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
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
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!
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.
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.