What if I make a mistake?

One of the many lessons I’ve learned in art is that making a mistake with permanent ink is not the end of the world.   The more I use pens, the better I am able to cope with an assortment of errors. To share some of these lessons with you, I drew a simple barn and made some obvious mistakes.  Take a look at the areas circled in red –


  • The roof ridgeI drew was the wrong angle.  I corrected it, but the wrong line is pretty obvious.
  • The lines of the barn show through the post which is why I usually try to draw foreground objects first, then place the background behind.
  • The window panes in  the center window are off.  Light pencil lines at the beginning help to avoid misplacement issues.
  • The distant trees have a dark streak when I got distracted.  Stay focused on your drawing for consistent results.

The video shows how I tackled the fixes.

  • By extending the tree beyond the roof and adding lines to providing shading of the foliage, the incorrect line gets partially covered.  As the tree become more important the eye now focuses on the tree instead of the roof.
  • The roof lines through the post can’t be erased but I can make the area behind the barn more interesting and  I can also add shading to the post itself – again pulling your eye away from the wrong lines.
  • Fixing the panes of the window is quite easy.  I simply insert the correct line and fill in the remaining area that represents the glass.  We can always go darker.
  • Filling in the distant trees with more even  line work brings them closer and eliminates the dark streak.

The finish drawing:


Too often we give up after making a mistake.  I’ve thrown out my share of drawings and paintings both.  Experience has shown me that mistakes are stepping stones to success.  As always, the most important things is simply to draw, draw, draw.



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