We think anyone can learn how to draw, it’s all a matter of daily practice. We recently got asked how do you learn how to draw if you’re just starting out? Are there any shortcuts? Yes, there are.
First, pick up a pen or pencil, whichever you’re comfortable with, and fill up an entire sheet of paper with lines, circles ellipses. This is for you to get comfortable with drawing and warmed up.
The idea here is not to draw anything specific, but to warm up your hand and get into a creative mindset.
Next, it kind of depends on what it is you like to draw. If you’re trying to sketch or draw something you’ve never done before, try to find drawings you like and literally try to copy them.
Study their style and try to understand why they draw or paint like they do. What techniques do they use to achieve a specific effect?
When you do this, you’ll learn faster than if you were to come up with drawing on your own and even though you’re trying to copy their style you will inevitably develop your own style of drawing without you even knowing it.
So what if you don’t feel like drawing but still want to learn?
On days we don’t know what to draw but we still want to sketch something, we do something called speed form sketching. This is a great way to loosen up and get your creativity going. You can do this with pen, pencils or even markers.
No matter what it is you’re drawing, always start by defining what simple geometries your object is made out of. For example, if you’re drawing a coffee mug, start with a cylinder block, get the proportions and perspective right before jumping into details.
Here's an example of how to sketch headphones with this technique.
This technique is extremely useful and will make drawing and sketching a lot easier.
It can be used for sketching pretty much anything from coffee mugs and buildings to animals and humans.
If you're interested in mastering your pencil drawing skills, we highly recommend having a look at the online class by Nolan Clark.
It is a pencil drawing course that specializes in taking beginners and teaching them how to draw in a realistic style.
The course itself is online video, so you can access it from anywhere in the world - the videos worked perfectly on our tablet and phone.
Each class is two hours long so you can even draw with which watching the video, nothing is left to the imagination. The course starts off by showing you all the equipment you need and the basic strokes. Even in this video we picked up a cool tip for erasing.
What we like is that each lesson builds on the previous so you are never thrown into the deep.
Each class has it's own concept or technique that you need to master. For example, in the second class you learn how to spot the different tonal values. In this class Nolan (the instructor) uses different styrofoam objects to show you the light affects the tonal values.
The way he explains it makes it so easy to understand, like theory being explained in a practical way.
With each class you get a downloadable template which you can print out and use that to transfer to your drawing paper. You then also get a high quality photo of the reference and the final drawing.
They are laid out in the pdf in such a way that when you print it out, each are exactly the same size. This makes it easy to judge sizes while drawing. Smart!
In each class you complete a drawing project. Like in the second class you draw a realistic spoon. At the beginning of the class I though it was going to be difficult, but after watching the explanations at the start of the class and the practical demo, it turned out to be quite easy.
The next four lessons are also still life drawings. There is an onion and garlic still life, transparent wine glass, rose and an apple drawing. In each of these you learn all about creating texture and depth in your drawings as well as drawing negatively and how to draw reflective objects.
From there you start drawing portraits. Nolan shows you how to draw all the major features like the eyes and mouth. What we liked was that he shows you what to look out for with each one. Once you have completed say the ear class, you will be able to draw any ear and not just the one from the class itself.
What really makes this course stand out from the rest is that it goes much deeper than any of the other courses we've have seen. There are even classes on how to draw material textures and hands.
We're still busy going through the course, it's massive (there is over 32 hours worth of video in this course), but we know that our drawings are going to move up a few levels when we're done.
The bottom line is if you want to get better at anything, it’s all about practice. This includes if you want to learn how to draw. And if you enjoy doing it, you’ll naturally become better at it.
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