If there is one thing that prevents someone to advance his or her skills, then it is having bad habits. As habits go, you tend to cling to them, feeling uncomfortable to let go. Still, letting go is the only way to free yourself from preconceptions and doing things a certain way.
This applies to drawing as well. How many times have you wondered why you’re so bad at drawing? This question alone is part of the problem. Being critical on yourself or your work while creating is counterproductive. Instead of instructing yourself what you should do, you are judging what you are doing. Because you can’t judge and draw at the same time, the more time you spend on judging yourself, the less time you spend on actual drawing.
Breaking bad habits is one of the pivotal points of the book Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson, which I’m working through at this moment. It is an interesting read, especially if you know how eager I am to improve my drawing skills (I want to be able to draw the TWIT gang as cartoon characters). Doing the supplied exercises might not as exiting as drawing cartoon characters, but it is essential if you want to break the mold and advance your drawing skills.
I’ve bought this book some time ago, but didn’t read beyond a few pages, because I thought it was a bit, well, soft. However, it is this soft stuff which seems to be essential. Bert doesn’t give you hard rules, but rather key points you should consider if you want to get better at drawing from life.
That is all.