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5 More Tips for Better Drawings

August 27, 2009

As a continuation of 5 Tips for better Drawings, I bring you 5 more! These simple strategies will help you improve your drawing skills.

1. Mirror Check

You know when you get to that point in a drawing where you can see that something isn’t right, but you can’t tell what it is? When that happens, look at your drawing in the mirror. Something about seeing the reverse of your image makes mistakes pop right out. All of a sudden you can see that the one eye is higher, or at the wrong angle. But don’t wait for something to look wrong, do this throughout the entire drawing to keep things on track!

2. Paper Guard

Graphite has a nasty tendency to smudge, especially the softer, darker variety. No matter how hard you might try to work from top to bottom, left to right (or right to left for those lefties out there), chances are good that you’ll drag your hand through your drawing at least once. One way to reduce this risk is by using a clean sheet of paper to rest your hand on. This protects your work, but lets you draw comfortably.

3. Make an Investment

If you haven’t already, invest in some quality materials. You’ll be surprised what a difference this can make! Paper especially can go a long way. Regular computer paper can warp badly as you work it, so get a nice sketchbook or some quality paper. Experiment with different textures, but make sure you get a nice, heavy paper. Proper pencils are important as well; they blend better and give you nice dark shadows. Don’t forget the fixative if you want your work to be preserved and protected!

4. Measure Twice, Draw Once

Measuring is a good way to get the proportions of a drawing right. I don’t mean measuring with a ruler, although you could do this if your reference is the same size as your drawing… What I’m talking about is measuring one part of your image against another. Find things in your reference that are the same size, then make sure they end up that way in your drawing. Sometimes you can use one element to measure the size of larger things by seeing how many times it fits inside. For example, if you’re drawing apples in a bowl, you can measure how many apples fit across the bowl. This ensures that the bowl and apples will be proportionate to each other.

5. Sketch a Thumbnail

No, not the kind that grows on the end of your finger! I’m talking about a thumbnail sketch; a smaller version of a drawing. By doing several thumbnail sketches,  you can try out different compositions without investing a lot of time and effort. It’s no fun drawing a beautiful picture, then realizing the composition is off. Take the time to do a few small sketches before diving into a full-blown drawing. Your finished product will be much better with a well thought-out composition.


From → Drawing

  1. hey! glad you liked the doodle:) I have been taking my sketchbook and watercolors (have a little box of them and water-brushes) everywhere! Sometimes I don’t get a chance to use them, but whenever I can I sketch. I look forward to doing laundry (have to go to my dad’s or laundromat to do it) The only thing is, I take too much stuff with me, books, extra paper, magazines, lol….everyone calls my tote the suitcase.
    Well, speaking of laundry, I’d better go get some done.
    Have a great day
    and I’ve been enjoying your drawing tips!

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