Key insights for starting a daily drawing habit
If you want to get better at drawing, there’s a simple way to do so. Create a daily drawing habit!
Among many other daily habits, drawing is the most important habit in my life as an artist. Getting better at drawing is only going to happen if you dedicate many hours to drawing and exploring different drawing techniques. On your journey to drawing more, you develop your own drawing styles and way of constructing a drawing.
Finding the energy to consistently draw every day can be difficult. Making art is work. You can't always wait for inspiration to hit you. Sometimes you have to open your sketchbook, even if you don't feel like drawing. In fact, most of the time inspiration is a result of work. Meaning you just have to sit down and draw when the inspiration isn't there. You can't wait for drawing ideas to hit you.
There are many drawing challenges, drawing prompts, and other strategies you can use to make a daily drawing habit flow. Just 20-30 minutes of drawing a day will help you get better. The more time you can dedicate, the better.
Developing a daily drawing habit will keep your observational skills strong, gives me a place to try new things, and serves as a record to look back on.
Here are some ways to keep a daily drawing habit…
Ways to create a daily drawing habit
My personal favorite because it turns drawing into an adventure. Forcing yourself to get out of your house to observe real-life animals. Whether at your local zoo or in the wild on safari.
Show up every day. Just don't go crazy and give yourself a set time every day. If you do, you'll feel bad if you miss the drawing time. Don't be hard on yourself, Just give yourself all day to draw. A good drawing session can happen at any time and anywhere.
Keep things simple
You don't have to create a highly detailed drawing every time you sit down to draw. Instead, you can work to keep your drawings loose and simple. Such as only doing continuous line drawings. Not even thinking about shading.
Revisit old sketchbook pages
Sometimes you just don't feel like starting a new drawing. So revisit old pages and add more lines to them. Perhaps creating a new layer of drawing over the old. Or honing some textures and shading you didn't have time for earlier.
Take your sketchbook everywhere
Your sketchbook is an extension of you. Get to the point where people associate you with carrying a sketchbook. To the point where they'll ask you where it is if you don't have it with you.
Practice the basic drawing techniques
Don't forget about the basic drawing techniques. Such as drawing textures and contour drawing. There is nothing wrong with revisiting basic drawing techniques to bring light to your new sketches.
Draw what you see, not what you know. Try not to bog yourself down with coming up with a completely original concept to draw every time. Just draw everything. For example, draw all the objects in a room and draw the mundane. Nothing will grow your drawing skills more than drawing shapes and contours of things you never thought you would before. Ultimately, spending time drawing everything will also build up a library of knowledge for your future drawings.
Draw a theme
Drawing themes are ideas you're interested in exploring. A theme is something you could easily dedicate an entire sketchbook too. Think along the lines of faces, animals, trips to Thailand. Having a drawing theme can help drive your drawing motivation longer than just one day. Some artists dedicate a few months and even their entire lives to drawing specific themes. Just make sure it's something you're genuinely interested in.
Take a daily drawing challenge
Daily drawing challenges are a great way to create a daily drawing habit. What makes challenges so effective is the community and public accountability of it. Having others go through the same challenges as you at the same time can be a lot of fun. It can also be a great way to develop relationships with other artists online.
Use a daily drawing prompts
Daily drawing prompts are a great way to fill your sketchbook. Creativity can flourish when presented with limitations. These daily drawing prompts are also a great way to spark your imagination. It helps to use prompts that are more than just a single work or description of an object. Instead of, “Draw a pair of scissors.” as a prompt, add a more imagination. A better drawing prompt would be, “Draw a pair of scissors cutting a poisonous flower.”.
Final thoughts on drawing daily
The best part of drawing daily is the end result. After drawing daily for just a month, you'll have filled a sketchbook. After drawing every day for an entire year, you'll have grown as an artist. Looking back on your initial drawings, you see a noticeable improvement.
These inspiring artists all have hundreds and thousands of drawings finished.
Remember, drawing every day is for yourself. You don't have to show them to anyone.
After a while, your daily drawings will become a record of your life. You'll be documenting experiences and moments in a meaningful way. Years later when you look back on your earlier drawings, you'll know exactly what you were going through and feeling when you made those drawings.