Tips on how to start drawing and what you need for it
If you want to start drawing and for some reason ended up here instead of just getting started, you might have a few questions you want to know the answer to first. Let’s clarify them together, because anyone can learn to draw.
Are you looking for the perfect drawing kit for beginners? Well, the right material for drawing is exactly what is available in your home. Expensive materials only prevent you from drawing freely, because you think about not wanting to waste the good stuff. Especially in the beginning it is important not to put any additional hurdles in your way.
Drawing paper should primarily be one thing: Plain! We don’t even think about using checkered or lined paper, because that is meant for writing and not for drawing.
Printing paper is indeed quite thin, but for studies and sketches this is also completely ok to use at the beginning. A minus point with printing paper is that it can wrinkle or even tear using the eraser.
Good drawing paper has a somewhat rough surface. A beginner might not even notice this, but the colour pigments of pencils stick much better to the rough surface which makes them much more intense.
Drawing paper is always provided with an indication of grams per square meter. But how many grams are good for drawing? Light paper is not necessarily bad and heavy paper is not necessarily good. It depends on what you want to use it for.
Light paper from 90 g/m² to 120 g/m² is very suitable for technical drawings because, on this paper, precise, straight lines work best with hard pencils. If you draw with softer pencils on light paper, you have to expect that the dark lines can shine through the paper. Because light also means thin.
Heavy paper with 150 g/m² and upwards, on the other hand, will make the strokes look a little dirty and more organic, but this is definitely intended for portrait drawings. Soft pencils and coloured pencils with strong pigments can really show to advantage in heavy paper.
The next best pencil will do for a start. And if it’s an Ikea pencil, that is perfectly fine, too.
But we should later make use of the wide range of different pencil hardnesses so that we can get the best out of our drawings. Roughly summarized, the hard pencils allow precise but also light strokes. The soft pencils, on the other hand, draw organic, but also dark strokes.
The thing about the eraser is that if it prevents us from drawing and we catch ourselves erasing every single line we draw, then we have to get rid of it! We do not want the eraser to feed our insecurity. It should only be used when you want to touch up something or make it disappear. But if this is every line we draw, then we won’t be able to draw anymore.
If you are not familiar with an eraser, it is best to test on a separate sheet of paper whether it is good or not. The eraser should not smear but should remove the lines cleanly and reliably.
Some pencil sharpeners out there must hate pencils: A bad blade breaks the wood of the pencil, instead of sharpening it. Therefore you should invest in a good sharpener whose blade works cleanly and reliably.
There are artists who use knives or sandpaper for sharpening instead of sharpeners. Here, work is done lengthwise to protect the lead. If you sharpen your pencils in this way, you can give them a certain shape to influence the stroke.
While drawing, you will notice that the pencil does not always have to be pointed. Especially for soft shadows or when drawing skin, we will learn to love a flattened lead, because it makes incredibly fine transitions possible.
Good light is not only better for our eyes, but it also makes drawing much more pleasant for us. In poor light, pencil strokes can shine or coloured pencil strokes can look a completely different colour.
Daylight is basically the best light for drawing. The drawing hand should not throw a shadow on the paper, because if we can’t see what we are drawing, we won’t be able to learn to draw properly.
Enough theory! How do you start drawing as a beginner? At best with sketches, but that is too boring for many of us. We want to start right away with something real. But it shouldn’t be too difficult, because otherwise, we might throw in the towel early.
A simple drawing idea for beginners could be flowers or fruit. Somewhat more difficult, but also feasible for beginners, is the subject of drawing people. People are always a challenge, but if you start early and are patient with yourself, you will retain a lot of pleasure in drawing them.
In any case, as beginners we should not have too crazy demands on ourselves. Practice makes perfect and as long as you are better today than yesterday, you are on the right track.