Learn Basic Drawing

Drawing Lesson One:  Using The Right Drawing Materials

As you begin to learn basic drawing skills, using the right drawing paper and pencils is important. If you plan on using regular copy paper and just any pencil, think again. Your skills and learning will be handicapped by using materials that are meant for other purposes.

Drawing tablet Purchase a 9" x 12" spiral bound sketch book of at least 100 sheets of quality, medium weight, fine grain paper. Perforated pages are preferable.

Drawing pencils Drawing pencils come in a variety of several hardnesses. Softer leads produce a wider variety of tones--black to light gray. I recommend HB graphite for detail work and fine lines and 2B or 6B for shading.

Sharpeners Pencil sharpeners are not expensive and very necessary--but a better quality one will be less likely to break your pencil lead. Get one that accommodates both sizes of drawing pencils.

Erasers Pink, white and gum erasers are good for erasing pencil drawings. Kneaded erasers are good, too and can be molded to erase very small areas. Do not use a regular pencil eraser for your drawings. This kind of eraser, or any eraser that has an abrasive content of fine grit will scuff your drawing paper and make it difficult to produce good shading and drawing results.

All of these drawing materials are available at art supply stores and there are many good websites where these materials can easily be purchased online. Remember, don't skimp--use good art materials and your hard work will be rewarded AND, because these art lessons are free, you will be able to afford good quality drawing materials!

Lesson Two: Shading-- A Circle Becomes A Sphere

Here is my video that demonstrates this technique.

Click here to continue Basic Drawing Lesson Two

Real Feedback

You said everybody can draw, even if they can't draw a straight line. So I am working on how you told me to do the still life and really am having fun! Just want you to know I'm drawing and shading and love it!



Our Girl Scout Troop did the landscape drawing lesson at Camp, then we had a show of their work. Even the counselors were impressed!

Thanks, Lois!

Mrs. Ritter and daughter Jennifer

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Frequently bird and fish forms are found as recognizable images in doodles. The student that did this doodle remarked that she could never have thought to draw those graceful shapes. Later, she used similar shapes in a painting.

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The student developed this pen and ink doodle drawing into a musical movement of swirling shapes of black and white.

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Above is a student pen and ink drawing of drapery. Seeing drapery as geometrical shapes like cylinders or simple shapes like hills and valleys will help you visualize how to draw the folds correctly. Look carefully at the forms, sketch them first as the simple forms you see (cylinders, hills and valleys.) Then look again and see how the drapery differs from the simple forms.

With this technique, so much of the line has to express the actual form! With a little practice, your line can articulate any volume, form or shape. An exquisite line is like a haiku or a beautiful little poem.

This method of simplifying what you see works well for anything that entices your eye and makes you want to draw it, whether it be your cat, an old log on a seashore, a house or a self portrait.