20 Drawing and Sketch References for Aspiring Artists

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If you’re an aspiring artist, drawing and sketch references can be really helpful for improving your drawing skills and techniques. With the references I’ve curated below, you’ll discover a variety of drawing styles to try out.

Along with sharing some pretty cool drawings, I’m also sharing a few tips for improving your techniques as an artist. These tips are applicable to a newbie artist as well as someone who has been drawing for years.

Gather Your Drawing Supplies

how to draw eyes

Artist Credit: calibre_art_

girl with clown face

Artist Credit: doodle_traffic

Set Your Goals Early On

Before you begin learning to draw, it’s important to have a specific outcome in mind. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish as an artist, you may find yourself becoming lost on your journey.

I recommend making a goal like “I would like to learn how to draw portraits” or “I want my drawings to look realistic.” Once these goals are defined, then come up with simple ways of achieving them such as practicing daily from references or even taking an online art class.

girl sketch with long hair

Artist Credit: doodle_traffic

hand holding mirror

Artist Credit: nicedravv

girl with nike hat

Artist Credit: nicedravv

If you want to learn how to draw on your own, I think that using references is a great place to start. Some artists don’t like using references and prefer to draw from memory.

I find references to be super helpful for new and advanced artists because they give you a helpful visual of important details and characteristics.

Deidara drawing from naruto

Artist Credit: rbluetea

girl cartoon drawing

Artist Credit: danidrawn

Stay Focused on One Thing at a Time

Don’t get frustrated if you don’t like your art in the beginning. Or if you find that you can draw one thing well, but not the other.

This often happens when drawing human facial features for example. Many people struggle with drawing realistic eyes or noses.

drawings of girl cartoon faces

Artist Credit: danidrawn

campfire drawing

Artist Credit: shelleynutma_art

To improve your skills, I recommend focusing on one thing at a time. If you want to learn how to draw the human face first spend time drawing lips using different expressions, and from different angles.

Next, practice drawing eyes, and so on. After “perfecting” (nothing is perfect) each facial element, you’ll be able to draw a much more realistic face.

demon slayer drawing Tanjiro Kamado

Artist Credit: tri_genic

one punch drawing Saitama

Artist Credit: tri_genic

Use Different Tools

I use a number of different tools in order to perfect my artwork. I use graph paper with an inch grid so I can see if the proportions are correct or not.

Also, before starting any drawing, I measured out exact dimensions on the grid paper and draw them lightly in pencil first. You can also measure out exact measurements using a ruler if you prefer it over graph paper.

how to draw realistic eyes

Artist Credit: yanek_x

girl drawing with curves

Artist Credit: yanek_x

Another useful tool is a protractor which helps you measure angles as well as helps you accurately draw things that need angles. Additionally, if you enjoy creating circle drawings, a protractor will help you draw perfect circles.

drawing of woman holding devil head

Artist Credit: zeenchin

cute woman drawing

Artist Credit: amykour

Practice Drawing from Different Vantage Points and Angles

This is an excellent way to learn how to draw. Draw objects from several different angles and vantage points. This will help you get a better understanding of the object that you are drawing.

how to draw realistic nose

Artist Credit: artworld587

how to draw eye pupil

Artist Credit: silviemahdal_art

You can start off by looking at pictures of things you find online. You can also draw from the real-life objects in front of you. After you get good at drawing those objects, then try making some drawings based upon your own memory about them.

This is harder than it seems because after a while you may forget what something looks like, but this is a great technique for improving your skills.

how to draw realistic eye brows

Artist Credit: artworld587

eye drawing ideas

Artist Credit: artworld587

girl laughing drawing

Artist Credit: doodle_traffic

The more you practice drawing, the better you get. What once was a challenging thing for you to draw will become easier and easier. I hope these simple tips help you along in your journey.

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