Are you looking to take your drawing skills to the next level? Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, there are always new techniques to explore and improve your craft. In this article, we’ll share 14 unique and effective ways to enhance your drawing abilities.

1. Pay Attention to Contours


One common mistake many beginners make is focusing too much on the shapes within an object’s outline, rather than the outlines themselves. The edges are where the colors blend, creating high-toned areas. Instead of using black outlines, try using medium to high tint colors. For example, drawing with Terracotta for leather will bring out the natural tones, while outlining with a royal blue pencil can depict light-catching objects like a blue roof on a sunny day. This technique also helps establish focal points, drawing the viewer’s attention.

2. Create Color Harmony


When working with a wide color palette, it’s easy to lose control and create a chaotic look. To achieve color harmony, use soft background colors as the base. After transferring your drawing to watercolor paper, apply a thin layer of a mix of bright blue and cadmium red paint. This creates a cohesive array of colors as subsequent layers blend with the original background layer.

3. Capture Natural Forms


Water-based paints like acrylics are perfect for depicting natural forms such as clouds, foliage, and groves. Let the water do most of the work by relaxing your body and reducing control of the brush. Create random movements smoothly, allowing the edges to blend naturally. The less control you have over your wrist, the more natural the results will be.

4. Use Your Brush Wisely


Avoid treating your brush like a pencil with precise strokes. Instead, relax your brush and use the full range of motion of your wrist. Make strokes by rotating the brush continuously without pressing down too hard. This technique creates a continuous flow of natural shapes and colors and allows you to soften the edges.

See also  A Guide to Creating a Delightful Transitional Kitchen Design

5. Use White Sparingly


Most of the skin tones in paintings can be achieved using the natural white of the paper. Use white paint sparingly, reserving it for highlights. Too much white can make the drawing appear less vivid. Plan the painting before applying the brush and determine the positions of the highlights, such as on a woman’s cheekbones, nose, and chin.

6. Select the Right Pencil


Use different pencils for different aspects of your artwork. Prismacolor Premier pencils are great for correcting errors and refining solid forms at the end of the drawing process. Prismacolor Verithins, on the other hand, are better for clean outlines and fine details. They are also water-soluble, making them suitable for acrylic washes. Choose the appropriate pencil for each part of your work.

7. Transform Your Sketches


Transferring a sketch to the final surface can sometimes result in losing the vibrancy of the original lines. Instead, consider printing your sketches directly onto watercolor paper with archival pigments. This preserves the spirit of your lines and saves hours of work. To enhance the transition, adjust the backlight until only the brush strokes are visible and trace the contours with colored pencils.

8. Embellish With Metallic Materials


Adding depth to your drawing can be achieved by embellishing it with metallic materials. Gold leaf and Pebeo paints are excellent options that appeal to professional collectors. Before embellishing, apply a thin matte layer to the image to protect the canvas and create the necessary roughness. For Pebeo Paint, an oil-based metallic medium, use a straw to drip drops of gold glitter onto the finished paint. Remove any excess material after allowing the paint to dry for at least 48 hours.

9. Polish Your Artwork


Polishing your artwork involves working extensively with washes and diluted colors. Overlay layers of color to change the brightness and shape of the drawing. A painting typically consists of 50 to 80 layers, depending on the watercolor technique used. Use the wet-on-wet technique for large areas that require smooth edges, such as horse muscle textures. For delicate details with sharp edges, use the wet-on-dry watercolor technique, such as for ribbons.

See also  How Big Can a House Be?

10. Blend Your Strokes


Brushes can create compositions with great impact, but achieving smooth gradients often requires blending. Dilute the color with water and apply light touches to blur the lines. Patiently layer paint on top of each other to gradually soften the edges, similar to ironing clothes on low heat. Avoid pressing the brush too hard, as it can ruin the image. Use a neutral pencil to blend stubborn strokes.

11. Treat Acrylic Like Watercolor


Acrylics are incredibly versatile. Treat them like watercolors by diluting and blending strokes. Unlike watercolors, acrylics offer longer-lasting colors, allowing you to paint boldly and create a variable range of color gamuts. Add subtle hints of warmth by mixing a few drops of Golden High-Flow Acrylic with water.

12. Digitize Your Artwork


Many artists overlook the importance of digitizing their finished paintings for future use. High-resolution digital scans are essential for advertising, giclée printing, licensing, and more. Consider using a Cruse scanner, which captures the nuances of brush strokes without touching the surface. If a Cruse scanner is not available, the Epson 11000XL is a reliable alternative.

13. Create Natural Edges


Adding jagged edges to the paper gives your artwork an authentic touch. Use a straight edge ruler to rip the edges of the watercolor paper instead of using an X-acto knife. This simple technique differentiates your painting as an original piece of art and prepares it for unique framing options.

14. Frame Your Artwork


Drawing on watercolor paper offers the advantage of leaving the entire artwork exposed without hiding the paper’s edges. Frame your artwork in a shiny box frame by gluing it to the top of a foam sheet and positioning it within the frame. This creates a suspended appearance, highlighting the unique qualities of your drawing. Ensure the frame is large enough to accommodate the front glass, adhesive foam, and the back.

Now that you have 14 new techniques to explore, it’s time to put them into practice and watch your drawing skills soar. Remember to digitize your finished work and create high-quality scans for future opportunities. Keep enhancing your skills and enjoy the journey of artistic growth!

To learn more about drawing techniques and explore a wide range of artistic inspiration, visit Caravansarai.