We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience, and analyse website traffic in accordance with our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Our cookies, including those provided by third parties, collect anonymous information about website usage and may be used for targeted advertising purposes. By clicking "Reject non-essential" you can opt out of non-essential cookies. By clicking "Accept all" you agree to the use of all cookies.

Reject non-essential Accept all
https://www.haydnsymons.com/blog/daily-drawing-exercises/ 5 Effortless Daily Drawing Exercises: How To Improve Your Drawing Skills English You can drastically improve your drawing skill with daily drawing exercises. A small, consistent daily drawing habit reaps huge rewards over the long term. This is the power of compounding. Within this article you will discover daily drawing exercises to... https://www.haydnsymons.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/drawing-exercises.webp 2024-01-22

5 Effortless Daily Drawing Exercises: How To Improve Your Drawing Skills

You can drastically improve your drawing skill with daily drawing exercises.

A small, consistent daily drawing habit reaps huge rewards over the long term. This is the power of compounding.

Within this article you will discover daily drawing exercises to improve your drawing skill. Aimed at beginners who want to learn the basics, and also advanced artists to heighten your drawing skills.

I’ll also share why each drawing exercise can help you improve your drawing skill, and how long you should spend on each exercise.

If you’re short for time, it takes only 30 minutes to complete all of these daily drawing exercises.

Things covered in this article

Why drawing exercises help you improve your drawing skill

A daily drawing exercise improves drawing fundamentals.

Consistent daily drawing exercises develops your drawing principles and knowledge. You can use the knowledge, confidence and skills from these drawing exercises into your finished artworks.

It can also help your art outside of drawing, from painting, sculpture to designs.

These exercises coincide with keeping and maintaining a sketchbook. A sketchbook is a best friend to you; take it everywhere you travel; drawing on the train, waiting in a queue, or just simply doodling.

If you would prefer to watch instead of read, check out my recent video on my YouTube channel, ‘The Portrait Guru‘. Please Like and Subscribe to the channel to keep updated on my latest videos!

Why you should practice daily

Developing a solid drawing skill requires patience, effort, and consistency. Inconsistency is the enemy of improvement. However, stable consistency results in the greatest advancements in your art and drawing skill.

After time, you’ll gather a solid grasp with these daily drawing exercises. However, don’t stop practicing once you do, as it’s still a great practice to maintain and develop.

Keep pushing the envelope!

Draw for fun, draw abstract drawings, studies great masters, draw gesturally. The list goes on!

However, drawing is a fun activity, and should remain so. These exercises improve drawing skills, but combine these exercises with things you love to draw.

A healthy combination of the two will keep you motivated and driven to reach your goals, whilst also enjoying what you do week after week!

This is crucial to not dismiss – commit to daily drawing exercises, however draw for fun too. A personal sketchbook is for you, and no one else.

Daily drawing exercises

Draw a box in perspective

One of the best tactics to improve is by drawing boxes. This one exercise has improved my drawing skill the most!

A box, and basic forms, appears time and time again in drawing; it surprising how often it occurs.

To draw a box, start with a T shape. This represents the corners of the box. Next, draw the other sides of the box. Draw lines to represent the top, bottom, and don’t forget to draw lines marking the insides of the box too (often drawn with a dotted line). According to Drawabox:

“That is, drawing all the edges, including those that we cannot see. Think of it like you have x-ray vision… Doing this forces us to understand to a much greater degree how the forms we draw exist in space.”


Draw different angles of the box, and analyse each of your sketches to see how it conforms to perspective.

If you can master drawing a box in perspective, it will radically improve your drawing skill.

Bonus tip: Grab yourself a ruler and draw through your boxes to see how good your perspective was. Which sides need addressing? What can you learn from this analysis? Draw your coloured perspective lines going away from the viewer. This part of the exercise should be completed after you’ve created a whole page of boxes.

Box in Perspective Do's and Dont's

How it can help your drawing

Drawing a box in perspective breaks down the most complex of subjects in real life.

Look around you, and notice how much you could break down a subject into a box. From a computer screen, a picture hanging on your wall, to your phone. They all conform to perspective, which you can break down into simple forms.

How long to do this exercise

I recommend you do this exercise for 5-10 minutes.

Cross contour drawing

Cross contour drawing follows the form of a given subject. Forcing you to look at an object with x-ray goggles, this type of drawing represents how lines flow around an object’s form.

Draw boxes, organic forms, to different shapes, and draw the cross contour lines around these subjects.

Draw A Box Sketchbook
Pen And Ink: A Simple Guide Book Review
Pen And Ink Drawings

How it can help your drawing

Cross contour helps your drawing skill as it requires you to draw basic forms in three-dimension. It requires you to think, draw and feel three-dimensionally.

This is essential to make your drawing more realistic. By understanding cross contours, you can render, shade and describe any subject on paper, and make it realistic.

How long to do this exercise

I recommend you commit to this exercise for 10 minutes.

Mark making drawing exercise

A good drawing skill uses a combination of solid foundation, skills, and mark-making. This exercise will help you step out of your comfort zone, and help you discover new marks which you can create!

Here’s a few examples which you can try:

Cross-hatching: draw lines horizontally, vertically and diagonally on top of each other. Then try shorter strokes on top of each other, and then try drawing in different directions.

Tapered lines: press semi-hard into the drawing surface and then taper it off by releasing pressure, what sort of mark can you create? Then do the opposite, light touch gravitating towards hard pressure.

Scribbles: Practice scribbles to see how you can build your tones. Try a light, medium and hard pressure, what can you create? Experiment with shorter strokes, longer scribbles, to tapered scribbles.

Mark Making Drawing Exercise
Mark Making Drawing Exercise
Mark Making Drawing Exercise
Mark Making Drawing Exercise

How it can help your drawing

This exercise broadens your visual language, as you’re experimenting with different techniques to create a mark on the page.

Subjects like hair, trees, to landscapes all require different forms of marks to visually represent the subject realistically.

How long to do this exercise

I recommend you do this exercise for 3-5 minutes.

Draw with limited tones

Limiting colour and also tones is a great way to power up your artistic skill. You may think artistic limitation makes for weaker pieces, but it’s quite the opposite.

Limitation makes for stronger art.

Create a value range by drawing a rectangle and placing four or five boxes inside. Number each box underneath, and shade each box from dark to light.

If you’re using a pencil, use a soft pencil for dark boxes, and a hard pencil to shade your lighter ones. If you’re using a pen, use different pen tips to shade each box.

0 should be the lightest, whilst 5 the darkest. Look at the different ranges of tone you can render.

Tonal Value Range
Tonal Value Range

How it can help your drawing

By drawing tones, you can use this technique within your finished drawings.

Value ranges in drawing are essential for creating depth and realism. They provide a spectrum of tones from light to dark, enabling you to convey highlights, shadows, and gradients effectively.

Mastering value ranges allows for the creation of contrasts, focal points, and emotional resonance in artworks, elevating the overall visual impact and realism of the composition.

This forces you to make smart choices with your drawings.

How long to do this exercise

Try it for 10 minutes.

Gesture drawing – lets get loose!

Gesture drawing is one of my favourite drawing exercises!

As it forces you to draw quickly but accurately, and not get too caught up in the details. Some of the best drawings are those which are expressive, loose and free-flowing.

Gesture drawing is typically drawn with either C, S or I strokes, getting the essence and rhythm of the thing you’re drawing.

How it can help your drawing

Gesture drawing is great for warming up. It constrains you to use your entire arm, and not just your fingers or from your elbow.

If you draw with your fingers and not your arm for gesture drawing, then you’re not going to draw the subject in the time!

Everything can be gestural, everything has a rhythm, everything can have movement. Gestural drawing gets you out of your comfort zone and makes you think on your feet.

Think gesture drawing only applies to life drawing? Think again!

Getting into the gesture habit can make the most static of objects you draw seem like they have a life of their own!

It’s especially crucial when you’re drawing the figure at a life drawing session, often these sessions start with 30 seconds, 1 minute to 2 minute poses at first.

Gesture Drawing
Gesture Drawing Art

How long to do this exercise

I recommend you do this exercise for 5 minutes. Pick any object around the home, draw figures from figure pose websites, or draw things from your window view.

Other drawing exercises

  • Blind contour drawing: drawing your subject without looking at your paper! This makes you concentrate at what you’re drawing in front of you! Try it for 5 minutes.
  • Negative space drawing: Collect a few household objects in front of you and only shade the space outside of the objects. Try it for 10 minutes.
  • Practice drawing textures: Within this drawing exercise, you’re going to practice drawing textures on boxes. You can combine the first drawing exercise of drawing boxes, and take that knowledge into this exercise. Here you’re going to draw anything that has a texture, and represent this on a box, like feathers, wood to snake scales. Try it for 10 minutes.
Drawing Textures
Drawing Textures

Daily drawing exercises conclusion

I hope you managed to have a go at these daily drawing exercises! If you keep consistent with them all, you will see massive improvements in your drawing skills! Here’s a recap of the daily drawing exercises:

  • Box in perspective – draw a box in perspective and analyse your perspective prowess!
  • Cross-contour drawing – draw organic forms and draw cross-contours through these shapes.
  • Mark-making exercise – cross-hatch, taper your lines, to different pressures.
  • Draw with limited tones – limit your tones and create a tonal value range.
  • Gesture drawing – represent figures, household objects to animals in either C, S or I strokes.

If you liked this blog post, be sure to check out my other articles, like how to paint with gouache on watercolour paper, perfect for those of you who want gouache tips on this paper stock. Or take a look at these beginner drawing mistakes, and see how you can improve your drawings to an even greater level!

Many thanks for listening and visiting my blog today. You can follow what I’m up to on my Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram pages, I’ll really appreciate it if you do, and don’t be afraid to say hi to me! Many thanks again, and have a great day!

5 Effortless Daily Drawing Exercises: How To Improve Your Drawing Skills

Haydn Symons

Freelance Illustrator Haydn Symons - Freelance Illustrator For Hire
Similar Articles

, , , , ,

Share this article
Sign up to Illustration News

See the latest illustration news straight to your inbox

Contact Haydn today
Hire Haydn

Have an illustration, design, or creative project that needs expert input? Haydn, specialising in Illustration, Branding, Editorial, and more, is here to assist! Get in touch today for a friendly conversation to ignite your project, no matter its size.

Get Started
Scouts Logo
Bloomsbury Publishing
University of Northampton logo