Inner Artist

Erika Lewis


Many teens find they have an interest in drawing but when they try it and find it isn’t perfect they quit. Although it isn’t that difficult and if one goes step by step they can soon be a master. Things are a bit more complicated than this article will sound but if you follow them I can promise your drawing skills can improve. 

Step 1: Start from the beginning

The first thing that you need to do is figure out where you are. Grab yourself a piece of paper and, without any references, draw a person or an animal. Using this you will be able to find your current art style and then be able to work from there. This is probably one of the most important steps and trust me, no matter what you draw it can always be improved. Now technically one could just stop here and let their art style gradually improve over time or you could move the process along and follow the next steps. Another thing is if one is fine with their art style they can also stop on this step but noticing that it can be improved is definitely something that can help you want to improve. 

Step 2: Find what can be improved

Now that you have your starting point you can now take a closer look at it and figure out what things can be improved. Now before going on it is important to say don’t look at your art and say “everything on here needs improvement” because with that mindset you won’t be able to go anywhere. Instead find one criteria whether it’s hands, faces, anatomy, ect… but don’t make it too broad by saying everything, if you do you are setting yourself up for failure. 

Now take the one thing that you said needs improvement and redraw the first picture but this time really focus on improving the one thing you want to get better at. Now whatever you have just drawn is what you are able to improve by just thinking about what you want to improve without looking at references or anything

Step 3: Use references

This is a stage that will definitely kick things off and will be a huge help when it comes to improving art. For this specific step let’s compare to real life people or animals. If you are drawing people,  go ahead and pull up pictures of real people. If you are drawing dogs,  go ahead and pull up pictures of real dogs. Some people will say that references are a bad thing and shouldn’t be used but many talented and successful artists have encouraged people to use references. Of course one doesn’t need references but it is definitely recommended and will help one improve faster. With these references you can try and redraw the reference but in your style. For example if you draw anime then you don’t have to draw someone to be real life. You can take the references pose and anatomy and specific details with clothing and other things. 

If you are not happy with how this “redraw” turned out you can always do another thing. Print your references out and but lower the opacity. After it is printed out you can look at the reference(s) and you can trace out simple shapes that you see in them and the line of action. If you do this it can eventually become muscle memory and so when you go to draw you will be able to draw these simple shapes and then turn them into a person, animal, or whatever you’re drawing. Once you do that try and redraw your drawing but using the shapes you found. This is a step you want to spend a lot of time on. 

Step 4: “Steal” like an artist

Many people don’t like their art because it doesn’t look just like an artist’s art they look up too. Now with this step it is important to not take it too literally. For this step you want to take pieces of art from several artists you like and lay them out in front of you. Now this is where the “stealing” comes in. While looking at all these art pieces look for one thing that you specifically like in them and then steal it. What I mean by that is use it for inspiration. For example if you really like how someone draws noses you can change the style of your nose to look like that. It is very important to remember to not take all inspiration from one artist and especially don’t trace over art. It might be very tempting but you won’t get better and that is dishonest and rude. Taking inspiration and completely coping are two very separate things and it needs to be remembered that they are separate. 

It might be surprising that a lot of artist’s styles are franken-styles so their style is a mixture of several styles. Knowing this, do not be ashamed in taking inspiration from artists you admire because some of the best artists do this. 

Step 5: Redraw

This is the step where you have a chance to see how much you have improved. Take your original sketch and redraw it in your improved style. This is a very simple and fun step as it is probably the most satisfying. There really isn’t much more to this step other than just redrawing. If you aren’t yet happy with the style just go back to step one and redo all the steps until you are satisfied. 

Now that you have been giving the simple steps you can take them or not but hopefully you can soon see that it isn’t difficult to improve your art. I wish everyone the best of luck and hopefully you can enjoy drawing and always remember to have fun with it.