When deciding to practice drawing you will need to know the two types of practices. This post will try to explain the two types with a few examples from my sketchbooks. These methods are not my own, i have researched these with the intent to reinforce my own learning and to share my thoughts on them.
The first type i’ll be discussing is the “mindless” practice.
In this slideshow i drew a lot of cubes and geometric shapes. This form of practice is very repetitive and can drain your motivation to draw after a short while. I focused on cubes here to gain a better understanding of how cubes operated in 3D shape as well as in perspective.
The repetitive nature of mindless drawing helps builds muscle memory. Drawing anything 1000+ times will make it easier to remember when working on complex illustrations. An analogy to better explain this: when you first learn how to tie your shoelaces it can be difficult and you make a lot of mistakes. After your hundredth time, you just tie your laces without consciously thinking about it (same with brushing your teeth). The act of tying your shoelaces becomes intuitive (doing without thought).
I noticed that my lines became sharper and straighter the more shapes i drew. I was able to burn through sketches and improve my line quality. Mindless practice can be useful for a warm up before illustrating. You can also quickly practice the fundamentals as you’ll need to keep reinforcing them throughout your art journey.
Drawing 100’s of shapes almost sounds counter-intuitive and in some ways it is. This way of practising can hinder your skill growth if not used in conjunction with Deliberate practice.
Before you decide to mindlessly sketch you first need to add a framework to work from. In my previous post i talked about the basics of drawing and why they’re important, deliberate practice is taking the fundamentals and applying more structure to them.
Unlike mindless practice, deliberate practice is more purposeful and systematic. This is also slower and more time consuming.
You will need to dedicate a block of time where you will focus on a specific area of drawing you would like to improve. For example, before you can draw birds in interesting poses you first need to know how the conjure up an image of a bird in your head and this can be done by observational drawing.
Drawing from observation can be slower but also much more useful for understanding complex structures (animals, buildings etc). You can use references from online to aid you with observational drawing or attend a life drawing class. You will need to focus on some drawings more than others.
You will need to do a lot of repetitive drawing here too but it’s necessary, don’t forget to draw for fun as well (this also helps improve your skill). Deliberate practice makes your mindless sketches look better since you will gain a better visual of what you’re trying to draw.
First learn how a certain object looks in real life through observational drawing then you can start to speed things up when you think you have enough visual information stored in your head.
Now that you know the two types of practices you can implement them whenever you want depending on your individual needs. In conclusion, draw a lot.
Thank you for reading this far. If you enjoyed reading my blog post please share, comment and if you want to give me feedback on how i can improve future posts feel free to provide any.