How to Draw Step by Step

Introduction: How to Draw Step by Step

About: I am a realist artist born in 1982. I started my artistic career as a child drawing comic book characters. Today I create art in the vein of Classical Realism, Academic Traditions, and their contemporary inter…

In this tutorial I'll teach you the basic steps of the academic drawing method.


-Drawing paper

-Willow Charcoal stick

-Charcoal pencils

-Knitting needle

-Kneaded eraser

Step 1: Measuring the General Size of the Object

Measure the width and height of the object. Use the knitting needle for measuring and willow charcoal for mark making.

Step 2: Draw the Envelope

Draw the general shape of the object. Use straight lines. Try to simplify as much as possible. Draw with the willow charcoal stick.

Step 3: Draw the Silhouette

Articulate the Silhouette of the object. It doesn't have to be 100% accurate at this point, but more detailed than the simple envelope. Use the willow charcoal.

Step 4: Draw the Shapes Inside the Silhouette

Draw the shapes inside the Silhouette. Nothing needs to be 100% accurate at this point. We're still sketching the subject. The idea is to move from simple to complex, and from big shapes to small shapes.

Use the willow charcoal.

Step 5: Fill in the Shadow Shapes

Next, you can fill all the shadow shapes with even tone. This is an important phase. By filling in all the shadow shapes, you create a clear distinction between the lights and the shadows. Keeping lights and shadows separate is necessary for creating a sense of depth and 3D-form. Filling in all the shadows also helps with articulating their exact shapes.

Use the willow charcoal for adding the gray tone. You can smooth out the charcoal with a paper towel.

Step 6: Articulation and Tonal Rendering

Now you can start to add more detail in to the drawing by articulating all the shapes and adding variation to the tonal values.

Use both the willow charcoal stick and charcoal pencil. Pencil is good for more detailed work.

Step 7: Finishing the Drawing

When the drawing is finished depends on the artist's personal taste and decision. In the example drawing, the drawing is left somewhat sketchy. The sense of realism correlates to a certain degree with how long you spend working on the drawing. But understand that it's not about details. The most detailed drawing is not often the most realistic drawing. Drawing the whole drawing with equal accuracy and detail can make the subject look artificial. There needs to be the right balance. The key features can be more detailed and peripherals more simplified.

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