Introduction: How to Draw Anything

Hi there! So you would like to draw. Have you ever wanted to draw something and
wished there were an easier way? If you've ever thought the following- you're in the right place:

* you think you're past the age of learning
* you thihnk only talented people should attempt drawing
* you wish you could draw from your imagination or memory
* you would like to draw better but don't have the time or finances to attend art classes

Ttake a few minutes to read this instructable and view the movie clip and discover the secret of drawing anything!

Personally, I wished I had know all this sooner - during pre-school years - to give me a solid foundation in the arts.

Here's how you can draw anything. And it will only take a few minutes to reveal the simple secret. It only takes a minute for a everything to finally click.

I've tested this paradigm out on many classes of enthusiastic students and they are so surprised to discover how simple it is to draw anything and their increased confidence is immediate. In a few minutes you too, can draw and create 2D drawings. I guarantee it because I've seen it working for hundreds before you.

Drawing is the basis of all creative skills and there's so many benefits in having this skill (including DIY stress therapy!). So read on and see where it takes you.

This video shows step by step how to draw by numbers and can be used with Make a Van Gogh Paint By Numbers instructable.

Step 1: Using What You Already Know

If you're someone who doubts your ability to draw - even a straight line...

Let me ask you - are you able to write?

Everything you see in the 3d world around you can be described using shapes
we use to communicate - through letters and numbers.
The English alphabet is based on these 10 basic shapes.

These letters and numbers can be broken down to 10 simple shapes.

So the simplest way to draw what you see is to guess the shapes you're seeing.

Does it look like a number?
Does it look like an alphabet?
Does it look like one of the 10 basic shapes?

Step 2: Demo of Drawing What You See

Test the premise that there are shapes, letters and numbers in the images below!

Its a simple paradigm.

Once you get it, it will open doors to many creative venues for you - crafts, arts, food art skills, 3-d design - interior design, garden landscape, architecture on a massive scale and on a smaller scale clay work, metalwork, cold porcelain clay or plasticine animation, miniatures, sculpture, puppetry, nail art, carving, object design, animation & screen design - just about everything on Instructables will be a lot easier to accomplish - the creative opportunities are endless.

Step 3: Drawing a Cupcake

Say you wanted to draw this cupcake. Stare at it for quite awhile - and study the shapes before drawing it.

Once its broken down into shapes or letters in your mind then draw what you see.

Step 4: Draw a Icing Shoe Demo

You can always change stuff if you want.

After all, you're in charge of your picture.

There's really no rules in art, when you're a beginner.

If your lines start out wonky - no worries - just go over them.

Step 5: Drawing Beach Landscape Demo

A crayon interpretation....

Its all a bit like paint by numbers.

Step 6: How to Draw Realistic Tonal Drawings

One aspect of drawing which baffled me for ages was how to draw something so that it looked life-like on paper.

The break through came when I studied a black and white (below) mixed media drawing for one week. What was in the mixed media I wondered.

The 'How-to" clicked automaticallyas this picture spoke a thousand words.

As I studied the richly drawn tonal 'painting' I wondered what would this scene look like in colour?

It was an unexpected aesthetic experience for me understanding tones,
because when I looked at clouds they looked like amazing masterpieces. I finally got it.

How to Draw Something you see in Colour in Grey Tones

1. Take a picture of what you wish to draw.

2. Convert it into black and white with GIMP or transfer to tv and 'turn off' the colour

3. If this is not possible, you need to divide each colour you see into three groups - pale, medium and dark.
HINT: Squinting helps to see the different tones better.

4. Draw the 'cartoon' ie line drawing of what you wish to draw

5. "Fill in" the tones you've numbered one to three. Remember white = 0 (ZERO) and black = FOUR.
Artist's pencils are thankfully graded from soft to hard. This makes it easier to match your tones.
Rather than pressing harder and harder to make a darker shade, which creates bloom or a waxy surface that
prevents further drawing, use the softer pencil, which will create a darker tone.

Step 7: Using the Numbered Tones for Realistic Colour Paintings

It was then I realised every colour can be given a number from to three.
White would be zero and black would be numbered a four tone.

If you mixed a colour to the correct numbered tone (light, medium dark or very dark)
you'd get a colour version of your black and white drawing. It's a similar concept to photo-retouching.

Here's the Steps to Figuring out the Tones of What You See

1. If possible turn the colour picture into black and white tones. Transfer to tv or painting software.This removes all the colours.

2. If you don't have the software you need to give each colour a number from one to three. Say pale orange = 1, medium orange =2 or dark orange =3. White will be ZERO and black will be FOUR.

3. You could use the previous step if you drew the same subject in pencil first - the numbered tones / colour would be shades of grey - so pale grey = 1, medium grey = 2 and dark grey = 3

3. Mix in paint if yousing paint, to that level of darkness.

4. Draw what you see as outline Fill in the drawing with the correct colour.

This is only the beginning, later on you can break out and change what you see mix and match objects from your imagination.

When it comes to imaginative use of colour, the most helpful book I've read is by Betty Edwards who wrote, "A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors".

Step 8: Quick Colour Mixing Charts

I made these charts for quick reference for mixing colours.

Its useful especially when you need the 'recipe' for a certain colour and there's no need to waste paint mixing to find it.

Noticed how setting colours side by side create a unique 'atmosphere' that you can use effectively for a painting.

I've set the colours into 3 charts.

Tertiary colours

Step 9: Useful Freeware Drawing Software

Storyboard your drawings for Maximum Impact by Sherm Cohen is also useful for the Film Maker. His blog has great tips you need to know about Camera, Composition and Design.

I found the storyboarding info so helpful for cartooning and animation. Sherm shares his secrets of planning a shot in an animation or short film and how different view points help bring out the story you want to say as the director and animator. His tips have useful design tips for planning still paintings and drawings if that's what your interest is.

Some of high quality and useful freeware animation and photo editing software include:

* GIMP - useful for tracing images, creating 3D titles, similar to Photoshop
* Pencil - lovely animation software, need a drawing tablet