Hey Lovelies! Most of you probably know I love to draw and I often get questions like how I learned it? How do you start? and most often of all, Can you teach me? So I decided to start this series of drawing lessons! Every now and then I will post a blog with drawing tips and or information. I hope you will enjoy!
Please take note that those tips are from my own experience and may be not the best out there. I just want to help you out! And how you can start drawing yourself. But, there’s always a but, drawing takes practice, a lot of practice. You can’t magically draw a portrait perfectly.
How to get started?! Well, get yourself a piece of paper and a pencil. And just start. It doesn’t matter in the beginning what kind of paper/pencil you use. Those can be very cheap, just what you have around. It’s all about the basics first. In this blog I will cover how you can ‘copy’ a photo reference to a sheet of paper. I give several options, it’s up to you what fits you best. There’s no right or wrong in art.
I have no idea how this is called for real, I’m sorry. But what I mean by this one is that you start with drawing and oval/circle and go from there. There are certain rules how to devide the oval and on which lines you draw the eyes, nose, mouth etc. In my eyes this is the most traditional way that is been used the longest. But I am not sure about that. I am not gonna teach you on how to this. Why? Because every face is different, and no face is symmetrical. If you still wanna know how this works, simple google ‘how to draw a face’ and a lot tutorials will come up.
Using a grid for drawing, is quit populair. I personally never use it, well I did when I was a kid in school, that’s like forever ago haha. But I always see a lot people use it, and I can kinda understand why, it’s just not my thing. That’s the beauty of art, it’s a journey to find your own way and style, where you are comfortable. Gridding for me results in overthinking and making it way to complicated for myself haha.
A grid is usually excisting out of squares. Some people make triangles. Basicly it are lines to help you draw whatever your subject is. You draw them on your reference and on your paper. Most important is that if you use squares on your reference, make sure they are on your paper as well. And the same amount for the part you decide to draw. You can draw your squares on your paper bigger, same size, or smaller, this way you can control how big you want to be your final outcome.
You can draw your grid on the reference by hand, but then you need to print out your picture or use one from a magazine/anything else you don’t mind to draw on. You can also do it in a photo editing program. Try to find what works for you. I did it in Photoshop myself for this tutorial.
Tip 1: Number your squares along the edge of your paper and reference. This will make it easier to find the right square to draw in.
Tip 2: If your paper you wanna draw on isn’t too thick. You can also draw your grid on another sheet of paper with a black marker or so. Put this behind your paper you wanna draw on (eventually with a lightbox). This will save you time to draw the grid over and over.
Tip 3: Draw your grid lightly so you can erase it easily.
After a grid there are also certain lines you can draw on your reference and draw your subject using those lines. It takes less time then drawing a grid all the time. But it’s also something you need to get a feeling for. With lines you can create shapes and measure your drawing points. Those drawing points you copy on your paper and draw the subject with those. You notice, when you draw a portrait, there are certain lines that are almost always the same. It’s not that hard to do, you can draw as many lines as you wanna use and work from there.
Here’s a lot of discussion about, a lot people say it’s cheating. But these days even people say you already cheat when you use a reference. I don’t know what going on in the art community. But try to make up your own opinion. That’s why I include this option too.
Tracing is litterally tracing your subject onto your paper. Nothing more, nothing less. Maybe this sounds weird if you wanna learn how to draw. But I see it this way, If you draw your subject, that you wanna learn over and over with tracing. You get the feel how the shapes work. This will be saved into your mind/movements and you can draw it neatly without tracing after a while. While, if you keep drawing a shape wrong over and over, it will frustrate in the end.
Free hand a drawing is by far most, the most tricky to do. Why? Because you have no guidelines or what so ever. You just draw what you see. Copy the drawing with your own eyes and hands. For some people this is easy and do it all the time, other people need guidelines to draw well. Whatever it is for you, do it. Don’t let people tell you what’s right or wrong in art. Art = freedom, use it!
For me I learned drawing by free hand. I just did that, some people call that talent. But when you have seen my first drawings, you barely can recognize who it is (pictures below). We all have to start somewhere, don’t give up after the first few tries. Later on I also started to use lines/measuring to get proportions right. Now, I still combine these 2 most of the time, just how I feel, or how complicated the reference is. (For recent works check my Instagram).
I always loved drawing from when I was very young. But drawing portraits, I believe I was 17, I had a dream I could draw portraits, and the next day, was the day I started drawing portraits.
As for Age, it doesn’t matter when you start learning something. It’s never too later or too early to start something. Just do it.
I hope this lesson was helpful to you! And I hope you will start drawing as well! It’s something beautiful to do, to create and control what’s going on that blank sheet of paper. Create and have a wonderful day!