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Want to Learn to Draw? Start Your Lessons Here!

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Learning how to draw is easier than you think. Start here with these free online, step by step lessons. This introduces the sections of this website you'll want to visit, to cover all the skills you need to learn to draw well. You'll find drawing lessons, tips on materials, keeping a sketchbook, and ways to connect with other artists and get feedback on your work.

1. Beginner Drawing Exercises

drawing of an apple
H South, licensed to About.com, Inc.
This section is at the top of the list, so you can find it easily, because it's the most important. Don't skip the drawing exercises, even if they seem to easy - they are like scales for a musician, and will help your drawing progress much more quickly. You'll be able to create your masterpiece soon enough!
Most of these beginner drawing lessons can be done with any scrap paper and pencils, so you can start learning to draw right away, before you need to visit the art store. A number 2 pencil and some A4 office paper or an old exercise book will do just fine.
Begin Your Drawing Lessons Here

2. Learn about Drawing Supplies

pencil sharpener and pencil
T. de Florie, licensed to About.com, Inc.
To explore drawing further, you'll need to get some basic materials. This introduction to some of the most commonly used art supplies will help you know what you're looking for when you hit the art store. Remember to keep it simple - don't be talked into huge collections of expensive materials, most of which you'll never use. Master one medium at a time, adding new materials once you're confident with the ones you already have. Learn About Drawing Supplies

3. Learn Simple Perspective Drawing

H South, licensed to About.com, Inc.
The principles of linear perspective are useful no matter what you draw. The alignment of features in a portrait or the proportions of flowers in a vase are going to be affected by the 'rules' of linear perspective. Perspective is also heaps of fun - who doesn't enjoy creating '3D' illusions with just a ruler and pencil? Check out the perspective lessons

4. Learn How to Keep a Sketchbook

sketchbook stack
H South, licensed to About.com, Inc
I don't think I've ever met an artist who doesn't keep a sketchbook. The most daunting thing for beginners is the idea that their sketchbook is supposed to look like Leonardo da Vinci's Notebooks, full of little masterpieces. Your sketchbook can be anything you want it to be, but at this point, I suggest you think of it as a learning tool - a way to keep sketches and ideas in one place. It's a safe place to make mistakes and explore.Tips:

Tip: Practice often. You need to train your hand and eye.

5. Learn About Pencil Shading

perspective shading
H South
Learning to use shading is an important part of drawing. The interchangeable terms tone, value or tonal value all mean the degree of light or dark, and shades in between. Don't discover that you are having trouble controlling your tonal values when you are halfway through a difficult portrait. Practice first on simple subjects, until you are confident with your ability to get the exact tone you want.

6. Connect with Other Artists on the Drawing Forum

keyboard and sketchpad
Uncredited Stock Photo
Art doesn't happen in a vaccuum. You need other artists! The Drawing/Sketching Forum is free, of course, and it only takes moments to join up. Just think of a user name and away you go. You can talk about anything you like on the forum - there's even an 'Idle Chatter' folder for any off-topic discussions you'd like to start. Here you can meet other artists, from beginners to professionals. You can offer advice, show off your latest works, and ask for help. A good scan or photo makes it much easier for members to advise on your drawings, so feel free to post them... visit the forum

7. Sign Up for the Newsletter

newspaper photo
Palabra, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Each week, I send out a newsletter with the latest blog entries and updates to the Drawing/Sketching site. Most weeks I include an artist's quote. The entries in the email link back to the Drawing/Sketching site, so you can click on them to read the full story, and leave a comment in the blog. I'm always keen to hear from readers! The newsletter is a great way to keep in touch and make sure that you don't miss any useful articles.
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