Practicing the basics may seem like a waste of time but that is a false assumption. Owning the fundamentals is essential in drawing as it is in sports. Take push-ups for example.
Doing 50 push-ups in record time is one thing. Attempting to do the same push-ups correctly at the same time is not as easy. It takes muscle memory to have the correct breathing pattern each time. The same principles apply to drawing.
Drawing Lines within Lines: Sharpen Your Drawing Skills
One of the easiest ways to sharpen your drawing skills is by exercising line control. Working constantly on complex drawings is helpful at a certain skill level. However, beginners might find it frustrating if the end result is not close to what they envisioned.
Try drawing a circle. It doesn’t have to be perfect as long as you draw it in a continuous line. Now draw another circle in the middle of the big one. Draw another one between the two and keep alternating until there’s no more room left to draw.
You can use this with cubes too. These are drawing skills that build muscle memory and speed. It also forces you to pay attention to hand movement and the pencil grip. It’s easier to make adjustments when practicing than making them once the real work begins.
Drawing Basic 3D Shapes
Another cool exercise that is great at improving your overall drawing skills is drawing basic 3D shapes. You’ll eventually want to create realistic drawings which require you to have an understanding of creating three-dimensional effects.
If you want to draw arms, trees, trains, pipes, etc. you have to learn the basics of drawing cylinders. Start by drawing a circle. Then draw two lines in the direction you want to extend your cylinder. Draw them as basic as you can at first.
After the first few attempts, alternate their positioning. You can also experiment with shading at this stage. Imagine the lighting source in different places. Don’t bother too much with other details. The point of this exercise is to understand the shape and not to practice drawing barrels.
Same as the cylinders, the cube is a very common basic shape. It is the one that you need to master before creating more complex designs. Rotate your cubes as you move from one to another.
Not only does drawing cubes help you visualize in three dimensions but it will also train you in maintaining straight lines. It also helps your depth representation drawing skills.
Now you can add some creativity to your drawing skills exercises. Try stacking a couple of cubes on top of each other. What’s the best way to do it? There is none. That’s why this exercise is designed to spark creativity also.
Place different-sized cubes on top of each other. Start doing this in the easiest way you can until you develop muscle memory. After you feel comfortable you should start alternating cubes with cylinders.
Place some cylinders horizontally and attempt to balance a cube on top of them. If it doesn’t look realistic, make it seem like the cube is falling off. This should give you the opportunity to practice some light shading too. If you want to visit a great source for complex shapes exercises, you can check it out The Secrets to Drawing.
Mirror Drawing Exercises
What does mirroring a shape has to do with improving your drawing skills? It helps you be a better judge of proportions. To make this exercise worth your time, try drawing a random shape first. Mirroring a simple triangle won’t help you.
Advanced mirroring exercises usually involve 3D objects. You can start small by using cylinders and cubes until you feel comfortable enough. What makes these routines advanced? You’ll find that it’s harder to mirror the lighting and shaded areas. This exercise is a good way to solidify your understanding of how to use edging and shading.
How to Learn Progressively
Does this seem easy enough? You can do more advanced exercises by taking The Secrets to Drawing. Although the course offers even the most basic of instructions to begin with, it soon transitions into in-depth information on shapes, perspectives and drawing media.
If you want to learn how to make use of basic shapes to draw a realistic human body, there’s a module just for that. There is a heavy accent on drawing portraits too. It explains how to make use of your basic cube drawing knowledge to draw jaw lines.
There is always that point you reach when the fundamentals are solid and additional progress seems within reach, yet you can’t quite get there. The Secrets to Drawing comes with over five hours of video lessons and tutorials to help you get past that roadblock. The entire course is split into modules and there are eBooks available for each module.
They come with illustrations and step-by-step instructions which are great if you want to exercise at your own pace. Success won’t come overnight but with the proper motivation it can happen. All the drawing skills you need are taught to you in video and text formats.