Developing a Drawing Technique

Approach drawing as you would any physical activity — warm up and loosen your muscles. You're going to be spending a lot of time engaged in this activity. Establishing good working habits now can prevent drawing-related injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Learn the proper way to handle a drawing instrument. One of the most common mistakes beginners make is drawing from the wrist. When you draw, your entire arm should be in motion. Planting your elbow on the drawing table and using your wrist to move the pen will result in stilted curves and awkward lines. When you use your entire arm to draw, your drawing will be much more graceful and attractive.

Try to make a habit of loosening up with a few sketches before you start illustrating. These don't have to be your best attempts. You're just waking your muscles up and preparing them for some specialized activity. You might practice drawing a few gestures you'll be planning to implement in the illustration. Remember, though, these are just sketches — don't get caught up in making them pretty.

When you're working on an illustration, you can reference your earlier sketches for inspiration. You'll find all sorts of details you can incorporate into your drawing. You'll be surprised how vividly you remember the angles and the gestures of the object. It will lend an air of credibility and authority to your illustration.

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