Drawing Tips From Your Local Art Major

28 September, 2018

I don't by any means consider myself to be an expert on drawing or all things art related but I can say that here at The Velocity of Art - I'm above average. Drawing is a skill that a lot of people give up on after grade school and I really think it's something that nobody can be inherently good or bad at. I don't think anyone is born with a gift to create, some people are just feel pulled to do more often.

So, the only thing separating you from the talented-people is self doubt and lack of will. Drawing is a skill that is useful for every person for communicating thoughts that words can't, and there are many ways to keep evolving your skills. Your local art major is here to tell you a few things that I've learned from university and how to make better pieces in every shape and size. Don't tell my art teachers that all their secrets are out.

put in the effort to do good 

The first tip when drawing to actually put in effort. I like to say that the only thing that makes a person an artist is that they create while other people . . . don't. If you want a piece to come out well make sure that you aren't setting yourself up for failure by saying: "This is why I'm not an artist haha ha ha."

Look at the world the way that and artists would. Simply and complicate everything. Look at the world and make everything look the way you would had you made it yourself.

pay attention to details 

Step two is related to part one, where if you're drawing something realistic/representational then you draw everything.  All of the colors, lines, shapes, hairs, details needs to be accounted for. If you don't dedicate time to drawing every single thing that you see, then you won't get a realistic image. Try to make space for your work and pay close attention to what make things look the way that they do.

start big then work small 

Only professionals and even some of them, start on a small aspect of their piece and then work outward from there. The easiest way to be accurate and precise is to start with the general shape of your subject, lay down base colors, or a vaguely appropriate outline, and THEN work your way up from there. Slowly build colors and detail from the most basic shapes you see and then go into specifics.

stick figures / doodles / crooked lines ARE a style 

If you look at your drawing of a dog and only see a misshapen-cartoon-ish,-alien-like form, then CONGRATS! You've made it. Cartoons and abstraction are a style and maybe that is actually for you. Ruby Etc. are one of my favorite cartoonist-type-artist-people on Instagram who I follow and her drawings are really random characters that she creates and labels as she feels. It's great. If you find yourself more drawn to doodling/contour lines/ or anything that's not the norm then you should pursue it!

"The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling." - Fabienne Fredrickson

draw what you see! 

If you are trying to draw realistically/representational, just draw what you see! A lot of the time when drawing, people look at a reference and then . . . they don't draw what they see. They look at a plant with five flowers and draw six, or estimate the amount of spots on a dog and just do random guesswork. If your drawing doesn't look right, it's because you are not recreating it exactly as you see it .

use references 

Draw from real life or a picture, don't always try to draw from memory, and no - it's not cheating. All artists have to start from somewhere and it's incredibly helpful to use picture references. Drawing from real life is also a good way to try out new skills and first see how you interpret things differently from everyone else. Part of the reason you might not be getting the results you want is because you aren't drawing the right things at the right time.

draw what feels right 

Sometimes the inspiration comes and sometimes it doesn't and it's okay either way! Draw when you really really want to draw and good ideas will come to you. Some styles are going to be more interesting to you and those are the ones you should follow. Don't force yourself to draw a certain way if you aren't in love with it, and try to take everything you are already doing and make your own style.

don't be afraid to be bad 

I know what you're thinking:  there is no bad art, right? The debate about "what is good art" is something that could take a whole semester to explain, so what I'm really trying to say here is that good art is something people are proud of. It's not necessarily perfect and representational or creative, but at the core, good art is art that you care about. Don't be afraid to suck and to miss the mark every single time. Change the mark. Change yourself. Know that you've done good and then *poof* you're an artist!

I might do  a step by step tutorial on how to draw faces, people, plants, and other extremely aesthetic subjects, so look out for that in the future! Fine art is really about knowing what other people have done and doing it in a way that is you. Sketch often and you will see improvement- it really is a journey! Good luck, 


Join the conversation!

  1. You are SUCH an incredible artist!!!

  2. In love with your drawings - you are amazingly talented!! I haven't drawn anything in a while so I feel like my drawing game is rusty, but these helpful tips have inspired me to get back :)

    Thanks for the post! <3
    - nicole | www.nicolesmind.com

  3. I need to get back into drawing too haha. Thank you! 💖


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