Creating a drawing ritual to make a small drawing a day is magic to boost your drawing skills and to your mental and emotional health.
The most difficult part for me is to get started. Everybody has his own tips & tricks.
The best place to keep a drawing ritual is in a sketchbook, so you keep a record of your work. My sketchbook is my playground. Some drawings I show on Instagram, to boost my practice. But a lot of drawings I don’t show to anyone.
There’s no wrong way to keep a sketchbook. It’s always very personal.
Here are the best conditions for me to get me drawing: the key is to slow down, to create a sustainable habit.
- So take time to slow down. Set aside time for your sketchbook. It can be in the morning, at lunchtime, or at the end of the day. According to what fits best in your life. Even if it’s only 15 minutes. That’s time for a small drawing. Like your cup of tea in the morning or evening.
- Set the mood and ritual, like when you go to sleep. Before sitting down, I make a cup of tea or pour myself a glass of wine, put on some jazz music and I make sure I won’t be disturbed. (put away my phone).
- Find inspiration : there’s no bad subject. Every subject that you like is a good subject. I’m always in the mood for drawing a cup of tea if I don’t know what to draw. But it can be ANY subject you like or that has a story for you. Don’t make it complicated if you don’t have a lot of time: draw something small. Set yourself up for success. You don’t need to pressure yourself to make a masterpiece. We’re just playing. Writing inspirational quotes in your sketchbook can also be inspiring. Or just draw your favorite drawing tool.
- Start small with big dreams : a drawing a day can make you go a long way. That’s how I started my books… I am making my third book now, just by making a drawing a day, or a part of a drawing… Sometimes I start a drawing, and I finish it the next day. Don’t put too much pressure, but enough pressure to keep yourself going and to see an evolution in your skills.
- Keep your art supplies at hand if you want to draw every day. Don’t put them away. If you don’t have enough room to leave them on a desk, put them aside in a box which you can quickly take out. If you put them out of sight in a far away cupboard the resistance will be too big to take them out…. Ideally you prepare them for the next day so you see them and they’re always ready to use.
Are some of these tips useful for you?
Do you have other habits and rituals to help you draw every day? Or at least some days per week?
And do you have one sketchbook a time? Or do you have thematic sketchbooks?
I have a sketchbook per country I travel in. In the picture is my London sketchbook, and now I’m in Bordeaux, so I took my France sketchbook. I have another sketchbook in which I sketch only tea cups and coffee cups, and then I have a sketchbook in which I do “all kinds of stuff” and try outs which I think might turn out ugly…. 😉
thank you !
Getting started is hard for several reasons. There are physical reasons. And then there are mental reasons. My brain is tired all of the time. But reasons are along these lines: I want to read (ALWAYS). I want to watch the news (I’m a junkie for left-leaning news programs). My psychological best time (I think many of us have a more productive time of day than other times) is night. The spirit is willing. The flesh is weak. But I have some ideas. One is to copy flowers or trees from nature guide books.
Thank you for your ideas Mary! Indeed it’s important to know for ourselves, what’s the best time! And that’s a great idea to copy flowers !
I want to try flowers myself! For the moment I’m into tea cups!!
I have one sketchbook and I do everything in it. I’m just a beginner and some of my drawings are not so good, but I like them. Yes your tips were helpful. Sometimes it’s hard for me because I’m so tired from a busy day.
THank you Marisol! I know the feeling…. After a work day I really have to force myself, thinking about how good I will feel after the sketching time…