Ways to Improve Your Drawing Skills

improving your drawing skills

Drawing objects is probably one of the easiest skills you could have. It may be as easy as scheduling your garage door repair in Las Vegas. People who see me drawing often remark that they wish they could draw better. I hear this from my students fairly often. My response is simple: “Draw.” A lot of people who should don’t consider drawing to be all that important. They’re designers or photographers and don’t understand the technical and observational acumen that results from drawing and how it will enhance their design skill or photographic eye.

Drawing slows you down. When you draw, you’re taking time to look at something, to analyze it and reproduce it. You’re not simply setting up to capture it and move on to the next image. You become very aware of form, proportion and color. You come to understand light and shadow and how they reveal and define form. This awareness translates to any visual pursuit.

  1. Go draw something. Repeat.

Practice leads to improvement. You won’t get any better unless you engage in the attempt. The more you draw the more confident you’ll become.

  1. Look at drawings.

Whether simple line drawings or meticulously detailed renderings, you can learn a lot from looking at the work of others. How did they use line and shape? How did they shade?

  1. Draw from drawings.

This may sound peculiar, but what can you learn by copying a Da Vinci or Michaelangelo sketch? Tons. Learn from the masters by copying them. Really. They won’t mind.

  1. Draw from photographs.

For most people, it’s easier to reproduce an image that’s already two-dimensional than reproduce an actual object, person or environment. When you’re working from photos, look at edges, shapes and angles. Don’t trace. Draw.

  1. Draw from life.

If you’re just starting out, pick simple objects and work your way up to complex ones. Go ahead and try your and at drawing people and your pets. Draw your furniture and your living spaces. Do you enjoy coffee? Draw your coffee cup. Here’s a challenge: draw your hand. Hands and feet are the most complex parts of your anatomy and are readily available subject matter. If you can master these, you’ll pretty much be able to draw anything.

  1. Take a class.

A class will keep you accountable. A teacher will correct your weaknesses. Watching others draw is immensely beneficial for building your own observational skills. Where do you find a class? Check your local university extension, community adult school, YMCA or community college. Another source is your local art supply store, where artists post notices of drawing meet-ups, uninstructed sessions with models, or private instruction.

Benefits of Arts to Kids

benefit of art for kids

Children naturally love art – painting, drawing, making music, the theater.  Unfortunately, when schools cut back on budgets, the arts are usually the first to go.  It seems that schools do not appreciate the importance of art in building a kid’s brain.

Physiologically, the human brain consists of 2 parts, the left and the right hemisphere.  The left brain is used in logical thinking and analytical processes.  This is typically what is trained in school work that consists of math, reading and science.  The right brain is used in emotional perception, intuition and creativity.  It is the right brain that is mainly used when a person is involved in creative endeavors such as making art.  It is this part of the brain that typical school environment neglects to train.

It is shown that when gifted kids solve problems in their areas of giftedness, there is increased electrical activity in both hemispheres.  It appears that for the brain to be efficient, the two hemispheres of the brains must work together.  By stimulating and exercising the right hemisphere of the brain, the arts strengthen the connection between the hemispheres. Kids should be exposed to the arts as their cognitive skills mature so that their right brain will be as developed as the left, and both hemispheres work in tandem, thus achieving the full potential of the mind.

Aside from the physiological effects, the New York Center for Arts Education also lists other benefits of exposing children to art:

Your kid learns to think creatively, with an open mind

Your kid learns to observe and describe, analyze and interpret

Your kid learns to express feelings, with or without words.

Your kid practices problem-solving skills, critical-thinking skills, dance, music, theater and art-making skills, language and vocabulary of the arts

Your kid discovers that there is more than one right answer, multiple points of view

School can be fun – playing can be learning

Your kid learns to collaborate with other children and with adults

Arts introduce children to cultures from around the world

Your kid can blossom and excel in the arts.  Even with physical, emotional or learning challenges, can experience success in the arts.

Arts build confidence.  Because there is not just one right way to make art, every child can feel pride in his or her original artistic creations.

Arts build community.  Schools with a variety of differences can celebrate the arts as one community.

According to Kimberly Sheridan, Ed.D., coauthor of Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education, “”It’s not as easy to test the skills that children learn from the arts, but that doesn’t make them any less important”. She noted though that participating in a school arts program increases a child’s ability to:

Observe the world carefully and discard preconceptions in order to envision something and then create it

Go beyond just learning a skill to express a personal voice

Problem-solve and persist despite frustration and setbacks

Reflect on the results and ask what could improve them