So here are the basic drawing techniques you will need to learn if you want to start out with drawing.

First, it is very important that you stay mentally focused. Teaching yourself to draw naturally means you are training your brain to understand how to draw, and this is a mindset that can only be developed through practice, practice, and more practice. So keep at it and do not give up. Keep yourself motivated, don’t throw any of your drawings out, no matter how bad you think they are. Being able to look back at your older drawings as you are learning is a fantastic way to stay aware of the progress you have made.

Doodling, as silly as it may sound, is actually a great way for you to start developing your skills. Doodling allows you to start putting lines on paper and not worry about the outcome, this is the beginning of training your brain to think differently when it comes to drawing.

Similarly, sketching is a great way to keep your brain free from what it thinks drawing is. Contrary to doodling, with sketching you do focus on the outcome, but not on the particular way you make that outcome real. You just freely draw what you want to draw. Again, what it eventually looks like does not matter, only that you are training your brain to draw.

Once you’ve got the hang of getting some of your creative thoughts on paper, even if it’s not exactly what you want, you are making progress. It is then that you should consider moving on to slightly more advanced techniques, such as:

Contour drawing: Contour drawing means that you only draw the outlines of the objects you are drawing. Not the details, not the shading, just the outlines. You can take an entire scene, the very room you are now in, for example, and just draw the outlines of the objects you see. This is an easy way to train your brain to see the individual lines an object is composed of, and not the object as a whole.

Another technique to use is hatching. With hatching, you just draw the shape of an object with straight parallel lines, usually diagonally. Like contour drawing, hatching allows your brain to focus on the shape of an object, rather than identifying what the object is, which is what your brain normally wants to do. You can take this one or two steps beyond and add depth or additional detail by using the proximity and/or thickness of the parallel lines to determine tonal value. To get even more advanced, you can use crosshatching, which is to say that you create multiple overlapping layers of lines crossing eachother to create even more depth and detail. Crosshatching by itself is a commonly used shading technique.

To get used to shading and lighting, you can apply tonal drawing techniques. By only drawing the darker values of the object you are drawing, and therefore accentuating the lighter values, you are getting used the the concept of depth, and lighting. Tonal drawing means that you do not use strong edges or lines. Drawing the shades is easily accomplised by blurring the areas that are darker. I would suggest using a blending stump instead of your fingers, as your fingers leave an oily residue that can damage the drawing over time

One last essential technique you have to know and conquer is perspective drawing. Look at how the lines of an object converge as they approach the horizon. The point at which they converge is called the vanishing point. You can train yourself to draw in perspective by starting out with simple geometric shapes, and moving on to more complex shapes as you get the hang of it.

Combine some or all of these techniques, and learning how to draw will become an easy and very satisfying experience for you.

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