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I Still Suck at Art
Sometimes I feel like I’m drawing a lot, but see no improvement at all.
Sometimes, I even think that the stuff I did a year ago looks even BETTER than what I’m creating now…
Not the best feeling to be honest!
And maybe all the famous artists I admire so much have that feeling of being stuck too, but how would I know? Maybe they don’t feel stuck. Maybe they know something I don’t…
Have you had those thoughts before too?
10,000 Hours Rule
If you haven’t heard of this rule before, it pretty much states that to be a master at something – you need to practice it for 10,000 hours. I got really inspired because it seemed like this roadmap I should follow!
But then I did some math..
If you draw approximately 3 hours a day every day, then in a year you will get 1,095 hours done.
Things happen though, and you will draw some days for 10 hours straight, but then some days you won’t draw at all.
So, let’s just say you get 1000 hours every year. It will take you 10 years to get amazing at drawing!
And if you give art 40 hours per week as you do your full-time job then it will take you 5 years to get there.
Sounds awesome right?
I and many other artists believe that it’s not that simple.
Just getting to that milestone will make you really good, but to become a true master you should always learn new things, try to improve and don’t stop even after that milestone! If art is really what you desire most.
10k Hours of What Exactly?
Apart from drawing for 10,000 hours, you should also decide on What and How you should be drawing?
Think about it for a second, what if I decided that I will only draw eyes for 10 thousand hours? Where will that get me?
I will be one of the best people at drawing eyes that’s for sure! But ask me to draw a cat, a flower, a face or anything else – and that will be the day you realize I still suck.
That’s why it’s important to practice drawing effectively!
How do you do that?
My Top 2+ Rules For Drawing Effectively
Rule#1: Draw Every Day
Rule#2: Keep A Sketchbook
Before I go to the other tips on drawing effectively, I just want to quickly explain the importance of these 2 rules.
1. Drawing requires you to use your muscle memory, your visual library, your imagination and the drawing techniques you previously learned.
To be good at all those things you, of course, have to practice A LOT.
Cliche but true example: you go to the gym and work out for a year. You build muscle and feel awesome. Then you skip a year and the first day you decide to go back to the gym – your muscle memory faded a bit and you kinda suck at this work out thing again.
Well, art is no different – draw to work out your muscle memory and don’t let it be forgotten!
The good thing is though, that when you go back to art or working out, even though you might not start again at where you left off, you will super quickly catch up and remember all the previously learned skills. However, the time you didn’t practice can never be taken back, and you would be at a totally different level now if you never had such a huge break.
2. A sketchbook is a place for your brain to build ideas, create awesome pieces, experiment, learn new techniques AND get bad drawings out of the way!
Masters or amateurs – we all have
shitty bad drawings. You can never avoid them, and you shouldn’t want to! We learn from having bad drawings. If you don’t have bad drawings – you don’t learn.
Therefore keeping sketchbooks is awesome! Plus, you get to keep them and look back at all the sketchbooks throughout the years to see your REAL progress. When I do that – I feel pretty embarrassed and happy at the same time 🙂
( Helpful Resource: in case you were wondering what sketchbook to buy next, check out this blog post of 36 Best Artists Sketchbooks to Buy in 2018)
Top 3 Tips For Drawing Effectively (+Bonus Tip)
Tip #1: Focused Tutorials
Watching tutorials is an amazing way to learn art!
However, just turning on every tutorial that pops up on Youtube is not a great idea.
This way you risk just watching and not doing, and wasting your time by trying to learn everything and thus not seeing any actual improvements. So, here is my step by step process of how you can learn effectively:
Pick one topic you want to improve in and dedicate a whole month or week or at least a day to just that topic! This way, if you were to watch 20 different videos/courses on that one topic from a variety of different artists and practice all the skills and techniques all of them mention – you will not only learn that topic inside out, but by blending all the ways of different artist’s together you create your own personal style. AND you might discover which technique works best for you, or even discover YOUR OWN technique!
For example, if I wanted to learn how to draw caricatures, I would go on Udemy and Skillshare and search for that. Then I would watch all the courses that seem interesting to me, and follow all the artist’s techniques along the way!
P.S. I am a teacher on Skillshare! You can find out about my courses on Skillshare here 🙂
After the research I discover that on Udemy there is a course specifically called “How to Draw Caricatures”
Or, on Skillshare, there are also plenty of video tutorials and I like how the one by Jon Casey “Introduction to Caricature: Draw a Portrait with Digital Tools in 6 Minutes” Looks:
If you don’t like those two platforms, you can always just search it on YouTube too!
And the first video I found is by RowserWorld:
Then go ahead and learn from all of them!
That takes us to the next tip:
Tip #2: Stylize
Now as I found the tutorials I want to learn from, I would like to go on and do everything the artist tells me too – at least the first time.
Then, I would close the tutorials, and on my second time I go ahead and try to implement everything I learned from the artists but using my own object (or a person in this case). Not relying on one artist’s technique and style, but on everything I know combined!
This way I get to mix all the knowledge from the three tutorials above into something personal – something of my own. This way I get to stylize.
Tip #3: Draw From Life
All the amazing masters from the past and present have one thing in common – they learn by drawing from life. Modern artists might stop at some point and just use reference images, however, they all started with life drawings!
When you draw from a 3-D space, you train your brain to see shapes, colors, to compose and to interpret all you see into 2-D forms. Noone is born with this ability, but practice makes perfect 🙂
To do that, go ahead and check out figure drawing sessions going on near you, or ask your family/friends to pose for you, or just set up some random objects in front of you and try to break them down into simple shapes.
Trust me, this will help.
( Helpful Resources:
- If you want to start figure drawing or improve your current skill, I would suggest getting a book or two on figure drawing and learn from masters. Check out this blog post for top figure drawing books of all times.
- Check out figure drawing courses on Udemy and Skillshare.
- Get the “Figure Drawings Fundamentals” Course by Proko)
Last word of advice:
Don’t hesitate. Start working on your skills NOW!
Thank you so much for reading this post, I hope it was helpful!
Let me know in the comments below how you practice drawing!
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Good luck on Your Art Path,
– Anna, Your Art Bud 😉
Blog Posts to check out next → “How To Make Money Online As An Artist In 2018”