How to draw everyday

Drawing every day is more than just a routine—it's a transformative journey that can significantly enhance your artistic skills and boost your creativity. Committing to regular practice is crucial because it allows you to experiment, learn from mistakes, and gradually improve your technique. It's like building a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it gets.

From my own experience, drawing daily has been a game-changer. Early in my career, I struggled with consistency and felt my skills were stagnating. It wasn't until I made a conscious decision to draw every single day that I began to see a marked improvement. Some days, I would sketch simple things around me, like a cup on my desk or a tree outside my window. Other days, I'd challenge myself with more complex compositions. Over time, these daily sessions not only enhanced my technical skills but also deepened my understanding of the subjects I drew.

Creatively, daily drawing keeps the mind agile. Regular practice brings a flow of new ideas and helps develop a personal style. It’s like keeping a tap open; the more you draw, the more your creativity flows. On a more personal note, this routine has become a meditative and therapeutic part of my day. It’s a moment when I can tune out distractions and focus on the pure joy of creation.

In this guide, I’ll share strategies and tips to help you integrate drawing into your daily life, making it a rewarding and enriching habit that opens up new avenues of expression and personal growth. Let’s embark on this artistic journey together, one sketch at a time!

1. Setting Up Your Drawing Space

To begin your journey of drawing daily, setting up a dedicated and inspiring space is crucial. Start by choosing a comfortable spot where you can remain focused and undisturbed, ideally with access to natural light for the most accurate color perception and ease on your eyes. If natural light isn't available, ensure your area is equipped with a good quality desk lamp. Aim for a location that minimizes distractions, perhaps a quiet corner in your home or a cozy spot in your local café. Surround yourself with objects that inspire creativity, such as artwork by your favorite artists or a small indoor plant, to create an environment that fuels your artistic drive.

Having the right tools at your disposal is equally important. Begin with a good quality sketchbook that suits your preference for size and paper type, allowing you to experiment freely. A selection of pencils in various grades, such as 2H, HB, 2B, and 6B, will enable you to explore different shading and line work techniques. Include both kneaded and plastic erasers; the former is great for lightening lines and adding highlights, while the latter effectively removes unwanted marks. A sharpener is essential to keep your pencils ready for precise work. Depending on your style, consider adding colored pencils, inks, markers, or brushes to your toolkit. Establishing this space and gathering your tools are the first vital steps toward making drawing a daily habit, setting the stage for a productive and fulfilling artistic practice.

2. Creating a Daily Drawing Routine

Establishing a daily drawing routine is fundamental to developing your skills consistently over time. To begin, setting realistic goals is essential. Take some time to think about what you want to achieve with your drawing practice. Are you aiming to improve your technical skills, explore new styles, or perhaps prepare a portfolio for a professional opportunity? By defining clear, achievable objectives, you can maintain focus and measure your progress effectively.

Once your goals are set, the next step is to integrate drawing into your daily routine. This involves creating a schedule that aligns with your daily activities and commitments. Consistency is key, so choose a time of day when you can commit to drawing without interruptions. This could be early in the morning before starting your day, during a lunch break, or in the evening as a way to unwind.

Here’s an example of a daily drawing schedule:

  • Morning (20-30 minutes): Start with quick sketches to warm up. Focus on simple objects or gestures to get your creativity flowing.
  • Afternoon (15-20 minutes): Take a brief drawing break if your schedule allows. This could involve more focused practice on a specific skill or technique you are trying to improve.
  • Evening (30-45 minutes): Dedicate this time to a more detailed drawing session. Work on a piece that contributes towards your larger goals or explore new subjects and mediums.

By breaking your practice into manageable segments, you can make drawing a natural and enjoyable part of your day, ensuring steady progress towards your artistic aspirations.

3. What to Draw Daily

Deciding what to draw each day can sometimes feel as challenging as the drawing itself. To keep your practice fresh and engaging, here are some strategies for generating ideas and maintaining your creativity.

Idea Generation

To continuously fuel your creativity, employ techniques such as brainstorming and using prompts. Set aside a few minutes each day to jot down whatever comes to mind without judgment. This could include random thoughts, visual images, or words. Alternatively, drawing prompts can be a great tool; these can be found in books, websites, or even apps designed specifically for artists. These prompts often provide a starting point that can lead to more elaborate and inspired artworks.

Themed Challenges

Participating in themed challenges is another excellent way to maintain daily drawing momentum. These challenges can provide a structure and community support that can be very motivating. For example, you might choose a theme for each day of the week—like “nature” on Mondays, “urban scenes” on Tuesdays, and “portraits” on Wednesdays—or set a theme for each month, such as “inktober” where only ink is used. These themes not only challenge you to think creatively but also help in exploring and mastering different subjects and techniques.

Observational Drawing

Drawing from life is one of the most valuable practices for any artist. The benefits of observational drawing are immense; it improves your eye for detail, enhances your understanding of light and shadow, and builds your ability to capture the essence of the subject. Start by choosing simple objects around you or scenes from your daily life. You could sketch your morning cup of coffee, a pet, or a park you visit. The key is to draw regularly from your environment, which will not only improve your technical skills but also help you develop a personal style and perspective.

By incorporating these methods into your daily routine, you can ensure a rich and varied drawing practice that continually evolves and keeps you engaged in the art of drawing every day.

4. Overcoming Common Challenges

Every artist faces challenges in maintaining a consistent drawing practice. Here’s how to navigate some of the most common hurdles like lack of motivation, frustration with progress, and finding time to draw.

Lack of Motivation

Staying motivated can be tough, especially when progress seems slow or inspiration fades. To keep the excitement alive, set small, achievable goals that lead to a sense of accomplishment. Celebrate these victories, no matter how minor they may seem. Another effective strategy is to vary your subjects or mediums to keep your practice fresh and engaging. Joining online communities or local art groups can also provide encouragement and inspiration, as sharing your work and seeing others' creations can reignite your passion for drawing.

Dealing with Frustration

Frustration is a natural part of the artistic process, especially on days when your work doesn’t live up to your expectations. When this happens, take a step back and remind yourself that each drawing is a step towards improvement. Reflect on what might be causing the dissatisfaction—is it a particular skill that needs more practice? Perhaps try focusing on that area in your next sessions. Also, don't hesitate to take short breaks if you're feeling overwhelmed; sometimes, a little distance can provide a new perspective.

Time Management

Finding time to draw can be challenging, especially with a busy schedule. To overcome this, try integrating short drawing sessions into your daily routine. Even just 10-15 minutes a day can make a significant difference over time. Consider carrying a small sketchbook with you to use during downtime, like while commuting or waiting for appointments. Planning your week ahead can also help you identify blocks of time that can be dedicated to more extended drawing sessions. Prioritizing your drawing time as an essential part of your day can make it easier to avoid skipping it.

5. Enhancing Your Skills

As you settle into a routine of drawing daily, continuously enhancing your skills is key to keeping your art fresh and engaging. Here are ways to diversify your artistic expertise, seek constructive feedback, and pursue ongoing learning.

Experiment with Different Media

Diversifying the media you use can significantly expand your artistic capabilities and refresh your creative outlook. If you typically draw with pencils, try incorporating inks, charcoal, or pastels into your work. Each medium has unique properties and can affect the style and mood of your drawings. For example, charcoal allows for dramatic, high-contrast pieces, while inks can bring precision and boldness to your artwork. Exploring different materials not only keeps your practice interesting but also helps you discover new forms of expression.

Seeking Feedback

Feedback is a powerful tool for improvement. Engage with peers, mentors, or online communities to get constructive critiques on your work. When seeking feedback, be specific about what aspects you want comments on, such as composition, technique, or use of color. It's important to approach feedback with an open mind and see it as an opportunity to learn rather than a critique of your worth as an artist. Use the insights gained to refine your skills and approach to drawing.

Continuous Learning

The journey of an artist is one of continuous education. To further your skills, take advantage of the wide range of resources available. Look for books that delve into techniques and theories of drawing. Online courses and tutorials can also offer guidance and new techniques, often providing step-by-step instructions that you can follow at your own pace. Additionally, workshops and classes, whether local or online, provide not only learning opportunities but also community interaction, which can be incredibly motivating.

Daily Drawing Prompts

To kickstart your daily drawing habit and keep your creativity flowing, here’s a list of prompts that you can use to guide your practice. These prompts are designed to challenge you, spark new ideas, and ensure that you never find yourself wondering what to draw.

A List of Prompts to Get Started:

  1. The View from Your Window: Capture what you see outside your nearest window at different times of the day.
  2. Favorite Childhood Memory: Illustrate a fond memory from your childhood.
  3. Underwater Scene: Create an underwater landscape, real or imagined.
  4. A Portrait a Day: Draw a different face each day, whether from photos, life, or your imagination.
  5. Street Life: Sketch scenes from a busy street or quiet alley in your town or city.
  6. Animal of the Day: Draw animals, focusing on different species or various poses of the same animal.
  7. Architectural Wonders: Sketch buildings or architectural details that inspire you, from famous landmarks to elements in your own home.
  8. Fantasy Landscapes: Design a landscape that could exist in a fantasy world.
  9. Tools and Utensils: Look around your house and draw the tools and utensils you use daily.
  10. Flora and Fauna: Draw plants and wildlife from your local area or your travels.
  11. Fashion Design: Sketch clothing designs, from modern outfits to historical costumes.
  12. Dynamic Poses: Illustrate human figures in various dynamic poses, capturing movement and expression.
  13. Food Art: Create detailed drawings of meals or ingredients.
  14. Abstract Forms: Experiment with shapes and forms to create abstract art.
  15. Dreams and Nightmares: Depict scenes or symbols from recent dreams or nightmares.

Using these prompts, you can explore a wide range of subjects and styles, enhancing your skills and keeping your daily drawing practice engaging. Whether you follow these prompts strictly or simply let them inspire a direction for your art, they are a fantastic tool for cultivating creativity and consistency in your drawing routine.

Reflect on Your Progress and Stay Inspired

As you integrate drawing into your daily life, taking time to reflect on your progress and seeking inspiration are crucial steps to maintaining your artistic journey.

Reflect on Your Progress

Regularly reviewing your work is essential for recognizing your achievements and areas for improvement. Set aside time each week or month to look back at the drawings you've completed. Notice the developments in your technique and style—celebrate these milestones, no matter how small they may seem. Keeping a visual diary or a digital portfolio can help you see your evolution over time, providing a tangible sense of progress. This practice not only boosts your confidence but also helps you pinpoint specific areas where you might want to focus more attention in the future.

Staying Inspired

Keeping your passion for drawing vibrant involves continuously seeking new sources of inspiration. Connect with other artists by attending workshops, participating in art shows, or joining online forums and social media groups. Sharing your work and experiences can open up new perspectives and spark ideas for future projects. Engaging with the art community not only enriches your artistic practice but also keeps you motivated and connected to others who share your passion.