Fluffy, fuzzy, short or long: Fur comes in all kinds of textures, lengths and colors, and it's a major reason why animals are so darn cute. But believe it or not, you don't actually need to draw every single strand of fur on an animal if you want it to look realistic. You don't even need to draw one strand. (That goes for human hair too, by the way.)
It's confession time: We're having an affair — with charcoal. When it comes to black-and-white drawing, no other medium is as rich and satisfying. We're crazy about the dark, velvety colors and loose, gestural marks.
One the of the greatest things about drawing is that it’s a skill you can continue to refine throughout your life. No matter how old you are or how long you’ve been at it, drawing will continue to challenge you. You’ll never be bored as long as you can pick up a pencil!
We bet you've seen it: Art that looks like an incredible painting, but was actually done with colored pencils. These seemingly simple tools can create an incredible range of dramatic effects, if you know the right techniques to bring to the table. Ready to try? Go!
If you tend to focus on realistic drawings, then shifting into the abstract can be a bit of a head-scratcher. But once you get rolling, you'll love this fun, stress-free form. After all, there are certainly no rules about what your piece should look like in the end! Abstract drawing techniques are great because they help us see things in a different way, and they really stretch the imagination.
All you have to do is look at a cool sketch of an urban scene and the urge to try it yourself comes knocking. Am I right? And once you get comfy with this way of documenting the world around you, you'll never run out of fascinating subjects to draw. Problem is, getting started can seem a little scary. But not anymore!
Whether we're filling up a vase or creating some new artwork, roses have our hearts. And while it's always hard to compete with nature's beauty, colored pencils do a pretty darn good job of getting this flower's deep, romantic color just right. Want to draw one? We'll walk you through it.
Are you a creativity weekend warrior? Instead of drawing or painting once a week, what if you did it every single day? Artists who've made it through 30, 100, or even 1000 days of continuous practice swear by this approach. You're probably rolling your eyes right this very minute, wondering how you could possibly squeeze in one more thing with your crazy life. Fair enough. But let's start with the why:
Do you want to add dimension and texture to your drawings? Don’t answer that...of course you do. Enter: hatching. This simple technique uses small clusters of lines to add shadows and perspective to a sketch. And it's totally easy to learn! To start, print out several copies of an outline of any object or shape (we used a hand). Then, test each of the six hatching techniques below on a different image. You'll find practice makes perfect.
As long as people have been making art, the landscape has been part of it. Whether it’s desolate fields or a bustling metropolis, we have a natural desire to capture the world around us. Of course anyone who's ever put pencil to paper knows that's not necessarily easy to do. But one key principle goes a long way in taking your landscapes from "meh" to majestic (and it works in any medium!).
We all have our go-to doodles. You know, those familiar shapes and pictures that seem to appear by magic on scraps of paper when you're not even aware that you're scribbling. As it turns out, what you choose to doodle can say a lot about your personality!
When your toddler first begins drawing or making marks on paper, you’re probably overjoyed to see their first works of “art.” But once they reach school age, all those doodles and scribbles on their math or English work might make you worry they’re not paying attention in class. The good news? That’s not necessarily true.
Sure, there are about a bajillion fonts you could use for your project. But there’s still nothing quite like hand lettering to give your invitation or word art that extra-special touch. Before you get ready to put pen to paper, brush up on the different type of calligraphy. Yes, there are several!
If you've only ever used pen and ink to draw basic lines, you are missing out! While simple lines can absolutely create dramatic drawings, there's another technique that will totally change the look of your drawings: an ink wash.
Next time you're in the art supply store, make a beeline straight for the colored pencils. It's an affordable medium that's booming in popularity, and there are more supports, accessories, types of pencils, and curated sets available than ever before. Really. We talked to three experts about why colored pencils just might be your next favorite thing.
There's nothing like a little challenge to kick yourself into gear. So why not commit to drawing every day for the next week, month, or even (gasp!) year? Whether you're stuck in a creative rut or just want to get the hang of a new skill, putting pen to paper on the regular is just what you need. Challenge accepted? Here's how to make it over the finish line.
From your morning commute to your bedtime routine, the days can get quite predictable when you’re a grown-up — and for the most part, that's fine. Structure and routine can be useful, productive, and necessary. On the other hand, a lack of spontaneity can also be a total creativity killer. Your task: find pockets of free time, while you’re doing the things you’re doing anyway, into which you can add bursts of creativity. It's easier than you think (no matter how busy you are) and you don’t even need a solid block of time to paint a canvas or throw pottery, either. Here's how to take an ordinary hour and add some unexpected magic.
One of the things we love about colored pencils is that you really can draw just about anything with them. But skin tones are extra tricky — every single portrait is different, and getting a natural look is totally essential. Luckily, a few technique tips go a long way when it comes to perfecting realistic colored pencil skin tones. Next time you put pencil to paper, you'll be ready!
When it comes to cartoons, some of the smallest details can make the biggest difference. (What would Garfield be without his sardonic, half-lidded eyes or Odie without his long, slobbery tongue?) The most expressive characters are made in those tiny strokes of the pen in rendering the facial features. Below are dozens of ideas and how-tos for eyes, noses, ears, mouths and hair.
l love a good DIY project just as much as the next girl. But a few years ago, I was craving a hobby I could also teach myself. And, preferably, teach myself while at home mindlessly watching Netflix. Brush calligraphy ended up being just the one! And while I won’t get into how many hours I spent practicing while binge-watching Parks & Rec, you really only need 10 minutes a day to hone this new skill.
Sunflowers are such tall, vibrant and beautiful flowers. Just the thought of a field full of these beauties can capture your imagination and take you into a magical place. What better way to capture this feeling than through art by learning how to draw them in colored pencils?
Coloring is proven to be a therapeutic exercise that relieves stress and mimics the results of meditation. While the process is most rewarding, we can also find joy in creating beautiful pieces of art along the way.
Birds are my favorite creatures to draw and paint, and my most frequent request from students: “I want to draw a bird, but it looks so hard!” Drawing a realistic bird all comes back to seeing our subject closely and paying extra attention to the eyes. When our bird has a spark of life in its eye, the rest falls into place.
It’s amazing how a simple drawing tool such as a pencil can be used by different artists and yield such different results. Still, all those artists use some of the same techniques, especially when it comes to shading. With these pencil shading techniques, you can explore all kinds of artistic expressions.
Go ahead: break some artistic rules and experiment with some abstract drawing techniques! Abstract drawing is a great way to improve your artistic skills by experimenting with forms and shapes in creative ways.
Any artist can tell you how tricky it is to draw ellipses in perspective. The top of the flower pot, the lid on a jar, the base of the barn silo — whether you prefer drawing a still life or a landscape, you’re bound to encounter this challenge.
One of the cornerstones of realistic drawing is foreshortening. If you ever learned to draw in one or two-point perspective, than you’ve already encountered this technique. But, if not, then never fear! I’ll introduce you to it today.
Once you've got your must-have supplies ready, you're ready to embark on the fun of urban sketching. Before you pen to paper, however, make sure you know these urban sketching techniques that will help you make the most of your drawing.
Perspective drawing tends to be somewhat rigid in style because the artist is drawing according to a certain set of rules. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a step back from your artwork and take a thorough look at the overall drawing.
Drawing an urban landscape is challenging — but that’s what makes it really fun. As you’re trying your best to record all the details you can, things like trees can seem like an afterthought. But, they aren’t something to ignore; they both add to the scene and make it seem even more like a real place.
Drawing on location is an exhilarating way to learn about a place. If you're a people watcher, seeing all of the different passersby is sure to entertain. Drawing in busy areas, however, presents a set of unique challenges. But with a little planning, you can improve your observational skills to create urban sketches you're proud of.
We all have paintings that don't quite turn out the way we had hoped, especially when we are first learning a new skill like watercolor. My own reject pile was getting kind of unruly, so I came up with a few ways to repurpose those near-misses.
When you're beginning to learn to draw, picking up a pencil is generally the first thing you do. But, that's where many of us stop; we learn how to doodle, but don't go beyond the basics. If you're unfamiliar with drawing with a pencil—beyond stick figures or scribbles—there are sketch techniques that you need to know. I'll go over nine of them that'll get you well on your way to more advanced drawing.
It's an unfortunate fact: Artist's block happens to every creative type from time to time. It turns the normally joyful act of creating art into an uphill battle and makes you feel like you've lost your mojo. In short, artist's block is basically a big bummer.
'Tis the season to create some holly jolly artwork! As the weather outside gets frightful, it's perfect time to learn how to draw a Christmas tree. After all, you have holiday cards to write, gift envelopes to decorate and table cards to create.
Realism is fun, but abstract art gives you the perfect opportunity to express your emotion in a wild way. The amount of choices in medium and subject matter can be daunting, however, so it’s best to something as a starting point. Animals are a broad topic and a great choice for abstract art. With fur and feathers, there are a lot of opportunities to play with color and texture.
Drawing animals is a great way to practice your skills and to combine several techniques into one picture. Elephants, with their giant floppy ears and long trunk, make great subjects to realistically illustrate on paper. Best of all, you can learn how to draw an elephant in just five easy steps!
Fire is one of those subjects that can seem really intimidating to draw because of its zealous yet elusive nature. Unlike other still life subjects, fire isn't a tangible entity that can be held or touched, and it won't remain still. A flame can take any shape or size, and has a lot of inherit dynamic movement.
Capturing expressions in your illustrated characters isn't always easy. Drawing tricky emotions — like surprised-in-a-good-way or deep regret — for your characters might feel elusive at times. However, as these drawing hacks prove, small tricks can make a big difference in your finished piece of artwork.
Keeping a nature illustration journal is a rewarding practice that not only connects you with your surroundings but offers an incredible opportunity for artistic growth. Need a little help getting started? These nature drawing ideas will help you on your way!