51 Ways To Get better at Drawing

It’s not about “trying harder” or hopping from one technique to the next. It’s about simple, practicable methods that help you ascend in skill, ability, and expression.

Below is a list of 51 ways that will endow you with greater skill. They will help you to break down the barriers and beliefs that hold you back from your artistic ambitions.

Since 51 is a rather large number, I’ve opted not to elaborate at this time on each of them, as they’re pretty self explanatory, or there’s a link in the title where you can find more information.

If you’re still confused about some of these, I have a series of 6 free lessons that are sent out to each growing artist on my list. You can sign up at the bottom of this post.

That said, Happy Drawing.

51 Ways to Get Better at Drawing

  1. Draw without distraction

  2. Draw from reference

  3. Draw from life

  4. Learn drawing fundamentals (line, shape, proportion, perspective, etc…)

  5. Draw from an art instruction book

  6. Draw from a course

  7. Draw to fill a sketchbook

  8. Draw basic shapes

  9. Draw basic shapes in perspective

  10. Draw with more confidence

  11. Draw something, then redraw that drawing

  12. Draw what you’re interested in

  13. Draw more in general

  14. Draw on a singular theme (pirates, animals, etc…)

  15. Draw from movie stills

  16. Draw after masters

  17. Draw without haste

  18. Redraw your old drawings

  19. Simplify your drawing process

  20. Take better drawing breaks during the process

  21. Draw outside your comfort zone

  22. Draw focusing on shapes and values

  23. Shade your drawings

  24. Draw based on negative shapes

  25. Draw experimentally

  26. Draw when you have energy

  27. Take advantage of drawing Technology (affiliate link for iPad & apple pencil)

  28. Draw, don’t merely “doodle”

  29. Get constructive feedback on your drawings

  30. Draw with or around those better than you

  31. Master each drawing technique before moving onto a new one

  32. Learn new drawing processes

  33. Master drawing in one medium

  34. Take drawing classes

  35. Do a drawing mentorship

  36. Draw complex subjects

  37. Draw with limits (one line, timed drawing,etc…)

  38. Don’t draw with self-defeating thoughts in mind

  39. Visualize your drawings before starting

  40. Visualize yourself drawing well

  41. Spend more time on your drawings

  42. Restart bad drawings during the process (no turd-polishing.)

  43. Mirror your drawings to check for errors

  44. Rotate your drawings to check for errors

  45. Step back or “Zoom out” from your drawings to check for errors

  46. Develop a drawing checklist ( for the process, for error-checking, etc…)

  47. Draw what got you into drawing (for me it was anime and games.)

  48. Draw fan art

  49. Draw original Art

  50. Draw commissions

  51. Don’t forget to enjoy the process.

Taylor Payton
Does graphic design require drawing?

I bet you think I’m going to lavish pounds of hot praise on the ability to draw, given the purpose of my site and the fact that I sell drawing courses.

However, I’ll say that if you’re looking to go more Graphic design, then you only need to know how to draw to a degree. Not as much as an illustrator or draftsman, but you will have to understand basic drawing concepts.

If you get very good at manipulating symbols and using various design program, you could theoretically get by or even excel with very little drawing.

Still, the ability to draw will be of great benefit to you, simply because it allows you to explore ideas quickly, and check for errors before they become glaring.

As to what type of drawing would be most useful for one who aims to be a graphic designer, it largely depends on what styles of design you’re drawing to. Some logos are quite well-drawn, and in that case, learning illustration and basic shape drawing will be rather vital to your success.

I’d say you can just take the simple route, and work through a couple beginner courses and cultivate enough ability to get you through the concept and polish phase of your design process.

As a designer, I’d just get a sketchbook, and fill it to the brim with designs. You can always photograph or scan them later, but the traditional aspect of drawing will help you feel much more connected to your work, and you’ll be learning drawing skills in the process.

Even drawing other graphic design styles you like and then spinning or sketching alternate variations of that will prove immensely beneficial to your drawing ability.

All in all, you’ll be better of knowing how to draw. The key, however, is learning how to perceive and design. Drawing is mostly a means to facilitate that.

Taylor Payton
An Easy to Use Drawing Technique Used by Pros.

We’re going to explore some well-known drawing keys that will unlock new areas of creative potency and technical expression for you.
 Today’s Lesson: Iterative Drawing

Here’s a simple rule you can begin to apply today: Draw in stages.

The act of drawing can seem overwhelming, rather than fun and expressive.

After all, there are so many things to consider.

But if we prioritize and organize correctly, then we have more freedom in each step, rather than fear.

There’s a tendency to fight what works– even if we know it does. Some of us are addicted to a certain degree of uncertainty in our work.

I invite you to look at everything you’d like to create in steps or layers.

Some people barely go beyond Stage 01 (I was one of them.)

Others stop at Stage 02.

And where I happened to land this time was Stage 03.

Still, there are further stages after that one.

You have your own stages.

All stages are for the purpose of reinforcing and harmonizing what we’ve established.

Your most rudimentary scribbles can turn into potential masterpieces if only you take the time to develop and divest their potential.

Sometimes it will require starting over entirely, and only keeping the “feeling.” But if you have a process you can have faith in, then that feeling is all you need to carry with you.

So think of your work in stages– each one prioritized for your best expression.

If you need to return to previous stages to reinforce what you’ve created, then so be it.

A well-optimized model for working allows you to “move backward in time” if need be.

This means keeping things light and easy to retract in favor of solidifying the more appropriate pieces.

In conclusion, if you take things in a clean, step-by-step fashion (which our impatience often doesn’t permit.) You have a much more “bankable” result.

  1. In the beginning be free…Express, create, and channel.

  2. As you move forward, be sure to refine, harness, and subtract.

  3. Then as you approach the final stages, tweak, detail, and conclude.

Surely as you develop yourself and your patience, your art will follow suit.

This Golden Key is now in your possession. What you use it to unlock is up to you.

and as a friendly reminder: Always Work Your Fundamentals.

Happy Drawing,

-Taylor Payton

Taylor Payton
6 Simple Ways You Can Draw Better in 2019

Look, it’s no secret that we all want to enjoy the art we make. But all too often artists are mired with thoughts of inadequacy, fear, self-doubt, destructive criticism, and just plain lack of inspiration and low energy.

I could go on and on. There are literally thousands of ways that we as creatives sabotage our efforts to create the work we want to create.

How do we defeat these “creativity killers” and actually let our work shine like it’s meant to?

I believe that all we need to do is shift the way we think, and thus the way we feel, act, and draw.

Leonardo Da Vinci said it best “There can be no smaller or greater mastery than the mastery of oneself.”

And with that, I want to share with you 5 ways that I’ve discovered that have been positively pivotal for me in my artistic development.

I’ve made a living through my art and freelancing for over 2.5 years now, and I continue to grow my income and abilities year after year. I say this not to impress you, but you impress upon you that what I’m about to give you works.

I’ve taken these techniques from books, other artists, videos, articles, deep meditation, and a bevvy of other sources. I’ve found them to be so effective that I feel obliged to do my part and share them with artists like yourself.

So give these an earnest attempt, and tweak them to your liking. Over time you’ll likely develop your own, but please allow me the honor of giving you a basis to work with:

1. Breathe deeply, calmly, and slowly before and during the creative process.

Take a minute to gather yourself before beginning. Stop any irrelevant thoughts that may have been floating about in your consciousness prior. Shift your attention toward your breathing and calm yourself with each deep breath.

Allow tension to release in your jaw, chest, stomach, neck, or wherever you’re holding it. You can use your mind to ease this tension with every breath.

Finally, simply smile — You’re about to embark on yet another creative journey, and whether it’s a quick doodle or the beginning of a 40-hour painting, you’re now in a state that will permit you to access more of your creative faculties.

2. Take frequent breaks, step backwards from the monitor/easel/sketchbook and assess the “impact” of the work from afar.

Taking breaks every 25–35 minutes will prevent you from cultivating Repetitive stress injuries, which will detract from your joy when it comes to drawing.

I like to use breaks as an opportunity to stand up and zoom out. In today’s day and age people see thumbnail-sized images before they ever take a look at the work in detail. It’s up to you to make sure that the thumbnail version of the work is interesting and well-designed enough to merit a longer look.

If it isn’t, then worry not, because these frequent breaks allow you to correct your course before investing too much time in the details.

3. Direct your thoughts into positive (or at least neutral) territory

As you’re working, keep your mind on things that are relevant to the piece by asking yourself questions regarding where you want to take it. Don’t allow the inner-critic to berate you or your creation whatsoever.

Shove such thoughts aside, as they are mostly destructive in nature. Destruction is diametrically opposed to creation, so we want to immerse ourselves in as much positivity as possible.

This is especially helpful when it comes to spotting and correcting mistakes, which brings me to the next point.

4. Profit from Failure

Part of being human is failure. From the greatest artists you’ve ever heard of down to the humble child learning to walk. Each has failed innumerable times in their endeavors.

We largely have a stigma when it comes to failure. We think that it means we’re inadequate or broken in some way, when really the opposite is true.

We are perfect in our failures, because they’re leading us to where the next success is.

Life is a series of cycles, ebbs and flows. Success cannot exist without failure.

So befriend failure, profit from it. Even if you make the same mistake a couple of times, there’s not need to fret. Clear your mind and probe the dirt of failure until your find the seed of success within.

I always recommend planting that seed as soon as possible.

5. Use every tool at your disposal

We are fortunate to have a plethora of tools in our ever-growing artistic arsenals.

These are things like process, references, programs, tutorials, and the like. Everything you need to improve your work rests both within you and outside of you, and they exist in the present.

It’s comforting knowing that the wells of your potential are as deep as the ocean, so long as you acknowledge them as such.

Many artists treat themselves and their work like they’re hardly more than a pothole filled with debris and muddy water. Shallow, unwanted, and inhabited with less than desirable materials.

But this is only true as the fulfillment of one’s own perceptions.

No one outside of you can dictate the way you feel about your art, that administration is yours and your alone. Remember that you can always tap more of your potential and find the solutions to every problem you face.

I offer an 8-week Beginner Drawing Course to help you (re)discover your artistic tools and wield them more thoroughly.

6: Work from life.

Artists have worked from life since time immemorial. All it takes is your ability to see, and your medium of choice…Well, and a lot of concentration. Your aim is to create something that is highly appealing and full of life, and thus you must pay a great deal of attention to your subject. Be it a tree, a mossy outcropping, or a portrait of a friend - your job is to treat it like the most interesting thing in the world as you faithfully recreate it on your surface.

Some artists have made careers simply from working based off of life— alla prima, they call it. So if you’re ever hurting for reference material, set yourself down in the corner of a room and draw it. You’ll almost trip out at the amount of detail you usually glaze over.

And there you have the 6 keys.

I can guarantee that these techniques will be of great use to you if you’re willing to implement them with earnest effort.

It also bears reminding that your journey is purely unique, and it does you no good to compare your life or development with that of another.

Keep digging deeper into the wells of your potential — breathing deeply and letting creativity and joy flow forth from your works. It’s never-ending and ever-expanding development with you as the centerpiece.

To master your own thoughts, feelings, and emotions, means that mastery cascades into your works as well.

I recommend that you re-read this post daily and practice at least 1–3 of these techniques every time you find yourself gifted with the opportunity to do so, as they all unfold deeper and work better with persistent application.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck and fortune in all of your endeavors, creative or otherwise.



Taylor Payton