3 Steps to improve your drawings

Improving your drawing is a long process, a one hour drawing session won't make a huge difference in your skills, but a repeated one hour drawing session every day, over a few month will makes you improve considerably. 

Having a clear goal and having a clear process during your drawing session also going to make a big difference after all we all have the same amount of time every day so we have to make the most of each hours spent drawing.


1-  Have a clear goal and evaluate your progress

The first thing is to have a clear goal, a long term goal of what you want to achieve with your drawings. Make a folder with your favorite art, favorite artist and analyse what skills you need to get to that level.

It can also be a shorter term goal, like becoming a Concept artist for movies or to be able to draw a manga. And then to break down each skills you need to acquire to get to that level.

For example, let's say you want to become a character designer for video games.

Let's break down the different skills you need:

  • Be able to draw the human body, skills in anatomy and figure drawing.

  • Study and understand clothing, armor and fashion in history (from real life and fictional) 

  • Study about design principle (what makes a good design? What makes a good characters?)

  • Study about rendering (color and light, render metal, leather, skin...)

  • Practical study about video game characters (how is it made in 3D? Animated?...)

From that you can divide one specific topic to study per week

Anatomy and figure drawing

  • Week 1: Gesture

  • Week 2: Torso

  • Week 3: Legs

  • Week 4: Arms

  • ...

Evaluate your progress at the end of the week and prepare the next week.

ex: Sunday evening, review your drawings of the week, maybe post it online and ask for feedback, ask an artist friend what he think, look at photo reference see what you did wrong and right.

Prepare the subject for the next week, gather some references on the subject books or photo online (pinterest is a great resources for that) so you already know what you have to do during each drawing session.


2-  Deliberate Study and Practice every day

Start in the morning

My practice is the first thing I do in the morning, it also serve as a warm up for my productive work of the day


The most important thing is consistency, doing it every day is what makes you become better. Many people are excited at the beginning, they do a 4-5h drawing session on the first day and then lose their motivation after a few day and give up. Don’t start too hard, look for the long term, you shouldn’t rely on motivation because that will change every day, instead create a habit like brushing your teeth or going to the gym.

Even if you miss one day it’s fine as long as you get back to it on the next day. Great artist don’t wait for inspiration to get drawing they have a process to start working every day and then they get inspired as they draw.


Control environment (no phone, no facebook, no instagram...) 1 hour of pure focus

Fill sketchbooks

Quantity is important, the more you draw the better you get, try to fill at least 2 sketchbook page every day

Take notes and analyse

Understanding your subject is really important to helps you remember it. Take read and take notes about it.


3-  Apply what you learn

Try drawing your subject from imagination.

This week you learned the anatomy of the arm, then try to draw arms in different position with no reference compare with reference, repeat until you can do it with no reference.

Apply what you learn in a scene or an illustration.

Create a short tutorial compiling what you learn during the week, it might be useful for other people and even for you when you come back to it. we tend to forget things easily and being able to review what you learn is important.

Recap on How to improve your drawings.

1- Have a clear goal, set up your study and evaluate your progress every weeks

2- Deliberate Study and Practice every day

3- Apply what you learn (By creating a piece, concept or teaching what you learned)

Dorian Cottereau