5 Steps To Instantly Improve Your Drawings

5 Steps To Instantly Improve Your Drawings

Seriously, anyone can draw.

Drawing can be easy. Sure, some people learn faster or find it easier than others, but it is a skill that anyone can acquire with a little bit of practice. If you want to draw well and learn it quickly, though, here are a few steps that can get you there.

1. Copy, don't trace

If you want to get good at drawing fast, you have to use reference photos. Rather than just try to draw from life or from photos, though, find an artist whose style you like and try to emulate them. It could be a famous artist or just someone on Twitter or Tumblr. Choose a piece you like, preferably a sketch so you can see how they drew it, and literally try to recreate it yourself. Your art won't look exactly like there's, but you'll learn by imitating. Once you finish that drawing, rinse and repeat with a different artist or piece. Over time, you'll figure out how they draw the face shape that you like or learn that the nose they draw looks better if you tweak it a little bit, and eventually start to develop your own style out of theirs. This is exactly how I learned to draw in high school. I used to copy Burdge's fanart into my sketchbooks, and my current style grew directly from that.

2. Figure draw

While nude models are best, since drawing the body without clothes is the best way to understand the way the body actually moves, it's not always easy to find them. However, your new model could just be the person sitting across from you in the library, or relaxing on the campus green, or waiting to be called at jury duty. It could be a reference photo you found online. Some of my favorite figure drawings came out of online reference galleries like Bodies in Motion or SenshiStock. If you aren't uncomfortable with nude models, though, try CroquisCafe on Youtube. The channel has hundreds of nude models pose in real time, building from thirty-second poses to five-minute poses. It also has tutorials and close-up references for harder things to master, like hands and faces.

3. Learn the human face

Once you start to learn the human face, it's really easy to fall into drawing the same face in every picture. To mix things up and really learn how facial structure works, uses reference faces. The random selection on Humanae on Tumblr is a really good resource for facial references. Choose the one you like, or just add "/random" to the end of the Humanae URL and try to draw the face you are given. If you're still having trouble with faces, try simplifying each random face you're given. Find the nose in just a few lines so you can come back to it later. Establish eye size and distance with a dot or a stroke, and then use detail. Just try to figure out how each face works before spending more than ten minutes on one person.

4. Find something that inspires you

It could be a show, a comic, a person, a song. Find something that makes you wish you could create, and then sit down and do it. If it's a story, it might be a drawing of the characters, a recreation of a scene you liked, a comic of the moments you wish had happened. If it's an album, it could be an interpretation of a lyric or of the artist. If you have your own creative work to go off of, like a short story or poem, bring that to life. Just always try to have something in your life that inspires you, because if something is urging you to create, it becomes hard to avoid it.

5. Keep drawing

You won't improve in one night. You might not improve in a week. You will improve, though, as long as you keep doing it. You don't have to carry a sketchbook around. Just doodle in the margins of your notebook. Steal some printer paper and sketch. Keep going, because it's impossible to get worse with practice.

Cover Image Credit: Phoebe Corde

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7 Famous Authors As Your Man Crush Monday

Ever wondered what Ernest Hemingway would be like if he has your #mcm?

Even though Mondays are literally the worst day of the week, they do have one thing going for them; Man Crush Monday! It is social media tradition to post your #mcm and usually it's either your significant other, or Jason Momoa, but what about... authors?

So here they are; your favorite authors as your #mcm.

1. F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald as an #mcm can be good or bad. The good part is that you will be his muse, he'll write all his Facebook posts about you, and he will buy you copious amounts of absinthe. The bad news is that he will steal all your memes (and take credit) and he might low-key call you crazy to his bro, Ernest Hemingway.

Probably listens to EDM.

2. Ernest Hemingway

Okay, Ernest Hemingway as your Man Crush Monday is just a bad idea all around. First, he'll write vague tweets about his love for you. But then he won't like any of your posts, he'll leave your messages on "read," but at least you'll live in Paris. He is the tortured soul that listens to Twenty-One Pilots. Claims to be a hippie but really, I mean, really loves to hunt.

Oh yeah, and he probably looks at older women too.

3. Nathaniel Hawthorne

Most likely has an obsession with witches, don't ask him about his hometown OR family, and probably was a goth kid in middle school. Introvert rich kid that probably doesn't like social media too much, he won't be taking snaps of you all day but will want to watch horror movie marathons. 10/10 would recommend as #mcm.

4. Ray Bradbury

He'll take you on bookshop dates but you'll get stuck in the sci-fi section of Barnes and Noble. This #mcm is the one every parent loves, is an all-around nice guy, and gets sucked into subreddits for hours. Might have strong opinions on artificial intelligence and televisions sets but won't text other girls back.

5. Hunter S. Thompson

Is the type of #mcm that will pick you in a convertible, drive through the desert, and will probably get visited by aliens. Your parents won't appreciate his... recreational activities and Hell's Angels probably has beef with him as well. Definitely falls onto the bad boy section of the Man Crush spectrum.

6. John Steinbeck

Totally boyfriend material. Vacations in Russia, farmers market every Saturday, and will want to go record shopping. He has that '90s-grunge, lead singer look going for him and that's how he made this list. Loves talking about the Dust Bowl upon meeting your parents.

7. Edgar Allan Poe

PLOT TWIST. John Cusack version of Edgar Allan Poe. Hasn't outgrown his goth phase, will buy you roses and cognac, and texts you long poems every morning. Appears to be angry for no reason. And watch out for his cousin...

Cover Image Credit: Nerd League

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"The Greatest Showman" Is Truly The Greatest, And Here's Why

You should go watch it right now. Like RIGHT now. No seriously...now.

A new year brings a new musical, and you know how we all love musicals. "The Greatest Showman" outlines the life and times of circus legend Phineas T. Barnum and his band of sideshow acts. Containing a mixture of contemporary music and historical settings, this movie holds itself to an extremely high standard, and I might even dare to say it exceeds any expectations I could've had.

*Spoiler Alert* If you haven't watched "The Greatest Showman," and you want to, just know I'm going to spoil everything for you in the rest of this article.

The movie outlines P.T. Barnum's life -- from his poor, wretched childhood to his stardom and fame. He begins as a poor tailor's boy who finds himself in a lot of trouble with his father's client for distracting his daughter from her etiquette lessons.

Little did they know, the two would fall in love and move away from her life of luxury and his life of turmoil. They didn't have much, but they were happy. They shared a love and two beautiful daughters, and that's all they needed... until P.T. lost his job.

He ended up gambling property that he didn't even have to obtain a loan from the bank to buy estate in New York and set up his new museum. But customers were not biting at the prospect of wax figures, so he went out and found what we now know as sideshow acts to create a living, breathing show.

His performers finally felt accepted, loved, and appreciated. He even took on an apprentice, Phillip Carlisle, to help him run the show. And it worked at first, until unruly and judgmental townsfolk caught wind of the show and began to riot.

P.T. lost his way in the process -- through fortune and fame his ego began to grow and his acceptance for his performers began to dim. He and his performers were invited to Buckingham Palace to perform for Queen Victoria when he met superstar European singer, Jenny Lind, and took her for an American tour that would assure both him and her fame and prominence in the American theatre circuit.

This ended very badly when Jenny began to obtain feelings for P.T., and he did not reciprocate due to being married. She ruined him by kissing him on stage and tarnishing his reputation. Then the thugs burned down his building... it all starts going downhill from here.

P.T. finally comes to his senses and realizes that his performers are not just some sideshow acts that can be mistreated and thrown to the side. They gave him everything. He realizes this finally that they have become a family, and some have even fallen in love (cough cough Anne Wheeler and Phillip Carlisle).

Phillip and P.T. go in 50/50 on a new business venture, and begin the iconic tent circus on the beach that we all know and love.

The storyline is a real underdog tale -- coming from nothing to something. However, it shows the truth about how fame can go to your head. It shows how one can be swept up in wealth and fortune and forget about the people involved. I'm personally glad the film makers added this element into the story, so that viewers get the gist of how money can change a person.

And let me just say, the soundtrack is everything. Even though it's a more modern twist on music, it's show stopping. At first, I was turned off by the idea that such an old setting could be incorporated with new music, but it actually really works. The songs are heart wrenching, emotional, and beautiful. They work perfectly.

So basically, thank you to anyone involved in this beautiful musical. Your contributions have changed my life.

And Keala Settle is an underrated singer that needs more publicity, because what a powerhouse.

Cover Image Credit: IndieWire

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