It can be challenging for those who want to draw to know where to start self-study. In this article, we will show you the step to drawing.
If you think you can only learn to draw if you are endowed with talent and an innate sense of composition, you are wrong. Any professional artist will tell you that drawing is a skill and can be learned and honed. But where to start for beginners who did not attend art school in childhood and had a “C” in fine arts?
Any training starts from the basics, go in stages and is consolidated with practice and training. Step to drawing is no exception. The main thing is to have curiosity, desire, and perseverance. If a fire burns inside, everything will work out.
Step to Drawing
You will need:
- Paper (for a start, plain paper is suitable, for printers),
- A simple pencil of medium hardness,
- Paints, markers, ink
- Books (for example, on anatomy, to know the structure of the body – this will help to draw a person correctly),
- Graphic tablet (if you want to draw on your computer).
Pencil Drawing Techniques
Hatching is a technique for drawing small, usually short, lines in a drawing. It helps to show the color and its saturation in the depicted subject. To convey the volumetric shape of the object, you need to apply as many strokes as possible. Conversely, if the issue is light enough, the shading should be used with fewer lines and done less often.
Shading can be horizontal, vertical, and also go in different degrees of angles in its direction. It is better to do hatching in intermittent movements, periodically tearing off a pencil from a sheet of paper. Also, depending on the type of hatching, you can achieve different effects. For example, using cross-hatching, where horizontal and vertical dashed lines meet, you can achieve more volume and depth on the subject.
Feathering, like shading, is needed to add volume to the subject. It will be helpful for beginners to hone their feathering skills because there are so many uses in the drawing.
First, you need to apply simple strokes, which you should later shade, for example, with a paper napkin. In addition to volume, you can show where the light falls in the drawing and where the object will have a shadow.
Step-by-step instructions for teaching drawing
A cart cannot go without wheels, and an artist cannot paint without knowing the basics. The steps below are basic. Please note that learning each step can take weeks, months, or even years. It depends on how much effort you put in. Do not expect masterpieces from yourself in the fifth, twentieth, or even hundredth lesson. Lower your expectations and enjoy the process itself.
Step 1: Draw simple shapes.
The main principle is perhaps the same for everything in the world: from simple to complex. Everything is made up of forms—even the most difficult subject. Therefore, you need to start with them. But before drawing three-dimensional figures, you need to learn step to drawing what “precedes” them: a square, a circle, a triangle.
Start with a circle. Try to “dot” the entire sheet with circles of different sizes not to overlap. This exercise will make your arm more relaxed. It will no longer be so tense, and the lines will appear quickly, as if by themselves. At the same time, get rid of the so-called blank slate fear that plagues many newbies.
The circles will not be straight right away – this is normal. After a while, hand-eye coordination will improve, as will your circles. Is it pretty good? So it’s time to start with other shapes. The next can be a square, then a triangle, and so on.
Step 2: Add volume
When the lines are smoother, and the shapes are neat, you can add volume. This is done with the help of strokes (necessarily in shape). This will turn a circle into a ball, a square into a cube, and a triangle into a cone. When adding volume, do not forget about what it is made of—every detail matters light source, mid-tone, reflex, own, and falling shadows.
Reflection in painting is called the light reflected from the shadow side. It appears from the objects that are nearby. For example, a reflection of a table or wall, drapery, and other objects that fit on one canvas can become a reflex.
Shading can be practiced separately by simply shading the leaf. Go from very light shades to darker, almost black, gradually pressing on the pencil more and more. This stretch of color is called the tonal scale. In the future, when it comes to shading some objects, it will be possible to focus on them.
Step 3: Exploring the Perspective
Perspective is essential in any step to drawing where there are objects that you want to add volume to. An object closer appears to be larger, while an object farther appears smaller. Sounds logical and understandable. If you understand this principle, then you also understand the fundamental law of perspective.
Now a little about the vanishing point. Most often, it is considered on the example of the railway. We know that the rails run parallel to each other, which means they never intersect, but it seems to us that they converge at the horizon at one point. This point is called the vanishing point, and it is always located on the horizon. The main thing to remember is that the horizon is a line in our imagination, depending on the beholder’s position.
Let’s look at an example. You can descend to the very ground, and then the horizon line will be low, at the level of our eyes. The horizon line will also “move” to a higher level if you stand in full growth. At a bird’s-eye view, this line goes even further, opening up a larger view in front of us.
Practice time. Place the book on the table and look at it from different angles. The book remains the same but looks different. Amazing, right? To learn how to portray objects correctly, you can start with something simple: a book, matches, a TV, a box.
If you have a glass surface, place a small object on it and sketch from the bottom up. This exercise is great for developing spatial thinking.
Step 4: Draw complex shapes (several in one subject)
When you fill your hand, move on to simple objects: a vase, a pear, or both at once (you get a still life). If you look closely at these and many other things, you will find that they all consist of a few simple forms. Use all the knowledge you already have. Analyze perspective (if required), sketch, hatch.
Draw everything that surrounds you – from a mug of tea to neighbors’ cats.
Step 5: Draw living creatures and more
Cats, animals, people, buildings, and cars, even complex objects consist of simple shapes. Of course, it is more difficult to disassemble them – this is already another, more advanced level. It is worth switching to it after active practice with vases. However, no one forbids you to make sketches. The bigger, the better.
Drawing moving objects is a separate topic and a real challenge for novice artists. Frequent and quick sketches are indispensable. They are also called sketches. And, most likely, they will turn out to be careless and sometimes even divorced from reality. Don’t be discouraged; this is normal. The number of sketches is essential first. You will see how later it grows into quality.
To be an artist is to be an observer. Sketches are best done from nature. Get out to a cafe or park and draw people, animals, everything that is around. If this is not possible, draw from photographs. But don’t get carried away with it, in the sense that sketching also needs to be thoughtful. Do not blindly copy the photo, but try to understand why there is a shadow, a glare, and so on.
In addition, study anatomy if you want to draw people or animals well.
Step 6: Paint the landscape.
It is worth mentioning here not only about the landscape but also about the interior and exterior. Time to combine all the details that you have already drawn separately. Cars, people, buildings, animals, and, of course, nature in all its glory. By step to drawing the big picture, you will develop an eye (the ability to determine distance by eye, without additional devices) and a sense of perspective.
To get started, you can draw panoramas, for example, a view from a window. At first, it will be obtained in general terms, but later the work will become more detailed. Explore new places, take a closer look around during walks, as if you are seeing everything for the first time. Try to sketch new and unusual angles.
Step 7: Trying different materials
You can and should experiment not only with what you draw but also with what you draw. Try to sketch (or even the first full-fledged work!) With watercolors or gouache, markers, pastels, and so on. Perhaps the new materials will inspire you. In addition, you will begin to work more actively with color. It’s also good.
Of course, art supplies are not cheap. But while you are learning and just trying something new, you don’t have to buy the most expensive copies. What if you don’t like it? Start with affordable mid-range tools.
Step 8: Draw from the head and develop the imagination.
Drawing from pictures and life builds your skill well. But it’s even better when you have ideas in your head that you want to translate on a sheet. It is unnecessary to try to draw everything from the head; you can rely on suitable images. Whoever says anything, references are good and even great if you don’t know something. Even cool artists do it.
Step 9: Define the direction and style.
Try yourself in different genres: painting, comics, portraits – try different things. You never know if you will like it or not until you try it. Alternate learning withdrawing what inspires you.
Practice will develop your style. You can view the work of other illustrators and artists. No, not copy, but analyze what exactly you like about their work—somewhere attractive lighting, somewhere a combination of colors. Please take a little from everywhere and translate it into something completely new. It’s not just the work of other artists that can inspire, but books, music, films, and more.
Step 10: Practice
At first glance, it seems that drawing, all the more realistically, is difficult. Yes, of course, this is the same work as any other. But everything can be learned, especially now that information has become so accessible. The key is to learn and understand the basics. And do not be afraid to make a mistake. The rest will come with practice and work on errors.
You can learn to draw with a pencil at any age, and the main thing is to start with simple lessons, buy good pencils and paper, and draw constantly. After all, the frequent frequency will help you train your step to drawing skills – just like the muscles in the gym! Yes, most likely, at first, you will have to make a lot of sketches and draw dozens of drafts. But you want to learn, and that your drawing pleases you? Then don’t worry if there are 20-30 drafts per drawing. This is the experience you need to go through to become an artist!