How to see your progress at drawing and painting?

Improving one‘s drawing and painting skills is a principal goal for illustrators and artists in general. Everyone knows one has to practice every day to see long term progress.

As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect”

But what if you are drawing regularly. How do you actually know whether you‘re getting better? A technique that helps me a lot is to redo an old illustration. It‘s a way to see, concretely, exactly where I‘ve gotten better and where I still need to improve.

Let me show you an example. The first version of this illustration was made in November 2018 and the second one in March 2019.

Version A - Hansel and Gretel
Version B - Hansel and Gretel

Improvements:

♦ The road in the first one seems to float, whereas in the second it‘s more earthbound. -The position of the boy’s feet in picture A is awkward, it‘s like he‘s standing on his tiptoes.

♦ The trees in A are transparent, allowing you to see all the trunks (not very logical). In B they‘re more natural.

♦ Facial expressions are more defined in the second one.

♦ The vegetation is much more diverse as well.

It‘s great to see such improvements in only five months. I highly recommend trying this yourself. If you‘re interested in seeing more examples, look for the “Draw This Again” challenge started by DevianArt. Or for the hashtag “Old drawing redraw”.