For me, getting started drawing arose out of two things. I was in a situation where I was agonizingly bored and I wanted to get better at painting.
So I reluctantly started drawing again for the first time in over 10 years. I quickly realized the value of being able to exercise my craft anywhere and anytime. I became seduced by the feel of the pencil to paper.
Now that I’m drawing again it is beginning to take on a life of its own. Becoming its own obsession separate yet symbiotic with my painting ambitions.
So the first thing you need to do to get started drawing as a hobby is to figure out your why? What is going to motivate you to pick up the pencil and put it to paper?
Maybe you like superheroes and want to be able to create your own comics. Perhaps you’ve always been drawn to sketches of people or animals. Maybe it’s anime that moves you.
I personally am inspired by many things but certainly would love to draw superheroes better. A friend of mine at work loves to draw anime characters. That was what got him started.
Whatever the case is there is something that inspires you. You likely have some picture in your mind that you want to be able to create.
Something drove you today from simply thinking about how to start drawing as a hobby to actually taking the first actionable step and running a search looking for advice.
Congratulations! You already have done the hardest part! That is simply taking the first step on your journey.
Let’s turn that first step into a series of steps leading you down your creative path!
- How To Draw Everyday: Developing a Daily Sketchbook Habit
- Understanding The 12 Principles of Animation
- How To Get Started Animating Today!
- The Benefits of Keeping an Art Journal
- How to Start Painting as a Hobby
What do you need to start drawing?
The cool thing about getting started drawing is all you truly need is a pencil and a sheet of paper. Which most people have in their homes already.
If you want to take it a bit more seriously though it really doesn’t cost that much to get a small graphite pencil set and a sketchbook like the ones pictured here. The pencil set and the sketchbook together maybe cost me twenty U.S. dollars. If that…
When choosing your sketchbook try to keep in mind that there are different qualities of paper that will result in different textures. Causing the shading of your pencil to look different. I’d recommend keeping it simple until you understand the basics better.
Other than the basic materials all you need is your inspiration and a reference to work from. Start with whatever motivated you to try to begin with.
There is a ton of free tutorials on youtube and step by step guides you can follow. All that matters is you get started right now while you have the momentum you have built up by taking action searching for advice on how to start drawing.
Draw anything. The fundamentals don’t matter yet. What matters at this point is breaking the inertia.
How To Improve Your Drawing Skills Fast
So you’ve finally drawn something and you hate it. You think it looks ugly and that you suck. Well… it probably is and you probably do. I mean just look at my first works. They make me want to puke! Yuke!
It is perfectly normal to feel that way about your first drawings too. You still did what you wanted to do. You accomplished something. You created something. That deserves to be celebrated!
Not only that, once you get started you’ll begin to notice things you are having difficulty with. Things that you aren’t quite satisfied with.
Now take that specific dissatisfaction and use it! Maybe you drew a face and the eyes came out weird. Study eyes. Look up how to draw eyes. Then draw a page full of them!
This my friend, is how we get better. You have to push through the bad drawings to get to the good ones.
Be conscious of where you have difficulty and be curious to learn more about it. Then challenge yourself to strengthen your self-identified weakness.
The key is to find pleasure in the challenges. Rather than getting frustrated and beating yourself up, realize that with every small detail you correct your results will get better.
You’re motor control will get better. Your visual library will be built piece by piece.
You also don’t have to show anyone any drawings you’re not satisfied with. They’re for you. Your own growth and development.
That said, a crucial part of that growth and development is exposing your work to criticisms. I would rather encourage you to be proud to show your art to others and be receptive to feedback.
It is also fun to keep them and look back on them later. Helpful too I might add.
Sometimes you can put in a lot of work on something and feel like you’re not improving until you look back at where you started. Then you see you have improved a significant amount.
On that note, be sure to date all of your work to better help see and measure this progress!
You can also keep a nice archive by posting your work online on Instagram.
Start Studying the Fundamentals
Once you have gotten started drawing you have to push yourself. While the method described above is one way to do that it should eventually lead you to discover certain fundamentals of art.
You have to try and study the fundamentals of shape and form. Don’t just draw mindlessly. Don’t just replicate the artwork of others.
If all you are doing is looking up superhero characters on Pinterest and drawing them you will inadvertently be inheriting the anatomy and perspective errors of others.
Study perspective, atmospheric perspective, and shading. Study anatomy and figure drawing if you want to get good at character design.
Just take it one step at a time using the method I described above and allow one thing to lead to the next.
When you find you’re having trouble drawing a good sphere, look up content on how to draw spheres. Then follow the steps and put the advice to practice.
This is how we practice consciously and can make the most progress.
Another great option to learn the fundamentals of drawing is by taking the course on Skillshare where I first learned them.
I am a HUGE fan of Skillshare and highly recommend anyone in creative pursuits give the free trial a go!
Plus, Brent Eviston’s series of courses on “The Art and Science of Drawing” that I link to here, is truly an excellent course to get you started down the right path!
Beyond that, I have used Skillshare to learn about pattern making in procreate, how to use procreate, how to setup a print on demand etsy shop, audio editing, video editing…the list goes on and on.
If you are interested, sign up by clicking the banner below! I can get you your first two months FREE and you will be helping to support the growth of this website!
Whether you choose to sign up for something like Skillshare or not, all that matters is that you keep going.
Mix what you’re studying with what you want to draw as well. Be sure to work the things you have already studied into new works.
You want to get to a point where you have practiced so much that the things you used to have trouble start to become second nature to you. You just do them correctly without even thinking about it.
Break Your Vision Down Into Pieces
I honestly don’t even think of it as practice most of the time. I just am thinking about how I want to be able to render this one particular aspect better.
If I have a particular vision I want to create, I often find I need to break it down into parts and practice individual pieces of the picture before I put it all together.
Take this galaxy painting as an example, I want to add something more to it. So I have been doing a number of things to figure out exactly what.
I knew I wanted to do something that would display some sort of evidence of intelligent life. So I started experimenting by taking a picture and dabbling with some options in Procreate.
Now I know this is a painting but follow me through on this. What you see above was just the start of many options I went through.
I still haven’t yet decided on how exactly I want to finish it out but I am getting to a point where I’m just going to pick something and go with it.
Here are all the various spaceships I have drawn both digitally and in my sketchbook in an attempt to figure out the right one to paint.
When I finally do finish this painting I will post it so you can see what I ended up going with. This is just one example though of why I got into the hobby of drawing to begin with, what I do to ensure I’m progressing and how I utilize it to improve my paintings.
I hope that my approach to it helps you get going on your new hobby!
Now enough surfing the web! Go draw something right now!!!