Introduction: How to Draw

Picture of How to Draw

This is a simple drawing lesson.

The focus of this lesson will be to teach you basic exercises that you can do to sharpen your skills. We will draw a cartoon figure at the end to illustrate the purpose of the exercises.

Before you begin, you must get a pencil, an eraser, a sharpener and a plain paper. (any type will do for now). Find a comfortable area with good lighting to work. A little music for some ambience also helps.

So let's begin!

Step 1: Circle Exercise

Picture of Circle Exercise

Lets begin with the circle exercise Yes, circles.

Draw a series of circles as uniform as possible going up and down the page. Don't spend time aiming to make them perfectly round. Instead, draw them at a steady pace.

The purpose of this exercise is to loosen up your hand, to help you get a comfortable grip on your drawing tool (pencil, pen, etc) and to help you get some of that initial drawing rustiness out of your system.

This is a great step to take before you begin drawing anytime. It is also great to do while you're on the phone, watching TV or during any down time.

I know it seems amateur, but it is great practice.

Step 2: Line Exercise

Picture of Line Exercise

This next step is the Line Exercise.

Draw straight lines ranging from 2-3 inches long. Uniform and parallel to each other. Do this by completing a line with one stroke. Do not lift your pencil off the paper. Do as many as you can.
I chose to do mine diagonally, but any direction that you prefer is ok.

This exercise will help you gain good control of your drawing tool, learn to draw in single strokes and once again, get some rusty drawing off your system.

This is another great exercise to try before you begin to draw,when you're on the phone, watching TV or during your downtime.

If you can, try to fill the page or see how much you can do. Sometimes, even if you draw nothing else, these exercises will prove very effective in sharpening your skills.

Below you can see a sample of one of my exercise pages.

Step 3: Let's Draw!

Picture of Let's Draw!

Now that you have practiced for a while and gotten some rustyness out of your artistic system, you are ready to begin drawing something neat.

We are going to draw a character in motion.
This simple figure includes use of both of the basic excercises that we have been doing.

I have included two videos. One takes you through the begining of the drawing process so you can see the execution of the shapes, the steadiness of the pencil and the order in which it is drawn.
The other video shows you how to finish the drawing with ink.(a pen with waterproof ink works great). Notice how I use this time to "ignore" the errors done in pencil by going over the doodle with the pen and not following the same mistake with ink. The best example is on the knee of the character's left leg (left from our POV).

Remember that when you draw a figure with a lot of components, you must go piece by piece. Do not focus on the details too early on. Instead, get the figure drawn and then go back and add details & erase errors.

I like to make the border of the figure bold and thick to bring attention to the details inside the figure and give it a finished look.

Below you can see the final rendering of the character we learned to draw and also a picture of an older Doodle and it's final rendering.

Step 4: YOUR Next Steps.

Picture of YOUR Next Steps.

Now that you have learned a couple of basic moves, here are some more exercises you can do for practice.

Pick objects from your surroundings to draw. Copying objects is a great way to sharpen your skills. You can do this anywhere you go as long as you carry a notepad and drawing tool (pencil, pen, etc.)

Doodling is also a great way to practice.

Here is the definition of the word DOODLE.

Doodle: A doodle is a small, mindless sketch (although some doodles may represent unconscious thought). People usually make doodles while bored or concentrating on something else, such as talking on the phone or passing time in lectures.

Doodle left and right all the time and make it a point to save your doodles in a folder no matter how mindless or simple they might be. After some time, go back and look through the doodles. Choose your favorite ones and re-draw them, see what you can improve and perhaps finalize them on nice paper with a drawing pen.

I have included a picture of some of my doodles. I keep them in folders or bags.

With a lot of practice and dedication, you will become very skillful in the Art of Drawing.

Doodle away!


brunnjon (author)2008-03-14

I like your emphasis on exercises. They really help you get used to using your drawing tools. It's much easier to put what's in your mind's eye onto paper when your hands aren't getting in the way.

YoKidz (author)brunnjon2016-05-01

These days drawing teachers are not going to teach you these kind of practices. They start with the short cuts.

Thank you brunnjon! I agree =)

kiwi_soccer_maniac (author)2007-09-15

Im am also left handed and enjoy doodling, great instructable and im loving the complete dredlock guy!

Thanks Kiwi! Lefties rule!

Weissensteinburg (author)2007-09-13

I like your doodles - plus, they add authenticity to the instructable...proves you've got some talent and aren't just giving us tips you found off the internet. And the video does a good job of explaining the entire process. Good job.

Thanks a bunch! This was my first instructable ever and I had a lot of fun makin it ;)

Here is my forum topic with my doodles/cartoons, scanned and imported, then vectorised & coloured using inkscape. Hope you like them.

smashbob (author)2008-10-18

really nice i'ble. i like how you even included how to practice. its looks so simple but when i try to draw cartoons, they always turn out to be not very good. thanks. if you have any other tips, please tell me about them :-) you should also post more i'bles, your good at explaining things with words

Thanks! :)

kareneva_001 (author)2017-02-28

Pls,must the circle be a perfect one?

YoKidz (author)2016-05-01

It is really awesome that you shared basic tips of drawing skill. Like drawing circle and lines. My drawing teacher used to teach us these kind of techniques for the first few months.

ElHeremes (author)2016-01-25

omg, I did it! Thank you, great tuto <3 But the video quality was pretty low for me (like 240p), but I'm still in love with your tutorial !!

KernulR made it! (author)2015-11-18

i had made it but then my German Shepard Max pooped right on it. :(

I_boom5245 (author)2015-10-10

Thx for the tutorial! :)

CindyW10 (author)2015-06-02

Our company - Xiamen Finehope Polyurethane Co., Ltd devoted in
promoting widely usage of polyurethane since 2002. During the past 12 years, we
had worked with many prestigious companies. Read this to learn more:

CindyW10 (author)2015-06-02

When we feel tired or upset, an easy idea is to threw
ourselves into a warm and soft place, which is the exactly property that
polyurethane sofa could provide. Read this link to learn more:

SpecStudio (author)2015-01-13

Dear Carolina

Thanks for sharing on how to draw which was described very simple yet very professional and I've enjoyed it very much but I think that drawing or Visual Arts doesn't require tutorials because I believe that Drawing is up to you and you don't have to learn art. You just have to express art from your feelings and emotion and express that into a 2 dimensional work and it doesn't matter if you're bad or not! Art is up to your style so go for it whether your crappy at art or your amazing at art.

It's all up to you. :)

Thanks for your feedback Spec!
I agree with you, every artist wether new or pro develops their own style as they acquire and learn technique along the way.

My tutorial is an approach to practice-based drawing that teaches what I have learned about the importance of warming up with basics prior to drawing or doodling =)

Doodle on my friend! =)

libbyw19 (author)2014-02-16

It's cool thanx

thank you! =)

libbyw19 (author)2014-02-16

Very good helped me loads thanx! X

cgreer6 (author)2013-07-19


inzane2001 (author)2013-06-05


MakeItWithJason (author)2013-04-23

This is a great instructable, Carolina.

trevormac (author)2013-04-21

it's rustiness,dear

trevormac (author)2013-04-21

CLEAR.I'm halftrained and will take some leaves from this book

jjone538 (author)2012-05-01

U are good at cartooning Great!! :)

Mrballeng (author)2011-06-27

Thanks for the tutorial.

You're welcome! Thanks for checking it out ;)

bryandhispup (author)2011-06-20

"whoops..." LOL great video thanks for the 'ible!

LoL! Thanks ;)

splazem (author)2011-05-29

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for stopping in!

The step 1, pic 2 is PRETTY scary!

Hey! I like your pic. There is no pic 2 in step 1 though. lol.

Hey this is just a question. Would it be adequate to use a blue fine tipped pen?

thanks for the nice compliments. =) Practice makes us artists happy with our drawings, keep up your chops with any exercise that you notice works for you.
I love to draw with pens. Fine Tip Blue Ink pens work just fine, just be cautious to not over work any lines bc those pens may bleed excess ink and ruin your drawings.
Keep up the good work!

You Should really put your drawing skills to the test and create one HUGE drawing/doodle and put an instructable up about it

That's a great suggestion!!!i might just try it out :)

i meant step 3 pic 2, no offense

no worries. That's the Jumping Lady, she is pretty freaky looking.

coolo52 (author)2009-05-24


it's my son, he walked into the room when I was filming and started talking up a storm.

starmoon125 (author)2009-07-19

酷哦~It's like a ghost on the right,so cool~~

i can go supersonic (author)2009-05-24

hey, nice drawing. i am a great drawer too. do you like my drawing of the original mario?

rikkdbomb (author)2007-09-14

hey, your left handed just like me! I think that makes people more creative, something vauge to do with right/left brain. You can look it up if you want. I also enjoy doodling but I never thought of any kind of exersize (!!!???) to warm up. Thanks, this is a good idea because my are always slightly off and it's aggravating. Good videos, only slightly bad thing is that they were at 1x speed, and watching someone draw that slow is really dull. what kind of pen was that? I dont mean specific model, but just like.. sharpie fine tipped,etc etc.

smashbob (author)rikkdbomb2008-10-18

the right brain is the artistic side, but the left side of the body controls the right brain. weird, isn't it.

temp (author)smashbob2009-02-26

other way around, the brain controls the left side of the body. Not the body controlling the brain. Also, for a fun fact, the left side of the brain is dominant over the right so that's why most people are right handed.


About This Instructable




Bio: illustrator and Face Painter
More by Carolina The Doodler:How To Draw
Add instructable to: