Online Drawing Lessons For Beginners

(Scroll down to see the full list of lessons in this section)

Much of learning to draw is going to be trial and error. In other words, you must practice, practice, practice, and then when you’re done you should practice some more.

But without any kind of guidance, it may take a very long time before you get it right. Portraits are among the most notoriously difficult things to draw; the wrong shading can make your beautiful girlfriend look like she has a beard, or strange, lopsided eyes.

This guide will give you some helpful tips to make the process of creating a realistic portrait a little less mysterious.

Learn Basic Anatomy

Many people want to jump headfirst into trying to copy a photograph, but any good drawing lesson for beginners should begin with a basic anatomy lesson. You need to be familiar with the basic proportions of the human head in order to draw it properly.

Of course, every person will differ slightly from the “ideal” human face, but using this knowledge as a guide will be helpful. Generally, the human face can be divided into six equal squares (two columns and three rows).

The top two squares contain only the forehead. The middle two squares contain the eyebrows, eyes, and most the nose. The bottom of the nose should be right at the bottom of the middle squares, centered in the intersection.

It can bleed over a bit into the bottom squares. In the bottom squares, the mouth should be drawn slightly off center towards the top of the box. Try it out. The failure of many portraits is a simple Picasso-styled misplacement of features.

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Don’t Be Afraid to Use That Eraser

Drawing is a lot less intimidating than painting because fixing mistakes is a heck of a lot easier. But the eraser isn’t just about fixing mistakes. It’s an integral part of the drawing process. For example, when drawing an eye, it might be helpful to draw the iris as a complete circle first, and then erase the top and bottom edges when adding lids.

This keeps the iris in the circular shape it should be in without much hassle. It’s also a good idea to first divide the face into the six squares as mentioned above with light pencil strokes. This will help you place the features in the correct spots, and you can erase the lines afterwards.

Choosing a Photo to Draw From

Some of your difficulties with drawing a portrait may stem from the fact that you’re choosing the incorrect photo to copy from. You may have attended some pencil drawing lessons for beginners or found tutorials on the internet that provide you with good pictures, and no questions asked. But if you’re trying to sketch on your own, it’s important that you know how to pick (or take) a good photo.

One of the main problems is that heavy flash can make a person’s face seem flat, which gives you very little to work with, especially if the photo is face-on. Instead, choose a photo that was taken in natural lighting, ideally where the person’s face is angled slightly towards the left or right. This will give you a more three-dimensional picture that will be easier to work from.

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List of Online Drawing Lessons:

  1. Learn Blind Contour Drawing
    “Draw what you really see, not what you think you see.” Sounds familiar? Well, every art student and artist would have come across this statement at least once during their lifetime.
  2. Perspective and Believable 3D Objects
    In sketching for ideas, keep the draft simple by using only 1 point perspective. This is especially true if you are not familiar with the rules of perspective yet.
  3. Drawing with Line | How to Draw With Lines | Line Drawing
    Long before photography was developed, line art was the standard for making illustrations in things like books, newspapers, and instruction manuals.
  4. Using Charcoal to Draw On Painting Canvas | How to Draw With Charcoal
    When you already have the perfect sketch of the subject of your choice perfectly drawn on paper, how to transfer it into a canvas for painting?
  5. Drawing with Proper Perspective: Using Measuring Points and Guidelines
    When we look at objects, their size seems to diminish with distance, but translating this to a piece of paper sometimes results in distorted shapes that aren’t accurate to real life.
  6. Learn How to Draw Objects in Perspective
    The idea of drawing in perspective intimidates many beginning artists because it may seem to be more related to mathematics than art.
  7. How to Use the Grid Method When Drawing or Painting
    If you have a photograph that you'd like to make a painting or drawing of, you could set the photograph nearby and just begin to sketch it freehand, but this usually won't result in an exact replica of the proportions in the photo.
  8. Point Perspective Drawing Lesson | How to Draw in Perspective
    If you want to start trying to draw things in perspective, get your pencil, ruler, paper and a good eraser ready. We’ll cover one point and two point perspective.
  9. The Thin Line Between Portraiture And Caricature
    A caricature is a portrait that has some features distorted and/or exaggerated. The visual likeness is maintained and easily identifiable. Caricature is a good starting place for prospect portrait artists.

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