General Drawing Tips: 5 Most Common Beginner Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

No matter what you may have heard or may have been told, drawing (as well as anything else we wish to know how to do) is a very "learnable" skill, no different than reading, writing, or even riding a bike.

It is simply a question of having someone show you what to do, how to do it, then practicing and dedicating yourself to it so you improve.These here are general drawing tips which will help improve your drawing

1.    Using the wrong tool for the wrong job: This really applies to very many technical fields. However, there are many times that we may not have access to the right tool or we simply cannot afford it yet, so we have to improvise.  However, as often as we can, we should learn to use the right tool for the right job.  This makes working/drawing a lot easier and makes your work come out better. When making paintings and using watercolor, please use water colour paper, not a thin drawing paper.  Thin drawing papers CANNOT handle the water and it will instantly become saturated. 

Solution: Learn how to use the right brushes, the right pencils, the right paper, the right colours etc. As always, knowing how to use each tool for the right purpose perfectly will take time and practice. We will be putting up future posts about how to use many different tools to achieve different effects in drawings

2. Not Taping Down Your Work: Using a tape helps keeps your work in place while drawing.  Doing this will also prevent your paper from becoming warped when you finish. An artist’s tape is very recommended here. This is because they are acid free and can easily be removed without damaging the paper. You can also use a masking tape. However, be careful when using tapes. Always take special care when removing the tape so as not to damage your work. 

Solution:    Hold down your drawing using tape. Using art tape will lessen the chances of damaging your artwork.Just be aware that cheap masking tape may be too sticky, and could cause damage to your paper or photos.

3. Not Planning Your Drawing: Many times, people immediately begin drawing or sketching without establishing some kind of intention in their mind first. You’ll find that a well-thought out drawing always seems more focused, and clearer than one that doesn’t.

Solution: Take a moment before beginning your drawing to plan what you’re about to draw. And also, remember to always take proper measurements and proportions before you get started, especially when drawing portraiture. Keep your mind open for ideas to pop up—a moment of reflection and stillness will allow creative ideas to reveal themselves. Once you have a plan, begin drawing!

4. Not moving Hands Freely:Stiff wrists is the reason why you can’t make curve lines effectively. An artist should be able to lift his hands to modulate its weight and enable his wrist to move wider and freely.

Solution: Drawing shouldn’t be stiff, it should be “controlled”. Try holding your pencil further towards the back and using your whole arm, elbow or wrist. You will be looser with your marks you have to be, also try keeping your hand off the paper. These two things will help you to “loosen Up”. Also don’t be afraid to try several times to get the line right. It can seem strange but you’ll have a better chance of finding the right line. Consciously learn to move your hands freely while drawing. This will make your pictures look natural. Try to hold your pencil further towards the back 

5. Too Much Pressure on Your Pencil: When you are using your pencils be careful not to use too much pressure. If you push too hard you will destroy the texture of the paper. This will be very noticeable in your drawing. It also makes it more difficult to control your drawing if you want to modify the area where the texture has been destroyed.

Solution: To preserve the texture of the paper use light pressure. No more pressure than you would use with a stylus on the surface of a smart phone. If you use less pressure and take more time building up your values you will have more control over your drawing in general.

These tips here highlight common mistakes that artists who are beginners may make. For experts however, this might be tips you need to refresh yourself with. In art as in life, ideas unfold as you progress at whichever level that you are. Make a decision now to keep learning, and to keep your mind open for new ideas.

Forget being “right” all the time. Instead, search for new artistic discoveries and always look for ways to learn from your mistakes.

Of course, people always need inspiration to make works of art! Make sure to check out our artists’ category’ insert link to see some amazing works of art.

Thanks for reading.