My Best Drawing Advice + My Own Drawing Habits


A few of you have asked me to tell you a little bit more about my drawing habits, so here goes!

Now that I am a working for myself and no longer have a dreaded day job, I really do draw all the time.  At the very least, even when I have a lot of other projects happening during the day, I will draw for about half an hour at night.  It kind of winds me down at the end of the day.  At the most, I draw literally all day long.  (Those are my favorite days!)  If I am doing an illustration assignment or something of that nature, sometimes I will draw the same thing over and over again until I get it right.  Other times, if I can’t get the whole thing to work, I will use bits of each of the drawings and mesh them together using my copy machine + glue the old fashioned way, or else I will scan everything into Photoshop and mash up several sketches that way.  

I get my ideas mostly just out of my own imagination, but sometimes I will also draw from portrait photographs that I find online or in magazines.  I try to use the photos as a basis for shading and proportion, then I make the image my own by customizing it and using things from my imagination.  Often I will write down whatever I was thinking about next to the drawing, or else I will jot down some song lyrics if I am listening to music.  I love doing this because it reminds me what I was thinking about when I drew each particular image.

My best advice for people who want to find their own style and improve their drawing skills is to focus on quantity over quality.  If you try too hard to make every drawing perfect and put a ton of pressure on yourself to come up with a quality piece, you are almost always setting yourself up for disappointment.  I find that if I am very focused on making the perfect piece of art, it never goes so well... But if I change my mindset and say, "I'm going to sit down and draw 20 people for fun and not worry about perfection," I will yield better results.  Maybe I will only love 2 out of 20 of the drawings, but I definitely draw much better when I am drawing for fun/quantity instead of perfection. 

They say everyone has 1,000 bad drawings in them and that we just need to work really hard to get all of those out before we start getting to our "good drawings."  So let's draw as much as possible and get rid of some of those bad ones!!

What have you been drawing in your sketchbooks lately?  Leave a comment below, and let me know!


  1. Thank you for this. And say what, no perfection? Is that even possible? I still cringe when I look at the last 2 paintings I did that I really hate :) But I will take your word for it, I will listen to you and draw for fun and draw as many as possible. Thanks again! I needed this!

  2. I'm so glad this post was helpful to you!! That seriously makes me so happy. :) Keep drawing!!

  3. tessa, this is a completely different & brand new school of thought, that i needed to hear. for the last however many years, i have been tested on one perfect drawing, with each art school assignment. it has been frustrating, because they don't get to see the process, practicing evolution of how i got there. thank you for your insight. :)

  4. Teddi, I am so glad this post gave you a new perspective on drawing!! Once I started doing this in my own work, things really shifted, and I hope they will for you too. :)


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