them will even respond personally to your questions.
To conclude, just fucking do it. If you really want to draw more betterer, don’t waste time with excuses or questions or hesitations or any lame shit that isn’t drawing. Pick up that pencil and get to work.