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Drawing for Beginners

Doodling of images begins at an early age in life. Thus, drawing is merely putting an image on a surface using tools such as a pen or pencil. Drawing is an enduring art that has been practiced by many cultures across the world.

The two most essential tools in drawing are the surface and a device that can make marks such as charcoal, pen, or pencil. Sketches are rough drawings that an artist makes when he wants to put his idea on paper or explain a point to a listener. The composition comprises of the way an artist positions different elements in an image. Therefore, you will notice many artists sketching an image because it serves as a guide.

People have different methods and materials across the globe that they use to produce drawings. The article will provide you with more details about the tools, different types of drawings, and books that can get you started in this art.

                                                                                                                                                  Estimated reading time: 14 min

 

 

Table of Contents

 
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Brief History of Drawing

Drawing is an important hobby linked to other arts, for it determines how an artist plans, structures, and utilizes the space.

Drawings have been used as fundamentals for sculptures and paintings. As a foundation, drawing helps artists to sketch everything and maintain their curiosity. However, like a house, a weak foundation can affect the health of the entire building, and the outcome can be detrimental.

Since drawing is old, it can be traced to the earliest artworks of prehistoric animal images in Lascaux France. People living in the Middle Ages in Europe didn't use papers, but instead, they used tablets.

These were made from wooden panels that were lined with white-colored coatings or wax. Therefore, a person could draw on the tablet, erase it, and re-use it again.

Other early drawing surfaces were made from animal skins. The hides were stretched and cleaned through scrubbing to remove flesh and fat. They were then dried to form parchment, which was thin, and made from goat and sheep's skin while vellum was soft and made from calfskin.

From 105 CE, the Chinese invented paper and began drawing on this new material. Centuries later, the paper reached the Western countries, and they embraced the new development.

However, there was a massive shortage of this material until in the 14th and 15th centuries when standardized manufacturing methods were developed in Europe.

Later, paper became the preferred drawing medium when the artists realized it’s potential.

On the other hand, artists used pen and ink to express their thoughts and feelings. These pens were made from plant stalks or bird feathers. The ink was a mixture of natural powder such as red ochre, soot, or carbon and water. Thus, they used a quill, and red pens dipped in ink to draw images on the tablets or parchment. 

Other drawing media was charcoal, which is a burnt wood. The hard black stick left dark marks on the surface, and the artist could either rub the space clean or smudge it to get a subtle tonal shade.

Chalk is a hand-held bar or stick made of clay mixed with red iron oxide and dried to harden it. In the 16th Century, Italy invented pastels or a more refined version of chalk that was made from a colorful powdered pigment mixed with a binder. The mixture was shaped into a brilliant stick that was softer than the earlier chalk, which had a deeper color.

With these tools, the prehistoric artists could communicate things such as the animals found in the hunting areas. The parchment and vellum were filled with calligraphy; thus, between the 7th -15th centuries, the European Monasteries produced beautifully illustrated manuscripts that were made by hand. 

One excellent example is the Codex Vaticanus, which is an illuminated manuscript dated 4th century. Beginning artists used drawing as preparatory studies and practice; thus, they could paint them with accuracy at the end of the exercise. Otherwise, plain ones were destroyed, and for that reason, the closest drawings you can get from the prehistoric artists are the illuminated manuscripts which happened in the early Renaissance. 

Albrecht Durer is a 15th-century artist known for his etchings, drawings, and watercolor paintings. Renaissance is regarded as the foundation of any form of art. Students were taught how to draw accurately before venturing into painting, building, or sculpturing. They started by drawing the live nude figure, and as a result, the images in paintings and drawings developed greater realism. For example, the Leonardo da Vinci drawings such as The Study of horses dated c.1490 and The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne and Saint John the Baptist, c.1499.

 In the 15th century, the Flemish artists began using the metalpoint on white paper due to its precision. The paper or surface was prepared using gesso or primer, and a piece of silver, gold, or copper was used instead of graphite. Jan van Eyck created Portrait of an Unknown Man, and Rogier van der Weyden’s Portrait of a Woman was made with a silverpoint.

In the 20th century, artists began making images that are more individualistic as they used different ways to express themselves. 

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Drawing Experts

Draughtsman or draftsman refers to an artist that practices drawing. Some of the known draftsmen are Leonardo Da Vinci, Albrecht Durer, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, and Jacques Louis David.  

Drawing versus Painting

A slightly blurred line separates drawing and painting. For instance, Chinese have an art performed by the use of a brush on paper or silk, which is close to drawing and, at the same time to fine art painting such as calligraphy. The illuminated manuscripts that were created in the Middle Age, like Utrecht Psalter, comprise of pen and ink drawings, resemble modern cartoons, and serve a similar function with paintings.

Even if the two arts are almost similar, drawing is an independent art that emerged during the Renaissance art in the 15th century. Prior to quattrocento, drawing was inferior to painting.

You must learn how to draw first before becoming a painter, but the converse is not true.

Lines and shades define drawing, and the art uses pencils, pens, charcoal, and crayons. The artwork does need time to dry, and the images can be rubbed off with an eraser. You don't need turpentine oil or brushes in drawing, but scales and measuring equipment are some of its essential tools.

Therefore, drawing is a standalone art form and has a broad scope for creative expression. You can use drawing to make bodies, depth, 3-dimensionality, space, and movement visible. A draftsman can portray his personality in the way the lines flow.

Painting is described by color and designs. You use palettes when painting on canvas; other pigments are oil colors and acrylic. Painting has to be dried, and it can't be easily altered or erased. Painting is considered an expensive hobby because its artwork has a greater market value than drawing.

However, the art exhibition holds both drawings and paintings. That is the reason why many people use the two terms interchangeably.

 
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Essential Drawing Tools for Beginners

Most individuals began drawing when they were young, and as a result, materials and tools meant nothing to them. They only needed a pencil and paper. However, as they developed as artists, things changed, and tools and materials became meaningful. Today you can see the connection between quality artwork and quality art materials. For that reason, emerging artists are seeking the best materials possible.

The following are the essential drawing materials that you should have as a beginner who is starting to get serious about their artwork. They will center on the black and white drawing media since this is what you will focus on as a beginner.

 

1. Drawing Pencils

You can’t draw without a quality pencil. You will realize that each artist has their favorite brand. Thus, as a beginner, you have to try a few brands and then settle on one.

Pencil set is a nice tin with a wide spectrum of graphite grades, such as harder graphite (9H) that makes lighter marks, thus keeping the sharp tip longer. On the other hand, the softer graphite (6B) makes darker marks, and you need to keep on resharpening the pencil. With this set, an artist can create different marks and values.

As you gain experience, you will discover that you prefer a few pencils in the entire set. For instance, you may opt for individual pencils like 2H, HB, 2B OR 4B instead of buying a whole pencil set. Thus, you can buy a pencil set or a few individual pencils in the art store.

2. Sketchbook

The life of an artist is comparable to that of an athlete in the sense that both must engage in exercise to enhance their performance. Sadly the world may never discover the number of hours spent sketching an object. However, the sketchbook is the breeding ground for innovative, creative ideas. Like an athlete that spends hours in the gym and track, an artist spends time on the sketchbook. For that reason, it's your driving factor to successful artwork.

Thus, you should buy a durable sketchbook with plenty of pages to accommodate your daily practice. A hardcovered sketchbook is ideal for it will withstand repeated travel, use and will keep the corners of the pages nice and clean.

 

 

3. Drawing Surfaces

A quality drawing surface is vital as other tools because it determines the finished result. The following are the factors that you should put into consideration when buying a drawing surface.

Paperweight: It refers to the weight of the ream which in most incidences is determined by the thickness of the papers

 

The Texture: The feature plays a vital role in determining how the drawing material is received on the surface. For instance, if you opt for heavier textures, then it will produce broken lines, but a smooth texture will give you gradations of value and smoother lines. You will discover that some artists prefer heavier textures while others will opt for smooth texture; however, both aspects have different outcomes.

Acid-Free: A paper without acid is resistant to fading and doesn’t yellow over time whenever the work is exposed to UV light.

Therefore, you should buy the following type of papers.

Drawing Paper: The paper should have a medium texture that can work well with different drawing media like charcoal, graphite, and colored pencils.

Bristol Paper: It's a stiff paper but with a smooth texture and excellent for making detailed line work using ink or fine graduations of value.

Charcoal Paper: The paper is almost transparent and has a heavier texture. A wide array of media can be used in this paper.

4. Pencil Sharpener

You need a good quality sharpener to help maintain your pencils in a good sharp and to last longer. There are two categories of sharpeners, namely electric and manual.

Electric Sharpeners: They sharpens quickly without eating the pencil. You shouldn’t use them on colored pencils because the waxy binder in the colored pencils can ruin the device when it builds on the sharpener's blade.  Another warning is that you shouldn't sharpen smaller pencils with it because they will get caught inside.

Manual Sharpener: These are simple, handheld, portable sharpener, which offers a cheap and easy solution. It's easy to replace these sharpeners when they get blunt or aged. They are also ideal for sharpening colored pencils.

5. Erasers

It’s a great mark-making tool used for erasing mistakes. There are four different types of erasers in drawing.

Rubber Eraser: It’s a typical eraser that uses friction to clear graphite marks from any surface.

Plastic or Plastic Eraser: It's a tough eraser that can wipe out marks on any surface. However, the eraser is rough and can tear the paper; thus, don't exert force when using it.

Gum Eraser: It’s ideal for removing marks on the papers prone to tearing. However, it uses friction, although it preserves the surface.

Kneaded Eraser: Unlike other erasers, this one picks the materials from the surface itself instead of you using friction to remove them.

6. Drawing Pens and Ink

You need to master the use of lines when drawing with ink because they are used to create an illusion of texture, form, and light. It's easy to find technical drawing pens because they are affordable and portable.

Nib or dip pens are vital when you want to advance your career in drawing. Although the use of pen and ink is a traditional approach that requires bottled ink, which makes it less portable, the drawings made using these tools are more interesting and have character.

Another important pen is the felt tip pens that allow you to create a wide range of line quality. You can improve your drawing skills by sketching using a felt tip pen. Further, working with a medium that you can't erase helps you to be more deliberate with the marks you make.

7. Conte or Charcoal

Inside of drawing your white and black images with graphite pencils, you can opt for other options. Conte or charcoal is an essential artist toolkit that you can't avoid when drawing. It provides marks that you can’t achieve with graphite.

Both charcoal and Conte are rich in color; however, Conte has clay constituents while charcoal is made from burnt organic material.

Charcoal is available as a stick or pencil. The sticks are either compressed to produce darker marks or vine charcoal, which produces lighter marks and is softer.

The charcoal pencils are great for details and can be sharpened, just like graphite ones.

8. Colored Pencils

These pencils are readily available, but this doesn't mean they offer high quality.

The following type of colored pencil will offer you quality.

Faber-Castell Polychromos: These are oil-based pencils that need several layers of application to achieve a good depth in color. The result of using such a pencil is fantastic, although they are expensive. However, they are the best choice when the medium of choice is colored pencils.

Prismacolor Premier: These are wax-based pencils that are buttery and soft. An artist can use them to layer colors until he achieves a solid application similar to painting. These pencils break easily because they have a softcore, which is supposed to help them build upon a surface and so easy to use.

Caran D’ache Luminance: These are premium, wax-based pencils. They are harder than Prismacolor Premier, layer nicely, break less often, very expensive, and the brightest colored pencils. Use these types when working on darker surfaces.

9. Drawing Boards/ Easels

You can secure your sheet of paper on a drawing board when working on it. It should be large enough, and the surface should be smooth for your paper. Use spring-loaded board clips instead of drawing pins to secure the paper on the board. You will find a purpose-made drawing board in the nearest art shop. You can also make one from a sheet of medium density fiberboard (MDF) or plywood.

You don't need an easel if you're working on a paper or sketchbook secured on board. However, you should invest in a portable sketching easel when you don't have somewhere to place the board. Ensure that the easel can sit or stand comfortably; thus, a lightweight sketching easel or adjustable table easel is a practical choice. It’s strong enough to take enough weight and pressure you apply when drawing as well as the weight of the drawing board.

10. Tortillions/Blending Stumps

Use bending stumps whenever you want to take material around the surface. It allows you to create gradations in value devoid of finger smudging that makes your drawing appear uncontrolled or dirty.

You can use it to create smooth applications and gradations of value in places where details are needed.

11. Portfolio and Artwork Storage

Your drawings are valuable and should be protected in the form of a portfolio. There are several portfolios in the market, and each has its pros and cons. The following are the features that you should take into consideration.

Size: Your portfolio should have adequate room for larger artworks. Thus, even if most of your work is smaller, don't purchase a portfolio of 18"X24" because it won't be enough for your larger drawings in the future.

Rigidness: it should protect your work from bending. Thus, invest in a portfolio that has a rigid support system.

You can also build your portfolio reasonably quickly from rigid cardboard and tape.

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Categories of Drawing

There are three basic drawing categories.

Casual Drawing: These are unfinished or unrefined compositions such as sketching and doodling. The drawings have no continuing functions.

Preparatory Drawing: Involves the creation of a single or series of images that form part of a composition that an artist intends to complete using colored ink and paints.

Finished Drawing: It's a completed standalone or autonomous work like a cartoon, an illustration, a graphic design, or a caricature.

Types of Drawing

Artists use drawing as their way of expressing themselves. Drawing is actually a communication tool for their feelings and thoughts. It can be in the form of a plan, sketch, graphic representation, or design made with the help of pencils, pens, crayons, and a piece of paper. The result of a drawing depends on the purpose and nature.

The following are different kinds of drawings.

Analytic Drawing: An artist might create sketches to have a clear representation of what he understands or observes. It's a type of drawing done to split observations into bits and pieces for a better perspective.

Diagrammatic Drawing: It's a type of drawing where ideas and concepts under investigation and exploration are documented on paper. Therefore an artist uses diagrams to describe happenstance and adjacencies bound to occur in the immediate future.

Emotive Drawing: It applies the same concept used in emotive painting, which focuses on the exploration and expression in an array of feelings, emotions, and moods. That means that in emotive drawing, an artist depicts his personality.

Geometric Drawing: It’s used mostly in the construction fields that commands the use of specific dimensions. It applies true sides, sections, measured scales, and a variety of descriptive terms.

Illustration Drawing: They provide the layout of a specific document, for instance, the basic details of a particular project such as the purpose, character, style, effect, color, and size.

Life Drawing: These are drawings created from real or direct life drawings observations. It is also known as figure drawing or still-life drawing because the artist captures all expressions he observes in a picture. The human figure is one of the most enduring themes in this type of drawing, thus applied to sculpture, portraiture, cartooning, medical illustration, and comic book illustration.

Perspective Drawing: It's a type of drawing where artists create 3D images using a 2D picture plane like a piece of paper. The artist represents distance, light, space, scale, surface planes, and volume, which are all seen from a specific eye-level.

Portraits: It entails a pure profile or the three-quarter profile. Examples include the portraits made by Jan van Eyck, Antonio Pisanello, or Emperor Maximilian drawing by Albrecht Durer in the 15th-century.

Portraits completed in chalk of different colors were done by Hans Holbein, Jean and Francois Clouet. Softer crayons were used by the 19th and 20th-century artists such as Lean Bakst to produce decorative art such as Ballets Russes and Sergei Diaghilev.

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Styles of Drawing

Drawing is the fundamental of several creative practices such as artists, animators, architects, and fashion designers.

The use of a pen or pencil and paper for self-expression has been in existence for many years now. People are using diverse drawing techniques to sketch and produce incredible artworks.

There are many drawing styles that have been studied and explored so far, and each conveys a unique final product. Some illustrations are detailed and meticulous; thus, they demand great patience, but others require free and loose strokes.

The following are different types of drawing styles.

 

1. Anamorphic

It's a technical skill that requires an artist to master perspective to create illusion and depth, thus producing a 3D drawing.

The stunning results delight viewers despite the hours spent on practice. You can learn more about anamorphic drawing on YouTube.

2. Architectural

It's more technical and less artistic. It's a refined skill in the design world, but non-architects can also create stunning artwork. An artist can duplicate Notre Dame or come up with a fantastic architectural piece. However, in this type of building, attention to detail, and precision is the key element. 

3. Cartoons

These comical and satirical illustrations have been in use for several centuries now. It’s a category that has been evolving over time. There are different cartoon styles, such as anime, classic Disney, caricature, and manga. Creating these drawings helps artists to bring out the essence of a figure semi-realistically while liberating themselves from hyperrealistic representations.

4. Doodling

Many regard doodling as a merely mindless pass time; however, it's an excellent way of allowing your subconscious mind to flow.

Some of the great artists that doodled are Leonardo da Vinci and Vincent Bal, who was an excellent illustrator that plays with shapes and shadow.

Doodles are great, immediate impressions of what lies in front of you and is executed quickly with clear, simple lines.

 

5. Fashion

Designers draw their idea on paper. Thus fashion illustration requires the use of quick gestural drawings to communicate the essence of a garment. The long elongated figures in this type of drawings mimic the models' height. They focus on the clothes but not the facial features; thus, some are rougher while others are more polished.

6. Hyperrealism/Photorealism

It's a style that requires patience because it takes hours to complete a hyperrealistic or photorealistic drawing. Once polished adequately, the image will look exactly like a photograph. Portraiture is a type of hyperrealist drawing that many artists have ventured into; for instance, Cj Hendry drew colorful blobs on point using colored pencils.

 

7. Line Drawing

Lines are the foundation for all drawing styles. It uses contours to create memorable sketches without shading. Continuous line drawing helps beginners to put their drawing skills into practice. With this exercise, you don't remove the pencil or pen from the sheet of paper; thus, you use one line from the beginning to the end to create the image.

8. Pointillism

The concept of pointillism is connected to Georges Seurat's post-impressionist paintings; however, it's a style and technique used in drawing. Artists stipple myriads of tiny dots to create light and shadow. Viewers are shocked to realize that its dots that have been used instead of lines in a finished artwork.

 
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Drawing Books for Absolute Beginners

Beginners get incredibly frustrated by drawing poor images every day. However, with the right practice, you can make progress quickly. To begin, you can use books rather than video courses to improve your technical skill sets and knowledge, thus becoming a better artist and draftsman.

The following are books that can help you with your drawing journey.

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

The author has placed several practical exercises on this book to help you see negative space, perspective, and values. The book is highly recommended to self-motivated complete beginners who understand what they want to put on the paper.

Thus if you're new and have no idea what happens in drawing, then this book will give you an excellent introduction to this art.

Drawing for the Absolute Beginner by Mark and Mary Willenbrink

It’s a guide that will help learn how to draw from scratch. It teaches you how to hold a pencil, the materials to begin with, and to make marks accurately on a piece of paper. 

This helps you to see and measure, which allows you to grow more comfortable with your drawing skill. It also motivates you to learn fundamentals such as perspective, lighting, form, and other related properties.

The Willenbrinks gives you 24 unique demos in these 128 pages covering sketching, constructing, measuring, and rendering objects. Thus you start drawing simple objects such as cups and chairs and advance to items such as vehicles and trees.

The book is ideal for beginners with no experience in drawing, but you will need to practice and follow the lessons to the end to see improvements.

Drawing for the Absolute and Utter Beginner by Claire Watson Garcia

Still life drawings are the excellent standing point for beginners, unlike moving objects like human figures. Thus the book trains you on how to draw life with accuracy.

It teaches you how to construct the outside contours of your objects, then swiftly switch to volumes and shapes. The books offer exercises that train you on how you can execute properly. Prior to the exercise, you get a brief description of what you're practicing and why it's essential.

The author has authority in this field because she is a teacher, and most of these lessons are a representation of her life courses. Thus the book is an excellent resource for both young and old potential artists who are interested in real still life drawing.

Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson

Dodson published the book over two decades ago, but it still teaches you drawing using proper marksmanship and measurements.

The author first teaches you how to control your shoulder and elbow motion to make precise lines on the surface, such as a piece of paper. It also extends to measuring and observing things. Professional artists draw images from life.

 

 

Lights for Visual Artists: Understanding & Using Light in Art & Design by Richard Yot

Rendering light and shadow is another essential skill in drawing. The two aspects are classified as value, and rending it requires understanding how light works.

This edition guides you into understanding the artistic and physics techniques of value. It provides details such as how various materials reflect light, multiple light sources, and how they influence objects in a scene. The book discusses color selection, thus an ultimate guide for lighting.

Perspective Made Easy By Ernest R. Norling

Perspective is one of the critical fundamentals of art skills. It helps artists to create an illusion of depth on a 2D drawing in a similar way it's in a photograph. Although there are many perspective books, Norling's book makes this concept pretty easy for beginners to understand.

It teaches you about vanishing points, horizon lines, and nitpicky tricks that assist you when constructing objects and buildings using the present perspective on the scene.

 

Further, the author has incorporated exercises to help your brain retain the information.

The Natural Way to Draw: A Working Plan for Art Study by Kimon Nicolaides

The edition is like a full art course in a printed form, and Nicolaides expects a lot from the reader. You should be prepared to draw for a minimum of 4 hours every day.

However, you learn topics such as how to draw objects and figures from life. He helps you draw forms like they are in front of you and make marks quickly without considering the line's quality.

It's an excellent book for an inspiring animator because it trains you how to capture figure poses with style and weight. However, it doesn't teach you how to draw accurately from life, but instead, it will help you see what you're drawing, not as simple contours.

Vilppu Drawing Manual by Glenn Vilppu

It's a spiral-bound guide that offers various lessons such as basic forms, constructing objects precisely from life and measuring. The author works with concept artists and animators; thus, he explains the importance of learning realist and constructionist drawing concepts perfectly.

The guide will teach you to form construction and gesture drawing. It's an excellent tool for complete and semi-experienced beginners that wants to learn about life drawing.

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Sketching Tips for Beginners

Seasoned artists can offer you expert sketching advice that can help gain confidence as you embark on your drawing journey.

1. Know Your Pencils

The first step is to have the right pencil. The graphite hardness is indicated on the side of the pencil. For instance, pencils labeled B is softer, H is harder, and HB stands for the middle range. It's recommended to start with the H scale and finish with the B scale.

A beginner should combine both traditional and mechanical pencils. Traditional pencils help you lay down a significant amount of texture, while mechanical pencils are great for precision and have HB pre-inserted.

2. Take Charge of Your Pencil

You gain more control and precision when you position your hand near the end of the pencil, thus darker markings or heavier strokes. On the other hand, you have less control and precision when you grip it further up; therefore, it gives you lighter markings or strokes.

You can learn more about how to hold a pencil here.

3. Experiment with Different Mark-Making Methods

There are many sketching techniques that can help you get different styles and effects. They include finger blend, scribbling, small circles, hatching, cross-hatching, and stippling. These techniques are different ways of creating form and depth while understanding what suits you best will not only complement your style but also enhance it.

4. Changing Your Lines

Use different lines because they are not all equal. For instance, you can create a dynamic, visually interesting drawing by shifting the lines' width and darkness. In the beginning, you will find this quite tricky, but with practice, you will learn to create a variety of marks that adds up to a cohesive image.

One way of achieving this is by experimenting with various pencil grades such as 3H to 6B in addition to learning how to hold your pencil in different angles.

5. Blending Stick Offers Smooth Shading

You may use your pencils to create smoothly blended effects such as to capture a sky. However, these tools don't offer a perfect blend unless you do it carefully. The initial scribes that show through can be avoided by doodling in a separate paper and using a large blending stick to transfer the soft dust to your image. This art technique will help you build up darker areas on your image, thus creating a definition.

6. Control Your Edges

There are different sketching techniques that you can use to define the edges of your object. They include thin, lost, hard, and undefined. To create solid borders on your objects, use thin and hard edges. For an implied edge that arises when the background and object values begin to blend, you can use lost edges. Use undefined edges is deciphered by viewers. Experts explore the different sketching techniques to create interest in their work.

7. Show Different Textures

You should use different shades to show various textures. For instance, you can’t shade fur the same way as the skin. Both items have unique properties that should be captured to elevate your drawing.

Thus, begin by differentiating a rough and smooth texture in an image and then consider if the area reflects or absorbs light. For instance, chrome is a smooth and light-reflecting texture, thus the presence of prominent highlights and higher contrasts. On the other hand, cotton has a rough and light-absorbing texture. Therefore, there is little to no highlight and low contrast.

8. Avoid Smudging

Place another piece of paper beneath your hand to avoid smudging your pencil lines. You should begin shading from left to right is you're are right-handed and vice versa. Smudging can make your paper lose its brilliance and value.

On the other hand, you can use smudging to smooth out shading using a piece of tissue paper.

9. Make Your Artwork Symmetrical

Keep the general lines symmetrical and incorporate some subtle changes to avoid looking dull. These changes keep some elements asymmetrical thus avoiding repetition that comes with symmetry.

10. Use the 70/30 Rule

The rule is an excellent guide towards creating a compelling composition such that 30% of the sketches carries the main detail while the other 70% is filler.  This helps you direct attention to the main subject of the piece you are working on.

Sketch
 

Learning How to Draw

Having the right attitude will help you to learn something new such as drawing. Secondly, compare your skills not with other people, but your future self. That means you have to see you today and you when you reach the ultimate goal.

 

i. Draw Doodles

Begin this journey by drawing anything. You already know how to draw what is lacking is having control over it. Thus, start loosely by drawing any particular object and by not judging it.  

ii. Take Control of Direction

Draw a bunch of dots then play snake. Move smoothly without making sharp turns. You can make more dots and try to connect them diagonally. The purpose of this exercise is to teach you how to change direction smoothly, master control over the direction of lines, evaluate each position and feel if it's comfortable as well as train your hand to work with different positions.

iii. Draw All Kinds of Lines

Practice drawing straight lines because they can be challenging for beginners. At this point, you don't need to focus on perfect straightness but on drawing lines lightly, quickly, and in different directions. This will help you to discover the direction you’re more comfortable with and continue using it in the future. You can keep on rotating the piece of paper and stick to this perfect direction, which is the step towards mastering comfortable drawing.

iv. Practice Drawing Ovals

Start by learning how to draw ovals before shifting to circles. Draw small and big ovals using different speeds without judging their appearances. The exercise helps you practice rotating your hand in both big and small range and learn how to manage your grip when rotating and mastery over the direction.

v. Practice Hatching

Hatching is a shading technique that is determined by the movement of your hand. Start by drawing a series of short lines in the same direction at a higher speed and then cross them again. One of the hatching techniques that you can practice is hairball, which might be hard at the beginning, but with practice, you can master it.

vi. Fill the Enclosed Spaces

Begin by drawing ovals and then use hatching to fill them quickly. Try not to cross the boundaries or fix the gaps instead practice until you’re able to fill the closed areas without touching the outlines and leaving gaps.

vii. Understand Pressure Levels

In the beginning, perfectionist beginners may struggle with drawing lines, for they want to make them perfect at once. However, drawing doodles and lines suing different pressure levels is meant to break this rule. Therefore, draw lines using vertical and horizontal movement to help you gain grip.

viii. Practice Drawing Soft Shapes

It's impossible to draw lines and circles without additional tools such as a ruler. However, it's essential to learn how to draw different shapes using your pencils. Try to do it quickly without forcing your hand too much.

Things to remember as you learn how to draw.

1. Exercise at least once a day in short sessions, preferably 5-15 minutes.

2. Don't allow your hand to hurt, thus find a more comfortable position of the movement. However, you can't avoid getting tired.

3. Begin by drawing on cheap copy papers or pages that you intend to throw away. You can begin using a sketchbook or special paper once you gain experience.

4. Drawing is not a chore; thus, you can stop at any time.

5. Don't press the pencil with all your strength; instead, keep your hand relaxed because the task is to make marks and anything more. 

6. Put good music on or audio-book. The goal of learning how to draw is to be able to make movements automatically.

 

Parting Shot

Learning how to draw requires the right attitude and practice. The progress you will make in the drawing is solely dependent on your discipline and determination.

Therefore practice drawing until it becomes a child’s play then move to the next stage. Having a good foundation will make your future lessons easier.

At first, this may seem tedious, but remember nothing worth having comes easy!

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