How to Draw for Beginners
The first step of learning to draw is figuring out what drawing tools you want to work with and gaining an awareness of what your chosen drawing medium is capable of. Working with a graphite pencil is quite a different experience and utilizes a completely different process than working with a stick of charcoal or oil pastel or pen and ink or colored pencil. Drawing : The Complete Course and Jill Bays’ drawing video workshop can really help you reach your fullest potential by giving you an understanding of the different drawing techniques used with different drawing media. For example, if you want to really work on your mark-making with an emphasis on hatching or cross-hatching, you’ll probably want to work with graphite. For more expressive marks, reach for charcoal.
Drawing Basics: Initial Tips for Learning to Draw
When you start to draw the first thing you will want to do is loosen up—literally. You want to draw fluidly and spontaneously, so the first thing I was always taught to do is warm up with exercises like drawing circles or cubes. This gets your hand and eye working in concert and can bring about a certain level of focus that you’ll need as you start to sketch.
Another of our drawing tips that I’d like to share is to be mindful that as you learn to draw you don’t have to erase. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you must. Oftentimes, “incorrect” marks can be guidelines for you as you zero-in on the right way to draw the curved shape of a vase or tilt of the nose. Leaving those marks—known as pentimenti—is something that master draftsmen have done for centuries, so you can too.
Take it Up a Notch: Learn to Draw Portraits
As you get more comfortable with how to draw, take your drawing tools and create a realistic drawing of someone you love. This is one of the greatest things about drawing—it offers us an incredible opportunity to celebrate the world around us while sharpening our drawing skills. Drawing is a way of bringing your art and your everyday life closer together. That can be especially powerful when creating a realistic drawing of someone you love. If you are an absolute portrait drawing beginner or want to brush up on the skills that, for a draftsman, never get old, check out Drawing Portraits for the Absolute Beginner and Lee Hammond’s video on drawing lifelike portraits, which delve into the essentials of learning to draw a person and gives drawing instructions on how to move beyond a likeness to capture something really unique about your chosen model. One great drawing lesson I will always remember is the importance of sitting and observing your model: the tilt of their head, how they carry their body weight, where they naturally put their hands at rest, and so on.
Learn to Draw What You See : Your World!
Indeed, the best way to approach learning how to draw is to hone your observational skills. A great resource to help you fine tune your hand-eye coordination is the how to draw book, How to See—How to Draw by Claudia Nice. Nice teaches you that as a drawer, you reinterpret the world through line, lighting, and shading. These are the tools you need to create objects and figures on paper, but rendering three-dimensional objects on a piece of paper with them is often a matter of two drawing essentials that you should always keep in mind: proportion and value. Knowing how to draw well is truly often a matter of getting the right proportions of a face or body or landscape, and applying the correct level of light and shadow to them. If you can do that, you are well on your way to learning how to draw anything and everything you want.
And beyond practice there’s no secret to learning how to draw well. Instead, it just takes practice and acknowledging that not every drawing is going to be a work of art you want to frame. So learn the lesson I still struggle so hard with when it comes to learning to draw, and cut yourself some slack and enjoy the process!