Drawing can be so much fun, especially when you are good at it. However, nobody starts out being great!

Join us in a brand new video series designed to help you improve your drawing skills. In this first episode, we will show you why it is so vital to stop drawing messy lines!

Check out the video so you can follow along as we demonstrate how to progress from rough and unsure sketches to smooth and confident drawings!

Phase 1 – Lots of unconfident, tiny lines

Building up lots of tiny lines is the most common way that beginners start to sketch. It’s almost like scratching away, drawing lots of little lines to build up the picture!

It shows you are not sure about where to place your lines and to compensate you draw tiny little details in the hope that you get a good result at the end!

The final product may not be that bad; however, it lacks the finesse you would expect from a more professional drawing!

Phase 2 – More dynamic, searching out vital details

In this second phase of development, your hand moves more smoothly and rather than building up lots of tiny lines; you get better at finding those critical details and draw more dynamic lines!

However, you are still not very confident, and most lines are still searching for the right proportions and placement for each of the details you are drawing!

Phase 3 – Smooth, deliberate lines

If you want to draw more like a professional, then you want to create deliberate lines. To do this, you need to take your time and really visualise where to place them before you do anything!

If you’re not happy with a line, then undo it and start again. So, rather than just building up lots of lines on top of each other, stick to individual lines, and take time to consider the placement!

It’s not necessarily bad practice to do a rough sketch, to begin with, and then draw on top of that on a separate layer. But, if you can do your first drawing in a more precise outline, it is going to benefit the overall style significantly, and the illustration will look much more professional!

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How to stop drawing messy lines

My top tip for helping you to create more confident, fluid and smooth lines, is to draw from the shoulder rather than the wrist!

Find a comfortable position to sit, and ensure that you have space for your hand to move freely. Patience is also crucial. It helps to be calm and not rush the process – take your time over each line!

Don’t forget to check out the full tutorial as dive deep into the three phases. If you are keen to improve your skills, it is vital to make these changes sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to unlearn those bad habits.


We will highlight six key steps to help you define your illustration style

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About the author 

Shumi Perhiniak

Shumi is a self-taught graphic designer, in 2012 she took one-year sabbatical career break, where she devoted her time studying Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. In just after 6 months she started freelancing and within a year become a Certified Photoshop Expert. Over the years she worked both in-house and in agency roles as a retoucher, artworker and moved on from junior to senior design roles.

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