Even if you are on pension like most of my educatees, you’ve only limited free hours and energy for your drawing hobby. And if you are making art professionally then time and energy might be almost more constricted and of value to you!

So you may be asking yourself: what should I concentrate on when drawing? You could work on improving your abilitiesor you could invest time in getting rid of your weaknesses.

Quite a difficult question. It is crucial to think some time on the question into what to put your hours and energy.

On one hand you should concentrate on your best skills. Let us say for instance you are outstanding in sketching fluent and realistic looking shadings. So you should invest more of your efforts in additional honing these abilities. Some more energy will bring your skill-level from “great” to “superb”.

On the other hand you should invest your energy in fixing your weaker skills. Let us take for granted you need a lot of more praxis in drawing proportions and perspective more accurately. Putting effort you would move your skill in this area to at least medium levels.

But a second! If you concentrate alone on compensating your weaknesses, you will commit many effort to transmute these shortcomings into just average skills. Ultimately that implies you’ll wind up with all but mediocre powers, the result is only averageness.

You read there are both advantages and disfavors to both options be it building upon your strengths or be it fighting your weaknesses.

Many artists will try to tell you: forget your weaknesses and focus on your top abilities. That’s a great advice but as you’ll understand only half the truth.

So what to do?

First it’s crucial you know your weaknesses and you need to know how much your weaknesses affect your drawing results. An example: Whilst creating many pencil sketches, weak skills in perspective and proportions will hinder you much more than missing abilities in the use of colours. In fact these skills are utterly useless as long as you stay with creating black and white pencil drawings.

And that’s the important thing: only forget these weaknesses that don’t handicap your projects and sketches. But invest a fair part of your energy and time into those weaknesses that handicap you from creating better drawings and sketches. Work on compensating these weaknesses – and exclusively these!

And so you’ll have lot of hours left to try improving your existing skills even farther. And that’s what you ought to do, too. If you follow this scheme you’ll have the best outcomes imaginable for your time and effort.

One closing addition: these tips may look a little like those efficiency stuff taught in management courses. And yes it’s quite similar. But it’s not proposing to pressing the last bubble of creative thinking out of you! It is only for doing the right things in the right order that help you improve your sketching skills most.

And of course please don’t forget the entertaining part of sketching. So if you prefer to test new techniques since it’s entertaining then just do it! (and don’t ask yourself whether it will help you or not …)