Practicing art on a consistent basis is the best way to refine and expand your skills. By being disciplined and regularly experimenting with depicting the world around you in art, you are allowing yourself to grow your abilities in relation to common art elements, such as style, line, space, and form— all of which are crucial to making quality art pieces.
While it can be easy to promise yourself that you will practice your art skills more regularly, it can be difficult to hold onto this statement when motivation is low. When this happens, it is best to find exercises that make you feel excited to dip into your creative side. However, with the vast amount of exercises already existent, it can be hard to find the right one for you. Thankfully, this blog post covers a multitude of art activities that are both fun, motivating, and great for practicing your art skills!
The first exercise is called “negative space”. It is a straightforward activity that may seem relatively easy at first, but asks for a large amount of focus, ultimately allowing you to expand your skills.
To do this exercise, first find a subject matter that involves relatively intricate shapes, but is still manageable for you to draw. For the purpose of my personal drawing, I chose to depict a flower. It is best for you to choose something that you have physically, rather than simply using a picture. This allows you to learn how to draw from life, something important to improving your art skills.
Once you have selected your subject matter, you can begin to draw! To do this, draw only the outlines of your subject, or the “negative space”, to the most precision possible. Once you have done this, you can colour in the outside of your outline, in order to see your shape more clearly. Your overall sketch may look something like this:
Try this activity with different subject matters, and increase its complexity day by day to practice your skills with shapes!
The next activity is called “one line drawing”, and is both extremely entertaining, and very good for improving your drawing accuracy skills.
To do this drawing, use a subject matter that has some somewhat complex shapes, but is not too difficult to draw. I will once again use my flower pot reference for this activity.
To start the drawing exercise, put your medium down on your page, and start drawing what you see of your subject matter without lifting it. Do this with as much detail as possible. Your final piece will likely look very scribbly; don’t worry! This is exactly the purpose of this exercise. Here is what my final piece looks like:
You can experiment with a wide array of different subject matters— even faces! Try it out and see how your draw-from-life skills improve.
The last exercise is called a “blind drawing”. This can be seen as the trickiest of the exercises, but also the one that is the most beneficial to improving your skills.
Once again, choose a subject matter that you feel you will be able to depict somewhat well. While this exercise is typically best with a more complex subject matter, pick something that you are comfortable with. Again, I have chosen my flower pot reference for this activity.
This exercise requires you to look at your subject matter, and not take your eyes off of it for the entire time you will be drawing. You are not allowed to look down at your paper, and must draw what you believe to be accurate. While your final drawing may look somewhat odd, don’t worry! It is all part of the process of being better at drawing from real life subject matters. Here is what your final result may look like:
Do this activity a few times, and see how much you improve!
While it can be hard to practice art consistently and on a daily basis, there truly are a multitude of benefits associated with it. Finding art exercises that make you feel excited to practice can be a great way to stay motivated, all while growing your confidence with your skills over time. So with all that in mind, what are you waiting for? Go on and start practicing!