Thinking of starting a daily drawing routine? Well, I think that’s a fantastic idea! Drawing is like any skill – the more you do it, the better you will become at it. Maybe you are new to drawing and want to start learning. Or perhaps you already draw and want to get to the next level. Regardless of where you are on this journey, the best way to reach new heights of drawing greatness is to draw regularly! A lot of artists try to draw every day. But is it good for you?
Drawing every day is definitely good for you. It helps you to create a routine in your day that focuses on becoming a better artist. If you allocate time every day to drawing, you will be amazed at how good your drawing skills will become.
Alrighty, so we have established that drawing every day is beneficial to being an artist, but what are the other health advantages? How do you optimise your drawing time? What should you use to draw? Should you draw big or small?
I guess we’ll never know! (Unless you keep on reading)…
What is Daily Drawing Good For?
Daily Drawing Helps You Become a Better You
In addition to daily drawing helping you become a super-mega-brilliant artist, it also helps with all those nice mental well-being things like stress relief, meditation and finding a bit of extra purpose to your day.
Studies have been done which show that art can reduce stress hormones in your body. If a few daily doodles can help you lower your stress levels, it will lead you to function better in many other aspects of your life.
Drawing helps you take your mind away from other things. (You don’t even need to light any candles or put on some soothing Enya)
People can often get caught up in their work or their studies and lose sight of other things they wish they had time for in life. Even if becoming a better artist is not your goal with daily drawing, it will still give you a little bit of extra purpose to your busy day.
Daily Drawing Helps You Become a Better Artist
If your goal of daily drawing is to become a better artist, then doing even thirty minutes of drawing each day will add up to something great in the long term.
And yes, half an hour isn’t much, but drawing every day for thirty minutes will do much more for your skills than drawing once a week for four hours.
Regular daily drawing will help you to unlock your true potential as an artist, it will help you build your confidence and also help develop the muscle memory needed to draw like a pro.
It’s hard to see progress from day to day, but if you keep to your drawing routine, you will be surprised at how good you can actually become at drawing.
A blank sheet of paper can be pretty intimidating. The more you practice putting your pencil to paper, the more confident you will become at drawing
Being able to draw confident and accurate lines requires you to have some level of muscle memory. If you keep drawing regularly, the accuracy and confidence levels of your lines (and quality of work) will keep going up!
How to Set Up Your Daily Drawing Routine
To make the most of your daily drawing, you’re going to need:
- a place to draw
- some drawing materials
- a designated time that you’re going to be committed to
The great thing about drawing is that anyone can draw. Drawing is a relatively cheap hobby and it can be done anywhere. You can draw on the bus, in bed, on the couch and on the toilet (I know an artist who once did that at a night club).
How do you keep drawing every day?
Set Time Aside
Got a half hour at lunch? Get out your sketch book and smash out a few sketches.
Are you a night owl? Stay up a bit later and get your drawing done before you head to bed. If you keep losing consciousness while holding your pencil, try and head to bed early and start a routine of getting up an hour earlier so that you can draw.
Draw What You Are Interested In
Draw what excites you! If you are forcing yourself to draw things that don’t excite you, then you won’t be motivated to draw every day. Do you hate drawing tractors but love drawing early twentieth century toothbrushes? Then stop drawing tractors and focus on drawing those sweet, bristly toothbrushes! Drawing what you love will keep you coming back to that sketchbook.
Once you are in a good rhythm and are confident in your abilities, then feel free to try and draw things you’re less interested in (You will get to a stage where you will be wanting to get good at drawing all kinds of things – even those wretched tractors!)
Is it Better to Draw Big or Small?
When your goal is to draw every day, it is better to focus on drawing small. If you are creating fast, small sketches, it will give you the experience and ability to gradually draw larger and larger as you progress on this journey.
But for now, focus on small sketches and save the big drawings for your masterpieces.
If you are shading a large area, you’re going to lose interest. Pencils are not paintbrushes – don’t waste your drawing time on drawing big when you are drawing to improve.
Don’t Forget to Make Mistakes!
Come into this daily drawing routine with low expectations. It’s okay to get it wrong! Don’t strive to create masterpieces.
Sure, it’s good to create finished drawings or paintings, but drawing ten quick faces in a session, instead of one face, will help you retain more knowledge of anatomy and expression. It will also help with the spontaneity in your work.
Daily Drawing Has Similarities to Life Drawing
If you have ever been to a life drawing class, you will notice that you aren’t drawing the same pose for the whole session. Instead, you’re being made to draw quick 30 second, two minute and five minute poses…
Because drawing before you have time to think and plan can help you add life and spontaneity to your drawings.
Similarly with daily drawing – focussing on smashing out a few quick sketches will help you build confidence, spontaneity and muscle memory. So that when the time comes to creating a proper, polished artwork, you will be able to pour all of these skills into your masterpiece.
Where can I draw?
Please don’t buy a beret and a fake moustache and rent a fancy studio down town decked out with a vintage desk and ergonomic chair. Anyone can draw, anywhere. You can either do it alone in a quiet place, or do it on the couch while watching TV – whatever works for you. But if you require a proper desk and chair for health reasons, then of course, do what is best for your health.
Personally, I just like to draw on this simple thing we have at home called… the living room table! (We do have desks at home, but it seems I always end up at the table. It’s just nice to hang out with the family).
When I’m drawing using loose paper, I make sure to have a few sheets of paper underneath as well. This allows a softer surface for the pencil lines to glide over (instead of scratchy lines over the hard surface from the table)… Oh yeah it also prevents me from destroying the table with my enthusiastic scratches.
What Equipment is Good for Daily Drawing
For pencils, just use any pencil you have around the house. Personally I love drawing with a Prismacolor PC-901 Indigo Blue pencil. Try a few pencils and see which ones you like working with the most.
You can either keep a sketchbook, or just draw on loose paper. If you want to draw in a sketchbook, get one that has smaller pages. I find A5 (or Half Letter) to be a good size. If you have an A2 (or Tabloid sized) sketchbook, then that you’ll just be staring at a square mile of white paper. That’s going to intimidate and discourage you.
Rather use a small sketchbook that you can fit in your jacket pocket. (I use a Moleskine – it’s cheap and the pages aren’t too thick, so I don’t feel like I’m needing to create perfect sketches every time)
If you are using loose paper – make sure you keep them all in one place so you can revisit them later. One of my all time favorite things to draw on is printer paper. I will just buy a ream from the supermarket and then draw, draw, (maybe print) and then draw some more.
Document Your Progress
Having a sketchbook is sufficient – all of your drawings are in one place. If you’re using loose sheets of paper, store them all together in a box or a folder.
If you are ready to share your work with others, you can photograph your favorite drawings and upload them to Instagram (I feel so hypocritical writing this – I hate posting on social media and I upload about one drawing a year to my Insta, but hey! You should totally do it!)
Let’s recap! Finding a spare thirty minutes every day to draw will help with stress relief and mindfulness and will help you find a bit of extra purpose to your day.
Establishing this routine in the long term will unquestionably improve your drawing skills. It will increase your confidence, improve your muscle memory, line work and your ability to understand how things are supposed to be drawn.
Remember that it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s the mistakes that help you to learn what you should and should not do.
Don’t stress if you miss a day of drawing, but if you try and keep to a daily routine, you will have some great rewards down the line.
So, whether you want to become a better artist or are doing it for personal health benefits, daily drawing is definitely good for you!
All the best,