For those of us who love drawing but don’t get to do it as often as we might like, it’s easy to end up taking an accidental months long break between drawing sprees – and when we do return, finding that the skills we had so lovingly developed are no longer quite up to scratch. Luckily, all it takes is a little bit of time and effort to get back up to our previous level, and there are plenty of ways to practise your skills in the comfort of your own home and garden. We’ve put together a few suggestions here!
- Sports equipment
This may seem like an odd suggestion, and it is – but often everyday objects can be unusual to draw, and have hidden details that we don’t normally notice which make for excellent practice. For example, the patterns on a football are great practice for working on curves, and the strings in tennis and badminton rackets are amazing for working in your attention to detail. Even the humble tennis ball or cricket ball can be great drawing subjects to help you practice capturing different textures.
Drawing birds is a great opportunity to capture delicate shapes and movement, and if you get as far as adding colour the different shades and mixtures of colours on common birds can be breathtaking. Drawing birds is also a great opportunity to practise shading, as the way their bodies move often throws light in interesting ways.
- Familiar objects
If you look around your home, you will notice many common objects which have faded into the background of your consciousness but would actually be fascinating to draw. For example, around the holidays, why not take a closer look at some tinsel – the way the light reflects of it and all the layers of coloured foil present a genuinely interesting drawing challenge that would be fantastic practice. Ther common objects which can help you practice drawing are vases (with or without flowers), kitchen cabinets (for the details and perspective), or draped fabric such as unfolded laundry or curtains.
Many people struggle with drawing animals, but that’s exactly why they can be a great way to practice. Drawing something that’s outside your comfort zone forces you to use techniques outside of your comfort zone and to try and observe your subject in a different way. Any animal will work, but if you have pets obviously these are animals you have easy access too – and it can be an advantage to draw an animal you know, as you’ll feel encouraged to inject a little character into your sketch.
- Interesting buildings
As well as being visually interesting and a good exercise in noticing the details around you, drawing buildings can be an excellent way to practice drawing perspective well. The way the walls and windows recede into the distance and how those angles relate to the angles of the ground receding as well offer a complicated but measurable practice pallet for drawing perspective that will help you get your eye in before progressing ro drawings that require a more instinctive approach to perspective, like a country landscape.
If you’ve been putting off getting your sketchbook back out because you don’t know what too draw, and you’re worried how far your skills have fallen – don’t worry. At least one of the suggestions on this list will help you get back up to snuff!