6 tips on how to improve your drawings

Artist :Magny Tjelta
The building blocks to improve your drawings

Hello, everybody! How are you? I have always loved drawing and painting, I remember when we painted and drew in the kindergarten. I  remember the pleasure – it was like something magical happening in front of me. My fingers in the wet paint, turning the lovely colors into browns and I remember the circle drawings. So I spent a great deal of my childhood doing art. I would spend hours drawing different characters, houses and even architectural drawings of houses seen from above, but as a teen, I stopped all drawings. I wanted a realistic style and gave up.

In high school, I had to learn the boring drawing stuff, it took me some time to enjoy it again, but after I was able to replicate what I saw in a photo and transform it into a drawing.   Below you will find some of the “boring” things I had to learn. LOL.

It will add life to your work when you manage these contrasts.

TIP to improve your drawings

  1. Dark and light contrast. If you want your work to be realistic then shading will bring the drawings to life. Drawings can look great without shading, it just depends on the style, of course. But, for a realistic drawing, it can look flat and lifeless without shading. This exercise is so easy to underestimate and is actually harder and more important than one can think. See the video of how I did it. To make it easier for yourself, draw 8 rectangles side by side and make a gray scale or a value gradation. Put the gray scale in front of you and compare your drawing with the scale. Do you have the whole range? If you want the drawing to look realistic then you have to make sure you have the lightest and the darkest shades, also check if you have all of the middle tones,  this will make shading much easier.
  2. Form. When you start the drawing, look at the larger form in your subject matter, try to see what shape it has, for example, the largest form in a pear is a circle shape and on the top is a little triangle.
  3.  Draw the biggest shapes first. Drawing a face start with the hair, the neck and so on, avoid drawing the eyes in the first part. Think of it as you do when we make a cake, the decorations and fun should come last. This is just so hard to do for it is usually the first thing we want to draw, that goes for me too.
  4. Don’t forget the background, When you are drawing something, look at what´s  integrated with the figure, ( negative form) I find this important, it is easy to forget, I know!
  5. Blending a gray scale. For lots of reason using your finger is a big no, no . Your skin has natural oils that will cling onto the graphite, and it can be hard to control, you can end up making some ugly marks which often difficult to erase. Rubbing oily fingers on the paper will damage the paper over time, and leave ugly marks, which is a pity if you make a great drawing: (museums always use gloves when they touch art paper). One more thing on why you should not use your finger, the texture you get looks like steel or a hard surface and can kill a portrait drawing. You should learn hatching. When you are REALLY good at it, you can try Q-Tip, paintbrush or stumps from the supply store which are specially made for blending pastel chalk and pencil. If I have to, I use paintbrushes.
  6. Stick a post-it note in your sketchbook to remind you  of what  “problem” you should be working on.


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, let me know if you want more drawing tutorials.  Did you know that you get a printable digital artwork,  and calendars and more if you sign up for the free color course  Free color course and If you like this, feel free to share with your family and friends on Facebook.



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