Project 2017: Learn to Draw

Want to join me this year in learning to draw? I'll be sharing techniques and resources that I'm using on my way to becoming a better artist.

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This year I’m going to learn to draw by practicing regularly every week. Want to join me?

At the end of last year, I took some time to really review the year and think through goals for the next year. I’ve done this process before, but this year was a bit different as I went deeper into why I was making certain goals and then actually mapped them out for the coming year. (By the way, I mainly used Ruth Soukup’s Productivity Guide for Bloggers to do this work, if you’re curious. It’s a course that takes you from big picture thinking all the way down to planning each day.)

One of the things I’m constantly wanting to become better at is drawing and so I decided to make “learn to draw” as my personal project for the year. I’ve been drawing on and off throughout my entire life, but I know that lack of consistent practice has kept me from really getting techniques down (like drawing realistic heads/hands/proportions.)

My goal isn’t necessarily to be able to draw a perfect representation of a person but I do want to be able to have a more realistic representation even if it is in my cartoon form. You’ll notice that even with the most simplistic of drawings, artists still make sure the proportions are correct and the facial positions make sense. Otherwise, our minds are constantly trying to correct them; i.e. “Her eyes seem too wide apart”, etc.

Want to join me this year in learning to draw? I'll be sharing techniques and resources that I'm using on my way to becoming a better artist.

Since I’m a blogger, I thought I’d share my journey with you as well as the resources that I’ll be using through the year. To make my goal more realistic, I decided to focus on a particular aspect of drawing the human form each month. The month of January will be focused on drawing heads and so on. (I do have the year mapped out for those foci but I won’t bore you with the list just yet. I’ve also made sure to have some repeat months so I can really work on areas I struggle in.)

Want to join me this year in learning to draw? I'll be sharing techniques and resources that I'm using on my way to becoming a better artist.

I’ll admit that since I’m not very good (in my mind) at this point, it’s humbling to share my work with the world because there are a lot of mistakes. That said, I figured I might as well be honest because we all have to start somewhere.

Want to join me this year in learning to draw? I'll be sharing techniques and resources that I'm using on my way to becoming a better artist.

For this month, I’ll be using four different books that I happen to have here at home already. They are:


Two of these books are technique-based (Loomis and Davenport) and the other two are children’s books who have illustrators that are really, really good. Each illustrator brings a different perspective which I think is a good thing. I’ll also probably reference Helen Oxenbury and Eloise Wilkin because their illustrations of children are so sweet.

Quick Update:

Here is another book as well as the resources I’m using this month:

  • One Drawing a Day by Veronica Lawlor — A book that has six weeks of daily prompts for drawing and mixed media. I’ve been incorporating some of these ideas so my sketchbook is filled with more than pencil sketches.
  • I’m using this 7×10 Canson Mix Media sketchbook for practicing. The thicker pages allow me to use markers, mixed media, paint, and pencil. Sometimes I apply gesso to the pages to help them be even more resilient.
  • As for what I’ll be using to draw, I use a w i d e variety of pens and pencils. My favorite pencil for sketching is the readily available Paper Mate yellow mechanical pencil. Pens are usually Sakura Gelly Roll pens, micron pens, or Uniball Signo pens. I’ve been playing with Crayola markers a lot lately, and also love Prismacolor’s colored pencils because the lead is soft and so lovely to draw with. Really, anything goes when it comes to drawing.

Also, I decided to post my drawing journey on Instagram rather than on my blog each month. This isn’t an official creative challenge for the blog so there won’t be any workbooks for you to work through. :) You are more than welcome to follow along in your own sketchbook though. The more the merrier!

Are you attempting a big creative project this year? Share it in the comments—I’d love to hear! :)