5 Drawing Tips for Beginners – Learn Beginning Drawing Techniques

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drawing tips for beginners

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Drawing is very fun but can be equally challenging. However, it is an incredibly rewarding process! The more effort you put into it, the more you will get out of it. Below are the top 5 drawing tips for beginners to help you on your drawing journey.

Measure As Much As You Can

Measuring is vital in drawing. You need to capture the correct proportion of what you are studying so as to get an accurate representation of it. There are numerous tips and techniques you can use to help yourself measure as accurately as you can. One of the simplest of methods is to have a thin but straight stick handy. Use the stick to hold up in front of what you are drawing so you can measure the distance between things. Then, when returning to your drawing, adjust the proportion accordingly.

Also, it is handy to use a string in order to measure angles. It can be hard sometimes to determine the precise angle of a line. However, when using a string you can place it over the angle you are observing to get an accurate measurement. While holding that angle still with your hands, place it over your drawing to make sure that your angle is the same as what you are looking at.

Antonio Lopez Garcia, Learn how to draw,
Antonio Lopez Garcia

In the drawing above by Antonio Lopez Garcia, you can literally see the precise measuring. He leaves marks and lines in areas to be able to compare them to other areas. This is an excellent example of how you can also use marks and lines to compare some areas to other areas in order to get accurate measurements.

Value

Value is a crucial element in drawing if you are wanting to add shading – it is one of the most important drawing tips for beginners. You can just stick to a line drawing if you do not wish to add any shading. However, if you want to have a sense of light in your drawing then value is very important!

Simplify the values of what you are looking at. Try to divide them into three or four different categories. One category being the darkest values, another being the lightest values in your piece, and the last being the medium values that are in between the lightest and darkest values.

Edwin Dickinson, drawing tips for beginners
Edwin Dickinson, Studio, 46 Pearl Street

This Edwin Dickinson Drawing is an excellent example of values being simplified. Look at the stove on the right side of the drawing. The right side of the stove is made up of almost a single value! The artist did not bother with the small shifts in value. Rather, he focused on the big picture of dividing up the values into their respective areas. You can find the areas that are the lightest in value, and you can find areas that are the ‘darkest’. As well, you will notice all the areas he categorized as being ‘middle values’.

Copy other Drawings

Looking at and copying drawings from others who are more advanced is a fantastic way to learn! Go to your local library and look at old master drawings in books. Or simply browse google to find some of your favorites draftsmen.

If you want to take it a step further though, I highly recommend to make copies of the drawings you admire. When you do so, you learn a lot about line quality and composition and how to incorporate it into your own drawing. Do not worry about trying to create a beautiful copy, but rather focus on learning as much as you can from the process of studying. Over time, your drawing with improve dramatically.

In addition to looking at great drawings it is also a good idea to reading about drawing. Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘A Treatise on Painting‘ has some wonderful wisdom for those wanting to learn how to improve their drawing. Also, I outlined some drawing lessons from Leonardo Da Vinci.

Line Quality/ Control Edges

Developing a clear line quality is important in drawing. You want to have a sense of confidence when putting down your lines. It is easy to spot drawings that have hesitant lines – light uncertain chicken scratch marks! When drawing, put your lines down with a sense of confidence. Of course, measure before you put something down. If you find your lines/ marks to be incorrect later on, then just erase and start over, but always approach your line making with a sense of certainty. You just want to balance that by checking your own measurements over to make sure of their correctness. 🙂

Also, line is related to creating a sense of value in that darker areas have darker lines and lighter areas have lighter lines. So, when creating a line drawing, do pay attention to varying the value and width of your line.

Jean August Dominique Ingres. Drawing for beginners.
Jean August Dominique Ingres, Portrait of Madame Ingres

This drawing by Ingres is a perfect example of varying line quality. You will notice he created a lot of lighter lines but also darkened his lines in areas that were darker. Some areas of a line are darker and wider than other areas.

Experiment With Mark Making

When drawing, it is good to spend some time experimenting with different methods and techniques. More specifically however, it is great to try different ways of mark making! Here are a few outlined

Cross Hatching

cross hatching drawing

Finger Smudge

finger smudging, 5 drawing tips for beginners. How to draw for beginners. Pencil drawing for beginners.

Hatching

Hatching, 5 drawing tips for beginners

Scribbling

scribbling shading, 5 drawing tips for beginners

I hope you learned a few tips about drawing from this post! If you are wanting to learn more, check out ‘Drawing Lessons From Leonardo Da Vinci.”

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Elisabeth Larson Koehler creator of art studio life

Hi! I am Elisabeth

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