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How To Practice Drawing To Quickly Improve

The desire to learn how to practice drawing can help your art improve dramatically this year.

I love setting aside time daily to practice drawing; I know you will too. 

Drawing is one of the most popular art forms because you need only a few drawing tools to get started.

a hand holding a pencil and sketch pad, practicing  drawing a subject.

With so few supplies, you can take your art almost anywhere. This short list includes a mix of graphite pencils, paper, and an eraser.

Ready to learn all about how to practice drawing? Keep reading.

The Importance Of Practicing Drawing

I know it feels like some artists wake up one day and decide to pick up a pencil.

Then, thanks to their incredible inner talent, they can produce some of the best drawings the world has ever seen. 

You may have seen this happen in a movie or read about it in a book. It can feel so discouraging. Luckily, I have some good news so you can become a better artist. 

The good news is this did not happen this way. All artists will tell you that they developed a skill because of the time they took to practice. 

The fact of the matter is this- practice makes progress. If you want to see your drawing go from average to outstanding, practicing is essential. 

Make Time To Practice Drawing 

My advice for anyone hoping to improve their drawing skills is relatively simple. 

To practice drawing, you must make time to draw every day. This will help your muscle memory to help you perfect basic shapes and straight lines. 

The time frame should be between 20 minutes to an hour. That daily practice will help a good habit form. 

For kids and adults, I recommend practicing right before bedtime. One idea is to put on calming music, sit together as a family, and draw.

Everyone has their own sketchbook and takes turns choosing what objects to create together. It is a wonderful way to relax after a busy day. 

A person sitting with crossed legs and a sketch book on her lap and pencil in hand preparing to practice drawing.

If having a set time to draw doesn’t work in your routine, try using a portable sketchbook.

Get into the habit of bringing it everywhere so that when you find the time, it is possible to get some practice. These places can look like

  • Riding the bus
  • Sitting in the lobby before an appointment
  • Waiting for dinner to finish cooking

Seek Artistic Inspiration

If you are looking for new ideas, the first step is to look around at different things around your home for everyday objects.

One great thing that I love about drawing is that you can create anything.

I understand entirely, though- beginning to implement drawing practice into your daily routine can feel overwhelming.

How do you know what to draw? Is the object you chose too complex or too simple? 

The most valuable part of finding inspiration is deciding what the end goal is from practicing.

Do I want to challenge myself? I am working on drawing with short lines or shading. 

The other thing to remember is what excites you to draw. 

a shaded pencil drawing of worn boots.

My shoes, for example, are objects that I love. I find their shapes and textures so interesting, and you’ve got lots to practice with so many types of shoes and boots (cowboy, rain boots, work boots).

Another object I like drawing is a pair of jeans in a loose pile on the floor. The folds have wonderful shadows and textures.

Draw what you love!

Keep In Mind

The purpose of creating art is to bring joy –this is important not to forget when you practice drawing. 

I like to remind myself and want to remind you with me to give ourselves a lot of grace.

When you are working on a drawing, it might turn up how you visualize it in your mind. 

Go easy on yourself- this is a learning process, after all! Even if you went to art school, drawing practice is essential to the artistic process.

Simple Drawing Exercises to Get Started

The best way to get started is to use some of these exercises to help you get started in pencil drawing.

A shaded drawing of a pine cone, drawn 3 times from different angles.

Still Life Objects (but with new perspective)

Draw the same object but in different ways. Take simple forms on your desk, for example, and draw them in new ways, like at different angles or with a light source from a different angle.

This is one of the best drawing exercises because it is a great way to see an object as it is, not just how we perceive it.

hand with pencil drawing basic shapes on a pad.

Quick Drawings

Practice quick drawing warm-ups to help the brain and body connect. Take 5-10 minutes to do a fast drawing of something like:

  • parallel lines
  • zig-zag lines
  • simple shapes like rectangles and triangles

Finding inspiration for what to draw becomes easier as it is more in my daily routine.

Once I begin training my brain to look out for what to draw, it becomes more automatic. 

Earlier in the article, I discussed drawing items that bring me joy, like my shoes, and I encourage you to do the same. Take whatever object you love and start by recreating that. 

Once you become comfortable, you can expand to other objects like living things found in nature or body parts. 

Draw Your Own Form

A sketched contour drawing of a hand.

Did you know that some of the most influential artists get inspiration from artists who drew themselves?

They would practice drawing their left hand with their right hand or look into a mirror and draw what they saw. 

With that in mind, why not use your own body parts as inspiration to help you develop your talent? It’s quick, convenient, and can be done almost anywhere!

Draw Figures

For practicing your drawings on something complex, like a human body, I recommend using a photo reference at first so your object cannot move.

One great tool for a warm-up exercise is to try figure drawing at first.

Mastering the foundation of a body before diving into the details, such as the eyes and lips, is very important.

When most people think of drawing other humans, they become uncomfortable at the thought of a nude model.

While that can certainly get you out of your comfort zone- that situation will likely not happen.

When prioritizing your practice time, the most important thing is being comfortable.

I love using anatomical forms. It is a great exercise to help develop my own work at any time inspiration strikes.

Follow Drawing Lesson Tutorials

A mushroom line drawinging with lines dotted and a dotted line pointing to completed mushroom that is colored in from tutorial.

We have a wide variety of drawing tutorials on our site. Start there.

After you complete it, I encourage you to try the lesson afterward from a different point of view. Was there a better way to draw the object?

The mushroom drawing lesson is here.

Like in this owl drawing tutorial. Were there shapes that stood out to you more or differently?

Try to draw the owl without following the steps this time. It’s important to train yourself to see the shapes.

As wonderful as the step-by-step drawing tutorials can be, after following them once, you should work to train your brain to see the shapes on your own.

Tips and Tricks For How To Practice Drawing

As someone who has drawn for a long time, I have learned a few tricks to help me make the best artwork possible.

Here are a few tricks that I would like to share with you.

Draw What Is There

Take care to draw what you actually see, not what you think you see. I remember being told that by art teachers.

It’s true. It’s human nature to want to interpret what you see rather than draw what’s there. I still catch myself wanting to interpret what I see.

Observe The Shapes

Any experienced artist will tell you that you can break any piece of art down into simple shapes. Once you begin seeing the world that way, new ideas can form.

Take the human form, for example. One of the first things you need to look at is the basic shapes of the body.

The head, for example, would be a circle, while the upper body is a rectangle. This trick is a good way to establish overall shape and proportion.

Nurture Yourself

When creating art, know that it can affect your emotional state.

Sometimes the art of practicing your drawing can become an incredibly immersive experience.

It can take a lot of energy but also result in a beautiful piece of art and a strong sense of achievement. 

This is one of the best parts of drawing, but it can be tiring. That is why making your health a priority is essential to this process. 

So be sure to eat well and exercise.

Get Started

It is so easy to get caught in the idea of drawing, only to be paralyzed by the process of putting pencil to paper.

My best advice is to stop waiting and start drawing! 

You won’t regret it. 

In Summary

When looking at the most important factors in how to start drawing, remember that all artists had to start at some point.

With only a few tools, you can start drawing and creating art immediately. 

Remember, the most valuable part of learning to draw is the amount of time you put into practice.

Even a few minutes every day can add up to hours of muscle memory for any future creations that you have. 

Have you started drawing? Tell me in the comments below what your favorite items to draw are!

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