Self-doubt is the enemy of creativity. We often stay away from making art by telling ourselves ‘I can’t draw’ or ‘I’m no good at art’, even though we didn’t have this problem as children. The source of much of this doubt is the time we spend overthinking things. Making art quickly can prevent us from being so self-critical. The following exercises are for absolutely everyone to try. Not only will they help us to become artists…but they are so much fun!

August Rodin, Cambodian Dancer, 1906

Auguste Rodin, Cambodian Dancer, 1906


Find an object you will be happy to draw lots of times - you could use your hand (the one you are not drawing with). Complete each of the following exercises twice, getting someone to time you for 60 seconds the first time and 30 seconds the next time. Do these exercises as often as you like.

Continuous line drawing

The idea is to create a drawing where you never lift your pencil off the paper. Look carefully at the object you are drawing and use one continuous line, keeping it moving at all times. Look more at the object than at your drawing and never let the pencil stop until time is up.

Non-dominant hand drawing

This exercise requires that you give up control by drawing with the hand you don’t normally use. Hold your pencil in your non-dominant hand and create a sketch of your chosen object. Concentrate hard as it will feel unusual, add some shading if you like.

Gesture drawing

Try to get as much drawing done in a short amount of time by moving your pencil as quickly as possible, using scribbly lines for shading and not concentrating on details. Build up your drawing with lots of lines or scribbly shading.


  • Paper
  • Soft pencils

Auguste Rodin, Hanako, c1906

Auguste Rodin, Hanako, c1906


Forget about making mistakes. You may think your drawings are ‘imperfect’ but this is what makes them beautiful. Do these exercises often and your drawing will become more fluid and more expressive. Throw yourself in with enthusiasm and have fun!

Artist Inspiration:

It is thought that Leonardo da Vinci used both of his hands when drawing, and sculptor Auguste Rodin used gesture drawing when planning his works. You could also explore Picasso’s single-line drawings.