Building a daily drawing habit

2022-09-13T02:08:57+0000 · 7min read
Ryan Allan author image
Ryan Allan Artist and content writer | Reviews digital art tech | Paints under the name Eyekoo | Dreams of torii gates with his morning coffee
Building a daily drawing habit cover image

Setting out to draw every day can be an exciting New Year resolution, but it can be hard to stick with. Where do you find the time? What do you draw? What if you miss a day? What if you fail? These are questions you might face regularly on your journey, if not daily. Well, this post has some answers and tips to help you succeed if you are wondering how to build a daily drawing habit to level up your skills.

Firstly, it’s important to point out that drawing every day might not be practical for everyone. Maybe you have parental duties, business obligations, school work, or health complications that make it difficult to do this. So be aware of your circumstances, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and know that it is okay to miss a day. 

Build tiny habits

Build a tiny habit by building in something small to follow after an activity you do every day like brushing your teeth or boiling the kettle. Sketch something in the kitchen while you wait for the kettle to boil. When it’s done, so are you. If you have to take the bus every day to school or work, that’s a great time to whip out your sketchbook. B.J Fogg explains this concept well in then the video below:

Get a sketchbook

While many of us are working digitally these days, it’s still important to keep a real sketchbook on you. It’s where you think with a pencil in your hand. It’s a place to experiment, make mistakes, have fun, and mess up. And nobody ever has to see it. Not everything has to go on social media so let your sketchbook be that place to knock out some bad drawings while you figure out something spectacular.

Pages from the sketchbook of Duncan Cameron.

Duncan Cameron Sketchbooks

Get more than one sketchbook

We all like a nice sketchbook, but why stop at one? It can be really handy to have a few smaller sketchbooks scattered around where you might spend a lot of time. One next to the couch or your bed. One in your bag that you take everywhere with you. The idea here is that wherever you are, it’s easy to pick up a pen and start drawing.

Just draw one line

No, really. Just sit down and draw a single line, then you’re done. Straight line, squiggly line… it doesn’t matter. The point here is that you showed up. That’s often the hardest part. But before you get up, why not draw one more? You’re here anyway. Chances are you’ll want to do a few more than just one because you made the effort to be there. Kesh explains this well in this video:

Set a time limit

It can be much easier to keep up with your new habit if you allocate a realistic amount of time to it each day. If 5 minutes is all you can afford with your morning coffee, then do that.  Especially if you have trouble staying focused, then set smaller chunks of time. Drawing every day doesn’t mean you need to have a finished artwork every time you sit down to put pencil to paper, but what’s important is that you do the time. 

Start those small chunks of time, and just like exercising, increase that time in small increments. When 5 minutes becomes a really easy win, change it to 8 minutes if you can.

Find someone to draw with

It’s a whole lot easier to sit down and draw when you aren’t alone in doing it. Magma’s Artspaces and Featured Communities will let you find other open canvases to meet new people for drawing together. If you don’t know what to draw, that’s fine. Often people will set a theme for their canvases with things like cute monsters or cat studies.

A screenshot of our Artspaces community page.

Join a drawing challenge

We’ve all had those days where we just don’t know what to draw. Many monthly drawing challenges solve that by having a prompt list for you to follow. Also, a whole lot of other people from all over the world are adding their drawings and looking to see how everyone else had interpreted that day’s prompt. 

Follow a theme

Instead of following a specific challenge, you could theme your daily drawings around something specific that you want to draw better. Do you suck at drawing hands? You’re not alone. If you spend a bit of time each day drawing a hand or two in different poses for a month, you’ll have a much better grasp of them at the end. Your progress will be clear, and that’s what you want to see.

Make a habit tracker

Ticking off the day’s tasks on a calendar, or habit tracker can be strangely satisfying. Make a dedicated page for the month with a block for each day, and then tick it off or fill it each time you finish your drawing. Seeing those consecutive wins can help keep the momentum going and reinforce the habit. You can get very creative with this, as many bullet journal enthusiasts do.

Image of a journal page with a daily habit tracker.

Photo credit: Differenz on Instagram

Conclusion

You don’t have to do them all, but applying a couple of these will help you with building a habit of drawing every day. Remember to have goals set for your drawing exercises and have art goals in general. Start small and build momentum over time by building on habits you already have. And if you feel like drawing together with others will help keep you motivated, then be sure to sign up for Magma for free so you can invite your friends to join you on the canvas.

Ryan Allan author image
Ryan Allan Artist and content writer | Reviews digital art tech | Paints under the name Eyekoo | Dreams of torii gates with his morning coffee
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