Learn How to Draw Faster

Learning to draw faster, is a skill which will allow you to produce more drawings, rapidly. You will also find that drawing which is executed at speed also retains a certain quality, which makes them unique pieces of art in their own right.

Improve Your Drawing Skills

Learn How to draw faster. To learn to produce drawings fast, you will need to practice and develop the following skills.

  • Learn to Sketch Quickly
  • Simplify the Forms of the Object You Are Drawing.
  • Practice Gestural Drawing
  • Don’t Focus on Drawing Detail
  • Draw Negative Spaces

To begin to process of drawing faster and at speed, you will need to challenge your sketching and gestural drawing abilities.

In the first part of this post, I will aim to explain how learning to sketch quickly will enable you to speed up your drawing technique.

Learning to Sketch Quickly

Learn How to Draw Faster
                                                 Learn How to Draw Faster

Sketching is usually seen as the prequel to more finished styles of drawing.

Sketching also enables artists to gather visual information in the form of preliminary drawings quickly.

Simplify the Forms of the Object You Are Drawing

One of the more effective ways to draw quickly and accurately is to reduce the objects you intend to draw to the there most basic form.

This is a skill that most accomplished drawers will do automatically without thinking about it.

When reducing shape to its most basic form, try to think about the basic shapes that make up the object.

For example, take a bottle, this is a simple looking object which is easy to draw.

As someone who has taught still life drawing for many years, my approach was to draw a simple elongated rectangular shape.

Next, I would add a centerline, which will enable you to draw the symmetry of the form of the bottle.

I would progress onto the drawing the three-dimensional form of the bottle. This is achieved by drawing faint elliptical lines at the top and bottom of the main shape.

Where the top of the bottle begins towards, I will draw a semi-circle. This approach can be completed and drawn in less than thirty seconds, without any warning of any additional lines.

This drawing method is ideal for the drawing of the human figure. As life drawing is a perfect way to explore the many varied forms that make up the human form.

Pro Tip: As mentioned earlier in this post, try to draw fluently with a faint line. Draw from the elbow and shoulder as this will result in loosely drawn soft lines.

Practice Gestural Drawing

If you are attempting to improve the speed at which you draw. Then one particular method you can try is gestural drawing.

Gestural drawing and sketching seek to convey the form, position, and movement of the object or person you are drawing.

To begin a gestural drawing, you will need to complete a series of sketches. Over a short period, these can be as short as sixty-second intervals, for example.

Gestures can be found everywhere in the world around us, from animals, humans, objects, and vegetation. Gestural drawings of the human form moving and expressing motion, movements, and emotions of the human form quickly executed through sketching.

With practice, you should be able to complete under timed conditions with a real sense of expression and fluency.

Don’t Focus on Drawing Detail when Drawing and Sketching

Learning to sketch quickly under timed conditions is an excellent way to focus on the form of your subject as opposed to representing the details.

A timed drawing challenge can be set up to enable you to draw under pressurized conditions.

An alternative method is to listen to a piece of music. While drawing under set timed intervals you will enable you to focus on the form of your subject, and speed up the process of drawing.

Draw Negative Spaces

Negative space is created when areas in objects and in-between objects are formed.

The drawing of negative space had always been an essential aspect of both life and still life drawing.

Recognizing and acknowledging the spaces around and in between the objects you are drawing is an excellent way to quickly position and arrange objects in your drawings.

This is an effective way to speed up your drawing skills.

For example, if you are drawing a figure from direct observation. As well as measuring the proportions of the main aspects of the subject. Look at the spatial relationships between the various limbs.

If the arms appear to be bending, then look at the angles created in the spaces. You can use your pencil extended at arm’s length to help you measure them.

This method is sure to fire way to quickly establish the relationship between the different objects in your drawing.

Draw Caricatures Quickly

Caricatures are often recognized as a niche within the art of portrait drawing from observation.

A caricature is best drawn quickly and possibly under the pressure of timed conditions.

Drawing quickly in series will enable you to achieve a higher fluency of line when you are drawing.

The trick with drawing a caricature is to focus on the unique features of the person you are drawing.

Focus on the features which will have the most impact, it may be the eyes or nose.

The hair and overall shape of the head can also be used as a way of portraying the character of the person. Think about how you want to represent.

Additional Questions  

7 Tips to Help You Speed Up Your Drawing

Work on Several Drawings at Once

Drawing and painting, or even speed drawing with the paint are naturally suited to be produced in series.

This can be accomplished in several ways. First, you can work and produce several drawings together.

By producing one drawing after another and then moving on to the next drawing, and then moving back to the original drawing.

You can very quickly build up a series of four or five drawings by working on more than one picture.

Alternatively, if you are interested in the idea of quickly producing a drawing, you can generate drawings in series.

Working under timed conditions is an excellent way to do this.

Endure that the intervals between each original drawing are short enough. Short intervals will provide you with the necessary pressure you need to draw quickly.

Create Background Colors

Another solution to speeding up your working methods is to quickly create blanket backgrounds.

For this to work and to be of any benefit. You will need to quickly fill in a large area of color or tone. Inevitably to save a significant amount of time with needless background work.

Create Unfinished Pieces

The technique of creating rough drawing and painting.  Then presenting them as pieces of art is a method which many professional artists use to create a larger body of drawing. This is a simple way to quickly produce large amounts of drawing.

Use a Larger Brush

Drawing and painting with a larger brush are straightforward to fill quickly in large areas with color or tone. So instead of using smaller tools, brushes or pencils to paint and shade. immediately opt to work with a larger brush, in the end, this will speed up your work rate and save you a lot of time.

Lucy Drawing Tool

The Lucy Drawing Tool is a much-improved variant of the traditional camera lucida. The camera lucida is a quick and accurate method of drawing directly from a cast image or ghost reflection. The

This an excellent way to create quick and detailed drawings. If you want to produce detailed drawings which are in proportion. Plus if of are looking to convey shading and value in your picture, this tool will help you speed things up. You can read my detailed review of the Lucy drawing tool, click here on Amazon.

Learn How to Trace Images

Tracing images is a quick and easy way to draw outlines and draw the main features in any drawings. Tracing can be done using several different ways.

The old fashion method of using tracing paper to draw and transfer the features you are looking to draw is a quick and straightforward method.

However, if you have access to a lightbox or lightweight light pad. You can place a copy of the image you are hoping to trace onto the light pad.  Place a piece over the top to begin your traced image. Read a detailed review of the latest light pad at Amazon.

All of the techniques are quick and straightforward methods you can use to speed up the process of drawing.

Use Digital Images

Using a digital copy of an image to trace or draw from is another good way to speed up your working time.

Digital images can be used for tracing and producing quick interpretive sketches of landscapes or portraits


Ian Walsh is the creator and author of improvedrawing.com and an Art teacher based in Merseyside in the United Kingdom. He holds a BA in Fine Art and a PGCE in teaching Art and Design. He has been teaching Art for over 24 Years in different parts of the UK. When not teaching Ian spending his time developing this website and creating content for the improvedrawing channel.

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Learn How to Draw Faster