A Beginner’s Guide To Learning How To Sketch and Draw

Introduction

A hand Drawing

Drawing is a lot of fun. It can be relaxing, and it’s pretty amazing to get to see the results of your efforts when you’re done. Some people can spend hours, days, even weeks on just one piece of artwork, and create spectacular results.

Of course, when you do anything you want to do it the ‘right’ way. While there is no right way to draw since it’s all about personal enjoyment, there are certainly many ways that you can make your work look a lot better.

It’s all about learning the right skills and techniques. As a beginner you may not be aware of some of these skills and techniques, so let us enlighten you!

Here’s your beginner’s guide to learning how to sketch and draw. Pretty soon you’ll be an expert in all things drawing!

Easy Drawing Guides is full of drawing inspirations and step-by-step tutorials. If you want to get to drawing immediately, check these easy and beginner friendly drawing ideas: 50 Best Dog Drawings, 51 Easy People Drawings, or Different Ways to Draw a Rose.

Drawing Tips Before Getting Started

Drawing Tips Before Getting Started

Before you even put pencil (btw, this is how you draw a cute, cartoony pencil) to paper, there are a couple of things that you really should know right off the bat.

Knowing these tips will help you to get incredible results, and will help to ease your frustration when drawing.

Practice makes perfect when it comes to drawing, so if you follow these tips and get plenty of practice then you are already on the right path.

Set Your Mind and Attitude Right

The key to being successful with drawing is all about having the right mindset and attitude. You can have a million resources at your fingertips, but if you don’t have this one pivotal thing you may struggle to learn to draw effectively.

When it comes to drawing, it’s very easy to compare yourself to others. We get it - we’ve all been there.

The thing is that people are all individuals, having their own skills and styles. What one person may like, another person may not like. It’s just the way that things are.

For that reason, it’s a good idea not to compare yourself to other people when on your drawing journey. Even someone that started learning at the same time may do things at a different pace to you, and that’s also okay!

Instead of comparing yourself to other people, you should compare yourself to the future version of you.

If you stick it out and keep practicing your drawing, you can compare your work now to that of you in a few months or years time so you can see how far you have come.

This will allow you to feel accomplished, and will also give you indications of how you can improve in the future.

If you're a beginner artist, it's important that you start with easy drawing tutorials as you'll succeed faster and feel better and more motivated about drawing. Here are three of my favorite drawing tutorials for beginners: easy snowman drawing, learn to draw the squad, and simple cartoon girl drawing.

Perfection Doesn't Exist

Perfection Doesn't Exist

If you are striving for absolute perfection when creating your artwork, you may end up being disappointed and it may deter you from continuing with your work.

You aren’t going to be an expert when you start out, and even people who have been drawing for decades make mistakes. Perfection isn’t achievable.

Instead of striving for perfection, you need to set realistic goals. Consider your current skills and expertise today, rather than trying to achieve the impossible and feeling bad if you didn’t achieve it.

The thing is that you may think you will eventually reach a point where you are the master of drawing, but even people that have been drawing for years still have room to improve.

There’s always room to grow in life, and drawing is no exception to this.

If you keep on learning then you can be a better artist, and that’s pretty amazing.

So, strive for growth and development rather than some unattainable kind of perfection.

In fact, if hypothetically you were to become perfect, you would do so from not trying to be perfect.

A much better way to learn to draw, instead of striving for perfection, is to draw a lot. If you create several drawings instead of just one, you'll learn much more and get better faster. 

You can even draw several drawings on the same topic, which is guaranteed to help you a lot. See this page for different cat drawing ideas, this for flower drawing ideas, and this page for dragon drawing ideas.

Do It for Yourself

Drawing is, ultimately, something that can be a lot of fun.

Drawing really isn’t something that you should do because you are trying to get recognition for something - if you are doing it for that reason then you should really reevaluate - it’ll take the fun out of it all!

Don’t draw for the sake of other people, you should do it for yourself.

It’s really hard to get fulfillment from other people’s opinions when you do anything.

This links back to the previous point about striving too hard for perfection - if you are working too hard to impress other people rather than doing things for yourself, you’re never going to be happy and you will never feel good enough.

Enjoy the process of drawing and allow yourself to experience this one thing for you and you alone.

Set goals for yourself and allow yourself to have some fun - you deserve it, and you’ll certainly thank yourself for it.

Drawing what interests you is guaranteed to help you stay interested in drawing. What are you passionate about? Do you want to find easy drawing ideas and tutorials on trees, birds, human body, or something else?

There's Only One Goal in Mind

Goals

You should learn how to draw for the sake of your own personal pleasure, not to please others.  

The whole goal should be to learn to draw, at least to start with.

The process of learning to draw is one that will never truly end since you are always going to be lacking some knowledge, or there will always be new things that you can learn to make it even better.

Setting a goal to draw everything with 100% realism is a goal that is doomed to fail.

You have abilities of your own - you may find that you draw things in a cartoon style better than you draw things realistically.

Just enjoy the process of learning. Create small goals to help you with the learning process, sure, but don’t set yourself to unrealistic standards and goals because you will never be happy.

Drawing your own cartoon characters is a fun part of the learning process. Cartoons are easy, fun, and fast to draw. Would you like to draw a cartoon reindeer, wizard, or house.

Learning Manual Skills

Finally, it’s all about learning manual skills. It’s worth noting that if drawing seems super simple to you, then there’s a good chance that you don’t know as much about it as you think you do.

Drawing isn’t just about putting a pencil onto the paper - it’s about technique and skill.

When you learn those skills then you will be able to create far more advanced work than you ever thought was possible.

The more you practice the skills, the better you will be. Just check out this article - look how much people can change in even a short space of time!

All of that is about perseverance and knowing the right skills.

Drawing in different styles will help you to develop different manual skills. Drawing a realistic dog, for example, is quite different from drawing a cartoon dog.

Step-by-step to Learning How to Draw and Sketch

Step-by-step to Learning How to Draw and Sketch

Now, it’s time for you to learn more about how to sketch and draw so you can start becoming a better artist!

Now, remember as we mentioned above that learning to draw is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time to learn thoroughly about drawing rather than comparing yourself to other people.

Allow yourself to enjoy the process - you’ll definitely thank yourself for it!

With that being said, here’s a step by step guide on how to learn how to draw and sketch.

Draw Doodles

Drawing doodles

It’s time to go completely back to basics - you need to know how to walk before you can run, after all!

Learning how to draw often starts with just doing a little bit of doodling.

Don’t try to draw anything in specific yet, just draw anything that you want to draw. Play around with a little bit of doodling - a bit like you would if you were bored in a situation that you couldn’t wait to get out of.

Don’t feel insecure if it looks a little bit strange, either - it doesn’t need to look like anything, really. It’s just a matter of getting used to pen and paper for the time being.

There are a lot of benefits to doodling, as it turns out, both for you and your drawing.

When you’re drawing, doodling helps to warm your hand up before you start the real work, it can help to make the hand more relaxed and it can teach you to have fun while drawing and not take yourself too seriously.

Doodling also has health benefits too.

For starters it’s relaxing and can help you to feel less stressed. It’s good for regulating your mood, it’s good for your memory, and it’s good for your problem solving abilities. You can find out more about the benefits of doodling here.

Ultimately, none of this should come as a surprise - mindfulness coloring books and doodling pages are a billion dollar industry mainly because of the benefits that they can have on a person’s mental health.

You can choose to doodle with either your left or right hand. In most cases you’ll have an easier time using your dominant hand, but if you want to play around a little more, then you can use your weaker hand instead.

Doodling is a fun and mindless activity but you can also sketch simple drawings, like the simple shape of a bow tie, a silly cartoon egg, or the always popular stick figures drawing.

Control the Directions

This next exercise can be a lot of fun for beginners learning how to draw - it can be fun regardless of your skill level, age or anything in between, actually.

To do this, get a piece of paper and cover it in little tiny dots. It will look a little bit like a sky that’s full of glowing stars!

You can do it in any color that you want too, so if you want to play around with some new colored pencils that you have been itching to try, this is the best time to do so.

Once all of your dots are on the paper and ready to go, the next thing to do is to connect them!

Turn the dots into some kind of shape, it doesn’t need to make any logical sense. It’s just a matter of playing around with them.

Try to avoid any sharp turns at first and make sure that your movements are smooth as you go.

If you are ready for a little more of a challenge then you can also add extra dots and play around with diagonal lines.

This exercise is useful for helping you to get used to directional changes when you're drawing, keeping everything smooth and fluid. This helps you to create more precise artwork in the process.

It’ll also help you to adapt to changing your hand movements as you work, playing around with grips that will feel good to you as you draw.

Again, you can make this a drawing game and maybe sketch the wild lines of an explosion or smooth edges of a cartoon star drawing.

Draw Lines

Draw Lines

Lines are fundamental to any piece of artwork. Just take this Pikachu drawing tutorial for example - it’s mainly lines and jagged shapes.

As such, it’s pretty vital when you are learning to draw that you master the art of the straight line - or any kind of line, really.

The lines don’t have to be the straightest things on the planet. The chances are that there’ll be at least some of the line that isn’t actually straight, and that’s okay.

Just practice doing it, including at different paces.

Try doing some fast, slow, light, heavier, using different directions. Just play around with it a little.

Some of them are going to be easier for you to do than others. It’s a key reason why you may find that certain artists draw things facing almost entirely in one direction. Some people just find it easier to draw in one direction than in others.

Practicing drawing lines is useful because it’s an expansion on the exercise that we just mentioned, enhancing the skills that you have already learned.

It allows you to work on creating a stable grip and lets you establish the way that you feel most comfortable when drawing.

Eventually you will find a line direction that you feel comfortable with. When you do, it’s a good idea to stick with it, since you are likely to get better results.

If you do need to go in a different direction then it’s possible to turn the paper to do what you need to do. The goal is to be comfortable, because forcing awkward hand shapes isn’t going to be helpful for you.

Sometimes the lines need to be very precise to produce the desired effect on paper. 3D drawings and drawings of optical illusions require very precise lines for the effect to work. After practicing some basic lines, why don't you try your hand on drawing this 3D hole or an impossible, or Penrose, triangle?

Draw Oval Shapes

Drawing oval shapes

Oval and circle shapes are pretty important to drawing, as you can see in this drawing tutorial of Batman’s face.

Now, it’s better to attempt to draw oval shapes when you first start out. Circles can be a little more intimidating since you put pressure on yourself to make the circle perfect.

Right now, all you need to do is get used to how it feels to draw oval shapes.

Practice with the pace at which you draw them, and practice with the pressure of the pencil on the paper.

Ultimately you just want to go in a round shape with the end of it going to the place you started.

Again, this is useful for many different reasons. For starters, it allows you to get used to turning your hand in small and big circles, making it more comfortable with time.

It also helps you to get used to how your grip works while doing it, and gives you even more control over drawing in certain directions.

An oval shape is a basic building block in so many drawings! Practice it with the following drawing tutorials: Grinch, Superman, or anime boy. The step-by-step instructions will make it so easy!

Practice Hatching

Hatching (Drawing)

The next thing that you need to do is learn how to hatch when you are drawing.

What is hatching? Well, to be specific it’s a very important technique that people will use when they are shading pieces of artwork.

It’s a good thing to learn when you are first starting out because it helps you to work on moving your hand in a way that’s comfortable as you are drawing.

To do it, draw a number of short lines quickly, putting them right next to each other. They should all be facing the same way. When you have done this, draw a few different lines on top of the original lines, but in a different direction - usually diagonal in both cases.

There’s also something called the hairball technique that you can use, which involves more squiggles. Don’t spend too much time trying to get the lines perfect, since it often isn’t important since it’s mainly used for shading.

This is an important exercise since it allows you to work with smaller, sharper movements, and it allows you to build on the techniques that we have previously mentioned.

It allows you to focus on specific areas, and helps you to learn how to work fast.

To practice hatching, take a look at this easy 3D stairs drawing tutorial or this camping landscape with  step-by-step instructions.

Fill-in Closed Areas

Now it’s time to combine two of the exercises that we’ve just talked about.

Remember the oval and circle shapes we just talked about? Well, draw a couple of those.

When you’re done, start filling them in using the hatching technique that we mentioned above for shading.

Try to do it as fast as possible, without going outside of the lines. This may be a bit of a challenge, but just keep practicing it.

If there are any gaps then don’t try filling them in - you just need to keep on going until you have fewer and fewer gaps in the circles.

As you do this, you are expanding on drawing the lines like we mentioned earlier and it reinforces your grip as you are trying to draw.

It’s a great exercise for building confidence and it helps you to combine a number of different exercises, something that will be important as you continue learning to draw.

Master The Various Pressure Levels

Pressure is important when you are drawing. It can have a big impact on the way that your drawings look.

There will be times where you need to draw lighter lines and shapes, and others where you will need things to look more bold by applying pressure.

You can practice this exercise with any of the exercises that we’ve already mentioned.

Work on drawing lines or doodling on the page using various pressure levels - it’ll be especially handy when you are sketching.

When you are starting to get better with using pressure, you can see if you can do something more gradual, with more pressure to start and fading into less pressure. With plenty of experience you should be able to create gradients too.

This is probably the most important exercise that you can master when trying to draw, and it allows you to be more creative with your work later down the line.

It’s also great for practicing your grip and hand movements before you start drawing solid objects.

Repeat Lines

Now it’s time to work on repeat lines. This is an expansion on some previous exercises.

You need to begin by making a short line using a very minimal amount of pressure.

When you go over the line again, you can then apply a little bit more pressure.

Keep on doing it with all the other lines that you draw, and try to speed up your pace as you go.

It may not look amazing straight away, but it’ll look better with each attempt.

This will be important as you go on with your drawing journey. It will help you to be more precise as you draw and allow you to completely determine what your lines look like.

It’s a fantastic exercise for building confidence too.

Draw Various Soft Shapes

If you have followed the steps listed above, you will now be ready for this final exercise.

It can sometimes be a little difficult to draw a long line or a circle all in one go, which is why it often helps to sketch them in little bits and pieces.

If you keep the movements short then it’s usually a lot easier to deal with when you’re working with larger shapes and lines.

As such, work on drawing soft shapes. This involves lifting and moving the pencil in smaller movements all going in the same direction.

Don’t force it, since it should still be a natural movement.

If you make any major errors then you can use an error to make it look more uniform.

When you have mastered this technique, you are then ready to move on to drawing more simple things.

It can help to follow tutorials first - more on that below!

Here are a couple of easy drawing ideas that combine straight lines with smooth, curving shapes: how to learn a simple battery, how to draw Vans shoes, and how to draw the Superman logo.

Ways to Learn Drawing & Sketching

Ways to Learn Drawing & Sketching

Now that you know the absolute basics of drawing, it’s just a matter of learning how to draw distinct objects when you’re ready and working on them as you go!

So, what other ways can you learn how to sketch and draw? Here are a couple of suggestions for you!

Tutorial Books

When you get the time, take a moment to visit your local library or bookstore. Better yet, if you have a place nearby that sells art related items, go and visit that place.

If you look on the shelves then you are sure to find tutorial books that will teach you how to draw.

You can find them for different experience levels and ages too. There are books designed for children, adults and anyone else in between. You can find specific ones based on your interests too, for instance there are books that will show you how to draw fairy tale characters or how to draw cars. Some will teach you how to draw cartoons, and drawing human faces for beginners.

If you don’t have a store near to you that’s likely to sell books like that, then a venture onto Amazon will certainly help you out! You can also find our drawing ebooks on the Ebooks Store page.

Blogs

You can also check out some designated drawing blogs. For instance, our website easydrawingguides.com is a fantastic place to start.

Our blog contains more than 1,200 different engaging drawing tutorials - we’ve listed a few of them above too! They are a lot of fun and easy to do, even for beginners.

They’re ideal for beginners who are just getting started with their art - specifically, our site is great for children, artists just getting started, grandparents, parents and teachers. See, for example, this page with over 50 really easy and simple drawing tutorials.

There are many other blogs on the internet too, some of them designed for specific tutorials based on your interests. You can find blogs with drawing tutorials for anime, realistic stuff and anything else in between that you can imagine.

YouTube

Youtube

YouTube is a goldmine for the beginner artist.

There are so many different tutorials on YouTube that will show you how to draw, step by step. You can learn more about figure drawing, shading, perspective - anything else that you can think of.

It’s pretty easy to spend hours watching drawing videos on YouTube if you aren’t careful! Not all videos are going to be amazing so you will need to be aware of that, but you’ll eventually manage to find some channels that may be your best friend as you are learning to draw.

Our YouTube channel is a wonderful starting point! 😉

Group Classes

You may want to think about attending a group class if you want to learn how to draw. What better way to learn than in a class?

Here you can ask questions to the teacher, and you can meet other people who are also interested in learning how to draw. Most of these classes run a few times a day throughout the week too, so you can find something that will fit in with your schedule.

For the most part, you will find group classes are taught by qualified tutors of art. These people have a lot of experience and a wealth of knowledge that you can take advantage of.

You can go to a smaller class or a larger one - there are a lot of options available to you. It may not be ideal for the introvert, however! Look into local group classes that you can go to.

Alternatively, you may be able to find classes running virtually these days over platforms such as Zoom.

Private Classes

Not a fan of learning around a bunch of other people? Consider going to a private class.

Here you can get some one on one time with a tutor who will work with you on your specific skills. This way your learning is catered specifically to your individual needs.

You can look online for a private tutor, or you can make requests in a newspaper or on social media instead. You’re almost certain to find someone that’s a good choice for the job, and you’ll learn a lot from a professional.

It may end up costing you quite a bit of money, however.

Courses Online

Courses online

You can also try an online course. There are a bunch of them online that you can learn from.

Many of them are very in-depth and you can do them from the comfort of your own home - the magic of the internet, right? You can do live courses online, or there are pre recorded ones that may be a better choice to line up with your schedule.

It’s perfect if you don’t really have any group art classes nearby or want something that aligns with a busy schedule. You can do them at any time of the day too which is really handy.

Copying Images

One of the best ways to learn to draw is to look at other images and to draw what you see.

It doesn’t have to be images either - you can draw things like objects from sight, such as jugs and apples, or other fruit.

Don’t go claiming it’s entirely your own work, of course, but drawing other images can really help you to learn how to draw better.

You can study the work of other artists to get an indication of how they utilize different techniques in their work too. You may not execute this perfectly when you start out, but it’ll help you through time.

Drawing Challenges

Why not take part in a drawing challenge? There are a bunch of them online and they can make the drawing process a lot more fun.

You may find monthly challenges that will encourage you to draw one specific thing a day for a month, or you may find challenges to encourage you to think more outside of the box. Either way, they can do wonders for your creativity and help you learn how to draw!

Here is my challenge for you! Can you make 100 drawings from our drawing tutorials over the next three months? 

That’s one drawing per day. Then, after those 100 days, compare your early drawings to the last ones and you’ll be blown away by the progress you’ve made. 

Start with some topics that interest you (as all drawing tutorials on Easy Drawing Guides are easy to draw) or use these cool drawing ideas: easy heart, anime girl face, or pumpkin drawing for Thanksgiving.

Summary

Man Learning Online to Draw and Paint

Now you have all of the tools that you need to start your drawing journey.

Get some paper and some pencils, and start sketching and drawing away!

Don’t be afraid to get creative, and practice makes perfect!

 
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