How to Become a Better Drawer


Drawing is foundation to the artist, architect or graphic designer. Visually creative people use drawing to sketch out ideas, as well as learn how to think visually. However, learning to draw can be extremely intimidating--it can take years of practice before the student drawer can get the pencil to accurately render what the eye sees.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Sketchpad
  • Optional:
  • Charcoal
  • Conte crayon
  • Pen and ink


  • Take your pen and sketchpad and start drawing. Look carefully at a still life, or go outside and draw flowers or trees. The key to learning how to draw is learning how to see. Spend time looking at how the light falls on the object you're drawing and all of its details.

  • Try not to draw what you think is there. A famous drawing lesson by Betty Edwards, for example, has students try drawing one of Picasso's rendering of Igor Stravinsky. They first look at the Picasso right side up, then turn the drawing upside down and draw looking at Igor Stravinsky upside down. Without exception, the second versions are better--this is because the students stop looking at Stravinsky as a seated man in bow tie and glasses and see a collection of lines and shapes.

  • Set different amounts of time to complete drawings. Do quick sketches of one to five minutes, and focus on capturing the main lines of the object you're drawing. Try longer drawings as well--capture the main lines and shapes first and then develop details and shading.

  • Take life drawing classes--these help students learn how to draw the human body. Drawing people can be difficult, as there are a number of proportions to the human face and figure that you just don't know until somebody tells you. For example, the eyes are actually halfway in between the top of the head and the bottom of the chin--though most of us usually think the eyes are higher up on the face.

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  • Frederick Franck, "Zen of Seeing: Seeing/Drawing as Meditation," 1973
  • Betty Edwards, "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain," 1989
  • Photo Credit pencil image by AGphotographer from
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