8 Tips For Improving Your Drawing Skills

People who see me drawing often remark that they wish they could draw better. I hear this from my students fairly often. My response is simple: “Draw.” A lot of people who should don’t consider drawing to be all that important. They’re designers or photographers and don’t understand the technical and observational acumen that results from drawing and how it will enhance their design skill or photographic eye.

Drawing slows you down. When you draw, you’re taking time to look at something, to analyze it and reproduce it. You’re not simply setting up to capture it and move on to the next image. You become very aware of form, proportion and color. You come to understand light and shadow and how they reveal and define form. This awareness translates to any visual pursuit.

For those who want to draw better, here are a few recommendations:

1. Go draw something. Repeat.
Practice leads to improvement. You won’t get any better unless you engage in the attempt. The more you draw the more confident you’ll become.

2. Look at drawings.
Whether simple line drawings or meticulously detailed renderings, you can learn a lot from looking at the work of others. How did they use line and shape? How did they shade?

3. Draw from drawings.
This may sound peculiar, but what can you learn by copying a Da Vinci or Michaelangelo sketch? Tons. Learn from the masters by copying them. Really. They won’t mind.

4. Draw from photographs.
For many, it’s easier to reproduce an image that’s already two-dimensional than to reproduce an actual object, person or environment. When you’re working from photos, look at edges, shapes and angles. Don’t trace. Draw. Keep in mind that many photographs include distorted shapes, scale, and proportions. Use photos as reference, but pursue accurate proportions.


5. Draw from life.
If you’re just starting out, pick simple objects and work your way up to complex ones. Go ahead and try your and at drawing people and your pets. Draw your furniture and your living spaces. Do you enjoy coffee? Draw your coffee cup. Here’s a challenge: draw your hand. Hands and feet are the most complex parts of your anatomy and are readily available subject matter. If you can master these, you’ll pretty much be able to draw anything.

6. Take a class.
A class will keep you accountable. A teacher will correct your weaknesses. Watching others draw is immensely beneficial for building your own observational skills. Where do you find a class? Check your local university extension, community adult school, YMCA or community college. Another source is your local art supply store, where artists post notices of drawing meet-ups, uninstructed sessions with models, or private instruction.

Try my 30-Day Drawing Challenge.

7. Keep a sketchbook. Meaning, keep it with you, open it up and work at filling it. It will serve as a reminder to grab your pencil or pen and do some drawing. For your convenience, I’ve included links to some of my recommended drawing gear — pencils, pens, sketchbook, and figure mannequin — in this article.

When you draw, you’re taking time to look at
something to analyze it and reproduce it.

8. Be intentional. This is the hardest thing, because if you want to improve at anything, you must decide to do it. You need to make a commitment and even schedule regular time in your week or your day to pursue drawing. In order to become better at it you need to make a habit of it.

I think it’s also important to understand why you desire or need to draw. For me, it supports my work, but it’s also something that provides a lot of pleasure and relaxation. I simply enjoy drawing. It’s foundational to my painting and my design, and it’s foundational to who I am. I find that drawing something or someone makes that thing or person more important to me. As I come to understand the thing as I draw it, I can perceive how it was formed and why. That leads to greater perceptions altogether.

And for those who tell me that they can’t draw a straight line, I can’t, either. I use a ruler for that.


For lessons and tutorials on
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More on this topic:

How To Design A Drawing

Portrait Sketch Tutorial: Bonita at 102

30-Day Drawing Challenge

A Visual Approach To Linear Perspective

Alvalyn Lundgren

Alvalyn Lundgren is the founder and design director at Alvalyn Creative, an independent practice near Thousand Oaks, California. She creates visual branding, publications and books for business, entrepreneurs and authors. She is the creator of Freelance Road Trip — a business roadmap program for creative freelancers. Contact her for your visual branding, graphic and digital design needs. Join her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and subscribe to her free monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 202 Comments

  1. NicheCanvas

    Thank you for sharing these tips! This is really helpful as I am trying to improve my drawing skills. Keep up the great content!

  2. Mary

    You are so right about drawing from photos and paintings, it worked great when we tried!

  3. manahil

    “If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.”
    ― Michelangelo Buonarroti

  4. Henry Killingsworth

    It was really interesting when you explained that it is important to understand why you have the desire to draw. I would think that taking a couple of art classes could help you learn if you actually enjoy drawing. If you don’t have the time to go to a real class, you could always do some online courses.

  5. Baker

    like how do you draw better realistic wolves I’m a teen

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Hi, Ella: Better is a relative term. To improve on anything requires doing the work to improve. I can recommend anything for you specifically because I haven’t seen your work.

      For drawing, any work you do — work being what I’ve listed in this blog post and more — should help get you to your goals. I suspect that, from your comment, you like wolves as subject matter. But the bigger goal is to be able to draw better in general. Am I correct in that?
      You’re a teen, so I will not help you directly without your parent’s okay. But you can send me a few examples of your drawings and I’ll be happy to create and post a video critique. Use the email on my contact page.

  6. Baker

    how do you draw wolves better?

  7. King

    Thanks sir ill try everything.

  8. GIFT.A.

    thank you for creating for us an opportunity to chase our dream. personally, i donno but i can only draw perfectly what others have drawn most especially i specialise in faces [looks] i just have a little problem with drawing noses. will i ever be famous when i copy other people’s drawings?

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      The reason you copy drawings is to learn, not to become famous. Also, if your goal is to become famous, I believe that’s a misguided goal. There’s a lot of hard and deliberate work that goes into developing the skill, expertise, critical thinking, and business acumen necessary to become known. So continue to draw and paint faces, study how noses are drawn — their anatomy, structure, and basic form. Do a lot of attentive observation and intentional drawing. And don’t despise the day of small beginnings.

  9. cassious

    i want to improve my drawing skills

  10. Athithiya RK

    I need to improve in Drawing GOD !!

  11. Anonomos

    I can draw hands OK but how do you draw a foot?

  12. Millen

    I need help in drawing

  13. Zoe (needs help)

    hi uhm pls help me draw im nt so great at it
    i would really love your help on my drawings but still im not so good

  14. Anderson


  15. jake

    i need helpn pls i am not good at drawing

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Alright, Jake. I’ll be happy to take a look at one of your drawings. Send me an email with a drawing you did recently, and specific questions you have. I’ll take a look and respond with a suggestion or two. In your email, please include your first and last name, and your age. Meanwhile, you can take advantage of my other articles on drawing on this site, and on my YouTube channel. Start with the basics: https://alvalyn.com/drawing-prisms-and-cylinders/

  16. Gabriella Eva Nagy

    Amazing post! I don’t consider myself an illustrator. I consider myself a visual artist. I compose the story with pictures – I don’t illustrate the story with the photos.


    NOTE: This comment originally included an outbound link and was removed by the site owner. Outbound links must by approved by the site owner.

    1. Uzma

      I want to be an anime artist but before i have to learn the basics and it’s too hard for please help me with a simple basics.

    2. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Hi, Uzma: What specifically are you having trouble with? What about the basics is difficult for you to learn? What are you doing right now to learn what you need to know?

  17. Jacob Mann

    I started from stick drawing now I am drawing sketches of famous people and i learned how just from your site. I just want you to know that you are an amazing person. You have inspired many, many people. Alvalyn keep striving and you can become something someone else hasn’t and you will be that 1 step ahead. Keep working Alvalyn I am going to recommend you to anybody is inspired by drawing. -Jacob

  18. Cerianne Dejohn

    i am reading this and i am only 11 and i was wondering if you could try to help me with my drawing.

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Hi, Cerianne: I teach students age 18 and up. Ask your parents to help you find a class or private instructor who works with people your age.

  19. Reston Pasanna

    Good advice… Thanks..

  20. Raul

    muito bom o artigo, parabéns

  21. Nancy Orosz

    Thanks for the advice and demonstration. I have been doing figure drawing lately since it is challenging and I feel I’ll learn more. I think it’s a good idea to vary media. I’m alternating pencil and charcoal which really render different results and ways of use. Drawing is a wonderfully satisfying activity in it’s own right.

  22. Brigit

    The tips are great. For me as a newbie all of them are somehow new. I took up drawing when pandemic started in march and I think that I improved significantly since then. I am learning from this course https://drawing-session.com It is nice and teacher explains a lot, but I need more exercises I think. Can you make post with some exercises? That would be helpful.

  23. sarah

    hey what if you just can’t figure out what you want to draw and you have to many options


    lol hi i just looked up how to draw better and if i loose my skchetchbook bc of bringing it everywhere what should i do? I already put my adress on there so if someone sees it they will bring it back. But what if the don’t????? i’ll save this website so if i get a reply i’ll see it.


  25. Kamira Nelms

    Thanks, this really helps. The only thing was; you said if we can draw a Han, we can draw anything. You say this, but don’t explain how or give any further details. It would be better if you explained it a little more.

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Hands are complex structures. If you are able to draw a hand, you will have no problem being able to draw anything else.



  27. Silva

    Knowing how to draw is an art, I would particularly like to know how to draw, but unfortunately I was not given this gift.

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Like almost anything, drawing is a skill that can be learned. There are various degrees of ability, and various types of drawing. If you believe you cannot draw, you will not be able to draw well. If you believe you can draw, you can improve your drawing skill.

  28. Ben

    hi I am ben and can you tell me how to draw better to impress my friends and family, please like what should I draw first

  29. Gideon Seise

    May God bless you

  30. Sketch Artist

    Thank you for this extremely brilliant blog. This is the right place where there is something for everyone! I was looking for this kind of information for such a long time and I am more than happy to see such a great blog with plenty of useful information. Thanks again for sharing.

  31. Luisa

    This is my resolution for this year. Thank you so much for these tips!

  32. jojo

    I need help drawing real life stuff.Because I am not a good drawer.My drawings look terrible they look like a baby scribbling work.

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Hi, Jojo: No one starts out drawing well. The point is to stay at it for the long term. Over time, you will improve, if you stay at it. But complaining that you’re not where you want to be, not able to draw at the level you desire, will not help you improve your skills. Ask your parents about taking drawing classes like the girl in your class. I’m sure there are options available in your area. Does your school have art classes? Is there a YMCA or Parks and Recreation program for kids your age? At least get a sketchbook and start filling it with drawings. Don’t worry about messing up. Fear and worry will keep you from achieving your goals. Share the tips in this article with your parents, and, with their help and encouragement, you’ll be able to build your skills.

  33. Reilly

    other than that I really enjoyed this article

  34. Reilly

    hi umm when was this published I need to know because I used this site for a project and I have to include the date
    but this helped a huge part of my career I like to draw I would like to be an artist so this made me happier.

    Soon to be artist,

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      My content doesn’t expire, so I don’t publish dates. If you want to request more information you can contact me by email.

  35. jojo

    I need help drawing real life stuff.Because i am not a good drawer.They look terrible.

  36. Linn

    Can I learn how to draw really well even if I start in my early 20s? Because I’d like to work in animation and become really good at drawing, and I’m ready to put in hard work, but I’m scared it won’t be enough, like it’s impossible. Can I actually become a genuinely good artist?

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Hi, Linn:

      You can start at any age. There’s no limit to how early or late you begin. The key is, to put in the work. So if you’re committed to learn, it’s more than possible. Becoming a genuinely good artist is a good goal, however you define that. When will you start? Do you have a sketchbook and drawing tools at least?

      Most people on my mailing list are beginners… of all ages. I recommend that you read other articles on this blog, view tutorials on my YouTube channel, and join the Eye Level Facebook Group for encouragement and feedback. All these links are in this article and elsewhere on this website.

  37. LOVEdrawing

    Hey, I am in primary and I love drawing but the turn out horrendous. It is not possible for me to attend any classes and I don’t have much time to draw as my 11+ is coming up in 1 week. Then there is school. All the free time I’ve got is taken up with learning. What should I do?

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Hello. Thanks for your question.

      So, my understanding of time is that we each have the same amount of it. When our schedules are full and we want to add something in, we have to remove something to make room for it. This is the art of time management… knowing what to stop doing and what to start doing.

      My best advice to you is to look at your “free” time, which should be yours to fill, even being so young, and deciding what you can remove in order to add drawing and art instruction. Can you find 30–60 minutes in a week to spend on your drawing skills? Are you playing video games, watching television, or wasting time anywhere? Can you limit these types of activities and focus on your art skills?

      Also, there are thousands of art and design tutorials on YouTube which you can view for free. You don’t need to take classes formally. There are ways to learn what you need to know without spending money. The trick is to apply what you learn.

      Also understand that no ones draws well starting out. If I draw well, it’s because I made the effort to do so, year after year. I have sketchbooks full of less than wonderful drawings. There are paintings and illustrations I’ve completed that could be so much better. I now create work I’m proud of and that people respond well to because I’ve put in the time. And I can teach people because I’ve put in the time. We all start at the beginning, and build skill through practice. The trick is to keep going, or you’ll never get beyond that “horrendous” stage. You’re a creative person. If it’s important enough to you, you will find ways.

      I hope this helps.

  38. Eleonora

    Thanks! Very nice article!

  39. Arena animation kolkata

    The drawing needs patience and one must keep on repeating the pic till they get the better results. Then compare the first drawing and the final one. Will surely get the answer on how to improve.

    Thanks for sharing the above tips.

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Thank you for your comments. Great suggestions about patience and perseverance to get to the goal of better results.

  40. Leonel

    I can draw anime but it is the only the thing I can only draw. How can I improve myself to draw something more than that, I wanted to draw scenes, realistic drawings, buildings and more. I want to know where can I start.

    1. Leonel

      I want to pursue my drawing skills and use it as a profession.

  41. Bikram thakuri

    I draw daily .. copying others drawings.. but I can’t draw from life .. I practice daily . Copying others .. am I doing good or what? I believe in practice so I don’t wanna give up.. I wanna masters in drawing .. wanna draw from life ..

  42. Unais

    In starting, drawing from photograph is difficult. Drawing from drawing is easy way to start.
    Drawing classes are important ?
    Awesome tips very helpful article thanks for sharing.

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Thanks for your comments.

      Some people are more comfortable drawing from photos. We can learn a lot by studying master drawings and paintings.

      It’s a good idea to use all sorts of references: drawing from life, from photos, from art.

      The point is to get consistent with it, because if we don’t, it’s more difficult to build skills.

  43. Pencil Sketch Artist

    Thank you for a really awesome blog. It was actually very helpful.

  44. Jacob

    I’ve always been a bit scared to draw while looking at images/other drawings/etc. because I heard it would just bog me down, or make me better at copying than actually drawing.

    I’m glad to know I was wrong about that, though.

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Hey, Jacob: Thanks for posting your comment. I think you’ll be surprised by how many illustrators use photos as source material and inspiration. The thing is, we don’t copy photos. They’re simply subject matter reference.

      You should work from both life and photo reference.

      In fact, challenge yourself to capture your own photos of the subjects you draw, and combine them with direct (from life) drawing to create a new work.

  45. DAMON


  46. jeric abuloc

    i really dont know if i am a artist or not because other people say that i pretty mastered a drawing but in my side it very hard to draw even my hand or face it very hard to draw , i stop drawing and continue again i think that i locking of some inspiretion please guys i need some advise what i need to do to improve my skill in drawing.

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      If you want to improve your drawing ability, you need to draw, and do it consistently. No one can get better at anything by not making an effort. If you’re just beginning, you won’t be able to draw like someone who’s drawn for 20 years. Set realistic expectations for yourself. Take it step by step. Pick some of the methods described in this post and get to work. You become an artist by creating art. As you do the work of becoming an artist, it’ll happen.

    2. Pink Floyd

      Hello, so I have a question. Sometimes whenever I draw something, I spot mistakes around it but I don’t know how to fix it or do something about it. Is there any good way to deal with this because I find this to be a pain. I also feel like I’m not improving at all so is there any way to try get rid of this?

    3. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Thanks for reading and adding your comment.

      Consider your mistakes as learning opportunities. Change your mindset about this. We all make mistakes.

      If your mistakes center around proportion and size issues, learn the principles of proportion. For example, what are the general proportions of the human body and head?

      If structure is the main problem, learn about planes, line and shapes.

      If perspective and foreshortening are a challenge, learn how perspective works.

      You’ll draw better when you learn to see better, and when you have studied and applied design principles in your work.

      You’re not going to not make mistakes. With practice and the best mindset — FAIL = First Attempt In Learning — you’ll stop allowing mistakes to hold you back.

      Get feedback on your work. Join my Eye Level community on Facebook and post your work. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1879546762297208/

      Decide now that mistakes are not going to hold you back.

  47. To make the clear drawing you should significantly try of drawing on the pictures so that it could make a better practice of drawing as drawing is an art which comes from practicing daily. You can also try drawing with the pictures.

  48. Jacie

    I’ve never really been good at drawing, but its something I’ve been interested in for a while and this is helping! Thanks!

  49. Destiny gilbert

    Thank you so very much… this made my day

  50. Dio Marsaille

    Thank you for mentioning that I can improve my drawing by looking at the artwork of others because I can get inspiration from their works. I might do that since I do have a few friends who are artists, and I can take a look at the ones they made. Though I am not sure if our interests in drawings are the same. If I ever confirm that they’re not, I will just enroll myself in an art class and learn from other artists.

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      You can also study the work of the masters. Find an artist whose work you admire and copy their work. You can learn a lot just by doing that.

  51. Ali

    thank you

  52. annabeth

    this does help but not much for a teen like my self

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Hi, Annabeth: Thanks for commenting. So I have a couple of questions in response:
      Why don’t you think these actions apply to teens? What do you suggest instead?

  53. olayinka

    you have to give it your all.

  54. Larry Weaver

    The idea never occurred to me that watching others draw could be beneficial in building my own drawing skills, so thanks for pointing that out! Since I was young, I’ve always wanted to improve my drawing skills, and now that I have some free time, I feel that I can actually make that happen. I’ll have to find some art classes to attend where I can observe others as they draw.

  55. Lucy Gibson

    My husband’s birthday is coming up in a few months. I just found some sketches he did back in college, he was really good. When I asked him why he doesn’t draw anymore, he replied that he doesn’t have a lot of time and didn’t think he was good. I’d love to get him some drawing lessons. I love your point about how taking a class will keep you accountable and help correct your weaknesses. I think this is just what he needs.

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      What a generous gift idea, Lucy. I hope he’s inspired to start drawing again.

  56. Natasha Hayes

    I can’t wait to share this to my friends and colleagues! Thank you so much for sharing these awesome tips. I have been always passionate with drawing and all kinds of art. Your post gave me extra nuggets of ideas that I would love and will definite try. 🙂

  57. Michael

    Thank you for creating this article, it helps me to find ways to get better at drawing. I love drawing and I m the best drawer in my year. I draw things like tanks, ships, aircrafts, soldiers etc. But i have struggles to start new drawings, I m wondering if you have tips or advice to help me with the struggle?

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Thanks, Michael. What exactly, are you experiencing when you begin a drawing? Is it about how to compose a drawing or where to start — what to draw first?

  58. Mark Valdez

    Inspirational ideas on creating and exploring art, thanks.

  59. Monty

    Thank you for these insightful tips. I am in an environment where I am not inspired to do art, I just got into college and am new to the place, what are your suggestions for me to be inspired?

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Best wishes for success at college. About being inspired, that’s the responsibility of every designer, artist, photographer, and illustrator. We need to cultivate our curiosity, and then curate in order to create. Inspiration is all around you, if you are looking for it.

      It’s pretty well known that as you get to work, inspiration will show up. It won’t just come if you’re not working on something. So my first tip would be to start a new artwork, and be open to observing during your regular activities.

      I have another article here that may help with this: https://alvalyn.com/the-burning-heart-how-to-stay-inspired/

    2. Alvalyn Lundgren

      It’s pretty much agreed that inspiration shows up when you start working on something. If you wait around to be inspired before you get to work, you won’t be. Decide to do something with your art, start doing it, and you’ll recognize inspiration when you see it. Cultivate curiosity. Curate art and design that you like. The more you know and become aware of art and design, artists, designers, photographers, etc. — currently and historically — the more you have to be inspired by. If you are serious about creating art and improving so that you can create meaningful work and have an impact on people, you need to be deliberate and intentional. This is true whether you’re creating art as a hobby (personal interest), as a professional, or as a side gig. Take the first step you need to take, whether it’s to get a sketchbook or visit galleries and museums. Then take the next step… and keep going.

  60. Anannya

    I’m 12 and I absolutely love drawing. I’m quite good at it from what others have said about it… I’m not really gonna do any job related to drawing though but I draw as more of a hobby and I thought your advice was really helpful! Like Matilda mentioned, I also sometimes get “artists’ block” but usually when I get inspiration, I produce pretty good art. The only problem is that after I’m done drawing, I usually colour in r pain my sketches and that’s when it goes wrong…

  61. saqar

    you really helped me with ur article. i am iranian and i was saerching to find a way that can really help me to improve my art skill, i just started my painting class and i am weak , but ur words was really useful, thank you 🙂

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m happy to be of help. Best wishes for good success as you work to improve.

  62. Soma

    Thanks for your words. They made me to realize where i am going wrong and why am i not able to perform well.

  63. Aristolin

    Dear Alvalyn,

    I am an 2DAnimator..Actually after working in digital softwares..I lost confident on my Drawings skills even my drawings are good..I still need to develop the my skills more..

    Thanks for your Advice..

  64. Megan

    There will always exist people who desire some magic secret (not only for drawing) but I think a great many people understand that practice is crucial yet find themselves wondering -how- to practice. This article provides that answer honestly and directly.

    Whilst it might sound arrogant, I believe both my oldest brother and I have a natural talent for drawing. The drawback to that in both our cases is that for a long time, we didn’t have to work very hard for pleasing results. I believe this has the potential to cap a person’s progress.
    I grew up with a boy that didn’t seem to be blessed with any talent, however he was blessed with passion and a true drive to become better at drawing. He would take any opportunity to draw and would use his commute via train to college as an opportunity to draw other passengers. He now works in graphic design and has had opportunities to illustrate books and graphic novels.

    It really is much more about commitment to practice than it is raw talent.

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Thanks for your thoughts, Megan. I really appreciate your comments.

      Regarding talent, I concur with your observations. Talent is raw material – a seed. It’s potential. Talent means that a person is gifted or has a “bent” toward a certain thing. But unless it’s cultivated, it will not develop into something useful for the person or for others. Even when things come easily, there are other kinds of challenges we can undertake.
      We cannot get by on talent alone.

      Like you and your brother, I have a natural talent and things come easy. That also means I’m lazy by default. I still need to develop what I’ve been given, and have been working throughout my life to do that. One day I’ll master my craft. Meanwhile, I keep working on it.

  65. peter

    This is frusterating article to read, it’s nothing more than “just draw!! you’ll soon figure it out! just keep drawing!”
    how does one know their approach is wrong? how does one know they are not focusing on the right things? Where is the feedback to the artist that they are doing the right things other than “oh, your end results look bad! trolo!”

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Hello, Peter: Thank you for your feedback. I sense your frustration. But I think you missed some things in the article if your conclusion is that I am saying that all one needs to do to draw better is to just draw. Even so, as with any endeavor where one wants to develop skill in something, practice is necessary. No one gets better at anything without practicing. Every time a person draws something — whether from direct observation or source material — they are building skill. Tip #8 discusses taking a class to learn from others. But ultimately, becoming better is up to the individual.

  66. Matilda

    I really love this article, it has given me a completely different perspective. I think I am quite good at drawing, but I have trouble finding things to draw. Sometimes I google up “Things to draw” or “sketches and drawings”, just so I can get some ideas or maybe just a bit of practise, but whenever I see something interesting I look at it closer and say to myself, “Nope, you won’t be able to do it,” which I think is my main problem. I have serious doubt in myself and I also have the problem of people thinking it isn’t good enough. I have one close friend who also loves to draw and we share our drawings with each other sometimes. She’s a really good artist, I believe she is much better than me, which is ANOTHER problem I have: thinking EVERYONE is better than me and not just with drawing.
    In my eyes, I always have to be perfect and just right AND, as good as every other artist. Also, if I do start to draw something and I stuff up on something, whether it be a minor issue or a huge mistake, I always put down the pencil and then don’t draw again for ages. I don’t know why I do this, it’s just a thing I do when I mess up.

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Thank you, Matilda. Your concerns about being good enough are shared by many. I have many students and people in my own family who back off from drawing because they think they need to be good enough right off the bat. I have also experienced times of frustration will my level of skill. That frustration is common, and it keeps me working hard at improving my craft.

      It might help you to understand that being good enough is relative. When you compare your work to that of people who have drawn for years and years, of course you will feel inadequate. But, if you are better at drawing than you were a year ago — that should be your baseline of comparison. Comparing ourselves to others keeps us from moving forward. This is something you have to decide about – whether to allow comparisons to hold you back or to press through – especially when you make a mistake.

      Mistakes are a natural and expected part of our learning process, and we learn much more by “failing” or making a mistake than we do by succeeding immediately at everything we put our hand to. Mistakes teach us what not to do, and where our weaknesses are, so that we can get better.

      The more you draw, pressing through those mistakes, the better you will become. And you can apply this to all of your life, as well.

      I am writing a series of articles about drawing, so please check back on my blog in a few weeks. You might find them helpful.

      Thank you for commenting.

      -Alvalyn Lundgren

  67. bozo

    Here are my practical tips to improve your drawing…

    1. Make drawing something you do when your are waiting. I have to spend an hour on the train getting to and from work. I got myself a little sketchbook and draw the people on the train or I draw my hands. If you are too timid to draw other people, draw from reference photos on your phone.

    2. Make your sketchbook drawings practice not finished art. You don’t go to a concert hall to hear a musician play scales. Think of your daily sketching as your scales.

    3. Think Quantity not Quality for sketchbooks. You are trying to fill a sketchbook as quickly as possible not produce the Mona Lisa.

    4. Analyze your sketches…after they are finished. Look for where the sketch is different from what you see. Where are the proportions wrong etc. But don’t analyze too much while drawing. You want the hand and eye connecting without the brain questioning every stroke.

    5. Draw faces and people as much as possible. Your brain can automatically tell what is wrong with a drawing of a person. If you draw a tree, it doesn’t need to look like the tree in front of you for it to look ok. A drawing of a person wont look like the person unless the proportions are very close.

    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Thank you for adding these points. They’re good methods for being intentional about improving.

  68. gourd


  69. Milly

    Hi. I’m eleven years old ( 12 in a few days ) and I love drawing. I feel like I’m pretty good at it, but I really want to get better at it, as I aspire to be a graphic designer. Do you have any tips?

  70. david

    I learned math because someone taught me. I learned tennis and martial arts because someone taught me. I was not left to guess at things until I got something right. I do not know how to draw because no one will teach me. They say draw what you see and think like an artist. Duh
    If I could do that I could draw but I don’t know to do those things and I guess they can’t be taught.

    1. alvalyncreative

      Thank you for adding your comment, David. It sounds like you might be interested in a class or two. I am in the process of creating some online drawing courses, starting at a beginner level. They’ll be released later this year. If you are interested in knowing more, pleaseget on my list to be notified.

  71. Emmanuel Paul Conteh

    I am really grateful for your site and all what I have virtually gained. Keep sending me more news letters and I promise to be better then I am now.
    Once again want to say a big thank you for everything.

  72. john

    Hey…nice tips a good starting point for me.Thanx alot

    1. alvalyncreative

      Thank you, John. I’m glad you found my tips helpful.

  73. Fikry

    i really like drawing. but, i’m not sure i can improve my skill and i do’t know how to. but, you help me with your tips. thank you so much.

  74. Nosh

    Thank you so much for such great advice

    1. alvalyncreative

      I am glad you found it helpful.

  75. animal

    these tips were actually good

  76. Jacqui

    Hi, I just have to take a second to say that you are amazing!!!!! I think you have just become my idol!!!! I have been using these tips to help me with a school project and I just went on to your homepage to try and find them again and while I was looking a saw everything else and you are AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One day I hope I can draw like that. You have just turned my 16th birthday from a pretty bad day into one of the most amazing day of my life, thank you for being alive.
    God Bless,
    From Jacqui 🙂 😛 B)

  77. Emma

    Hi, the one main area I can’t quite grasp is shading. Where it goes what it should look like and how to achieve it?
    For example in a face or a crease in a sleeve? Hope you can advise?

  78. Brelynn Jobe

    Hi. My name is Brelynn. I’m 13 years old, I’m going to be 14 on June 28th. I’ve tried everything to drawing turtorials to chibi. I really like to draw and I figure I want to be a artist someday.. I don’t know what to draw or how to do it. I really want to be able to draw the easiest kind of drawing though. What do you think I should do? What would you suggest I try for a good, easier kind of drawing that looks cool. Maybe still life? I just.. I don’t know why I can’t draw good.. I have a sketch book and stuff. I don’t know what to do. Hopefully you reply back soon. I hope I can at least begin to draw good 🙁

    1. alvalyncreative

      Hi, Brelynn: Thanks for you comments. To draw well, practice is necessary. As with anything requiring skill, we don’t start out drawing well, we need to work up to it. Think of a child learning to walk, or a kid who’s learning to play guitar. We begin with the basics and develop from there.

      Sometimes people hold themselves back because they can’t draw as well as they want to out of the gate. With practice, we become better.

      You asked what to draw. Anything is fair game as subject matter. Begin with basic forms – boxes, balls, cylinders. Find a tissue box and set it on a table in front of you, and then start drawing it. Look for vertical edges, horizontal edges, and angled edges. Look at how they relate to each other. All those edges work together to form the box. Draw those edges as lines. You might be helped by drawing on graph paper – it helps you to understand angles, horizontals and verticals. Or, draw a graph on a page in your sketchbook and draw the box on it. Once you draw the tissue box, rotate it a bit and draw it again from a different point of view.

      You can do this with any object – a shoe, a chair, a mug, a car, a hat, and then with more complex objects and forms – hands, faces, dogs, trees, buildings, etc.

      The key is, if you want to draw, make good use of that sketchbook and get to it. Draw anything that’s in front of you. Make the decision and do it. Don’t let uncertainty hold you back.

      Hope that helps.

  79. Katie Hitchens

    Reading through this was quite interesting im have already completed up to step four and I have worked on that for years. My art teachers say I have a really good skill with my art work but one of them keeps trying to make me change it im only 14 but really enjoy to draw it gives me a way to express my feelings in a different way. She comes over and starts drawing all over my work and then yelling at me for not measuring it out but when I try to explain that my art is not all about it being equal its about it being unique she dosnt listen please tell me how I can stop her from doing this.

    1. alvalyncreative

      Hi, Katie. Thanks for your comments. If you’re already good, how will you become better unless you change? If you are satisfied with your current level of skill, stop taking classes and don’t try to develop any further. However, if you want to develop further and mature in your skill, you need to be willing to learn. Take classes, and listen to what the instructors say. Apply what they say. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take some risks with your drawing. If you want to improve, listen to your instructors and consider that they have your best interests in mind.

      Drawing is a form of communication. When we relegate it only to the realm of self-expression, we miss many opportunities. Paul Rand, one of the great designers of the 20th Century, advised that we should focus on being good, not unique. Another great designer of the 20th Century, Milton Glaser, says that we first learn to draw accurately. THEN we can draw expressively. Accuracy in drawing is the basis for self-expression, not the other way around. The measurement of anyone’s ability to draw is accuracy, not self-expression.

      So, listen to your instructor rather than trying to get her to listen to you. Don’t try to stop her from changing your understanding. Be willing to learn from others and you will establish yourself on a good foundation.

  80. Mimie

    I used to be such a good drawer when I about 11 but then I was discouraged when my teachers refused to let me take art classes when I was in high school even though my relatives insisted, but now that I want to grow this site was really helpful

  81. Tristen

    Thank you so much, I’m in 8th grade and have some trouble drawing, people say i’m really good at it, but I can’t seem to find it better than an an average third graders. Although fairy simple instructions, I really appreciate this, and think it may have helped me. Thanks 😀

  82. kerous

    thank you for lovely tips

  83. rangirang

    how did u do that

  84. Anica

    what…hands and feet 🙁 that’s what I have a hard time drawing. I guess that’s what I lack. anyway, thanks… I will try to master it.

  85. Hoda

    hi! Thanks for the tips! I really cant draw, but i can do graffiti…on paper
    >…<. Other girls in my class know how to draw better than me. But thanks for the tips! i will try to improve!!

  86. Nallarasan

    Ok, am gng to try again…

  87. zoyanaeem

    i want to learn art work. if some one teach mer i will be greatfull to you…..

  88. nicky

    for me i know how to draw bt in graphics,non living objects and plants,so what i need is i want to start drawing living person so sir i need yo help to tell what i need to improve on my sketeches.

    1. alvalyn

      Drawing people and animals is no different than drawing objects and landscapes.

      I recommend that you look for courses local to you where you can start drawing people, such as those offered by community colleges, community adult schools and art schools.
      UCLA Extension has a variety of drawing courses both in classroom and online: https://www.uclaextension.edu/pages/search.aspx?c=drawing

  89. Amir Haider

    Dear Sir, I have a lot of attachment towards drawing and I often draw somehow acceptable features but I don’t know how to learn it and how to know its basics. Would you kindly guide me. Thanks

    1. alvalyn

      Drawing is actually easy to begin learning. As with playing a musical instrument, it requires diligence and consistent practice. If you are able to enroll in a beginning drawing class, that is a good place to start learning. There are many how-to and demonstration videos on YouTube.

  90. kurt

    i like your ahh mmmmm……….. i can’t xplain it but its so beutiful mostly at the end part thank you can you give more ways of improving?

  91. Sage Bradley

    Just saying, photography is more than just a picture or setting something up to capture it. Its not pretty birds on a tree, photography is capturing a moment in time that you cannot get back and is to me something that can impact someones life greatly. A National Geographic Photographer took a photograph of a kid crying next to his dead sheep because someone ran over his families sheep and that was the only way that family was going to make money is through that sheep so they were going to have no food from then on. He took a photograph and that “set up picture” got people to donate money for that kid and he got enough money for more sheep so he could make money. Every different type of art has its own impact on things. So if you are a professor or even teacher you would know not to assume one type of artwork has more of an impact than another because it is not.

  92. Sumit karna

    Sir ,i just able to draw the sketch of the pic present on the news paper ,magzine but can’t able to imagine my own pic to draw . How can i do it

  93. gigi

    I have been practicing my art work trying to improve. don’t have much time cause I have kids and work. I’m trying to get Better at shading and being more creative. Mostly because I am learning to tattoo. I can usually only draw what I see. I would like to create my own drawings. Any advice?

  94. Zeph

    Great advice, especially to draw from drawings.

  95. Lehlogonolo

    Hi m a gud drawer nd i really liked ur drawing it luks so butiful

  96. Myhumbleself

    Great post indeed..i realy want to b good at drawing bt dont know how..kudos to you dear..

    1. Sierra Nicole

      i want to be an artist. but i’m still in middle school

    2. Alvalyn Lundgren

      I started drawing seriously when I was in elementary school. I had a natural bent, but also a desire for it. In junior high (middle school), I started taking art classes and checking out books about artists and illustrators from the library. I learned a lot from copying their drawings and paintings. I also visited museums to see the actual work. During high school I took a lot of art and design classes, and then majored in art in college. After 3 years of college I applied to Art Center College of Design and had 3 1/2 more years of college. I started out as a freelance illustrator right after I graduated.

      You’re never too young to begin working on your skills and becoming better. Go online and look up artists and illustrators, or go to your public library and check out books. Get a sketchbook or drawing pad, some pencils and pens, and practice regularly. If you can, take some classes in art, design, painting and drawing.

      In other words, don’t wait to start becoming an artist. Do what you can now. Being young is not a barrier. You have unique points of view to share.

  97. Skittels

    Great advice, but i was already doing al of these… except for: 3. Draw from Drawings.
    I’m Studying at an Art college (first year), and i have every day 3 hours to draw in the train. I want to become a Concept Artist in the game industry, though it may be unrealistic. Thats what i’m aiming for right now… do you have any advice for more advanced artists?

    1. alvalyn

      It’s easy for advanced students to become complacent because they’ve “already done all of these”. You know, in training camp for any sports, the players, no matter how experienced, review the basics over and over again. This is a good practice. My advice for beginning and advanced students is the same. Drawing is not like riding a bicycle, it’s more like learning a language. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Keep your skills honed and review the basics.

      The only thing I would add specifically for advanced artists is this: Teach others to draw. When you can teach it, you know you’ve got skill. Teaching will mature you more quickly than anything else will.

  98. ROHIT

    I think, this is the best way to learn the drawing.

  99. SlyKitty 11

    when i first introduced my self to sketches and artworks, I was not a skilled artist. Instead, I picked up a copy of the Draw 50 series as a kid and learned to draw from there, and sometimes I traced the drawings but I knew it wasn’t a good idea. I drew insects and cartoons and had trouble drawing people, and I still do! then I entered high school, and surprisingly I was doing very well in my art classes. Now I’m in my third year at University and haven’t drawn in my sketchbook for 3 years. I need to go back to this routine as I realize I miss it so much.

  100. Karla

    hi, thanks for the advice, i hope it’ll work….i hope you teach prespectivity drawing….thanks lots.

  101. SoonToBeGood

    hmmm.. looks like i need to double my practice .. haha .. thank you. =))

  102. Joi

    Hi! I guess I’ll try this in hope that it will work 🙂 I used to draw a lot but I somehow lost the habit of doing it so now when I try its not as how I’d like it to be :’/

  103. muthulakshmi

    in what way drawing skill is beneficial to the drawer?

    1. alvalyn

      That’s a good question. It comes down to the idea that if a person does something, they should be able to do it well, to the best of their ability. There are all levels of ability, but ability can be increased through training and discipline.

      A person who draws should be able to draw well, don’t you think?

      As for the benefit of drawing for the designer, I’ve written a bit about that here

  104. junaid

    Iwill take you wise words end draw everyting in my way and draw every day.

  105. Gareth

    I’ve been drawing for years but i never seem to improve. I have used books and tutorials. At this point i think i need to aknowledge that some people have it and some don’t. Sad times.

  106. Dolly

    Thanks for the help

  107. Danielle

    Thanks for the advice 🙂 now I can improve on my drawing easier and I can achieve better grades in art xxx 😀

  108. Birchy

    Thank you so much for the tips! I’m (I suppose as so many wonderful artists are) very obsessed with improving, and being the best artist I can be because I love art so much! But I’m still pretty young, and honestly, I don’t think I’ve utilized tips people from around the world have. Thank you for some very wonderful insight into things I can use to improve my work. This really made me smile and gave me a lot of encouragement. You’re awesome!

  109. Alwar Kalyan

    I am feeling grt now and thanks for makeing me thinking practically…..!

  110. Reji Chandy

    It is really worth it. Thanks for your advise.

  111. Marci

    I think you are right and wrong. You shouldn’t need to go to a class to get better you can do it yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. alvalyn

      It’s true that a person can work on their own to improve. However, many find the structured environment, interaction and direct feedback of a class to be quite helpful.

  112. Xcogitate

    Hey man, i really appreciate your article. you know when i was a child i do alot of drawings and different type of mosaic, two dimension art carve and i am really known for this. but at a point when am go to attend my senior high school i change to science and now i study Computer&Electronics Eng. but at a point i have a deep thought and i saw that, the most thing i do best and enjoying doing is this art work and your article really open my mind towards many unclear things. dont mind if we can get intouch with u by email or something for some tip advise.


    1. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Even if you aren’t a designer, the benefits of drawing are numerous, including the development of a keener sense of observation. For most people, it’s also a stress-reliever. Thank you for your comments.

  113. mohammad shaquib

    ur comments was attaract me but in my area there is no achivement insketching

  114. TheOddStrange

    Very insightful. I now want a moleskine. No, I NEEED a moleskine. XD
    This was a very helpful article.

    1. alvalyn

      Moleskine will be happy to hear that. I used a wire-bound sketchbook more often than a Moleskine because it folds over, which is often more convenient for me. But don’t tell the good folk at Moleskine that.

      I checked out your work. Love your use of line – very expressive. Thanks for your comment.

  115. Brian Konson

    I have wasted enough time already, cause I had minor difficulties in reproducing objects at an earlier age but I had no ‘intension’, I stopped as a result. Thanks dude, I’l be intensional now and build from that little I had, [if its still there, otherwise its for restarting with intension ha ha]. . .

  116. The Musician's Apprentice

    I found true, deep meaning with this. Personally, I strive to be a better musician, photographer, and writer. Ultimately, my goal is to become a master of arts. Your last point (Be Intentional) can really be applied to anything. If something is a part of you, you’ll find the time to make it happen. In order for something to be a part of you, you must first understand what it truly is. Thank you, Alvalyn, for showing me what it really means to be artist and a human being with a renewed purpose.

    1. alvalyn

      I appreciate your comment and am glad you found this article meaningful. Thanks!

  117. Artist Philip Xavi

    Interesting, learned from this too…

  118. Cristian

    hey thanks a lot man. i have always been good at drawing or sketching but i have never gotten into really improving it. now i am and this helped a lot thanks again.

  119. Peter Bryenton

    Good advice thanks. I was fortunate to study photography at an art college where tutors subscribed to the value of drawing.

  120. Horse Girl

    This site helped a lot i cant wait to get started on this

  121. Chelsea

    Your site helped me so much. Thanks! I love drawing but I don’t really think I’m that good but after reading this I’m really excited to give it a go and improve. =)

    1. alvalyn

      I’m glad you were encouraged, Chelsea. Thank you.

    2. dillon hill

      im drawing an anime and lack inspiration in my head my drawings are amazing but its hard for me to bring them to life. music helps a little but gets me even more off task wat should i do?

    3. alvalyncreative

      Inspiration does not just show up. We need to pursue it, and not only when we’re drawing.

      One way I pursue inspiration is by reading. The ability to form images in my imagination is helped by reading. I also intentionally look for inspiration everywhere I go. So I look at packaging when I’m in a store, billboards, signs, movies, newspapers, and just watching people as a I through my day. To be good at drawing we need to be good observers, and be intentional about being inspired by what we see.

    4. alex perez

      help me draw anime naruto characters

    5. Alvalyn Lundgren

      Hello, Alex: I don’t draw in anime style. So I’m not able to help you. If you want to pursue anime, learn to draw human anatomy and facial expressions. You’ll need to understand motion, gesture and proportion in order to stylize figures for anime. Animators do a lot of drawing of people and animals from direct observation. They’re constantly observing and drawing. So grab yourself a sketchbook and start to work. Develop the habit of drawing daily. This will help you get to your goals faster. Similar to my tip for copying master artists, copy the work of skilled anime and character artists. But don’t neglect the necessary study of human and animal forms. Take life drawing courses and courses with costumed models. Sound good? You can join our Eye Level Facebook group to share your drawings for encouragement and feedback.

    6. Mia

      Hi! Thank you so very much on posting this. I was able to get a lot better and improve a bunch! I was just searching up how to draw good, because i was in a school drawing competition. I came up to this and believed in myself! thank you so much! this was very helpful. keep it up! 🙂

    7. BethFaith

      I totally feel ya

  122. deppy deppson-rotary

    Suitable method for everybody similar to you. What if “I´m not You”? Working a lot makes you tired -only – more or less. Teaching is giving god hints from the teachers experience & the teachers teachers experience. What you are saying here is no more than “work until you´ll get rich. Tnx anyway.

    1. Gustavo

      Then you’re lazy and greatness doesn’t suit you. Wake up, great things acquire great work… HARD WORK

    2. vy

      hard work is useless if you don’t know how to use it.

    3. manahil

      Thank you for creating this article, it helps me to find ways to get better at drawing. I love drawing and I m the best drawer in my year. I draw things like tanks, ships, aircraft, soldiers, etc. But I have struggles starting new drawings, I m wondering if you have tips or advice to help me with the struggle?

    4. Roger HAwkins

      “If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.”
      ― Michelangelo Buonarroti

    5. Tom

      Great quote!

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