Keeping up with your drawing ability is an important activity for any working artist. Just like sportstars and professional musicians, it’s important for an artist to keep their hand in, practice.
Why practice drawing?
A great way to improve your drawing ability is to make fast, 30 second sketches. True they’re not going to sell for millions but they will fine tune your skills. Remember these are warm up exercises, they’re not for public consumption.
Quick drawing exercises develope the hand and the eye to observe and commit objects to paper. They teach you to look at scenes and evaluate them.
How can you develop your skill?
Laying out simple everyday objects and timing yourself for rapid sketches can get you started, but there is always the temptation to add a few seconds on at the end to finish the drawing.
Remember the excerise is about learning to instantly see an object and record it. So here are some ideas to take away temptation from your sketching.
Draw on the Move
Drawing on the train or bus presents you with a landscape that will rapidly be changing and every second a new picture developes. Practice capturing the essence of what is happening as you travel.
Sketch things that naturally won’t keep still
Kids and pets are great for this. They normally have boundless amounts of energy and you need to be on the ball to catch the scene. You have to be fast because you never know when they’ll be off doing something else.
Sit down and paint the sky. Rapid records of the moving clouds is a relaxing way to practice your skills. It can provide a perfect way of stress release, patiently watching the sky change.
Running water, especially if you live near a lively stream, can be a excellent way of honing your abilities. Running tap water will do but its not the same as a river. You could fill the sink with dishes and put the plug in. Add an element of chance to see if you finish before you get water everywhere.
Blind drawing can also be fun
Stare at an object for a minute and then turn away and draw it. This helps with your memory and picturing a scene. You quickly learn to break down objects into parts and build up a memory shorthand when observing things.
These short exercises will help you to develop your style, encourage you to look and understand things more closely and improve your technical ability.
The more you look, the more you’ll see and the better your drawings will become.