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Art Tips

What I Wish I Knew When I Started Drawing!

Mar 25, 2022
1 comment

Sometimes when all you see is the work of industry pros, improving your own work can feel impossible! But every professional illustrator had to start somewhere, and just like everyone else, they have made countless mistakes and faced creative setbacks along the way. 

Learning from these amazing artists can be one of the best ways to avoid making the same mistakes in your artistic journey. 

I started my own creative journey 8 years ago, and although this is quite a short time when it comes to illustration, I have learned a lot along the way! 

So, here are a few things I wish I knew when I started out:

Study anatomy as much as possible!

This one may seem obvious, but when I was starting out I avoided doing studies because I wanted to draw full artworks straight away. However, form is a foundational part of an illustration, so I don’t recommend skipping it like I used to! Anatomy studies may seem boring, but there are actually a bunch of different ways to approach them.

Leonardo da Vinci Source: Artcrimearchive.net

Some Anatomy Study Methods Include:

  • Take a life drawing class.
  • Watch your favourite movie and jot down different characters’ poses and expressions.
  • Create medical illustrations in the style of Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches.
  • Draw characters of all different ages.
  • Study pose images online and then draw cool outfits over your figure sketches.
  • Combine human poses with animals or inanimate objects to create something totally new!

Draw whatever motivates you, because motivation can be hard to come by!

As an artist, it is easy to get caught up with only creating content that you think other people will enjoy, rather than working on your own passion projects. Whilst this can help you get more exposure, the best illustrations are going to be the ones you are passionate about! When you are motivated you are going to see a huge difference in the quality of your art and if you love what you are drawing, the chances are heaps of other people will too! You aren’t always going to have inspiration, so when you do, you should always make the most of it!

Rhea Tibbey (@rheatibbey)

Expensive materials won’t make you a better artist!

There are so many exciting art tools out there, but when it comes to improving your art, having the most expensive tools is not going to replace hours of practice time! Luckily for beginners, this means you are going to see improvement even if you do all your sketches with a $1 ball-point pen on printer paper. Experimenting with whatever you can find can be one of the best ways to create unique, eye-catching artworks. So remember, learning to create can be as affordable as you need it to be!

Learn from other artists!

One of the best ways to improve is to learn from a professional. Unfortunately, in-person classes are not always readily available for everyone. This is why online sources like 21 Draw are the perfect way to boost your creativity! At 21 Draw we offer a range of different illustration-based subjects taught by INDUSTRY PROS so that you can access the creative knowledge you need to grow your illustration skills, anywhere and anytime!


Rhea is an Australian concept artist who is currently studying at Griffith University. She is passionate about spreading her love of art to others.

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1 comment
June 26, 2022

Thanks for this. My young daughter has developed an interest in drawing & sketching, so was trying to convince me she needed a lot of expensive equipment & was frustrated that she was not perfect after a few weeks. This has helped her rethink how she approaches it.

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