Drawing for Beginners

Tips on how to start drawing and what you need

Drawing for Beginners

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If you are a beginner and want to start drawing, but 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, so you can enjoy your new hobby as soon as possible!

What are the Right Supplies for Drawing?

There is no need to look for a perfect drawing kit for beginners when picking up this hobby for the first time. The right supplies to start drawing is exactly what is available in your home. Expensive pencils or papers only prevent you from drawing freely, because you think about not making any mistakes to not waste the good stuff. Especially in the beginning it is important not to put any additional hurdles in your way.

Which Drawing Paper is Good?

Drawing paper should primarily be one thing: Plain! You should not 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 color pigments of pencils stick much better to the rough surface which makes them much more intense.

Large selection of drawing paper

What does the Weight of Drawing Paper mean?

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 colored pencils with strong pigments can really show to advantage in heavy paper.

Which Pencils do I need for Drawing?

The next best pencil will do for a start. And if it’s one from Ikea, that is perfectly fine, too.

But you should later make use of the wide range of different pencil hardnesses so that you can get the best out of your 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.

More about pencil hardness

different pencils

Do I need an Eraser?

The thing about the eraser is that if it prevents you from drawing and you catch yourself erasing every single line you draw, then you have to get rid of it! You do not want the eraser to feed any insecurity. It should only be used when you want to touch up something or make it disappear. But if this is every line you draw, then you won’t be able to draw anymore.

As a rule of thumb: 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.

Eraser for drawing

How do I identify a Good Sharpener?

Some pencil sharpeners out there must be made to destroy 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 their pencils instead of sharpeners. Here, the sharpening 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, you will learn to love a flattened lead, because it makes incredibly fine transitions possible.

How important is Light when Drawing?

Good light is not only better for your eyes, but it also makes drawing much more pleasant. In poor light, pencil strokes can shine or colored pencil strokes can look a completely different color.

Daylight is basically the best light for drawing. The drawing hand should not throw a shadow on the paper, because if you can’t see what you are drawing, you won’t be able to learn to draw properly.

Learn to Draw as a Beginner

Enough theory! How do you start drawing as a beginner? At best with sketches, but that is too boring for many of us. Some of us want to start right away with something real. But it shouldn’t be too difficult, because otherwise, we might give up too 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 you should not have too crazy demands on yourselves. Practice makes perfect and as long as you are better today than yesterday, you are on the right track.

Pencil Drawing

Last tips

  • Keep all your drawings and sketches because they document your progress and can later be a source of inspiration for new art.
  • Avoid dark outlines if you want to draw realistically and rather use a harder, i.e. lighter, pencil.
  • Don’t force yourself to draw. Some days it just doesn’t happen, and that happens even for the best artists.
  • Compare yourself only with yourself, because comparing yourself with others can quickly rob you of any joy in drawing.
  • Don’t be afraid of blank paper. Even if in the end only a few strokes are drawn or half a drawing is done, you have shown the paper who the boss is and it has not remained blank!
  • Drawing is a hobby that takes a lot of time. That’s why it’s even more important to have fun and enjoy it while we’re doing it, and not feel guilty about not making progress fast enough.

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