Drawing FAQ - The Most Common Questions About Drawing
This drawing FAQ will help you to get the answers you need without having to wait for me to respond to your question by email. Unfortunately as the site has grown in popularity, it gets harder and harder each day to keep up with the amount of email.
Have a question that you would like to ask me or need help with? You have come to the right place! Check the differnt topics below and see if you can find the answer to your question.
The best advice that I can give you for learning how to draw is to stick with it. Here is the process that I used when I started to draw.
Very Beginner Drawing
By drawing something that is interesting to you, your chances of sticking with it and continuing to practice will be much higher. Don't worry so much about the quality of the drawings if you are starting out - just get used to holding the pencil and moving it over the page in a controlled way.
Also - experiment with crayons and colored pencils to make your drawings more interesting. All of this helps to practice your skill of holding a drawing tool and your hand-eye abilities.
Again, at this stage, find something that you really enjoy drawing and draw that. Even if you draw the same character over and over again in many different positions that is fine - the key is to enjoy it.
At this stage I started to trace exactly the drawings from the books. This helped me to learn the shapes of the human body as well as create really cool images on my own. Don't be ashamed if you need to trace - I did it, and it helped me gain a lot of confidence in my drawing.
At first I would trace the entire character, but then I started to trace only the major features or the outline of the character and then remove the paper so that I could fill in all of the details on my own. This is another good learning technique because you will start with a good foundation for your drawing by tracing, and then really start to use your own skills to draw in all of the other details.
Around this age I would often spend my days in the summer drawing in sketchbooks. I spent a lot of time drawing anything I found interesting, and looked through many books in the library for interesting pictures that I could try to copy.
At age 16-18 I had a drawing teacher again, and also started to study more in books about proper anatomy and human proportion. I found the studying part really boring, but it really does help a lot and you will have a much better understanding of the human form once you do that.
At this time I started to explore other mediums like pen and ink which I have grown to love, and also different techniques such as perspective drawing which also is very interesting for me.
From 19 - 22 I attended art school where I was able to interact with many other beginner artists and learn to incorporate many different styles into my work. At university the most important thing that I learned was how to talk about my work and also about the history of art which exposed me to many different kinds of art and artists.
From 22 - today I continue to work in art, but now most of it is on the computer. I learn by working with great people who help me to improve. I also study drawing more seriously now so that I can help you learn more advanced techniques in a fun and easy way.
The most important piece of advice that I can give you is just to never give up. If you want to learn how to draw just keep at it - anyone can learn this great skill, it just takes time.
When you are stuck and unsure where to start but want to learn drawing I suggest that you follow any of the easy step-by-step drawing lessons on this site. Some more advanced artists may argue that using step-by-step is a poor approach, but it will help you to get confidence to try drawing other things.
Drawing step by step also teaches you how things get broken down into simple shapes. This is a great skill because you can use it over and over again no matter what level of artist you are from beginner to advanced.
The most important thing is just to draw something, and keep drawing everyday if possible. Even if you only spend 5 minutes or 10 minutes a day on drawing you will begin to see improvements.
Remember to enjoy the process of learning and don't be too hard on yourself if your drawings dont turn out to be masterpieces. Most good artists took many, many years to develop their skill, so if you compare your work to theirs, it's almost like comparing the skills of a baby to an adult! The more you practice and study the better you will get with time, so just stick with it and before you know it you will be getting better and better.
Yes, I give you permission to use an image on this site for your not-for-profit project. The only thing that I ask in return is that if possible you send me a little email telling me how you used the image.
I really enjoy hearing the stories of people using my pictures in their video games, class lessons, business cards, band logos etc. It really makes my day when I get a thank you email, so don't be shy - use the image, but then send me something and let me know how it worked out for you.
In the past people have sent me video, pictures, messages - they were all great!
I generally use a mechanical pencil for drawing. I don't have a special one, but the thickness of the lead is a little important. I like using a lead that isn't too thick or thin. This gives me good control of the lines and also the ability to shade areas easily. I like HB pencils as far as the hardness of the lead goes. I like the mechanical pencils because it eliminates the mess of a pencil sharpener.
Usually I will draw light with the pencil first and then use pen and ink markers to trace over the drawing, inking only the lines that I want to appear in the finished piece.
I usually use a white eraser to erase the lines from my finished drawing. The ink is permanent so it won't erase. This will leave you with a really clean drawing.
For more information about Drawing supplies check this page here: http://www.drawingcoach.com/art-supplies.html
Please watch the tutorial video here and see how you can exaggerate certain parts of the face and head to make a cartoon drawing from any photo of your friends or family. http://www.drawingcoach.com/caricatures-from-photos.html
The Drawing Coach site is loaded with tips and tricks, but even in this digital age I really think that books are your best bet to learn more about drawing.
If you are really serious about drawing, you can also try and find a teacher who can help you. Ask your teacher which books he or she recommends and you may even be able to borrow some materials from them as well.
Here is the section of basic techniques for the site:
Sometimes the videos will stop loading and this causes a problem when you are watching them. The best solution that you can try is to reload the page and let the video load again.
If that doesn't work then you may need to erase the cached files on your browser, to get rid of the temporary video file. Unfortunately a full description of how to do this is outside the scope of this drawing faq, but depending on which internet browser you have you can search at Google on instructions how to clear your cache. This will give you the most updated information that relates to your specific internet browser.
Currently I am working on new training materials, and the best way to get the exact training that you are looking for is to email me via the form on the contact page and let me know what your current level is - beginner, intermediate, advanced and exactly what you would like to learn.
There are a variety of programs that are used in the production of this site. The Adobe Creative Suite is a big part of this as is Art Rage, Gimp, Paint.net, Sketch UP, and Inkscape. Whew - That's a lot of different programs, but I love trying out new stuff. If you are just starting out and would like to draw on the computer, I highly sugget either Gimp, or Art Rage. Both are great, have free downloadable editions and you can create some amazing art with them.
Another drawing faq is related to higher quality software, so if you would like to be a professioal digital artist, I recommend that you start learning Photoshop as it is the industry standard image editing program.
Here are some great drawing software packages that I have reviewed and recommend:
There's no quick and easy answer to this question, but I did go and dig up some of my old art works so that you could compare yourself to them. This is where I started at - so I think you can see that there wasn't a lot of talent here in the beginning! The most important thing is to enjoy the process. If you like doing it - keep going - you will improve with time. If you absolutely hate drawing, then put down the pencil and prepare for a less creative life - just don't feel guilty about it!
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