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Learn How to Draw the World Around You

Drawing Techniques & Tips to Capture What You See

By Courtney Jordan, Online Editor

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Video Download: Drawing Workshop with Jill Bays Digital Download | Learning to Draw

Drawing Workshop with Jill Bays
Focused on improving your drawing techniques, this digital video download will show you how to draw with a variety of drawing media.

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Have you ever wished that you could preserve a memory—maybe a family gathering or a hilarious moment with a group of friends or cherished time with your child—forever? Well, when you learn how to draw…you sort of can. Learning how to draw is a great way to transform your life and loved ones into art, and all it takes is adapting your eye and your artistic skills to the world around you.


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How to Get Started with Drawing

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.

Drawing Portraits for the Absolute Beginner | Learning to Draw

Drawing Portraits for the Absolute Beginner
Learn great tips and techniques for how to draw more realistic facial features as well as complete figures.

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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.

How to See, How to Draw | Learning to Draw

How to See, How to Draw
Great for beginners...learn how to draw a wide variety of subjects such as portraits, landscapes, animals and still life.

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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!



Save 10% Off Select Drawing Products!
Use Promo Code: SAVELP

Final discounts will be displayed within the cart for qualifying items. Discount not valid on pre-orders, value packs,
subscriptions, and 3rd party products. 1 use per customer. Other exclusions apply.


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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.