How to Draw (well Part One)




Introduction: How to Draw (well Part One)

About: A Northern Ireland based maker with a propensity to cause trouble and freshly constructed family.

This instructable is your basic guideline to how to draw a tonal (shaded drawing) with pencils, draw a simple pen outline character and simplified cross hatching of shapes.

Before you start I would like to say that there is no definitive guide for drawing, it is something very personal down to the way you hold your pencils and pens.

Step 1: Materials You Will Need

Today class, we will be using pencils, pens and paper.

For now the drawing is kept simple and yes if I get good feedback I will add more instructables as follow ups that as the pictures below show will take you up as far as the level I am at. Unfortunately I will have to become a better artist when that point in time comes along. I would be able to give better examples and plan to add them when my art coursework finally comes back to me from moderation as I was under special circumstances this year due to my fathers passing away.

In the meantime these two images will have to suffice, the first being a caricature of Angus Young, or was it Bon I did too many caricature in one night and the second is from my coursework that shows a good example of shaped cross-hatching on the lighter's body (best ignore the rest I was firing out a page a minute for a deadline)

Step 2: Jump Right In

Art is no science, nor will it ever be even a technical drawing is your own approximation of what on object looks like.

For now I'm going to go with a sketching method for lines using short strokes. The reason for this is that sketching tends to be the base of any drawing, painting or print.

First pick the object you want to draw, maybe something simple but with minor details that make it interesting. For my example of this part I am using a screwdriver because it's an instructable and the dremel's a bit too complicated to draw and document at the same time.

So once you've got the object you're wanting to draw, make yourself a light outline of it, including line inside the outer part.

NOTE: Ignore the darkness of mine as I had to use an extremely dark pencil (8B) throughout this to make sure everything showed up on camera well enough.

Step 3: Got the Outline?

Right now that you're happy with the outline you can start to shade, it's usually best to take the shadows only created by your main light source at first. (If that doesn't make sense have a look at the picture)

Here you're only trying to get the shape of the main shadow using a lighter shade, this gives you a better idea of how to shade your shadows within this.

Step 4: More Shadowing and Tone

Now we've started to add darker tone to the main shadow and created some of the less basic shadows.

Here your drawing should be starting to take on some depth.

Yes I do know my screwdriver is squinty but I have a very rough take on drawing.

Step 5: Starting to Look More Like a Drawing?

At this point we are adding in the shades that comprise the object's unshadowed parts, usually these give our drawings much more realism as whit becomes for shinier parts and the shadows blend in much more easily.

You might have noticed that I still havn't told you how to hold a pencil 'right' or shade the 'good' way, this is because in this first lesson you are learning to get to grips with your tools and in particular pencil holding is a null point as people are individuals and unique in so many ways. To explain I'm using stories about how I learnt how to draw a total of 4 times in life, specifically the most recent.

The year before last I broke my arm at a party (whiskey + trampoline) and when I came in to art fully healed I knew I was going to have hell of a time getting any good work done for the end of term deadlines. This is because drawing has a lot to do with how you move and hold your pencil, specifically when you break a bone in your arm the geometry of it changes alot and unconciously your skills are completely based on your subconcious knowledge of that geometry. As far as artistic talent goes you have it or you don't but either way knowing your own hands will help alot (not in that way though...).

Step 6: Personal Touches

It's time to make your drawing your own, so you'll notice mine has taken on much heavier outlines than before along with extra dark shadows, I know the drawing is still in the rough stages but for now I'm keeping the lesson to this.

You can choose to do alot to your image here and If you've already gotten the hang of your basic drawing skills then remember details work the same on a smaller scale.

Now we move on to something a bit more fun.

Step 7: On to Pens

For our first pen drawing we're going to try doing fictional characters like Pop Tart man below, something I did when bored and out of stuff to smash/take apart.

An inky pen (rollerball) ones are preferable as next time I will illustrate the uses of a biro for drawing

Step 8: Inventing the Character

This sounds hard, but theres a great secret to this. All you really need is a start point on these funny people and I suggest you think of a hat to start with or hair, working top down seems to help the process 'grow' the person for you, these people tend to be a clutter of random thoughts that only ever make sense to you when you think of their caption (usually a thought).

Now we're trying to get a more solid line look to the drawing so sketching is out and slower more deliberate movements are necessary.

I make the garment's style or state by starting lines like so.(it's a top hat by the way)

Step 9: Get a Hat!

Ok so make the hat or hair it should have reasonable shape and detail isn't needed until you're done.

If you look how the hat below is done you can see the basic idea for what you're going for.

By the way it doesn't need to be raggedy like mine your man should hve is own distinct and silly style.

Step 10: Start the Person

Give your person ears and eyes (mine's a lunatic not badly drawn...

I know right now it looks stupid but your ears are always visible so bear with me and you'll see next step.

Your person's eyes and ears should reflect who he/she is like thick glasses, beady eyes, etc.

Step 11: Adding Features

Your person should now be getting more features like an outline of hair, a nose and a face outline.

Oops I had a wee bit of confusion remembering what was face and waht was hair, thankfully his hair will be black anyway.

Step 12: (optional) This Step Is for Hair the Same Coulour As Your Outlines

This is just a good time to add any hair details and colour them in at the finer parts, this just makes it easier ti finally colour the hair in my opinion.

Step 13: Facial Details and Expressions

I usually do this part by drawing a shape for the mouth then adding expression lines, followed by doing the teeth...

I would tend to go for funny looking teeth most of the time as it adds alot of character to out character.

Step 14: Adding the Finishing Touches

For this step I simply added some more detail to his hat but feel free to do whatever suits you and the beard should have went in here really, I made the by drawing a combination of tight spirals and random squiggles. The beard in the other guy is just straight lines for like a desperate Dan chin.

For colour these guys really suit simple block colours though with just a pen they make a nice time filler/waster...

Step 15: A Quick Intro to Cross Hatching

Basically cross hatching is an illusion created by sets of roughly perpendicular lines that looks like shadow, the darker the shadow the closer together the lines get. Adding shape to cross hatching is usually done with a set of lines that run through the hatch, shaped hatching is usually used to show curved surfaces, if you looked at the drawing of the lighter you can see what I mean.

Step 16: Create a Basic Hatch

Today we're going to do a sphere, just to give us an idea of how cross hatching works, this a very rough and brief introduction which Im using to give people and idea of how it works, as it can be used in a hybrid way with other forms of tone and shading. To see the illusion look at the mini view of the last step.

First draw a rough circle, in the circle I want you to make a series of line like the ones in the picture.

Sorry for the teacherish way of doing this part it's just a good way of showing what we're trying to do.

Step 17: Now the Other Way Up...

Once you have a set of perpendicular lines, it is like having one shade where the lines are so now we start shading in

Step 18: More Shades

Where the shadows would be darker we add more lines in and add a second shade area that's a bit darker, again the mini picture at the top should give an idea as to what this would look like further away.

Step 19: Smoothing the Shades

Using the same technique we add an even darke bit on the out edge of this shade and on the outside we blend it in using more hatching but not as dark as before. Pictures are far better than words here.

You'll notice this is very rough looking and quite large, this is because it is an example and in practice this is usually done with smaller hatches and a very fine pen. Also try your best not to 'zig-zag', where you scribble rather than create seperate lines, it make the hatch uneven and there are waves of the ends of scribbles through the drawing.

Step 20: Finally Add Some Shaping to the Ball

this step is just where we add those shaping lines that were mentioned earlier on in this instructable, they simply give cross-hatched objects some extra depth.

As I said before for a better version of cross-hatching look at the first step of the instructable

Step 21: Thankyou for Reading

Thanks for reading this far, it's a shame there's no secret to being the next Picasso, but hey I hoped my Instructable has helped.

By the way this isn't a final version so please point out any spelling and grammar errors aswell as anywhere with room for improvement.

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    31 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I'm sorry. Did you explain HOW you shade, or did I just overlook it? Seems my children have been drawing since the day they were born, at least that's what all the paper around the house makes me feel like. Anyway, they both make their own tortillions as one of several different shading tools. My son has also done lots of ink work and has used the side of the pen tip as a shading tool also, sometimes shading with ink "dots."


    9 years ago on Step 5

    "As far as artistic talent goes you have it or you don't"

    I disagree with this, at least within the context of drawing what you see.  It's true that some people understand how to draw more intuitively than others, but drawing is a skill that anyone can learn to do well, and isn't even a particularly difficult one.  Knowing what to draw is the difficult part, but that isn't what you are are talking about here.

    I think you are doing a great disservice when you gloss over things like how to hold a pencil and what basic movements to use to make the strokes you want.  Yes there is a lot of variation in how exactly people hold and move their pencils, but there are also fundamentals that all good drawers use.  No doubt you take for granted that you grasped these techniques when you were doodling instead of listening to the teacher in your younger years, but those who weren't doodlers (like myself) must learn these things first if they are to draw well.  You could at least mention them (and focusing on those fundamentals would help you recover your drawing skills more quickly, but you broke your arm three years ago so I'm sure it doesn't matter now).

    wizerd 745
    wizerd 745

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Nice 'ible. Just one question, evergoing to post a part 2? (oh, and btw, I'm having trouble drawing my charecter the same way consistantly, if you have any advice, it would be appriciated!)


    11 years ago on Step 21

    don't worry about acting teacherly; you are teacherly because you ARE our teacher! Nice Instructable my man, hope to hear you did well with your course work and all. thanks very much Iain


    13 years ago on Introduction

    wait, is this part 1 of "How to draw well"? Or just How to draw?


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Flashback:Banana_King joins in on one of the shortest reply challenges when people are fighting about who`s the Banana King and one of them had an avatar just like yours.


    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    well it's a basic, but It's all about the artist so that makes it ten times as hard, must get on to doing number 2 and yes i'll stick up some of my art soon enough


    12 years ago on Introduction

    This is really cool! I wonder how long it took you to draw that well!!!


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, thanks... Umm every time I break something in my arm or hand it takes three or four months to learn to draw and paint again, writing isn't hard to re-learn it's just the drawing... Learning in the first place isn't all that hard, most people can do amazing technical sketches with a little practice, it's depicting something the way you want it to look that's hard...


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah my bro takes art class and he was using textures with acrylics and he wrote his name big like graffiti, kinda like your intro pic!


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Ha cool, I've been doing some vector cartoons at the minute, I'll have to get them up, most of them are just from random drawings...


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Do you mean drawing them in a vector program or scanning then importing into vector program? Yes please upload


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah I'll get a few of them finished up, I usually just do the vector stuff in photoshop and make a Jpeg of the image, then save the actual vectors to a file in imageready aswell as shapes so I can quickly reproduce the image...


    12 years ago on Step 21

    i like ur drawings ur the next picasso