Shop Talk

Improve Your Drawing Skills With A Little Practice

In our post on writing fiction last week, one of the writers spoke about the importance of writing daily, not just for pleasure or to meet a deadline, but as practice which will ultimately help you improve your writing skills. Just a footballer may focus on specific areas of their game in a training session, there are exercises which writers and artists can set themselves as practice. These exercises can be valuable as they not only allow us to work on improving specific techniques, they also free us from the constraints and pressures of creating works for an audience. Today we’re going to take a look at some simple drawing exercises.

Contour Drawing (or continuous line drawing) is a technique which is great for loosening up your linework and developing hand eye coordination. The technique is self explanatory – all you need to do is to draw without lifting your pen or pencil from the page so the line remains unbroken. The technique forces you to loosen your hand and to draw more figuratively, focusing on instinct rather than on detail and accuracy.

Once you’ve practiced creating some basic continuous line drawings, you might like to try these variations as further practice. These exercises will help hand eye coordination and observation skills as well as increasing your confidence.

  1. Set yourself a time limit. See what you can create in two, five or ten minutes.
  2. Try speed drawing. Ramp up your speed and focus less on accuracy.
  3. Try drawing ‘blind’ or without looking at the page at all.
  4. Vary the pressure to create different line weights. This will help add depth and volume.


If you have a spare ten minutes in the next few days, we’d love to see what you can come up with using these practice techniques. If you have used a similar technique for your own drawing practice, we’d also love to hear what works for you, as well as any additional tips you have for other bubblers. And if you’d like to share your own works with others, why not check out one of the many drawing groups on Redbubble.