Drawing is an enjoyable and relaxing hobby that anyone can pick up with a bit of practice.
Even if you think you have no artistic talent, you can learn how to sketch and draw impressive pieces with dedication and persistence.
This guide will provide helpful tips and techniques for beginners looking to get started with drawing.
Different Types of Drawing for Beginners
When starting drawing, it helps to understand the different categories and types of drawing. Being aware of the range of drawing styles and techniques can help guide what you want to learn and practice. Here are some of the main types of drawing for beginners:
- Realism – Drawings that accurately depict subjects as they appear in real life. Aims to capture realistic perspective, proportions, lighting, and details. Requires strong observational skills.
- Cartoons/Caricatures – Exaggerated, simplified drawings of people and characters. Focus on distorting and enhancing features for humor or effect. Fun style for beginners.
- Abstraction – Drawing based on an object or concept but not directly depicting it. Uses shapes, colors, and forms in creative, interpretive ways. Allows imagination to take over.
Trying your hand at different genres gives you a well-rounded experience. Start with basic realism to learn fundamentals. Then experiment with abstraction and stylization. Discovering your style is part of the rewarding process of learning to draw.
What Do You Need to Get Started With Drawing?
Before you can start honing your artistic skills, you’ll need to gather some basic drawing tools and materials. Here are some of the essentials:
Sketchpad or Drawing Paper
You’ll want a pad or stack of paper specifically designed for drawing. Look for a medium tooth surface and heavier-weight paper.
Invest in a set of pencils ranging from hard to soft lead (6B is a common soft pencil for shading). You may also want a pencil sharpener and eraser.
Blending stumps, tortillons, or cotton swabs help smooth shading. You can also use your fingers.
Ruler or Straightedge
Useful for drawing straight lines and angles.
These erasers can be molded into different shapes to erase fine details.
Art Markers or Pens
Once you advance, try adding color with alcohol-based markers or ink drawing pens.
Pro Tip: You don’t need to buy expensive, professional-grade supplies when you’re just starting. Affordable basic versions of these tools will do the job.
Learning Basic Drawing Techniques
Here are some key techniques every beginning artist should practice:
- Contour drawing – Outline the contours or shapes of objects without looking at your paper. This helps train your hands and eyes.
- Gesture drawing – Focus on capturing the form and movement of a pose quickly with a time limit. Aim to convey energy and expression.
- Blind contour drawing – Draw an object’s outline without looking at the paper. This boosts hand-eye coordination.
- Hatching – Use parallel lines to shade areas and convey texture and tones. Change the direction of lines to build contrast.
- Crosshatching – Draw layers of overlapping parallel lines at varying angles to blend tones and add depth.
- Stippling – Create shading by drawing thousands of small dots. Vary dot density to show changes in light and dark.
- Value scales – Practice mixing shades by drawing blocks that transition smoothly from dark to light.
Mastering these fundamental techniques will give you the skills to bring any subject to life on paper. Be patient with yourself as you learn – it takes time and repetition to hone your drawing abilities.
Easy Subjects to Start Drawing for Beginners
As a beginner, you’ll improve fastest by starting with simple subjects. Avoid tackling anything too complex until you’ve developed your skills. Here are some easy ideas to begin with:
|Common household objects||Everyday items like books, mugs, fruit, plants|
|Geometric shapes||Cubes, cones, spheres, cylinders|
|Still life arrangements||Simple compositions of objects on a table|
|Hands and feet||Learn proportions by drawing isolated hands and feet|
|Fabric and textures||Satin, wool, wood grain, feathers|
|Letters and numbers||Improve line work by sketching alphabets and numbers|
|Flowers and plants||Daisies, leaves, succulents|
|Landscapes||Practice perspective with outdoor scenes|
|Animals||Pets, birds, horses, wildlife|
Focus on common, familiar things around you. Set up little still-life scenes using items around your home to draw. Doing quick sketch studies of mundane objects will rapidly improve your observational skills.
Keys for Improving Your Drawing Skills
Learning to draw takes time and regular practice. Here are some tips to help you progress:
Draw every day – Set aside 15-30 minutes daily for drawing practice. Consistency is key.
Take an art class – Consider taking lessons locally or online to learn techniques from an expert.
Study the masters – Look at classical drawings by artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Rembrandt. Analyze their techniques.
Use grids – Lightly draw a grid over your reference photo and paper to map out proportions accurately.
Focus on shadows – Pay attention to shadows and highlights to convey form. Lighting is key for realism.
Learn perspective – Understand principles of perspective to draw backgrounds realistically. Start simple with a 1-point perspective.
Draw from life – Set up still-life objects to draw from observation. Photos lose 3D nuances.
Join a drawing group – Find clubs or groups, online or locally, to share tips and critiques.
Be patient – Let your abilities develop over weeks and months. Growth takes sustained practice.
Building your artistic abilities takes patience and persistence. But with regular, mindful practice, you’ll be amazed at the progress you can make.
Finding Inspiration for Drawing Ideas
Artists often struggle with the blank page, unsure what to draw. Finding inspiration for subjects and drawing ideas is an important creative skill to develop. Here are some go-to sources to spark your imagination:
Nature – Plants, trees, rocks, animals, landscapes. The natural world offers endless drawing inspiration. Take a relaxing walk and observe.
Everyday Scenes – People at a cafe, a city street, workers building something. Carefully observe the world around you.
Travel sketches – Make quick drawings of scenes, people, and objects when you travel. These make great memories.
Your home – Arrange simple still lifes using items around your house. Kitchen items, fruit bowls, books, and blankets have visual interest.
Old photos – Recreate vintage photos of family, ancestors, and old scenes. These make fascinating drawings.
Magazines – Flip through magazines and catalogs and draw things that catch your eye – clothes, gadgets, decor, etc.
Pinterest – Create boards for drawing ideas. Search for poses, objects, scenes, textures, and styles. Endless visual references.
Dreams – Try drawing scenes, objects, or creatures from your dreams. Surreal subjects unleash your imagination.
Music – Put on music that stirs your emotions. Draw what the songs make you feel or visualize.
Keep your eyes open for intriguing textures, patterns, objects, scenes, and faces everywhere. Collect visually interesting images to use as drawing references. With practice, you’ll learn to find inspiration all around you.
Helpful Tutorials for Drawing Beginners
As a new artist, it’s extremely helpful to learn from experienced artists online. Here are some recommendations for free drawing tutorials for beginners:
- Proko – Videos teach portrait and figure drawing through anatomy and construction techniques.
- Love Life Drawing – Resources for learning figure drawing with at-home model references and lessons.
- Artists Network – Articles, videos, and tutorials cover basics like choosing materials, shading, and blending.
- Creative Bloq – Basic techniques for beginners including stippling, hatching, and gesture drawing.
- Sketchbook Skool – Short video lessons guide you through creating finished drawings in a sketchbook.
- Draw a Box – Popular site with lessons that build fundamental skills step-by-step. Covers shading, forms, and perspective.
- CtrlPaint – Digital painting videos cover concepts that translate to traditional drawing like form and value.
- Art Prof – Daily live model sessions online with demos and critiques from experienced teachers.
- New Masters Academy – Library of demonstrations and courses for drawing and various mediums, some free content.
Don’t be afraid to try many different teachers and seek out structured lessons. Each expert artist will give you a fresh perspective on the craft.
With the right mindset and consistent practice, anyone can progress from stick figures to impressive drawings.
Be patient with yourself and enjoy the satisfying process of improving your artistic abilities over time.
The tips in this guide will start you down the path to drawing like an artist.
FAQs about Drawing for Beginners
How can I teach myself to draw?
Invest in some basic supplies, look for free online tutorials, and set aside time to practice fundamental techniques like shading and perspective drawing every day. Learning from books and experimenting on your own can be very effective.
What are the 5 basics of drawing?
The 5 fundamentals to learn are line, shape, form, texture, and perspective. Mastering these will give you the skills to render almost anything.
What should a beginner learn first in drawing?
As a beginner focus on drawing outlines and basic shapes. Move on to shading and creating the illusion of 3D form. Always start with simple objects and scenes to hone your skills.
What is the easiest thing to draw for a beginner?
Beginners should start with simple geometric shapes, everyday objects, flowers, pets, and nature scenes. Avoid complex subjects until your skills develop more.
How to draw for beginners anime?
Anime drawing relies on simple shapes, exaggerated features, and clean lines. Use guides to practice eyes, mouths, hands, and hair. Study proportions and expressions.