Why Drawing is the Perfect Hobby

Prophsee Journals via Unsplash

Prophsee Journals via Unsplash

With only one week before classes begin, we may feel restless from being stuck indoors. Drawing, or art in general, is an excellent option for a new quarantine hobby to fight boredom. Drawing is not only calming, but it also hones beneficial skills and psychological benefits via art therapy. Art therapy is rooted in the idea that creative expression can foster healing and mental well-being. [1] Art, including drawing, can help you escape from reality and express unpleasant feelings you may have trouble putting into words. Here are the mental health benefits and some tips on how to get started with drawing:

Art and Mental Health

Drawing can reduce stress. Drawing enables you to give yourself space and engage in an activity you have control over. Drawing requires focus and concentration, dissolving tension or any unwanted anxiety you may experience towards some negative thought or event. [2] Drawing also stimulates your creative mind and relieves mental strain. By boosting mindfulness, drawing can increase your ability to stay in tune with your thoughts and emotions. [3]

Tips to Get Started

There are different ways to get started with drawing: doodling, sketching, coloring, and more. 

1. Doodling

Doodling is defined by drawing or sketching idly. You can start doodling with just paper and pencil. You might even want to keep a notebook to save all your doodles and watch yourself progress or your style evolve. With doodling, you can just draw whatever comes to mind. Don’t know what to draw? Pull out a blank piece of paper and set a timer for ten minutes and “free-doodle”. You don’t have to overthink — draw words, simple shapes like stars, or whatever you desire. Doodling can take practice and patience, but it is simply a combination of shapes and lines. [4] Here are the more tips to get started with doodling:

  • Obtain the right supplies. You can choose whatever supplies you desire! Here are some tools you can doodle with:

  • Pencils

  • Ink/Colored Pen

  • Markers

  • Highlighters

  • Vary the thickness of your lines

    • You can expand the thickness of pens in your collection to add variation to the doodles you create. Pens can have different nib sizes, which is the line width of your pen. You can use thicker lines to outline your doodles and thinner ones for details.

  • There is no correct way to doodling

    • Doodling is a creative space for you and there is no right way to doodle anything. You don’t have to force your doodles to look a certain way — doodling should be a fun activity!

Image via Ashley Kim

Image via Ashley Kim

2. Sketching

Sketching includes preliminary drawings intended to create a more polished version of art in the future. Sketches are usually done quickly and are less detailed than a finished drawing. Overall, sketching showcases the main features of an object or scene. Here are some tips to get started with sketching:

  • Know the different categories of pencil

    • There are different types and kinds of pencils, which are categorized by their hardness levels and the amount of black color they can produce. Pencil types range from 8B, HB to 6H. B pencils are softer, H are harder, and HB is right in the middle. [5] B pencils contain darker lines and are easily erasable. H pencils are generally hard and make light lines. Both types of pencils are used for sketching.

  • Use different sketching techniques

    • There are various ways to shade in your artwork, including hatching, cross-hatching, and stippling. These techniques can give you different styles and effects that can enhance your drawing. 

  • Avoid smudging

    • Smudging can lose the clean look of a drawing. To avoid smudging, you can put a piece of tissue or an extra piece of paper underneath your hand.

Image via Nancy Romo

Image via Nancy Romo

3. Coloring

Coloring is another way to get creative juices flowing and to relieve stress. Coloring pre-printed designs can have the same benefits as drawing. There are multiple adult coloring books available at bookstores, or you can print designs online for free. Some favorite adult coloring books include the ones by Johanna Basford, such as Lost Ocean and Secret Garden. 

The Bottom Line

Drawing, including doodling, sketching, and coloring, is a fantastic hobby in which to invest during quarantine. There are a multitude of mental health benefits that drawing can provide as it relieves stress and boosts wellness. I hope these tips inspire you to get started with a new quarantine hobby or stress-relieving habit!


  1. “The healing power of art.” health.harvard.edu. (2017).

  2. “How to Use Drawing as a Coping Tool for Anxiety.” healthline.com. (2021).

  3. “Task preparation as a mnemonic: The benefits of drawing (and not drawing).” link.springer.com. (2018).

  4. “Learn to Doodle Step By Step! 11 Simple Doodles to Try.” thepetiteplanner.com. (2018).

  5. “The 14 Different Types of Pencils Every Drawing Set Needs.”homestratosphere.com. (2021).

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