As a beginner everything is hard, and everything you create kind of sucks.
Most people don’t want to hear that, but it is the truth and drawing is no different.
Drawing might appear like a simple thing to do, and you might think you know how to draw something because you know what it should look like.
But nothing could be further from the truth…
To become good at drawing you have to learn a set of skills e.g. lines and shapes, composition, proportion, anatomy, color theory, etc.
Like any skill, you can learn to master them through a lot of practice and perseverance.
Pro Tip: Don’t blame yourself for being bad at drawing, instead work on improving your skills. Chances are that you have underestimated the amount of practice it takes to become good at drawing.
Below I have listed some common reasons why your drawing could be bad, so let’s take a look!
You Need More Practice
As I alluded to above, a common reason why people are not satisfied with how their drawings look is that they did not practice enough.
Like any skill, you cannot expect to become better without proper practice. I like to say that you need to practice deliberately, which is the difference between doing mindless repetitions and giving your practice full attention with a specific purpose.
Did You Practice The Basics Enough?
In its basic form, drawing is nothing more than making lines – straight or curved lines.
To do this well, you need to have a combination of:
- a keen eye,
- good eye-hand coordination, and
- decent motor skills.
If any of that sucks so will your lines and everything else that you make with those lines. If that is the case, then you should probably start practicing drawing basic lines.
The same thing applies to basic shapes like squares, circles, triangles, etc.
These are what you could call the basics of drawing, and you need good basic skills to do the more difficult stuff.
Did you practice the same thing enough?
If you are anything like me, you will want to learn to draw everything and you are never out of fresh ideas. One day you will be drawing fruits and the next day Godzilla in space.
Drawing new things is fun, but it is not very beneficial for improving your skills if you never get the time to practice one thing enough. Not only is drawing a set of skills, but different drawings require different use of those skills.
Question: How transferable are the skills needed to draw a basket of fruits to drawing a flying monster in space?
You need to choose one subject and/or style that you want to draw, and then you need to stick with it until you have become good at it.
This video below explains it very well…
You Also Need The Right Tools
For digital drawings you need (click the links to learn more):
If you don’t know where to start in your practice or what method to use, then you should consider seeking some guidance from artists more skilled than yourself.
Find out where artists hang out online, e.g. Facebook groups, or consider taking an online course.
You can find many great courses online for little money. I cover the topic of being self-taught here.
Observing Objects The Wrong Way
You might have heard people say that you have to “see like an artist” in order to make great drawings.
What that basically means, is that you have to simplify complicated environments, structures, objects, etc. You have to break them down into simple lines and shapes and think of how they actually look when we perceive them.
How things actually look when we are seeing them, can be very different from what your logical sense might tell you.
Put in another way, instead of drawing what you think a cat should look like (which almost always is going to look bad), you instead draw the shapes that make up the cat.
I cover this topic in more detail in this post.
Stop Comparing Yourself With Others
Instead of focusing on others and comparing yourself with them, focus on your own skills. If you write a date on all your drawings and save them, I am sure that you will find that your skills will improve a lot over time.
Becoming good at drawing takes a long time, so try if you can to change your mindset and the idea that your “drawings are bad”. Instead, you should think this: I did not practice enough yet…
Recognize that becoming good at drawing is a long process and have fun with it!
And by the way, this process probably never ends…
Drawing is a set of skills that take a long time to learn, and likely many years or even decades to truly master.
The next time you ask yourself: “why am I so bad at drawing”, use it with the intention to identify your weak points.
What are the 3 top reasons that your drawing is bad? Then make a plan on how to practice these things.
Because you will need the practice to get better 🙂