14 Comments

  1. Ayodeji

    This is a great post and an amazing write-up. I’m an artist and I know how important these tips are when it comes to drawing challenges for beginners.

    You really shed a bright spotlight on the importance of getting good at one thing which will definitely help.

    I like the emphasis on practice as well as it is very important and necessary for someone to be really good at drawing.

    • Laurel

      Hey, thanks a lot! I’m happy that you liked the article.

      As important as it is to start building a strong foundation of basic skills, I like the idea of getting good at one thing, because, as I mentioned, it makes for a nice self-esteem boost when you’re feeling discouraged – especially for newbies. If you remind yourself how far you’ve come in regards to that one particular subject, it becomes clearer that you can make great strides like this in other areas as well. 🙂

      And of course, you get out what you put in in terms of practice as well, as you said.

  2. Dave Sweney

    This post was a great piece on how to get back into drawing for people like myself who have been away from the hobby (for me) for some time. As I get older, I am starting to get into the old hobbies and activities that I enjoyed when I was younger. Drawing is one.

    Since it has been so long (decades) I decided to do a Google search to get some ideas on how to get started, and your page showed up in the results. This was a good find from Google and a good find for me. I will go through the drills you suggest, I am sure they will help me.

    I always had a bit of talent for drawing, but life gets in the way. I found other avenues to show my passion for life, but always the drawing was there in the back of my mind. Now I am at the stage where I do not have to do some of the things many younger people do (like hard charge 6-7 days a week making a living)…

    Now is the time to get back to the things I loved as a kid! Your suggestions will help me a lot and I appreciate them. I have also bookmarked your website, as I am sure that there is more for me to pick up in your other posts. You are a natural teacher, by the way. Easy to follow instructions and something even an old buzzard like me can do! Thanks!  

    • Laurel

      Thank you for the kind words, Dave! I appreciate you taking the time to read my article and write such a thoughtful comment. 🙂

      Something that helps me is to keep a sketchbook, no matter how small, with me as much as I can. That way it’s always within reach when I have a minute or two for a quick sketch. Another suggestion is to keep it near the TV so I can draw while I watch (or during commercial breaks). I think that if you did something like this, you’d be amazed by how quickly things come back to you!

      By the way, I have a post specifically about coming back to drawing after taking a break; you can read it here if you’re interested.

      Thanks again and have fun drawing! 😀

  3. akshaysaxena

    Hi Laurel. I must admit that your post truly inspired me to pick up a pencil and draw. I always believed that people with good heart are good artists. But honestly, I used to draw only when I was in school. Though I always loved drawing. 

    I feel drawing is a must for everyone, as a smallest painting speaks louder than words. I’m looking forward to draw my vision boards, after getting inspired by your post. And of course, I’m so glad that I found your post today. 

    Thanks a lot for sharing and motivating everyone to draw. 

    • Laurel

      Hello, and thank you for the kind comment! I’m so glad to learn that you’re feeling inspired! 😀

      I, too, think that everyone should give drawing a try, at least once in a while. It’s not so important to get really good at it and draw 100% accurately; rather, I believe it’s a great way to relax, have fun, and express oneself. Drawing in a sketchbook can be likened to keeping a journal; it’s a gratifying habit and it makes a fantastic record to look back on later.

      And even if you don’t dedicate a lot of time to studying, you’ll see improvements in your art from the practice alone. And you’ll start noticing details you’d never thought of in the world around you.

      Thanks again and good luck with your drawing! 🙂

  4. Wealthfather

    Great content and information. Thanks for this concise and thorough article. 

    This is a challenge I would love to participate in; as a newbie in drawing, this challenge will be an avenue for me to groom myself more. You have shared a great tip here which happens to be an eye opener for me.

    This is the type of information some professional bloggers will love to hide from public knowledge. I’m so happy I found your blog.

    • Laurel

      Thank you!

      I’m glad you found this post helpful, and I hope the challenges help you see noticeable improvements in your drawing. 🙂

      Take care!

  5. Gracen

    Hello Laurel, drawing has always been a Herculean task for me unlike my younger sister who is a great artist. I am glad to know that experts also face some kind of challenges in the world of art. I often struggle with drawing articles for my son who is in a kindergarten class.

    Wow, I love the notion of choosing a simple image to draw and the option of taping the image to a window or on a computer monitor. I know I do carry out tracing but have never done it the way you suggested here. Your tips make it so simple and less complicated.

    Your article has really motivated me to start practicing as a beginner, if not for anything, I can be of help to my son anytime there is a project on object drawings.

    • Laurel

      Hello, and thanks for leaving such a kind comment!

      Tracing is something that can help significantly in getting your hand used to making smooth lines, and it’s rewarding to see something professional-looking on the page afterward. I remember as a kid, I would sometimes trace characters from my favourite TV shows, and then when I drew them later from memory, it was much easier.

      I tend to be daunted at times by the complexity of something I want to draw. Simplifying, as I’ve found out, is a key to learning how to draw. Even the most complicated objects can be broken down into simple forms. It helps a lot to look for those basic shapes when tackling a new subject.

      Thanks again and best of luck with your practice! 🙂

  6. Adamu2

    Thanks for writing out this lovely article. I must say it’s a must for every lover of art to read and take in.

    I’m a newbie in drawing but I have some personal interest in art. This article gave step by step on starting a drawing for beginners. Drawing needs passion to make it unique among others. The article shows how to tackle drawing challenges. Thanks for the insight.

    • Laurel

      Thanks for the comment; I’m glad you liked the article.

      I hope the challenges help you get your art to the next level!

  7. Mike

    Found this at the perfect time! I’ve always wanted to learn how to draw but I’ve always fallen out of it, which bothers me because I like writing stories and I’m very much a “visual” kind of person. Never done any writing challenges, but I think it would help encourage me to improve and stick with it in the long run.

    I’ve never actually heard of these particular challenges (save the second), so I have to ask: did you come up with these, or are these common challenges for people learning to draw? I was actually always turned off by the idea of tracing. I never thought or heard about how it could be used to improve muscle memory.

    • Laurel

      Hi Mike! I’m glad this post came up at a good time for you.

      I’ve always been a fan of writing as well, and for me, sketching out a character idea really helps to ground them in the world and bring them to life for me.

      As for the challenges, I’m sure other people use them as well, but I didn’t get them from any place in particular. Indeed, I probably should do a tad more research while working on an article, but for this one I just sat down and tried to think about how I would go about teaching a friend who came asking for help with learning how to draw. 🙂

      I know of other exercises as well, some learned from books or picked up from teachers and others in creative industries over the years; maybe these will be included in a future post.

      Tracing, sadly, tends to get a bad rap a lot of the time. Some people consider it cheating, and I suppose it can be unethical, depending how you go about it. But if you employ it as a technique for your own practice and development – rather than trying to make a copy of someone else’s work and claim credit for it – it can be quite the valuable tool and help to speed up progress.

      Thanks for taking the time to read the article and leave such a thoughtful comment! All the best with your stories and your drawing. 🙂

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