My Top Ten Drawing Tips

Often I see artists with so much potential making simple mistakes, only because they haven’t nailed down the basics of drawing. While some tips and tricks you learn may come from trial and error, there are plenty of others you might not think of. Here are my top ten drawing tips for beginners and advanced artists alike.

1: Ask for other people’s opinions of your art. Since chances are, you won’t be the only one who ever sees your artwork, getting another point of view can help you see where you can improve your art — (even if the person giving their opinion isn’t artistic at all!).

2: Place your drawing hand overtop of a piece of scrap paper to prevent smudging. This is a simple and overlooked tip that can drastically improve your artwork!

3: Break down complicated objects/subjects into their basic shapes. I say this on almost every tutorial that I post, and I can’t stress enough how much easier this makes the drawing process.

4: White is almost never COMPLETELY white. Even stark white objects have highlights and shadows.

5: Treat your drawing like a painting by layering values on top of each other, starting from lightest to darkest. — i.e., fill in the entire object with the lightest value necessary to create a base layer to add darker tones/shadows on top of.

6: Don’t use a pencil harder than 4H unless absolutely necessary. These extremely hard pencils will easily scratch your drawing.

7: Use mechanical pencils to create very fine lines. The problem with traditional pencils is that the tips constantly change shape with use. Mechanical pencils produce the same line, therefore the same results, every time!

8: Use a tissues, tortillons, or blending stumps to create smooth shadows, and even tones. NEVER use your finger to blend graphite as the oils on your finger will leave your shading uneven.

9: When doing realistic drawings, DO NOT outline! Life doesn’t have black outlines, and neither should your artwork. Instead, highlights, shadows, and tones should serve as an object’s outlines.

10: Above all else, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! I could give you all the tips and tricks in the world, but they would do you no good if you didn’t take the time to put them to use.