Quick Tips on Drawing for Beginners
If you can make a mark on a piece of paper, you can draw. That is if you want to and take time to practice and learn. If you are a beginner to drawing, here are some quick tips to help you along:
1. Drawing is at least fifty percent observation. If you want to draw, spend half your time studying the object and half the time drawing it. By studying the object you understand why you see it that way, making it easier to draw.
2. Everything in the world can be simplified into basic shapes. When you are studying your subject, try to pick out the basic shapes that make up the overall shape. Draw the basic shapes then amend it to the shape of your object.
3. If you want to draw a lion without going on safari, use photographs.
4. You can see nothing without light, so use the full range of light and dark in your drawings. Colours are of secondary importance.
5. Line quality is the thickness or thinness of a line. Draw your lines thicker in some areas and thinner in other areas. This will add interest and variety to your drawing.
6. Start and finish your drawings with the same style. If you start your drawing loose and gestural, finish it that way. Make sure the drawing look unified, harmonious and as though the same artist drew it all.
7. Understand the correct way to use the medium that you are using for your drawing. It is fine to experiment, but know and understand your limitations.
8. Drawing doesn’t have to be stiff. When you are trying to define the contour of an object, draw several light lines. You have a better chance of ‘finding’ the right line when you draw several of them.
9. If you position your hand closer to the end of the pencil, you have more control and precision, but heavier strokes and darker markings. Gripping further up the pencil will give you less control and precision, but lighter strokes and lighter markings.
10. Experiment with different pencil grades (from 3H to 6B) and with holding the pencil at different angles.
11. When shading, use an extra piece of paper underneath your hand to minimize the amount your hand smudges your pencil lines. If you’re right-handed, start shading from left to right; if you’re left-handed, start at the right and move to the left.
12. To smooth out shading, use a piece of tissue paper.
13. Watercolor crayons are a little grainy, however this texture can add to your sketch, you don’t have to add water over the entire image.
14. When drawing a character you want to be easily recognizable, create a silhouette. Trace around your character, fill it with solid color to confirm it is recognisable.
15. To check the proportions in your drawing, trace the image and flip it over to see how your drawing looks from the reverse angle.
16. Use irregular lines when shading to add dynamism to your sketch
17. Drawing doesn’t have to be on paper or canvas. Try out drawing on Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
18. Watch YouTube tutorials when you find a gap in your knowledge.
19. Always practice. Keep a sketchbook and draw everyday. When you can’t draw, look at objects and imagine how you would draw them. What shapes are there? What light and shadow are there? Where is the light source? What medium would I use?
20. Remember, drawing is a skill that can be taught and learned by everyone.