Most Common Drawing Mistakes for Beginners 

Image: gpointstudio / Freepik

Drawing can be therapeutic and a great way of expressing your creativity. Whether you want to be a professional artist or just do it as a hobby; it is a skill like any other that needs to be practiced a lot until it is perfected.  

Of course, through any learning process mistakes can and will always be made. If you want to start drawing and you are not sure what to focus on, here are some mistakes you want to avoid or at least minimalize while perfecting this skill.  

Not getting the proper equipment 

Once you start drawing, you might not want to spend too much money on proper materials. However, the quality of even the simplest art materials (like paper and pencil) can make a big difference in the final result of your artwork. 

When it comes to choosing the right kind of paper, you want to focus on its thickness and texture. Paper that is too smooth will not help you with deep values, meaning it is going to be more difficult to get contrast in your drawing. Ideally, you want to draw on paper of at least a 70-pound weight. 

Pencils differ in pigment and softness. You may be familiar with the letters H and B on pencils, which stand for hardness and blackness. Pencils that have the letter H on them make lighter strokes and are used for technical drawing, while those with the letter B make thicker and darker strokes. 

Choosing the correct pencil depends on your art style, but for a beginner, it is better to use softer ones. For drawing, you would want to use a B pencil because they are darker and are easily erasable. The higher the number it is on your B pencil, the easier it is to create shadows with them.  

For example, these pencils are good for hair drawing because you can make gentle strokes and then slowly build up. If you make a mistake while drawing with a B pencil you can easily correct your artwork, while H pencil marks are harder to erase. 

Outlining everything you draw 

It might seem like a good idea to outline everything you draw, but it will only do you a disservice in the long run. Outlining destroys the illusion of depth and sense of space in the picture, making your art look like amateur work.  

It is better to create edges, meaning you make a particular shape using the shape of another object in the picture, making soft borders of objects in the picture. This way you avoid making sharp and thick outlines of your work. This way you also give some perspective and a realistic touch to your art. 

Not thinking about the proportions and composition 

Proportions are the size of objects in the picture and the relationship between them. You may be skilled in drawing realistic objects, but if the proportions in your drawings are off, it ruins the whole work. 

For this reason, it is always better for beginners to use smaller surfaces to draw on. The more skilled you are, the easier it will get for you to create realistic sizes of the objects you draw. Eventually, you will get used to drawing on bigger surfaces. 

Similar to proportions, another important aspect of a good drawing is a strong composition. It should create a natural eye movement for the viewer and make it enjoyable to look at.  

This is achieved by making a focal point or a center of interest, the thing that will catch the viewer’s eye. Be careful not to put your focal point in the center of the drawing, because it will overshadow other parts of your drawing. 

Use lines to lead the viewer to negative space, or other parts of your drawing. With negative space, your drawing will look less bland and more striking. 

Comparing yourself to others and doubting yourself 

Drawing, like any other craft, takes a lot of time and effort. Setting high expectations from the start might lead you to disappointment if the final product is not what you wanted it to be. Remember, practice makes perfect. 

Keep in mind that even the most experienced artists started from scratch. Once you start drawing, try not to compare yourself with others and focus instead on what you enjoy about the process. Don’t create unnecessary pressure which could discourage you from drawing entirely. 

The best way to keep yourself motivated and encourage yourself to do better is by only comparing yourself with yourself. You will notice your art gets better with every new project and your technique will improve, as well as your self-esteem when it comes to your drawing skills.  


Drawing might be a challenging skill to acquire but making your own work of art is beyond rewarding. Some people might be more talented than others, but true artists stand out with their effort and dedication. Therefore, don’t be afraid of mistakes, as they are a part of every learning process.  

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