What you need to know to learn how to draw


Bright Side has an article in store for you that clearly and clearly sets out an action plan for a novice artist who has decided to study independently.



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“It is difficult to choose what needs to be studied by those who are going to do drawing ... I receive many letters on this subject; novices usually feel lost, lost in the midst of all this. Therefore, I decided to create a kind of table of contents - a list of what you need to learn and what to practice in order to create quality work and learn how to draw better. Each item is provided with my simple comments that answer the questions “what”, “why”, “how”. Thus, it will be easier to find the necessary material using your favorite search engine. Also, this material may be useful for those who want to improve the quality of their work. I will use these starting points in my exercises and in finding errors in my work. If you are just starting to draw, here is my advice: be scholars,


1. Perspective


What it is : The art of conveying three-dimensional space on a flat surface.
What is the goal : Do not draw flat, depict depth on two-dimensional paper.
What you need to know about this : Perspective grid, how simple forms (cubes, balls, etc.) behave in perspective and how to maintain proportions.


How To Start Drawing


Work based on two vanishing points (green and red).

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2. Proportions


What it is : The aspect ratio of all the objects in your drawing.
What is the goal : Draw recognizable objects thanks to stereotypical representations of proportions.
What you need to know about this : Learn to remember proportions, find a way to easily remember the ratios of parts of an object, make a “dictionary” of proportions.

How To Start Drawing


The orange lines show the main proportions and proportions in the figure (left) and the outline (right).


3. Anatomy


What it is : Study of the structure.
What is the goal : To draw objects realistically (people, animals, plants, equipment, etc.).
What you need to know about this : Joints, bones, muscles, how they work, how they behave, how the parts connect, etc.

How To Start Drawing


Hand drawing exercise (left), skeleton drawing (center), muscle study (right).

4. Composition


What it is : Arrangement and presentation of visual elements of a picture.
What is the goal : To convey the viewer feelings and emotions with the help of a drawing.
What you need to know about this : Deal with a set of angles and understand how they affect the perception and "readability" of the work.

How To Start Drawing


Various sketches before starting work; search for a composition.


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5. Lighting


What it is : Light and shadow conveyed in color.
What is the goal : To create the illusion of light, display the correct shadows, achieve volume and convey mood.
What you need to know about this : Color values, casting shadows, the influence of surface materials, light reflection, light characteristics (refraction, scattering materials, etc.).

How To Start Drawing


Left: The light shows the difference in material. Right: use of light to show the second character (cast shadow).


6. Edges


What it is : A way to highlight the silhouettes of objects in your drawing.
What is the goal : To facilitate reading of work, to separate objects and background, to enhance the effect of depth.
What you need to know about this : The style of the edges (clear / soft / lost) in drawing, line styles (weight, speed, softness) for the contours.

How To Start Drawing


Left and center: edges in the figure, right: thickness of the contours.


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7. Colors


What it is : The art of choosing the right shades (midtones, shadows, lights).
What is the goal : Add more movement, mood and emotions to your work.
What you need to know about this : Color systems (monochromatic, complementary, etc.), especially the effect of colors on mood, stereotypes.

How To Start Drawing


Top left: 3 color circles reflecting the palettes for this work; three complementary colors.

8. Poses


What it is : The art of capturing active movement on a static sheet.
What is the goal : Add life, energy, movement and show dynamics.
What you need to know about this : Emotional touches, sketches, quick drawings, studying everything moving, frequent “warming up” exercises.

How To Start Drawing


Left: penguin poses in the zoo, in the center: learning poses when moving, right: warm-up sketches of a figure.


9. Style


What is it : Aesthetics, a sense of style. Often depends on fundamental standards (ethical, historical, social, symbolic), art of cultural groups, art market.
What is the goal : Pave the way for the audience
What you need to know about this : your own taste, culture, creative team as an audience and creators at the same time.

How To Start Drawing


Left: a classic black and white portrait, center: a highly stylized (and weird) character and drawing style, right: my comic book style.

10. The idea


What it is : Drawing abstract concepts, ideological associations, inventing and proposing a new design. This is mostly a development process.
What is the goal : To propose new images of objects, characters and creatures in order to entertain or inform the public.
What you need to know about this : How things work, how to create new things, associations of ideas, funny situations, the creative process.

How To Start Drawing


A new type of technique (on the left), a new type of dragon (in the center) and a medieval house that no one had seen before this picture (on the right).


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11. Communications


What it is : An image can transmit a large amount of complex information quickly. The proverb “A picture is worth a thousand words” explains this well.
What is the goal : An artist can communicate (internationally or not) with the audience.
What you need to know about it : Reading images (decoding sent messages, non-verbal signs), conveying meaning, history, information.



The drawing of the sheet does not carry much information (left), but the complex of details and facial expression can already tell the story (in the center). A symbol such as a vulture from newspapers (on the right) can make you think more deeply about the problem of unethical journalism.

Conclusion: a significant illusion


If you can correctly combine all of the above, then you will achieve a sense of volume, depth, texture, light, movement and life on a static surface. This will immerse your viewers in your world, and you can easily convey to them your ideas, messages or tell a story. And finally, as I see the result: the art of creating meaningful illusions . All this palette of skills will serve your intellectual (memory, control, determination), as well as emotional development (feelings, emotions, subconscious). This is a complex exercise that requires knowledge, observation, imagination , but first of all you need to PRACTICE, PRACTICE and PRACTICE. The drawing skill is like a muscle (and you, of course, will not become stronger from reading a book on weight lifting or watching a video), so good luck with drawing and painting, build your unique experience . "