Color pencil drawing by Lia Spragg

Learn How to Draw – Tips for Sketching Drawing Exercises for beginners

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Learn how to draw would be easier once you learn the essential tips for sketching that I will show you in this post. Here are 9 drawing exercises for beginners to get you started.

Drawing Practice Exercises

The main point is, if you want to learn how to draw, you need to practice. There is no other way.

If you want to draw beautiful and “perfect” portraits, you will need to learn and practice how the head structure works.

So, if you are really into it, let’s get started!

9 Drawing Exercises for beginners

I love to draw, and I have lots of fun doing it. So, I don’t mind practicing basic drawing exercises because, for me, it is also a way of relaxation.

Drawing lessons were my number one subject in school. I loved the geometry lessons, and after I finished my exams, I had the time to draw the answers on a small piece of paper and pass them to my friends to help them get the answers right. I know, this wasn’t the right thing to do, but I just had to do it.

As we get older sometimes life takes over and changes our path, and we stop doing what we love, for example, learn how to draw.

If this happened to you, be sure that you are not alone.

I studied law (utterly different than the creative side of me), but I also loved it, and it helped me immensely, and I transfer my skills to many areas of my life. However, I have to put my creative side on hold for a while.

I never stopped drawing altogether, and I have learned other crafts, which you can see in my other posts. I use drawing practice exercises as a way to relax after a hard day.

Of course, “just born” with a fantastic talent, however drawing is a technic, a skill that can be learned.

Tips for sketching – Essential Practice

Tips for sketching
sketching face by Lia Spragg

What you need is to practice and learn the essential tips for sketching will give you a boost, and you will learn how to draw rapidly.

It is like everything in life. Learn the basics first; then you can move on.

We cannot just go to University straight away; we need to learn how to read and write, and all the “basic” stuff in school and college.

This is the same for drawing.

This post will show you some of my drawings and the best tips for sketching and drawing exercises to improve your skills.

You might want to jump into portraits or landscape drawing but doing the basic exercises first is very important. 

As in any skill we learn, practice is essential and will help you build your basic techniques and develop your way to see when you are drawing.

Learn How to Draw – Tips for Sketching Drawing Exercises for beginners

If you always struggled to draw, try this essential tip:

Instead of thinking of the figure with a nose, mouth, etc., ask yourself: where does this curve begin, what is the angle relation to the edge of the paper, how long is this line, where lines connect?

We usually throw away the first drawings because they find them mediocre. However, these initial designs are handy because they help us recognize the progress we have made.

When we are drawing better often, we forget the progress we have made and criticize ourselves. Still, if we save our initial drawings, we will have a parameter for our development.

Learn to See

The act of drawing is divided into two main processes: the intuitive and the analytic.

The intuitive is related to the brain’s right hemisphere, while the analytics connected to the left hemisphere.

The tendency for either side will depend on the type of drawing being made.

As we develop our visual perception, perceiving shapes and textures, the emotive tendency tends to guide us to direct our hands’ movements.

Without this visual language, it is virtually impossible to develop what we want to describe graphically.

Although this intuitive response is vital to translating everything you see into paper, it is necessary to consider the relations between proportions and masses consciously—one of the greatest sketching drawing tips.

The ideal is to establish a perfect dialogue between these two processes or hemispheres, mainly because the drawing requires memorization and creativity.

drawing practice exercises - human eye

9 Best Tips For Sketching – Drawing Exercises for Beginners

  1. Blind Contour Drawing 
  2. Positive and Negative Space
  3. Practice lines – Geometry
  4. Grid Drawing 
  5. Light and Shadow Drawing
  6. Body Measurements
  7. Proportion Drawing
  8. Perspective Drawing
  9. Drawing Composition in Art

1 – Blind Contour Drawing – Draw with your mind

Choose something simple to draw—for example, A vase, a box, a ball.

Observe the object and keep your eyes on it, draw its outlines without looking at the sheet of paper.

Try this a few times. Save the object, hide the previous attempts, and draw the image that formed the item in your brain.

Finally, you will copy the model looking at it and the sheet of paper alternately.

draw a cube Tips for drawing

2 – Draw Positive and Negative Spaces

Observe and draw negative spaces. Choose a model and draw a margin around it.

You will see that between the contours of the object and that margin there is form.

The better you use forms you observed and copied, the better the object will be.

When copying the negative spaces, forget the positive forms and the object they represent.

negative positive drawing

3 – Practicing Lines – Geometry

All drawings use geometry as a requirement for some auxiliary lines in its construction.

These lines can be straight, curved or combined depending on what you are drawing and usually form one, two or more geometric bases.

For example, look at buildings and houses.

geometry drawing
White Concrete building by Lance Anderson

When we refer to geometry, we usually use a rule and other geometric tools to get perfect shapes and forms.

geometry drawing template

drawing lines

When we refer to geometry, we usually use a rule and other geometric tools to get perfect shapes and forms.

The lines have a strong psychological effect on us to reinforce some elements that we want to transmit.

For example, horizontal convey the sensation of calmness, width, and verticals indicate stature and austerity.

Inclined or Diagonal express movement and dynamism while straight lines represent hardness and masculinity.

Curves represent softness, femininity, and broken lines are related to messy and disorder.

Divergent shows brilliance, warmth while Convergence represents target, goal.

The geometric shapes also transmit certain sensations, depending on how we combine them in the drawing space.

Even apparent and straightforward forms, usually inspire us to places or objects whose primary aspects are determined by these figures.

psychology of lines - easy sketching

4 – Grid drawing

Grid drawing

The grid is a geometric feature used to enlarge, reduce or reproduce a model. You can use the grid when it is necessary to maintain the exact proportions or similarity with the original.

To do this, grid the model and do the same thing on the sheet you are drawing/copying.

Number the squares to facilitate the positioning of the elements. Although reproducing an original, the grid technique should not be used frequently in the drawing.

However, it is an excellent ally for those who are starting to draw and improve their abilities.

6 – Light and Shadow Drawing

Shadow Drawing

To give the depth feel on a flat surface, such as paper or canvas, without resorting to perspective rules with a horizon line and vanishing point—practice and tips for sketching by drawing shapes.

These resources, when well employed, better translate the intended climate created in the design.

1.Different Sizes – When observing similar objects with different dimensions in the drawing, we associate that one is further away and closer to our eyes.

2. Shape overlap – if we place two objects side by side, the result is flat, but the depth is enhanced if one stands behind the other.

3. Different tones – the extent to which things are distancing from our eyes, are losing the tone and sharpness.

4. Lines with different thicknesses – to represent them behind, use much more delicate lines.

5. Lines with different distances – by varying the gaps between the lines, we can transform a rectangle into a cylinder, for example.

7 – Proportion Drawing – Measuring drawing

Proportion is significant when we draw. Our eyes are an intrinsic machine, so we are captured by different aspects of what we see.

Studying the body’s bone structure is one of the most crucial skills you can learn to draw correctly. The skeleton and bones proportion is consistent in all human bodies; however, the muscles and tendons might change. This will be a subject for another post so keep checking my blog and subscribe to receive news. You can also follow me on social media.

It might be gorgeous or something horrendous. When drawing, we want to make our work compelling and ultimately to create a reaction to the viewer, whatever it may be.

If you look at the memorable artists through centuries and compare their work, you will see the difference and will start to notice their style that was, of course, affected by the time they lived.

Some artists show a specific way to draw portraits, for example, making big heads compared to the body or drawing enormous eyes.

When you start to understand how the body works, it will be reflected in your drawing.

Have a look at the pictures below.

drawing bodies

When we look at the first picture, we see a pose, but if you study the picture and look at two-dimension and not three, you will see that the elbows, eyes, shoulders and hands are not straight.

human body drawing lessons

Measurements and Angles

You can use a 45° angle or any angle presented and carefully transport the angle into the paper exactly as it is.

To get the correct measurements, you need to see the figure’s geometric side: lines, curves, and not a person or a specific object.

Horizontal lines are also used to reflect the original pose, measurements, angles and distances between parts of the body.

These measurements might seem irrelevant, but when we draw, it is evidently to the eyes when objects or people are in a correct distance proportion. A few millimetres of incorrect measurement can produce a loss of balance in the whole drawing.

Training our eyes and transporting this understanding into our drawings is essential if you want to improve your drawing skills.

improve your drawing skills

We can use a pencil, a stick or a paintbrush to take the measurements.

It is essential to compare and measure parts of the body and see their connections and proportions. And these are great tips for sketching.

To take the measurements of the model stretch the arm and lock the elbow. Use this technique to see how the essential parts line up.

To measure lines, hold the pencil in a vertical or horizontal position and place its edge at the edge of the object while the tip of your thumb is at the limit you want to relate.

Having a 1,5 – 2 meters distance from the real-life object or model will help. You can also use a picture and draw from it.

It also is easier if the picture is next to the drawing as you do not need to change your head and hand too much to transport the information you took from the original.

A black and white picture will show the contrast, light and shadow more precisely than a colour picture.

You can also use a tablet with the picture you want to draw and zoom in and facilitate the process.

drawing methods

After collecting the measurements with a pencil or stick, you can now transfer the information into the paper.

The proportion of Landscape Composition

The elements that make up a landscape have their sizes related. These sizes, however, are changed according to the distances between you and the observer.

See illustration below:

Landscape Composition drawing

The elements that make up a landscape have their sizes related. These sizes, however, are changed according to the distances between you and the observer.

See the illustration below:

In figure 1, we have the three elements (tree, man and house) on the same plane, where we can compare the proportions.

In figure 2, the tree is in the foreground, then the man and then the house. Observe how the proportions change as the model is closer or further away from the observer.

In figure 3, the man is in the foreground, thus obtaining greater prominence.

In figure 4, the house in the foreground provides the most distant home and tree.

The variations are many and can be applied according to the emphasis we want to teach.

8 – Perspective drawing 

Perspective is the way to represent objects precisely as they are seen by the human eye, in its solid form, further or closer to the observer.

To correctly draw objects on a flat surface, such as paper, we must know the elements that govern perspective.

Horizon line

Perspective drawing 

It is an imaginary line at eye level, regardless of where the observer is, standing or on top of a building.

Everything below the horizon line seen from above, everything above the horizon line is seen from below when the object is placed exactly above the horizon line. At eye level, we know the part neither top nor bottom.

Try to draw it yourself one of the tips for sketching showed in this post.

Vanishing Point

Vanishing Point

It is a point on the horizon line, where the depth lines depart, and an object can be drawn with 1, 2 or more vanishing points, depending on its position in relation to the observer.

For example: If a chair has one side entirely facing the viewer, it will have to be designed with a vanishing point.

drawing horizon line

When the object is in the corner, it needs to be constructed with two vanishing points.

In perspective, with a vanishing point, the front part of the object does not change (measurements and shapes).

In the rest of the set, the verticals remain vertical. The horizontal lines parallel to the front remain, and those that form the depth are plotted towards the vanishing point.

vanishing point

When using two vanishing points, it is necessary to observe the distances between them; if they get too close to each other, the image will be distorted, losing its natural appearance.

If they are too far apart, it will give the object a square aspect, taking effect out of perspective.

The best distance should be related to the size of the object and its distance from the horizon.

9 – Composition in art

Drawing fruit composition

9 – Composition in art tips for sketching

The composition is one of the most critical factors of drawing and the most essential of the tips for sketching and advancing your projects.

It is impossible to make a good drawing or painting without considering the distribution of the elements, the balance and the rhythm between the objects.

For a composition to be made, we must study the following items:

Equilibrium: is the correct distribution of the elements so that their optical weight is balanced to space.

Variety: This is diversification in shapes, tones, colours, and the arrangement of elements.

Unit is the union of all elements not to appear scattered or clustered, but rather are in perfect balance between each other and the negative spaces.

The last two items are closely linked because there is no point in having variety in the composition if there is no unity of the set and vice versa.

Try to make some arrangements using different objects or fruits. Try to draw them and see what you think.

drawing different objects or fruits

Simple Sketches to Draw – Drawing Exercises for Beginners

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