Why you’re a slow illustrator and what you can do about it

Illustration by Emily Carlton

This post originally appeared on emilycarlton.com. Subscribe for updates and get my free guide, “Creating Effective Drawings With 1–3 Lines.”

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Have you ever played Cranium, Pictionary, or a similar game where you have to draw something in a certain amount of time?

If you hate that aspect of the game, chances are good that you can see what you want to draw, but can’t seem to get it on paper quickly or accurately. Do you want to be better and faster?

There are several benefits to drawing quickly:

  • Drawing quickly keeps focus off of you and on the artwork
  • Drawing quickly keeping the creative flow going
  • Drawing quickly helps your audience understand quickly. It’s efficient for you and them.

No matter your reasons for wanting to draw fast, here are some tips to help you become a faster drawer:

Just like in a game, time yourself! Pick really complex things and complicated processes or concepts. You will not have time to draw everything, so you will have to force yourself to reduce the drawing down to the essentials. What is most important? What is the least amount you can draw to l communicate exactly what you’re trying to convey?

  • Another part of drawing faster is having a mental image bank. Start practicing drawing common objects so you can recreate them quickly later on.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Practice what you get caught up on. Cheat the system. Simplify. If you suck at drawing hands, don’t draw hands! Try drawing a glove! That’s much easier and a glove still gets the message across.
  • Go for recognizable over realistic

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This post originally appeared on emily.carlton.com. Subscribe for updates and get my free guide, “Creating Effective Drawings With 1–3 Lines.”