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Showing posts from 2013

Tutorial: How to Draw a Face

This tutorial is quite a bit more advanced, and may not be suitable for a beginner to undertake. I am posting it for the more experienced; that is, the intermediate artist who has already acquired a knowledgeable and working background in the basics of composition, perspective, and the techniques of various pencil strokes and shading.

Of course, as I am just beginning this tutorial web site and there are not many posts, I plan to have a well-rounded set of tutorials for everyone, beginner and advance alike.

I would suggest that a beginner doesn't start out with learning how to draw a face or portrait, as it could lead to disappointment and serve to discourage further interest in learning how to draw if you see your attempt of this project as a failure. Learning to draw a face is extremely advanced, and definitely not for the person just picking up the pencil for the first time!

With all that said, I still stand by my previous statement that anyone can learn to draw, with enough…

Tutorial: How To Draw a Human Mouth

In the next tutorial, we will draw a female mouth from the frontal perspective. This viewpoint is the simplest to draw.

We will be using the range of pencils: HB, 2B, 4B and 6B for this exercise.

Remember to sketch lightly (use gentle pressure with the pencil) when laying out the preliminary sketch. You can use a 2B pencil for the first step, as it dark enough to make lines, but not hard enough to indent the paper, which creates a problem when you add shading and final details later.


In this step, sketch the basic outline using a 2B pencil. The area should be around three inches from the left  to right sides of the mouth, and two inches from the top to bottom. Use a ruler to get the proper measurements, but this size is suggested only. You can draw the mouth bigger than this, but try to keep at or above these measurements, because in later steps we will need a sufficient area to work in to add details and final shading.

On thing to remember: if you are just starting out and l…

Tutorial: The Art of Perspective Drawing

Drawing in proper perspective is one the biggest problems that beginning drawing students have to overcome. It is one of the most important issues for an artist to master in order for his or her work to have the look and feel of authenticity. If a drawing's perspective is incorrect, the overall work looks abnormal. An exception to this would be surrealistic and abstract works.

This post will attempt to explain issues of perspective in drawing. I will impart several tips and pointers to help the understanding of perspective as it applies to drawing, and I will attempt to provide a basis for the beginner to start from so he or she has a practical starting point from which to tackle and master perspective drawing.

To define perspective drawing, it is the systematic method of rendering objects and subjects represented in the artwork relative to their closeness or distance from one another from the perspective of the viewer. Simply, learning to draw in perspective gives your work a th…

Tutorial: Some Tips On Composition

Before the artist can put a masterpiece on the paper, there are things that must be considered beforehand. Deciding on the subject to be rendered, of course, is one. But after conceiving what the artist wants to draw, he or she must consider its layout and composition, that is, how it will look on the paper.

Excellent layout, or composition of a drawing is what enhances the work, it makes the work stand out and demand attention. Composition is a major factor in any work of art and if the composition is not right, the rendering will look awkward and out of whack.

A simple method of deciding the composition of any work is the Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds compositional technique conceives the planned drawing together with its subjects and regions, and dividing it into thirds along imaginary lines. The Rule of Thirds is not a hard-and-fast rule for every artwork; there are instances where following the Rule of Thirds is not feasible. But to keep it simple for the beginning student, …

A Few Words On The Drawing Pencil And Its Use

For the person who is just starting out and learning to draw, I feel it necessary to run through a few basics on using the pencil, and to discuss some skills to practice to make learning to draw better and easier. Also it must be said that any web site that dares to call itself "Drawing Tutorials" shouldn't assume that all its readers are at the intermediate level (or above) in drawing ability. This assumption would result in neglecting essential discussions on the basics of drawing, and in the process leave a number of people feeling left out.

How often have you heard the line: "I wasn't born with that talent", in reference to drawing ability? I am of the mind that anyone can learn to draw, and you don't need to be born with any artistic talent. Artistic ability isn't passed through genetics or DNA, it is learned. Personally, I can attest that when I picked up that first crayon or marker as a toddler, I couldn't draw. At the time I loved the …

Tutorial: How To Draw a Human Eye

For the first tutorial, we will draw an eye. Arguably, drawing eyes and other facial features can be difficult. Hopefully, this step-by-step instruction will simplify the process.

We will be using three pencils for this drawing: 2B, 3B, and 6B. These refer to specific grades of softness of the pencil. The rule is, the softer the graphite, the darker it will go on the paper. Thus, 6B, will lay out a nice, thick, black, ideal for deep shadowing. It is good advice to always keep your pencils sharpened. Also, a kneaded eraser will be useful.


First, we draw the basic outline and shape of the eye using the 2B pencil. It is not necessary to add fine details at this stage. Use care to not use firm, hard strokes--instead sketch the lines with a feathery, light touch. Otherwise, if you use hard strokes and lines, you will create indentations in the paper, which is counter-productive later on when we add the shadowing and other details.

Be sure to scale your outline at least two inches …

Necessary Materials for Drawing

Basically all you need is a pencil and paper!

You can start drawing with 2B pencil and copy or typing paper, which I find is suitable for practicing and sketching. I am of the mind that you shouldn't have to spend loads of money on materials to draw, although I am sure there are artists that would disagree with that.

Other things you will need are (preferably) a kneaded eraser, if that is not available, a school-type eraser will suffice. Also, it is good to have a portable pencil sharpener. You should try to keep your pencils sharpened as much as possible.

Vine charcoal is suitable for drawing; and is sold in boxes or containers depending on how much you want to have on hand. Vine charcoal is a thin stick, hence the word 'vine' in the name, each stick is about six inches long. You can find vine charcoal at any art materials store and hobby shops, or online through Dick Blick at the link below.

If you are a beginner, I believe the minimal expense for materials is the prac…

In The Beginning...


As this is the first post, it seems necessary to lay out what this blog is and its objectives, as well as to introduce myself.

This blog will feature step-by-step tutorials on pencil and charcoal sketching. Various subjects will serve as the basis for each tutorial, that is, each post will detail how to draw all manner of animals, objects, people, and even fantasy subjects.

Also, other media will be explored; in addition to charcoal and graphite, tutorials in using colored pencils will be posted somewhere down the line. The drawing which appears at the header to this blog is a personal colored pencil rendering. In the main, however, this site will specifically focus on charcoal and graphite sketching.

I am beholden to the more aesthetic; that is, I love the pencil and paint brush with the natural art these traditional instruments create, as opposed to the more mechanical methods of creating artwork, such as digital illustrations done with computer software and the like. A…