5 Steps To Instantly Improve Your Drawings

5 Steps To Instantly Improve Your Drawings

Seriously, anyone can draw.
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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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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Things To Do When You're So Bored All You Want To Do Is Cry

Do something artsy

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Everyone has times when they have nothing to do and boredom strikes way too hard. From experience, I have found some top things to do when you literally have nothing else to do!

1. Clean

Not super fun, but will keep you busy.

2. Netflix

Find a new show to binge watch. Watched them all? Rewatch something you haven't seen in a while!

3. Shopping

Retail therapy can always keep you busy.

4. Make a home cooked meal

Spend some time in the kitchen and make something yummy! Even invite some friends.

5. Visit friends/ family

Pop in on some people you care about that you haven't seen in a while!

6. Write

Writing is something we all do and is a great way to express ourselves!

7. Exercise

Hit the gym or go for walk, do something to keep you nice and fit.

8. Volunteer

Go to an animal shelter, food bank, museums, or anywhere in your area that needs help.

9. Look for a job

If you're bored, maybe getting a part time job will keep you a little occupied. Plus it's extra money in your pocket.

10. Draw/ do something artsy

Even if you think you're a bad artist, drawing is something fun to do! You'll get better in time.

11. Join an Odyssey Team!

Writing articles through the Odyssey is an amazing experience and can always keep you busy!

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