Improve Drawing Skills and Artwork Design for Your Silk Painting

To strengthen your artwork design ability, you need to know how to improve your drawing skills. When you are a dancer, you have to undertake a series of ‘warm up’ or stretching exercises; it is no different with drawing.

You need to develop some ‘warm up exercises’ to get the right side of the brain active, as your creativity comes from the right side of the brain. The best way to do this is to make your left hand do a lot of work. If you are already left handed, then try using your right hand; it can still activate the creativity that you may not have fully explored.

Some simple ‘warm up’ exercises to try:-

1. Drawing with a continuous line (don’t lift the pen until you are finished); use a rolling tip ink jell type of pen. This will help you achieve a continuous line.

2. Try drawing two handed at the same time; it is best to try this when drawing a symmetrical subject e.g. a face. Again, use a continuous line.

3.  Draw with the opposite hand that you normally write with; this activates the creative side of your brain and helps you to look more carefully at what it is you are drawing. Once you improve your observation techniques, your drawing will improve. Again, use a continuous line.

4. Use a ruler to make all your lines straight; this is a way to brake you of the habit of trying to make something look a certain way – the hard line forces different result to what you may be thinking  of.

Do your warm up exercises for at least an hour a day. Then do another hour of drawing the same objects using your normal writing/drawing hand. At first, still use a continuous line, then gradually draw as you normally wood. If you do not notice a marked improvement…then you are probably cheating and not following the ‘warm up’ exercises as explained!

Creative Drawing Exercises

In this set of drawings (completed by a lass in year 11 at a Victorian secondary college) you will note that in the top two sketches she is able to capture the character of her fellow student by drawing with her opposite hand and emphasising line. The bottom left image is actually made up by tearing up small pieces of newspaper and gluing them to her drawing while emphasising both tome and texture. In the bottom right hand drawing she is using pencil and drawing with her normal hand; she is emphasising tone.

You can book in for silk painting lessons which include lessons for drawing and design skills.

35 thoughts on “Improve Drawing Skills and Artwork Design for Your Silk Painting

  1. anne

    The article gives lots of useful information about how to improve drawing skills. I also agree that practicing exercises mentioned in the article will help a painter to be more efficient and creative.

  2. cherrrieee

    I am a singer, and I do warm ups and exercises daily with my voice. Never thought of how this would help me with my drawing skills. Very interesting.

  3. Jane Westable

    These are wonderful ideas and tips for drawing, especially trying to use your opposite hand. Really opens up new possibilities.

  4. DeeDee

    These are all very great tips for those who are interested in perfecting this art! I’m sure you’ll help out a lot of frustrated people with this.

  5. Mike Gerke

    I find these tips to warm up and stimulate the right side of my brain fascinating. I’m a musician, but not much of an artist, although on three occasions over the last 25 years I’ve managed to tap into something in my right side of my brain and produce amazingly realistic pencil drawings, headshots from a photo. I actually turned the photo upside down to do the drawings and once done, turned the drawing right side up to correct minor discrepencies. I’ve always found it very difficult though, to tap into this part of my brain and still don’t know where those drawings came from. So I’ve never really pursued the art thing.

    1. Peter Post author

      Mike, drawing upside down is an exercise for getting the right side of the brain active. Have you read the wonderful little book ‘Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’ by Betty Edwards? She uses this exercise too.

  6. Chris

    Your ideas for enhancing your drawing skills are intriguing. I would have never thought of drawing with my left hand to increase my creativity. I will definitely have to try it.

  7. Danny Bleuse

    I saw that you recommend drawing with two hands at the same time, but I wonder how could you do this, the right way?

  8. Doug A.

    Wow the tips that are given in this article are simply amazing. I never would have thought that warm up exercises were so important. Although I’m still an amateur artist, I will definitely keep your advice in mind when working on my next piece!

  9. Debra Boulier

    Great tips…i had no idea working with your opposite hand wakes the creative side of your brain. Good to know!

  10. Catherine

    Brilliant tips ! I’ve done some of these in the past and they really work so thank you for reminding me and for the ones I didn’t know already.

  11. Klicka

    This will be a good article for those who like to start silk paintings. I’m going to share this article with my friends too.

  12. Maggie

    Thank you! I cant wait to try out your ideas. Once you get your mind in a box its hard to think outside of the box.

  13. Sharon Lewis

    These are very good tips about improving your drawing skills. I may have to try some of these myself.

  14. jasmine frank

    I am actually on the process of learning this kind of art and I appreciate you from sharing this simple yet precise tip. You are amazing.

  15. erin

    Great tips for advancing in Silk Painting. Also many great unique ideas throughout the article. I will recommend this page to many of my friends and family.

  16. Jess

    I never thought of using my left hand to draw to stimulate my creative side. I will defiantly have to try that. I’m very interested in the classes!!

  17. Stan

    hmm, i have never needed to ‘warm up’ before, but your ideas do make sense and your designs are very very talented, so ill give it a shot too 🙂

  18. Tammy

    It’s been so very long since high school art classes that I had completely forgotten about warming up. I remember, now, doing ‘shading’ exercises in class, trying to see how many different shades of grey we could get with just a #2 pencil, and doing line- and gesture drawings. I wish our teacher had introduced us to the concept of using our off hand to stimulate our creativity. Thank you for the reminders and new ideas you gave here. I’ll have to put them to use, now! I wonder if they’ll also help me with my writing?

    1. Peter Post author

      Tammy – I am recovering from a stroke and a brain tumour and I can no longer read – but I was determined to set myself a huge challenge and decided to write a book. For every page I wrote, my husband had to read it back to me – again and again – it has just been launched in Parliament House in Melbourne Australia. You can do anything if you want and I would certainly help you with your writing if you like.

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