How to Draw for Beginners (2023)

It can be challenging for those who want to start drawing as a begginner. In this article, we will show you the step on how to start drawing.

If you think you can only learn to draw if you are endowed with talent and an innate sense of composition, you are wrong. Any professional artist will tell you that drawing is a skill and can be learned and honed. But where to start for beginners who did not attend art school in childhood and had a “C” in fine arts?

Any training starts from the basics, go in stages, and is consolidated with practice and training. Step to drawing is no exception. The main thing is to have curiosity, desire, and perseverance. If a fire burns inside, everything will work out.

Contents

  • 1 Learn How to Draw Step by Step
  • 2 How to Start Drawing- Pencil Drawing Techniques
    • 2.1 1. Hatching
    • 2.2 2. Feathering
  • 3 Step-by-step instructions for teaching drawing
    • 3.1 Step 1: Draw simple shapes.
    • 3.2 Step 2: Add volume
    • 3.3 Step 3: Exploring the Perspective
    • 3.4 Step 4: Draw complex shapes (several in one subject)
    • 3.5 Step 5: Draw living creatures and more
    • 3.6 Step 6: Paint the landscape.
    • 3.7 Step 7: Trying different materials
    • 3.8 Step 8: Draw from the head and develop the imagination.
    • 3.9 Step 9: Define the direction and style.
    • 3.10 Step 10: Practice

Learn How to Draw Step by Step

You will need:

  • Paper (for a start, plain paper is suitable, for printers),
  • A simple pencil of medium hardness,
  • Paints, markers, ink
  • Books (for example, on anatomy, to know the structure of the body – this will help to draw a person correctly),
  • Graphic tablet (if you want to draw on your computer).

How to Start Drawing- Pencil Drawing Techniques

1. Hatching

How to Draw for Beginners (1)

Hatching is a technique for drawing small, usually short, lines in a drawing. It helps to show the color and its saturation in the depicted subject. To convey the volumetric shape of the object, you need to apply as many strokes as possible. Conversely, if the issue is light enough, the shading should be used with fewer lines and done less often.

Shading can be horizontal, vertical, and also go in different degrees of angles in its direction. It is better to do hatching in intermittent movements, periodically tearing off a pencil from a sheet of paper. Also, depending on the type of hatching, you can achieve different effects. For example, using cross-hatching, where horizontal and vertical dashed lines meet, you can achieve more volume and depth on the subject.

2. Feathering

How to Draw for Beginners (2)

Feathering, like shading, is needed to add volume to the subject. It will be helpful for beginners to hone their feathering skills because there are so many uses in the drawing.

First, you need to apply simple strokes, which you should later shade, for example, with a paper napkin. In addition to volume, you can show where the light falls in the drawing and where the object will have a shadow.

(Video) Learn How to Draw for Beginners - Episode 1

Step-by-step instructions for teaching drawing

A cart cannot go without wheels, and an artist cannot paint without knowing the basics. The steps below are basic. Please note that learning each step can take weeks, months, or even years. It depends on how much effort you put in. Do not expect masterpieces from yourself in the fifth, twentieth, or even hundredth lesson. Lower your expectations and enjoy the process itself.

Step 1: Draw simple shapes.

How to Draw for Beginners (3)

The main principle is perhaps the same for everything in the world: from simple to complex. Everything is made up of forms—even the most difficult subject. Therefore, you need to start with them. But before drawing three-dimensional figures, you need to learn step to drawing what “precedes” them: a square, a circle, a triangle.

Start with a circle. Try to “dot” the entire sheet with circles of different sizes not to overlap. This exercise will make your arm more relaxed. It will no longer be so tense, and the lines will appear quickly, as if by themselves. At the same time, get rid of the so-called blank slate fear that plagues many newbies.

The circles will not be straight right away – this is normal. After a while, hand-eye coordination will improve, as will your circles. Is it pretty good? So it’s time to start with other shapes. The next can be a square, then a triangle, and so on.

Step 2: Add volume

How to Draw for Beginners (4)

When the lines are smoother, and the shapes are neat, you can add volume. This is done with the help of strokes (necessarily in shape). This will turn a circle into a ball, a square into a cube, and a triangle into a cone. When adding volume, do not forget about what it is made of—every detail matters light source, mid-tone, reflex, own, and falling shadows.

Reflection in painting is called the light reflected from the shadow side. It appears from the objects that are nearby. For example, a reflection of a table or wall, drapery, and other objects that fit on one canvas can become a reflex.

Shading can be practiced separately by simply shading the leaf. Go from very light shades to darker, almost black, gradually pressing on the pencil more and more. This stretch of color is called the tonal scale. In the future, when it comes to shading some objects, it will be possible to focus on them.

Step 3: Exploring the Perspective

How to Draw for Beginners (5)

Perspective is essential in any step to drawing where there are objects that you want to add volume to. An object closer appears to be larger, while an object farther appears smaller. Sounds logical and understandable. If you understand this principle, then you also understand the fundamental law of perspective.

Now a little about the vanishing point. Most often, it is considered on the example of the railway. We know that the rails run parallel to each other, which means they never intersect, but it seems to us that they converge at the horizon at one point. This point is called the vanishing point, and it is always located on the horizon. The main thing to remember is that the horizon is a line in our imagination, depending on the beholder’s position.

(Video) Learn To Draw #01 - Sketching Basics + Materials

Let’s look at an example. You can descend to the very ground, and then the horizon line will be low, at the level of our eyes. The horizon line will also “move” to a higher level if you stand in full growth. At a bird’s-eye view, this line goes even further, opening up a larger view in front of us.

Practice time. Place the book on the table and look at it from different angles. The book remains the same but looks different. Amazing, right? To learn how to portray objects correctly, you can start with something simple: a book, matches, a TV, a box.

If you have a glass surface, place a small object on it and sketch from the bottom up. This exercise is great for developing spatial thinking.

Step 4: Draw complex shapes (several in one subject)

How to Draw for Beginners (6)

When you fill your hand, move on to simple objects: a vase, a pear, or both at once (you get a still life). If you look closely at these and many other things, you will find that they all consist of a few simple forms. Use all the knowledge you already have. Analyze perspective (if required), sketch, hatch.

Draw everything that surrounds you – from a mug of tea to neighbors’ cats.

Step 5: Draw living creatures and more

How to Draw for Beginners (7)

Cats, animals, people, buildings, and cars, even complex objects consist of simple shapes. Of course, it is more difficult to disassemble them – this is already another, more advanced level. It is worth switching to it after active practice with vases. However, no one forbids you to make sketches. The bigger, the better.

Drawing moving objects is a separate topic and a real challenge for novice artists. Frequent and quick sketches are indispensable. They are also called sketches. And, most likely, they will turn out to be careless and sometimes even divorced from reality. Don’t be discouraged; this is normal. The number of sketches is essential first. You will see how later it grows into quality.

To be an artist is to be an observer. Sketches are best done from nature. Get out to a cafe or park and draw people, animals, everything that is around. If this is not possible, draw from photographs. But don’t get carried away with it, in the sense that sketching also needs to be thoughtful. Do not blindly copy the photo, but try to understand why there is a shadow, a glare, and so on.

In addition, study anatomy if you want to draw people or animals well.

Step 6: Paint the landscape.

How to Draw for Beginners (8)
(Video) Why people believe they can’t draw - and how to prove they can | Graham Shaw | TEDxHull

It is worth mentioning here not only about the landscape but also about the interior and exterior. Time to combine all the details that you have already drawn separately. Cars, people, buildings, animals, and, of course, nature in all its glory. By step to drawing the big picture, you will develop an eye (the ability to determine distance by eye, without additional devices) and a sense of perspective.

To get started, you can draw panoramas, for example, a view from a window. At first, it will be obtained in general terms, but later the work will become more detailed. Explore new places, take a closer look around during walks, as if you are seeing everything for the first time. Try to sketch new and unusual angles.

Step 7: Trying different materials

You can and should experiment not only with what you draw but also with what you draw. Try to sketch (or even the first full-fledged work!) With watercolors or gouache, markers, pastels, and so on. Perhaps the new materials will inspire you. In addition, you will begin to work more actively with color. It’s also good.

Of course, art supplies are not cheap. But while you are learning and just trying something new, you don’t have to buy the most expensive copies. What if you don’t like it? Start with affordable mid-range tools.

Step 8: Draw from the head and develop the imagination.

Drawing from pictures and life builds your skill well. But it’s even better when you have ideas in your head that you want to translate on a sheet. It is unnecessary to try to draw everything from the head; you can rely on suitable images. Whoever says anything, references are good and even great if you don’t know something. Even cool artists do it.

Step 9: Define the direction and style.

Try yourself in different genres: painting, comics, portraits – try different things. You never know if you will like it or not until you try it. Alternate learning withdrawing what inspires you.

Practice will develop your style. You can view the work of other illustrators and artists. No, not copy, but analyze what exactly you like about their work—somewhere attractive lighting, somewhere a combination of colors. Please take a little from everywhere and translate it into something completely new. It’s not just the work of other artists that can inspire, but books, music, films, and more.

Step 10: Practice

At first glance, it seems that drawing, all the more realistically, is difficult. Yes, of course, this is the same work as any other. But everything can be learned, especially now that information has become so accessible. The key is to learn and understand the basics. And do not be afraid to make a mistake. The rest will come with practice and work on errors.

Finally

You can learn to draw with a pencil at any age, and the main thing is to start with simple lessons, buy good pencils and paper, and draw constantly. After all, the frequent frequency will help you train your step to drawing skills – just like the muscles in the gym! Yes, most likely, at first, you will have to make a lot of sketches and draw dozens of drafts. But you want to learn, and that your drawing pleases you? Then don’t worry if there are 20-30 drafts per drawing. This is the experience you need to go through to become an artist!

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(Video) How to draw an eye/eyes easy step by step for beginners Eye drawing easy tutorial with pencil basics

FAQs

How can I teach myself to draw? ›

Look for something you are interested in and 'Practice, practice practice' as they say. A great way that worked for me was to start by creating a simple line drawing, make several copies of it and try different things to take the drawing a step further. On one you might draw much more of the fine details.

What are the 5 basic skills of drawing? ›

The 5 basic skills of drawing are understanding edges, spaces, light and shadow, relationships, and, the whole, or gestalt. These 5 basic skills of drawing make up the components of a finished work of art when put together.

What does F stand for in pencils? ›

The degree of hardness of a pencil is printed on the pencil.

B stands for "black". These pencils are soft. H stands for "hard". HB stands for "hard black", which means "medium hard". F stands for "firm".

What is the best age to start drawing? ›

The best age to learn drawing for anyone is NOW. Truly, age is no bar for anyone to learn drawing. Drawing is a learnable skill; with passion and regular practice, you can learn drawing. Two other things required for drawing, or be it in any skill, are patience and perseverance.

Why I cant learn to draw? ›

Reason 1 – You Need More Practice

They simply need more practice to get better. Drawing is a skill and like with any other skill, you can't expect to get better without practicing it. So many people think that drawing is just something that some people can do and others can't. This simply is not true.

Can I learn to draw if I have no talent? ›

Yes, anyone can learn to draw. You may think you have no talent but others may well appreciate what you draw. A natural talent may make the learning process easier, but drawing is as much of a skill as a talent. As with any other skill, this can be learned.

What is the fastest way to learn to draw? ›

Here are 29 tips that can help speed up your sketching skills!
  1. Why should you learn how to draw faster?
  2. Look for and Draw the Basic Shapes.
  3. Draw with Your Whole Arm.
  4. Use a Different Medium.
  5. Draw Moving Objects and People.
  6. Draw from Imagination.
  7. Leave out Details from the Drawing.
  8. Work on Several Drawings at Once.
31 Oct 2022

What body part is the easiest to draw? ›

Hair can be one of the easiest parts of the human body to draw, so keep it simple!

Is learning to draw hard? ›

It is hard to learn to draw, but it's a quicker and easier process with the right resources, support, and dedication to learning the right skills. Learning to draw can be a rewarding experience, which makes it important to focus on the journey instead of just the outcome of beautiful art.

What to draw if you have no idea? ›

Jan 22 100 Drawing Ideas for when You can't Think of Anything
  • Something moving in the wind.
  • What you think music looks like.
  • Something that's less than 5 days old.
  • Something that's more than 100 years old.
  • An object as if it were alive.
  • Something outdoors in three different kinds of weather.
  • A fairy tale character.
22 Jan 2021

How many hours a day should I draw? ›

It's possible to see improvements by drawing only 1-2 hours per day. But if you want to see significant improvements you should be aiming for 5-6 hours per day, or more if possible. Starting anywhere is better than never starting.

Is drawing is a talent or skill? ›

Drawing is a Skill.

A skill is something, that can be learned through practice and learning it the right way. Drawing is a Skill, that you can learn no matter if you are talented or not. But it will take a little more time to learn.

Is there a #1 pencil? ›

Lead pencils are graded on a scale from No. 1 to No. 4 based on how much graphite is inside the core. The #1 pencils are the softest, while the #4 pencils are the hardest.

What is the easiest pencil to erase? ›

The pencils that, generally speaking, erase the best are in the 2B, 3B and 4B grades.

What is the softest pencil? ›

2B, 3B and 4B are increasingly soft. Further up the range, 9B is the very softest lead available, but so soft and crumbly that it's rarely used. Anything over 4B is probably too soft for most people's day-to-day use.

Is 17 too old to start drawing? ›

Is it too late to start drawing at the age of 17? No. You are ridiculously young, honestly it's not even a factor at your age. Most artists dont really start drawing seriously until they are late teens/early twenties even if they're 'good at art' in HS.

Is 30 too old to start drawing? ›

Is there an age when it's too late? Adults can learn to draw if they have enough time, practice on a daily basis, and have plenty of patience. There are countless videos, courses, and books, that teach the basics of drawing. Anyone can become a better artist and improve their level of skill with the right work ethic.

Is 23 too late to learn to draw? ›

It's never too late to learn how to draw. This advice can be found everywhere in books, online videos, and trumpeted by teachers at all levels. But people who want to become industry pros often have a related question.

Can drawing be self taught? ›

If you are disciplined, then you can achieve anything as a self-taught artist that a trained artist could achieve. In fact, formal art training can be restrictive to the learning of some artists, who may be better suited to the self-taught path.

How do I stop being lazy and draw? ›

Give Yourself A Routine To Create

To eliminate the excuse of not having time to work on your art, you need to make time. Prioritize your time in a way that makes it possible to work on your craft even just a little bit. It could be on your lunch break or you could set aside a day to spend time by yourself.

Is drawing harder than painting? ›

One practical reason children are taught to draw before they paint is that drawing requires fewer materials, and when drawing with a pencil, it is easier to erase mistakes as you learn. This learning process implies that drawing is the easier medium that you learn before progressing to painting.

Why can't some people draw? ›

Four possible sources of drawing inaccuracies were described: misperception of the object, inability to make good representational decisions, deficient motor skills, and misperception of the drawing. In four studies the degree to which the latter three sources contributed to drawing inaccuracies was assessed.

How long it takes to draw well? ›

Drawing well is a matter of developing your observational abilities, techniques, and self-assessment abilities. The basis to drawing well is making the firm commitment to the long-haul of it. You can get VERY good in two years with a clear path, excellent resources, and consistent work on the daily.

Why am I not getting better at art? ›

You're Not Allowing Yourself to Play

If you're approaching your art too rigidly or without an element of “fun”, then you're likely to get frustrated and eventually quit over time. You're also likely not to find much improvement in your work because you're looking at it too closely.

Is it better to draw fast or slow? ›

Until you reach an extreme level of mastery (and I've seen a few who can draw beautifully -- in ink -- with no pre-drawing), most will find rough (fast) followed by refinement (slow) as the best approach. It's no different in this sense than sculpting.

How many hours does it take to learn to draw? ›

How long does it take to learn to draw as a beginner artist? It takes at the most 2-3 months to become a beginner artist. Here, you just have to build a daily routine of drawing and practice for 30 minutes daily.

Is drawing a hard skill? ›

Hard skills are measurable technical skills, which are the ones students primarily focus on. These skills include drawing from life, drawing from reference, challenging yourself, not overcomplicating your work.

What gender is easier to draw? ›

Artists quickly learn that men's faces are easier to draw because men have bone structures and muscle groupings that are more pronounced than women's.

What is the hardest thing for an artist to draw? ›

Generically, The hands are the most difficult body part to draw. A good way to draw better hands is to reference your hand, or look up reference images of hands.

Is it better to draw with wrist or arm? ›

"Let the vibration and the feeling come first, and any word and action that is inspired come second." As would most experienced drawing artists say, always make your pencil strokes with your arm preferable to the wrist. As it allows for greater movement in drawing straighter lines and more accurate curves.

Why can't I draw what I see in my head? ›

Because it's not a clear image! Our mental images are deceiving. While they may seem very clear in our minds eye, when we try to translate what we see in our heads onto paper only then do we see the many are gaps in our knowledge.

Is it harder to draw with a pen? ›

You can use different colors, different pen tips, but unlike a pencil, it is more challenging to be able to apply shading to your sketch.

Is drawing good for your brain? ›

Study Shows That Drawing Is Good for Your Brain

This cognitive research study concluded that “making art could delay or even negate age-related decline of certain brain functions.” For anyone interested in brain health, and in boosting their creativity, now you have an even better reason to draw.

What is drawing without thinking called? ›

In art, automatism refers to creating art without conscious thought, accessing material from the unconscious mind as part of the creative process. Henri Michaux.

Why am I drawing a blank? ›

You draw a blank when you attempt to recall something and fail, or when you try to come up with a solution to a problem and can't think of one. This expression finds its origins in Tudor England, when the first national lottery was established by Queen Elizabeth the First in 1567.

What is drawing without looking called? ›

2) Blind Contour Drawing

Blind contour drawing is just that, a contour drawing that you make while “blind” or without looking at the paper. With this technique, you will spend 100% of your time looking at the object you're drawing and 0% of your time looking at your paper.

Is it OK to not draw everyday? ›

You do not have to draw everyday for the rest of your life, but you can periodically set goals to draw everyday for the short term. Daily drawing challenges can be an effective way to improve your art. For example, Inktober is a short term challenge to work on improving your linework.

Is it better to draw in the morning or at night? ›

The best time to draw is up to how you feel. I say try to do it when you are most awake or the time during the day you feel most productive. For me that's usually mid day or in the mornings. I rarely draw at night unless I was too busy to get it done the day or during work breaks.

What happens if draw everyday? ›

When you draw every day, you will speed up your motor learning and master your drawing skills more quickly. Your strokes will become more fluid, you'll understand how to make the shapes you need to form without mistakes, and the time it'll take you to finish your piece of art will decrease.

Are artists born to draw? ›

Artists are both born and taught, says Nancy Locke, associate professor of art history at Penn State. "There is no question in my mind that artists are born," says Locke. Many artists arrive in the world brimming with passion and natural creativity and become artists after trying other vocations.

How do people draw so good? ›

Ongoing research is revealing the answer to this longstanding question. It seems that realistic drawing ability hinges on three factors: how a person perceives reality, how well he or she remembers visual information from one moment to the next, and which elements of an object he or she selects to actually draw.

How do I know if Im artistic? ›

An artistic personality type uses their hands and mind to create new things. They appreciate beauty, unstructured activities and variety. They enjoy interesting and unusual people, sights, textures and sounds. These individuals prefer to work in unstructured situations and use their creativity and imagination.

What is the 70/30 rule in drawing? ›

Apply the 70/30 rule

The 70/30 rule helps you create effective compositions. The idea is that 30 per cent of your sketch is filled with the main focus and detail, and the remaining 70 per cent is filler. This less interesting area helps direct attention towards the main subject of your artwork.

What pencil is best for sketching? ›

For simple sketching, the HB pencil is probably the most popular, with artists also favoring the H and the B pencils. For preliminary sketches that will be used as a guide for a painting or illustration, the lighter 2H–4H pencils are ideal.

What should I learn first before drawing? ›

One of the first steps of simple drawings is mastering the art of drawing shapes. The cube, the cylinder, and the sphere are the fundamental shapes an artist must learn in order to achieve a deeper understanding of all forms when learning to draw.

Where should I start with drawing? ›

22 Tips to help you start Drawing
  • Believe you can get there.
  • Don't try to be perfect!
  • Drawing is about learning to See.
  • Choose your subject matter.
  • Practice Shading techniques.
  • Copy drawings and paintings when you are learning to draw.
  • Take a drawing or art class.
  • Keeping a sketchbook.
10 Mar 2022

What are the 4 basic drawing techniques? ›

Drawing Techniques for Beginners
  • Back and forth: When we say basic, this what we're talking about. ...
  • Hatching: Hatching involves making tiny ticks on your page. ...
  • Cross Hatching: This technique is the logical extension to hatching. ...
  • Scribble: Scribbling allows your hand the opportunity to fly across the page.
12 Apr 2018

Should I use pen or pencil for sketching? ›

Depending on how they've been sharpened, pencils can create fine point detailed work or harsher and border strokes and shading. On the other hand, drawing with a pen can save time, especially if you get bogged down by little mistakes and stop to erase every minor error.

Which art is best for beginners? ›

Acrylic is typically the easiest for beginners, while watercolor is the hardest. However, if you hate working with acrylic, don't force yourself to paint it just because it's easier.

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