Practice, Practice, Practice.
You have all probably heard the phrase “practice makes perfect” a hundred times before, but how many people actually take it to heart? I see and hear so many comments and excuses about NOT being able to draw certain things, it is astounding! Phrases like “oh, I can’t draw hands” or “eww, I am sooo bad at horses” are commonplace, but only sometimes do I see people taking the steps to actually become better. I feel that many people give up on improving. Instead of putting the time into their issues, they carry on doing what they feel comfortable with.
10,000 hours is supposedly the amount of hours of practice to become an expert at something. Not just “good”, but expert. This is discussed in the book “Outliers”, which is an interesting book by Malcolm Gladwell. The book is largely about the factors that contribute to high level of success, and often mentions something he calls the “10,000-Hour-Rule”. He claims the key to high levels of success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for around 10,000 hours.
Many examples are brought up that seem to explain away to idea of “natural talent”, and instead prove that people who practice the most are in fact the most talented. It is an interesting read and I would recommend it!
Just do it!
Now, I am not trying to say that to become good at something, you need to practice for 10,000 hours. That is not the point. Besides, becoming good at something is much, much different than becoming an “expert!” The point is that to become a better artist, you need to actually draw and practice. To become stronger in an area in which you are weak, practice is needed. Practice practice practice, etc etc. Instead if fearing the unknown, why now take the time to learn? Yes, it may be confusing and a little frustrating, but the end result will be worthwhile.
Do you have difficulty drawing hands? Then stop hiding your characters hands behind their backs or keeping them out of frame, and spend a few days studying them! Make yourself a goal of drawing a certain number if them on scratch paper or a drawing pad, then go to town. I guarantee that anyone who has spent the time to study and draw, say, 100 disembodied hands in various poses and gestures will be much more comfortable with that particular part of the human body.
The same idea goes for other common difficulties. Some personal “toughies” for me are perspective, clothing, gesture/weight, mechanical things, and dramatic lighting. There are a great deal more items on my “needs improvement” list besides those, but they scratch the surface.
The only way for me to improve is to puff up my chest and plow forward into the possible discomfort and frustration of attempting to learn what I do not fully understand.
this is the best website ever!!!
Thank you Lisa! I’m working hard to make it even better : )
It really is!!! You and manga tutorials.com are tied in 1st place. You really help me become a better artist with all those art prompts you and others upload for others to draw!!!
love you i love your support and that your telling us to practice and that every bod can draw something.
Are you only in this project?
Wow I never thought that this could be an actual website, it’s my first time on here.
I love the generator it’s perfect for whenever you need inspiration for a drawing!
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Great website
It really is
it really is
I agree, this is so awesome. I just found this today, and already it has helped me a lot.
I KILLED YOUR FATHER
yes it certainly is!
yeah it is
YES! I TOTALLY AGREE!! ✍🏾😝
i agree. I made my own little universe using this site
Taylor! I am so impressed with your site and your writing!!! I would LOVE to share this post with my readers. I would need you to ‘spin’ it a bit so it is 30% different so we don’t get dinged by Google for duplicate content. I could do that for you if you want. What do you think?
Where are your social share buttons??!! No one can tweet your posts.
Hi Lori. Thank you for your praise! I must say it feels nice to know that you like my website. I have social media, but it is private.
Oh my God. HI LORIIIIIII!!!!!
I’m so glad this what the link brought me to! I had clicked on the “#1 thing to get better at drawing” link thinking that someone was going to try and sell the ” best pencil” or the “best paper” and it turned out to be this article. I am so glad you wrote this article and this website. I use it for my work a lot!!
This really inspired me to practice what I’m not good at. If I never read this I would never have practiced with my clothing! Thank you!
Right now I am a 13-year-old boy in year 8 working towards becoming a logo designer in the future. I adore drawing but I’m not particularly “talented” but I just say to myself enough practice will get me there XD
I LOVE THIS WEBSITE SO MUCH <3<3<3
What a clear, real and refreshing site and thank you search engine for bringing me here.
10,000 hours isn’t accurate; I know the study that came from lead by a psychologist at a university. You probably don’t have the resources to accurately measure the time you actually work; you will likely pause to think or daydream or do life stuff. A realistic figure would be 3-5 years because all the other activities as a human you HAVE to do which divides that 10,000 hours.
After that logistical problem, you have long term memory and elasticity where the only real science is figuring out the time it takes you to forget something. You basically have to remind yourself what you learn. The more you use it the longer it takes to become un-retrievable from long-term memory.
If there was such a primitive science to learning skills everyone would be scientists and artists..
Thank you for your comment! I am sure the logistics could be discussed until the cows come home, but the basic message of the post is this: practicing things makes you better at those things. Wouldn’t you agree? It is probably impossible to determine the exact number of hours to become “expert” at anything, because that is such a subjective term!
I truly do think that anyone can be a scientist or artist, as long as they have the drive and discipline to spend years and years practicing and honing their craft!
They specifically gave a time-frame though. Of course practice makes you better at things.
Another aspect there is no science to is whether there is a difference between a well practiced talent and a natural talent who’s practiced. Natural talents learn things in 1/3 the time and tend to retain the information better. They also have a higher correctness rate and with art a rate of approval of work.
These are things nobody talks about. Academic researchers don’t care they just write up things for grants and go play golf.. Months later they do days worth of loose tests to justify the funding..
You probably just wasted ten minutes of your life typing out an annoying smart aleck comment that nobody cared about. And honestly, we weren’t going to measure out each and every minute. So thanks for wasting our time and annoying us 😀
Why are you reading this if you think it is ‘A Waste Of Time’? You are probably just a petty 10 year old who thinks they can draw better than Van Gogh. Grow up you internet troll.
Um? As a matter of fact, I myself am 10. I just thought that assuming someone’s age and calling them “petty” is a bit rude, I guess. I don’t think I draw better than Van Gogh, but I think for being ten, I draw pretty well. Point is, are you saying that all ten-year-olds can’t draw well?
I actually have my art up on my mother’s website (who is a part-time artist) for purchase. My DECENT art I got ideas from by using the site.
Listen, I know I might be a bit late but… I bet that ten year old can draw a lot better than a smack talker like you ;).
Plus, ‘internet troll’? Is that the best you got?
There are a few things I would like to point out about your reply ‘E *-*’.
1. Your attitude. This is supposed to be positive, not negative. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
2. Don’t assume. For all we know, s/he could be a ‘petty 10 year old who thinks they can draw better than Van Gogh’, but don’t just say that to people you don’t know. What if they can draw better than Van Gogh? And when you called s/he an ‘internet troll’? Right now, you are sounding more like an internet troll if I’ve ever seen one than them.
3. Mind your own business. You have no right to be calling them out for something they never did. And s/he read that reply because it was on this page. Apparently you must think her reply is a waste of time, based on your comment about them being a troll. Also, how could they know that the comment would be a waste of time without reading it first?
Lesson learned; think about what you say, before you say it, dumba$$.
I read your comment and I felt the need to say: this is a very unfair accusation. I understand that when you said “You are probably just a petty 10 year old who thinks they can draw better than Van Gogh,” you were also being, as you said, downright petty. You do have a point, sort of, because Cameron was being a little rude – but there’s no need to judge people’s lives, ages, and opinions by one innocuous comment.
You are both assholes
It is a nice article, very motivating and informative, practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect, as you can practice it wrong, therefor you will do it wrong. It is a very good article, and I enjoy the website and your talent, I just want to get this one thing out there.
That is the joy of art, though: people and ‘experts’ can write all the rules they want, but art is yours to make your own. Unless you’re aiming for some kind of accurate semi-realism or similar, you can do what you like and, as long as you intend for it to look that way, it will never be ‘wrong’.
I might add, that
1. Just sketching on the backside of worksheets/homework helps A LOT
2. PRACTICE DOES NOT MAKE PERFECT- PERFECT practice makes perfect (If you’re just messing around, joking and scribbling, I’m not sorry to say, you will not get better)
Actually, no one is perfect, so practice does not make perfect. In my opinion, it makes PERMANENT. There’s a difference, and I hope more people understand this.
I say practice makes PROGRESS. Because no one will be perfect at anything, except being them. But you can get better.
Brilliant brilliant article ! I personally think that practice does makes perfect as the enthusiast always looks to improve, to progress, at one point he will realize that the cool things to draw can become even cooler through small changes, little little modifications can go a long way.
At least you explained what is drawing practice.
Sometimes I see that artists are throwing word “practice” like a vademecum for everything, without explaining what do they mean.
– How to draw?
But practice WHAT?
Practice marking aimlessly on paper?
Practice getting hatred towards drawing?
Practice getting frustrated that you aren’t making any progress whatsoever?
I can practice this 24/7!
Either way, nice article. Thanks.
I think when deciding *what* to practice, it is worth thinking about your ultimate goals. For example, someone with aspirations of being a fine artist would need to practice very different skills than someone wanting to illustrate comic books. Someone who is only interested in drawing animals would need to practice differently than someone only interested in drawing environments.
As for “what” to practice: what gets you excited? Who are your favorite artists? What would you feel proud about having/showing off in your sketchbook? THAT is what you should be practicing.
Another idea is to look at your current art and pick it apart in an honest and constructive way, deciding what needs work. For example, my drawings are stylized and look like a mix of western and manga comic book art, but I can obviously see that I need to work on the anatomy of the arm , wrist, and hand. I can obviously see that my poses are often stiff and awkward. Now I know what to practice next ; )
Thanks for the thoughts, it could make an interesting blog post all on its own! Hmm, maybe I’l have to address it : )
I am a fiber artist, mostly and a retired art teacher of 38 years. I want to be a painter, too, not just paint but paint enough to be able to call myself a painter, if you know what I mean. I am following my musician husband’s mentor’s advice: “Make 100 reeds for clarinets and then you will know how to make a reed.” Translating this thought to my learning to be a painter of flowers, I will paint 100 paintings of flowers and maybe I will figure out how to do it the way that makes me happy. I am drawn to abstracts but am not a natural painter so I will work this creative process until it feels right. This is going to take some time. I have made 17 paintings so far…. then I think I will will work on the human figure, and perhaps landscapes and then who knows. I do know that I am developing better studio habits by working at this with more intent.
i’m still practice practice
Love the tips! Thank you so much!!!
I am getting better and better at drawing because I saw this site.
I’ve never seen a site like this but I am so extremely happy I found it. It’s so amazing. It actually inspires me. Sometimes you just can’t think of something, all creativity seems lost, but this website actually helps with that. amazing!
This is Super helpful and this website is awesome!
I absolutely love this website!! I come here all the time when I can’t think of anything to draw!!
Thanks, sometimes you just need someone to remind you. I love this sight, it’s such an inspiration.
Thanks so much! I just started drawing ALOT a couple montys ago and i will become a better artist because of this site thanks!😉👍
i usually have a lack of creativity but i really want to draw everyday everynight and so on , your site really helps me , especially the artpromts that i get , thanks!
I hope this sites helps spark some inspiration in your drawings and get you excited!
You also need the talent, otherwise you’ll improve just a little bit
Hey there, admin here!
Talent is synonymous with skill – The more a person mindfully practices, the better they will become. Some people might have to practice more than others, because everyone comes into the hobby with a slightly different skill level. Someone who understands the basics of figure drawing/proportion will improve quicker than someone who has never drawn before!
In a different example, someone who has experience playing the flute and reading music might be faster at learning a new skill – say the guitar – than someone who is starting to learn the guitar who has no experience with music at all!
What I’m saying is that improvement happens after lots of mindful, diligent practice. Talent has nothing to do with it, because talent just means that someone has prior experiences that lend themselves to being at a higher level when they start.
A person with no skill in drawing WILl improve by leaps and bounds with practice!
Thank you so much for this comment. When I was younger, and used to draw out in the open in my classrooms, I got a lot of “oh, you’re so talented!” from lots of people. I was always mildly perplexed by these people. Didn’t they know that I was good because I practiced? I wasn’t born knowing how to shade and color and sketch as deftly as I would when I’m, say, twenty. But thank you for putting into words what I felt my entire childhood. <3
I’ve tried to work on my drawings and have always thought they’ve looked weird. I try different styles and always find myself in a loop of going back and forth through the same styles. If anyone knows what to do and could help me, that would be awesome!
Hey there, admin here!
I have experienced this, too. Instead of trying different styles, I may suggest studying realism for a bit. By “realism”, I mean anatomy studies.
For example, super stylized styles like manga are fun to draw and play with, but without a good grasp of anatomy it can be difficult to get good results.
Even though an art style is really exaggerated, anatomical rules still need to be followed for a drawing to look good. Are the ears in the right place? Is the head in proportion to the body? Are the eyes in the correct place on the head? Do the shoulders connect to the body correctly? Are the arms the right length?
That is why I would suggest studying realistic proportions first, then after you start to understand the proportional rules of the body, play around with stylizing and exaggerating them!
I would suggest books by Andrew Loomis – they’re must-have classics.
I am only 9 and this thing works great! I expect that this is for big grown ups but it is still amazing for me! My brother is a great artist but is not the best. I have recommended this too him and now this is the only thing he uses to get ideas!!! Keep up the great work ArtPrompt!!!
Hey! I just found your comment and we have the same names!!! How cool is that! And same I tried doing realism a few weeks ago and I TRIED to draw a strawberry dripping chocolate but it looks like a marshmallow. Idk why i wanted to say that but yeah there ☺️
BEST WEBSITE EVER. Love the advice, I too just gave up on drawing but know Im back in the game/
Gosh,I love this website so much! Its helped many times with my drawing skills!
i love to draw ppl and flowers and aspecially spooky things
such practical and true advice, thank you for putting perspective into this!
aww thank you so much for this post♡ now I knoq I just need to practice and practice so I could become a good artist someday
Practice must be the key, because I notice improvement in my art every day. ^u^
Would you consider your website to be appropriate for 11-18 year olds to use? Is it monitored in any way for inappropriate content etc? I like your generator and want to use it in my classroom.
Every prompt goes through me (admin!) and is monitored and usually re-written to correct spellings. And I have a huge backlog! There is nothing explicit and I think it is fine for the kiddos : )
I suck at drawing hands
Hands are the WORST
I’m so proud of my drawing I made with ArtPrompts, make more prompts please,
And what should do a person who commited herself to practice everyday, for 2 years, just to see the outcome of becoming worse than at the start? I’m asking seriously.
I don’t think it is possible to become worse at anything after two years of practicing with intention and focus. Have you been studying? What is it you are practicing?
I am so glad I found this website! This is such a useful website, and I love the interface. It looks friendly and not so techy, makes me feel like I am still being creative while looking at my laptop. Thank you for your tips.
Thanks a bunch, I’m happy you’re finding the site useful! That is why I made it and it makes me glad to hear 😉
I love this website the prompts have helped me with so many pieces of work that I am so so so so so proud of!
Thank you thank you thank you keep up the good work!
I’ve been drawing for 7 years and I’m nowhere near mastery.
Though, I see an improvement every month or so.
BEST WEBSITE I HAVE EVER BEEN ON!!!
This website is the thank you so much i improved so much and I’m one of those young artists I’m ten years old 🙂 thank you!!
So I almost read all the responses from everyone, so to get the big feeling of what you all have said and to apply it to my experiences in practicing, this is what I’ve found to be true, without a professor or a university of learned teachers and philosophers watching and waiting for me to say something, only to be micromanaged by each and every single person. So here’s what I got, yes, got. I practiced soccer before the sun came up and before I had to go to school, I used soccer angles in math class to help me better understand problems. I ate lunch with soccer friends and talked soccer and then after school was out we went to soccer practice. I practiced my shots at goal from every angle I felt I was weak at, how did I know I was weak at that angle, after I played a soccer match, I found certain areas were much too tough to achieve the power I needed to make that goal from there or I needed much too much speed or maybe I needed more creativity to make that incredible shot from that angle. So when it came time to practice, that’s what I did, to get better, and I practiced it wrong until I figured out how to make it right. Many players would watch me and try to copy me and they would wait and watched as they came up one by one and tried to mimic me as I showed them it can be done. So what I’m trying to say here is, stop watching and waiting for your answer to magically appear and stop being frustrated because you can’t see the final answer to complete your task because it is, your task. All the decisions you make about what you do are yours and yours alone and the failures and the accomplishments, but to get there, you have to practice.
This website is the best!!! I feel like it has made me a much better artist! ♥♥♥♥
I absolutely love this! People in my year level usually say “I couldn’t draw that even if I tried” and i just reply “Just keep on practising and you’ll get better” but they always push it aside and continue to complain.
Thank you so much for writing this! I’m an artist in high school and I’m so worried that I’m not going to put together a good portfolio for college in time. This just inspired me a lot, as did this whole website. Thanks so much admin!!!
Thank you, thank you, THANK you for making this article, and especially, this site. This has saved me sooooo many times! I can never think of anything to draw, and these are simple, quick drawings that turn out to be beautiful. I have been inspired, and learned many new techniques along the way. With these new skills, I have made many more pieces. My favorite drawings I’ve made from this site is ‘the man took a sip of his scotch while looking at the snow fall out the window.’, ‘fruity ninja’, (one about eyes but I don’t remember what it is), ‘A winged warrior is looking off a cliff onto the aftermath of a bloody battle’ (or something like that), and ‘Running to catch the bus’. I cannot thank you enough. Thanks!
This is the most amazing drawing prompt website I have come across!!! This was amazing, I have become a MUCH better artist because of this 🙂 THANK YOU <3
I have just started to draw this academic year and have been practising a lot. I use this website for prompt ideas and I have come out of my ‘comfort zone’. Would recommend to another artist friend of mine. Great stuff
I really love this website. It helps when I can’t really think of anything amusing to draw.
Oh my gosh!!! I think I have a new obsession with this website! I use it all the time! Thank you soooo much!!😊🥳
Thank you so much! This website has been so helpful to me!
Wow, this is a really long sketchbook page!
it has enough space enough to PRACTICE ON;
Thanks so much this is such a realistic site I’m glad that I found it.😁
almost 2 years since the last comment. 😎👉👉
Also it is a great site.👍
OMG this is so helpful!!! Especially because I’m experiencing an art block 😭 thanks for everything!!!