Embarking on the journey of pencil drawing opens a world of creative possibilities, but along the way, we may encounter common mistakes that can hinder our progress. Whether you’re a beginner or have some experience in pencil drawing, knowing about these mistakes can help you grow as an artist.
And by addressing these challenges head-on, you’ll gain valuable insights and learn from your errors, transforming them into stepping stones towards improvement.
In this article, we’ll go over the most common mistakes artists make so that you can avoid them and become better as an artist.
Table of Contents
Starting With Details
Many amateur painters may quickly scribble a sketch of their subject without first taking the time to prepare or consider the composition. This usually results in errors including wrong proportions, bad element placement, and weak composition. In a faceless self portrait, for instance, you may start by sketching the eyes.
And after you’ve put in all that effort finishing the eyes, you’ll see that they don’t fit the face you envisioned. This will lead to wiping the slate clean and beginning over. Therefore, to keep from making this error, sketch down some rough guidelines first before diving into the finer specifics.
Not Using Values
In the context of art, value refers to a color’s darkness or brightness. Be careful to incorporate lighting throughout your sketch. Typically, there will be a more obvious tonal variation on one side of an object than the other. Artists sometimes employ this method to imitate the way sunlight might illuminate a scene in the real world.
Always identify the origin of your illumination to avoid this common blunder. It’s also recommended that you stock up on an HB pencil and anywhere from two to four softer pencils with a higher “blackness” grade.
Putting Too Much Pressure on Pencil
When we worry too much about making a mistake, we often end up making one. For instance, when you exert too much control on your drawings, it might end up looking unnatural and mechanical. It’s possible that you’ll damage your paper as well.
In the early phases of a drawing, when you’re still getting a feel for the subject, loosening up and sketching freely might help you convey it more accurately.
After you’ve carefully planned out your composition, you can begin to define the contours of your shapes and forms by drawing with a pencil held closer to the tip.
Using Bad Materials
If you’re trying to get better at sketching but you’re still using shoddy supplies, you may as well give up now. That said, you should invest in high-quality drawing tools as these will not only let you produce more nuanced strokes, but will also forgive the occasional slip-up.
If you want to learn how to draw, you should spend some time doing so using the best resources you can afford to use. Though investing in high-quality creative resources may seem wasteful due to their initial cost, you will end up saving money in the long term.
Disregarding Eye Level
When you sketch, you’re essentially making a window into your own mind’s eye. If your artwork has the wrong structure, no amount of shading will help. That being said, remember that as the viewer’s distance from the artwork grows, the size of the items shown in the artwork will also decrease.
Be mindful of the viewer’s line of sight and maintain a constant height of focal points. In the absence of this, your drawing may appear choppy and unsettling to onlookers.
Drawing with Outlines
The sense of realism is immediately destroyed by dark outlines. Using outlining in an attempt to recreate the actual environment will have the opposite effect, making your drawings look more cartoonish.
It’s best to avoid this pitfall by instead employing tone and shade to create ‘edges’ instead of harsh outlines. The value of one shape relative to another produces an edge.
You may make a convincing edge by separating your drawing into distinct value zones and then aligning them adjacent to each other. You will be astounded by the dramatic difference this simple tweak can have in the appearance of your drawings as it instantly gives them a more realistic vibe.
Drawing inspiration from the world’s most talented artists is not only acceptable but also highly encouraged. However, it’s important to avoid comparing your own artworks to those created by professionals. Engaging in this behavior can potentially lead to a decrease in your motivation levels.
It is highly advisable to seek the valuable feedback of a trusted loved one or friend when it comes to your creative pursuits. Obtaining a second opinion on your artwork can prove to be highly beneficial, as it allows you to gain valuable insights into both your strengths and areas that could benefit from further refinement.
Creating high-quality drawings requires a significant investment of time and effort. By dedicating ample time and attention to each drawing, we greatly enhance the likelihood of experiencing significant growth in our artistic abilities.
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