Improve Your Drawing and Painting Skills in 30 Days


improve your drawing and painting skills in 30 daysWant to know one of the best things I did to improve my painting and drawing?

It wasn’t taking art lessons and workshops, although they were a huge help.

It wasn’t spending money on new brushes or a better brand of oil paints.

It wasn’t reading every blog post I could find on painting.

I started a drawing project. Simple enough, right?

In 2010, I started a Project 365. This is a sketching and project where you make a drawing or sketch every single day for 365 days. I can’t begin to tell you how much my drawing and painting skills improved over those 365 days. I went from fumbling with my charcoals and pencils to quickly nailing my skills to capture images of almost any quick moving subject.

Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you start a Project 365, unless you want to. I realize that is a huge undertaking and may seem way too overwhelming. I get it.

Instead, I suggest starting small. Start with 30 days. I know you can pick up your pencil each day for 30 days.

Why 30 days? Because just like anything in life, if you want to improve you need to practice daily. If you want to make better images of your most beloved subjects then you need to be practicing every single day.

And it has been shown that it only takes a couple of weeks to develop a new habit. So once you get the momentum of drawing every day going, you are very likely to stay with it.

So what exactly should you sketch for 30 days? Don’t worry, I have you covered.

When I was doing my Project 365, I drew everything that was in front of me, all the ordinary stuff around my house, in the yard, and on my desk. That included stuff like my shoes, pencils and pencil sharpener, the TV, stereo, the pet cat, the pet dog, the goldfish in the bowl, the rosebushes in the garden, the sofa, the kitchen chairs.

You get the idea, don’t you? Any ordinary object is immediately a subject for a drawing.

Don’t worry about composition, details or creating a finished product here. That’s not the point. The point is just to pick an object and start drawing. Don’t labor over deciding what to draw or how good you’re drawing it.

Just get down to the business of drawing or sketching, and make several very quick ones. Gestural drawings are what you’re going for here.

Improve your drawing and painting skills in 30 days

Once you get fully into the swing of making a pencil or charcoal sketch every day, you can easily switch over to doing very quick color sketches in oils, acrylics, or even water colors. This color sketch was made at Bar Harbor, Maine in about 30 minutes.

These gestural pencil or charcoal studies will greatly improve your painting skills, as well.


Because painting is just drawing in color. Right?

You have to know how to draw well to paint well.  Like one of my art teachers used to tell me, “You can’t hide a bad drawing with good color.”  Makes perfect sense to me, how about you?

And once you get fully into the swing of making a pencil or charcoal sketch every day, you can easily switch over to doing very quick color sketches in oils, acrylics, or even water colors.

Are you ready to be a better draftsman and painter? Then pick up your pencils, charcoals, paper and join us.

Join our 30 day challenge today and start capturing the magic of your everyday.​

Please share your images on Instagram and Twitter by using the hashtag #30DayDrawing. I can’t wait to watch your journey!

Enter to Win a complete set of professional Winsor Newton artist oil paints and supplies.


  1. This is the best advice any would-be artist could have. I picked up a copy of Carol Marine’s “Daily Painting” a couple of months ago and am on day #84 at present – either a painting or a sketch every day. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  2. Hi Gary, that’s great advice! As always 😉

  3. Thanks for the words of advice. I’ve always wished I had a natural drawing ability.

  4. I will do this. I am a new artist. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Thanks Gary ! I really like your advice.Wish me luck!

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