How to Learn To Draw: Your Basic Guide

Getting started on how to learn to draw is not easy especially if you are really not born with drawing skills. If you want to pursue a drawing career or perhaps get high grades in your art class, then you have to know two important things on learning to draw: the techniques and the subject to draw.

The techniques

There are 3 basic techniques in drawing that you have to learn and improve through regular practice.

1. Freehand drawing.

When you say freehand drawing you draw only through the use of your bare hands and with no assistance from drawing tools. You may start drawing different shapes and make sure you make each line straight in order to complete a shape. Practice how to observe smooth motion of your hands so you create neat and not squiggly lines. Though there are freehand drawing software you may also use, most drawing teachers will recommend beginners like you to start your freehand drawing with a pen and paper. Perhaps you could buy your first sketch book. Practice your drawing skills there until you see swift and secure drawing motions and you already eliminated the use of your eraser.

2. Pay more attention to your lines.

Practice drawing shapes with different numbers of lines like triangle, square, rectangle, polygons, hexagons, etc. Practice drawing these geometrical figures. You may also start practicing drawing circles and oblongs and see if you are drawing these shapes in proportion. If you have a very shaky hand, that is normal. With regular practice you will see how distortions in your drawing decreased. Here's a tip: start with loose hand drawing without resting your palm on your paper. In 2 to 3 sheets of paper daily, draw circles all over each paper. You may draw all circles on the first sheet, all triangles on the second, and all squares on your third. You will see the more you practice your lines turn out better.

3. Shading.

Shading can be more complex as it seems. Did you know that artists start mastering shading so they can come up with realistic artistic pieces? And since you are still learning the basic techniques in drawing, then your shading skills will start with circle shading.

Usually in your art class you will be given a shading assignment, your teacher will ask you to create shadows through shading. Here's what you have to do:

Draw a circle and its shadow. Your circle doesn't have to be perfect.

Use an overhand grip and lightly shade your circle (not the shadow). Use a very light pressure and make sure you use short, back and forth shading motions.

Define the line around your circle. Shade it a little darker and shade the ball again.

Shade the cast shadow. Make sure the right edge of the ball near the shadow is darker, then lightly shade the shadow.

The subject

After learning your basic techniques on how to learn to draw it is now time to choose your subject; of course you would not want to just stay forever on circles right? In choosing your subject, observation is very important. Start with subjects like buildings since you will get to practice your lines more on this subject. Usually in drawing your first subject it is better if you have something to copy from. Go out, select a subject you see, observe, and draw. You may also use photographs and use those as your reference.

Take your time. A masterpiece is not accomplished in just one sitting. Choose the right subjects and practice, practice, practice.

Subject Matter Websites for Learning To Draw

  1. Mark Kistler's Imagination Station
  2. Rocket's How to Draw Manga