How did you improve your drawings skills?

We all learn over time we learn to draw better over time and with different techniques… So, what techniques have helped you with your drawing skills?

Tense up my wrist to keep it stiff, makes the lines smoother.

keeping the wrist strait, using elbow and shoulder for movements…drawing millions of elipses

3fold ( and all )

So what exactly do you mean “millions of elipses”… anything specific you do to exercise the elipse drawing muscles?

I kind of remember someone mentioning an exercise of drawing elipses in a series across a page, as if a circle were rotating in 3d… and another about concentric circles…

i could never do these drawings exercises, makes one too concentrated on the techincal apsect of drawing, there are templates for that stuff…a good approach that was recommended of these boards before is drawing things that interest you/ that you enjoy drawing, that way it is easier to find reasons to do it rather than excuses not to…

not saying drawing ellipses or boxes in perspective are not good things to do, there just extremely boring! the draw stuff i like seems like a better route for me…

Really… It doesn’t sound like fun at all to fill pages with ellipses!

When I first started the ellipses I got bored with it real quick, until I started getting better at it, then I could see that it was possible to do them better. Then it’s like a form of meditation. Also, it was good for me to spot train on specific things I had trouble on. I know certain angles that I don’t have a lot of control over, doing exercises geared towards those problem areas that you see will help you fix those problems instead of the tendency to design around what you can’t draw/model/etc…

yes, the elipses can be boring but theyre very important and you dont have to put them into a box or worry about perspective. just try to keep your wrist locked and the rest of your arm relaxed.
you are going to use mostly your shoulder and some elbow movements. start by practicing the movement of the elipse slightly hovering the pen or pencil above the paper…you should not mark on the paper yet this is just to try and get the right size/shape/tone of the mark you will be putting down. once you feel you feel you have it, just slightly touch the pen/pencil to the paper. this is similar to a golfer practicing the putt slightly to right or left of the ball.
at first you will make maybe 4-5 passes to create an elipse but as you improve you will make only 1-2 passes. try to draw as many as you can on one page, touching just the edge of the line to another without going over another elipse. try to make them all the same size, finding the center point, major and minor axies. try to draw perfect circles. see how fast you can cover an entire page.
you can make this simple exercise fun and a great warmup routine just by trying to improve as you go along. The key to this exercise is: wrist locked-speed-gentil (barely touch your drawing utensil to the paper).
to draw a strait lines you can use similar technique. practice the line slightly above the paper, as you did in the elipses. try drawing strait lines at different angles without rotating the paper or sketch pad. the first and last inch-2 inches of the line will curve no matter what so practice drawing slightly over where you want the line to stop. usually this will be where the line intersects another one and if you draw farther than these intersections they will be crisp. you can practice making marks and hatching for shading as a warmup as well.
I always always always use the clear black ink bic pens, probably 12 cents a piece. this has made the biggest difference for me. you cant erase and this actually helps you improve as you can see your mistakes. the pen helps you “draw through” an object. if you want to try the bic pen here are some tips: the more vertical you hold the pen the darker the line, try to move the pen as quickly as you can keep movement smooth (wrist locked) and always draw farther than you want to stop the line, darken lines that are being lost or where one object in your drawing passes over another or on the far side of the object. I hope this helps some and you should definately ask more specific questions and i think we will be able to help you more.

I have been working a lot on my sketching…and I also practice making ellipses and circles which I have some confidence on now…but at this stage I feel that sometimes( for me always) sketching with the techqnique in mind also spoils the life of the sketch…There is certainly something more to this kind of communication…

I feel that when I sketch now in a sketch book that I carry…more often than not I tend to start making abstract 3D forms which dont look like products at all…even though each of them is correct in its construction.

waiting for the day when a light bulb flashes and my abstract 3D forms look more like sensible products…

I think it is important to balance that type of sketching with more “empathic” free sketching. Putting expressive lines down and seeing were they lead you. Tying different levels of emotion in the sketch.

I think the best sketches balance a constructed approach with a free approach. I actually never really did the ellipse sheets (it shows sometimes). I tend to free sketch small until I have an idea and a perspective I like. Then I blow it up on a photocopier and overlay it about 10 times to get the perspective just right, and then I overlay it like 10 more times to get the emotion and details I want. I get get it all at once, it takes me time to build on the drawing.