How to Draw Better / by Leo Crane

At Starkers, life drawing is all about creative expression, no matter what your level of experience. At the same time, you can improve crucial mental and physical skills through some simple drawing exercises. Our friends at Jen Reviews dig deep into the science of How to Draw Better to uncover ways you can slowly but surely improve your drawing skills over time. Here is a quick summary which includes 8 of the 16 tips mentioned in the full guide.

Do you struggle to draw the simplest of shapes? Or are you a seasoned artist who wants to go from good to great? Whatever your level, the drawing tips that follow will help you take your skills to the next level.

1. Practice makes Plastic - Harness Neuroplasticity to improve your Skills

As with all skills, our brains adapt better to drawing the more we practice it. But it also helps to identify your weaknesses and focus your learning to improve them, as this will speed up your learning curve.

2. Get your eye and hand in sync

To improve your hand-eye coordination, try co-ordination challenges like blind drawing and mirror-tracing.

Blind contour drawing

Blind contour drawing

3. Fine tune your motor skills

Motor control skills are also important in the direct action of your tool on the paper. If you like work with a particular art tool like a brush or chalk or embroidery machine, spend a short time every day drawing straight, precise lines to teach your hand the motor skills to control it.

4. Work on your short term drawing memory

Training your visual memory helps train your drawing skills. Boost these by playing a simple game of drawing images from memory, or downloading an app designed to aid short-term visual memory. Pay particular attention to this skill as you get older.

5. Learn what to choose

Good artists know what the most important parts of an image are to include. To hone this skill, practice creating an image with as few lines as possible.

6. Practice ‘Switching your Levels’

Learn how to ‘switch levels’ when drawing between large forms and shapes and small details. Train at first by switching between different drawings, and then consciously switching as you draw.

7. Play the ‘perspective’ game

Practice manipulating and scaling objects using a perspective grid to build up your instincts for ‘object constancy’ and how objects are positioned in space.

8. Practice scaling your drawings

Practice some of the skills mentioned earlier and hone your artistic decision-making by drawing the same picture at different scales.

Wanted more? Here is the full guide on how to draw.