Drawing Tutorials, Tips, Ideas & More for the Beginner Artist
Learn how to draw a variety of nature scenes through easy-to-follow tips and step-by-step drawing tutorials
Translate your vision into a drawing, then advance from simple still-lifes to landscapes, human figures, and more
You'll spend hours delving deep into each image, finding your own inspiration & creativity
Step-by-step drawing lessons for beginners
By Courtney Jordan, Online Editor
A chair is a great object to sketch in order to practice capturing negative space.
Successful artists always seem to list drawing art as the constant “helping hand” activity that they go back to when they are stumped and need to refresh themselves or sharpen their techniques. Through simple drawings, you can make discoveries about your own artistic style and further enhance how you see.
Drawing Basics: Love the Line
Drawing ideas often spring from the medium itself. A stray mark or pencil stroke can bring to mind so many possibilities, from the feathers on an owl’s wing to the profile of distant mountain peaks. That’s why it is so important to spend time just free drawing that will give you the opportunity to learn to love line.
So take time as you work through drawing tutorials to work only with line. Create simple drawings using hatchings and crosshatchings alone. Discover how you can layer line, or use different sides of your implement for smooth and crisp marks or smeary strokes. Decent drawing tutorials will tell you the same because drawing basics like this are what allow you to really command the best from the medium, be it graphite, charcoal, pastels, or any other implement you choose to draw with.
Delve into more drawing tips and guidance for beginners with Drawing Nature for the Absolute Beginner, a resource that shows how natural elements like hills and trees can be easily captured and turned into art through the beauty of line.
Drawing Tutorials: Use the Negative Space
Drawing for beginners also means learning to see and to draw negative space as well as positive space. In other words, spend time drawing the shapes of the space around objects as well as the objects themselves.
It sounds easy, but oftentimes this basic drawing idea is hard to truly understand until you actually do it. But once you capture a few angles, the negative space will take as much prominence in your drawing as the object you are drawing.
Continue working on negative space and other simple drawing techniques with the Complete Drawing Course. Even if you never went to art school, learning to draw with this at-home study course is completely within your grasp!
Anthony Ryder recommends approaching a drawing across the whole work, knitting the individual forms into a cohesive whole.
Drawing Lessons: Don’t Use Symbols
One of the best drawing exercises you can practice involves symbols or, actually, resisting the temptation to use symbols. You see, when you start to learn drawing, there is always the urge to draw objects or figures as shapes, ovals for eyes for example. But in reality, the structure and shape of eyes is nothing like an oval. Instead, you must use light and shadow and proportion to truly capture a person’s eyes in your drawing.
To practice this, sit in front of a mirror with a lamp tilted over your face to create strong light and shadow shapes. Practice creating a basic drawing of the abstract shapes of light and shadow on the features of your face. Creating a drawing step by step in this way frees you to see abstractly and that is the secret to drawing art. You learn to draw what you see, not what you think you see.
For more inspiration and guidance on line drawing, contour drawing, and drawing art in general, Strokes of Genius is available. A resource guide with more than 140 drawings and the insights and ideas behind each work, it is ideal for the beginner drawing artist looking to learn from artists with strong drawing skills.
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Courtney Jordan is the Online Editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.