As I’ve been teaching drawing since 2004, I came to understanding what mistakes every art student makes on his/her path. Today I’d like to list the most common mistakes and to provide you with the solution to each of them.
- I have crooked lines that make my drawing look uneven.
Fix: Work on the perfection of your drawing by checking the “anatomy” of your shapes in a mirror for possible mistakes. When you look at your image in the mirror, your mind reads the information differently, allowing you to see the mistakes. The same happens when you look at your artwork upside down.
- My drawing lacks clarity.
Fix: Always shade right to the edge of your outline without leaving the uneven, white spaces. When we shade we have the tendency to lose the edge. As a result our drawing falls apart by becoming uniformly soft, lacking focus and definition. While not everything should be defined or outlined, most students have a problem of not “connecting” the numerous lines (in other words, making the shading even).
So, outline the edge with the line of the correct value (tone) and shade right to that edge to restore the original outline.
This video illustrates the concept: https://youtu.be/GaDyhypmWwY
- My drawing looks messy.
When we sketch out the lines graphite tends to smear all over the place. It’s important to keep the drawing clean to give a nice impression of a finished work even if it’s not finished. While it sounds obvious, you won’t believe how many students make messy drawings!
If you draw in colored pencil, it’s vital to keep all the graphite pencil marks super light and avoid smudging as much as possible.
Fix: the kneaded eraser is your best bet! It doesn’t leave any residue on paper and erases softly.
4. The objects in my drawing escape or fall off the page.
Start your sketch with the envelope where you mark the top, bottom and sides of your objects. Then draw inside those markings without “leaving” the envelope.
5. I focus on drawing the contour so hard, but it never looks right when I’m done.
Fix: always make directional lines first, and position your shape over that line. This technique gives you the right rotation & position of your subjects in space.
6. I don’t know where to start shading.
Fix: start shading from your darkest shadows! Then continue to your mid tones and finish up with the lightest shading around the highlights.
Hope it helps! And now you can go and create your masterpiece following these tips. 😁