Drawing is not just for kids of all ages; it is really for all ages—period. Because of its wide range, there are many drawing techniques that can be applied once you pick up your drawing tools. However, like any other art, drawing is a very customizable process. By this, we mean that a favorite technique of one person might not be very sought after by the next. The thing with mastering a drawing technique is simply to practice. Drawing is a skill, and just like riding a bike, the more determination and practice you put into it, the more you will develop your capability towards that skill. We are going to help you begin to immerse yourself in the art of drawing, and open your eyes to some of the techniques that it offers. So grab your drawing tools and color palates, and let’s get started!
Before you begin to tackle any drawing technique, we are going to go over some of the basic supplies that you are going to need to kick start the drawing process:
Various Pencil Grades: Even if you want to draw with colored pencils or water colors, you are going to want to sketch out your drawing first. As such, you are going to need some appropriate pencils. Drawing pencils come in different grades, which will tell you how soft they are. The pencil’s softness will determine how dark of a mark it makes. For example, a very soft pencil will leave a very dark mark, and a hard pencil will leave a lighter mark. Hard pencils are from grades H to 9H (hardest), and soft pencils range from 9B (softest) to B.
Erasers: We all make mistakes! In drawing, you might not want to erase every single line you make (sketch lightly!), but if you do some erasing, check out these types of erasers:
- Kneaded eraser: For getting graphite or charcoal off your paper without messing with other aspects of your drawing. These erasers are soft and mold-able.
- Vinyl eraser: A hard and white eraser to take off graphite of charcoal completely.
Ruler: Even though you are not doing math (far from it!) a ruler will help you draw straight lines for your drawing. Aim for a clear plastic ruler so that you can still see all aspects of your paper.
Paper: The most important part! You are going to want a lot of paper, so try to pick up a sketchbook that contains at least 50-100 sheets. Try for a size around 9 by 12 inches so that you can still carry it, but can explore larger-type sketches.
Classic drawing techniques will be based off of periods in history. Remember that a drawing’s style or technique is what makes the drawings unique. Let’s take a look at some of the more common drawing styles that you may or may not have heard of. Feel free to incorporate these styles into your technique!
Abstract Drawing: Abstract drawings are drawings that are generally made up of various shapes, lines, colors, and textures.
Art Nouveau: The Art Nouveau drawing style uses an illusionist drawing feel with unique patterns. These drawings are usually flat, but incorporate a lot of curvy and fluid lines throughout.
Manga: Younger generations are becoming fascinated with Manga style drawings, which practice Japanese comic book drawing techniques that were developed in the 19th century.
Post-Impressionism: The post-impressionism style artists produce drawings that adhere to geometric shapes and other distortions as a form of expression. These drawings are generally made based on light. For example, VanGogh was a popular post-impressionism artist.
Realism: If you are looking to draw a complete and convincing representation of what you deem reality, realism drawing might be something to look into. Also, consult some od Da Vinci’s work! He was a popular realism artist of his time.
Surrealism: Working from replying completely on their imagination is an example of surrealism drawing.
Pencil Drawing Techniques
Although there are many various tools that you can use for drawing, we are going to use pencil drawing as an example to go over some basic techniques. After all, you should begin with pencil drawing with any drawing as a good template for your work.
- Outline: Guidelines are useful in a lot of things – drawing included! You can start out with either a light outline or a dark outline to begin your drawing. These will act as good subject guides when you are filling in your drawing.
- Hatching: For the hatching technique, draw small lines that are closely bunched together to create color fill. This can also be used as a technique for shading.
- Cross-hatching: Cross-hatching is similar to hatching, except it repeats the process with a layer on the top of the first set of lines going in the opposite direction. This is a good shading technique if you want to add darker colors to your drawing.
- Stipping: Stipping incorporates the same idea as the hatching technique, except that the lines are much smaller, and therefore resemble dashes more than lines. Use stripping on small areas of your drawing, such as eyes or facial hair. You can also use stipping for blending, but make sure you are using a light pencil.
- Back and Forth Stroke: You probably remember this shading technique for pencil drawing when you were young. All you need to do is simply move your pencil back and forth in the same direction. Apply pressure to create darker shading, or light pressure for more lightly shaded effects.
- Scumbling: This drawing technique incorporates moving your pencil around in small circular motions. Make sure that you keep the small circles all very compact; this will work to keep shading effects tight and bendable.
With all these wonderful styles and techniques used for drawing, often times the hardest part about drawing can be finding the correct inspiration. If you feel like you are suffering from drawer’s-block, here are some wonderful tips that can help get your pencil moving right along!
- Get out: If you are sitting at home, chances are you are not going to find any inspiration there. Go outside, take a walk, or go for a short drive. Look around you, and make sure that you pay attention to your senses and let them do the talking.
- Look at drawings: It can be easy to find inspiration from the greats. A great way to expand your artistic mind is to visit a museum or gallery. If you do not have one nearby, simply go to the library and check out some art books for inspiration.
- Look around you: Sometimes, you can find inspiration in the smallest things. Flip through magazines, postcards, pictures, or quotes that you have around your house. Sometimes these little things can stimulate a great idea.
- Do something else: If you are not feeling anything, move on to another activity that does not involve drawing. Stepping away from your artistic mind will give your imagination a chance to refuel so that it will be ready when you come back for more. Remember, be patient!
Pick Up Those Pencils!
Picking up and pencil and drawing is much more than a fun and relaxing hobby. Observing and learning drawing techniques aids in developing your own styles and incorporating various forms and functions of drawing into your art to help stimulate and exercise your mind. If you want to practice in the comfort of your own home, we have a wonderful selection of drawing courses right here that will help bring out the artist in you!