Learn how to draw
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 Learn how to draw

art lessons and drawing tutorials

"tips and techniques to improve your drawings"

Do you want to learn how to draw and improve your drawing technique? I offer these drawing tutorials and art lessons designed to improve your drawing ability. Drawing is a fundamental skill required for creating most visual art. To be proficient at drawing you must learn to see things as they are, not as they appear to be. See past the obvious and you will truly learn how to draw. I hope this drawing tutorial helps you become a better artist.

Drawing tutorial and art lesson #1
Counting Crows album cover

Pencils - H, B, 2B, 4B, 7B
Paper - Strathmore 90lb. sketch paper
Erases and sharpeners
Hours to complete: 125 hours

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 1) - At the beginning of this drawing my goal is to outline the most basic elements (the edges of the building) first. This important process took me 20 hours to complete. I used a ruler to tighten up the edges, but did not draw the original lines with a ruler. Creating photorealistic pencil drawings is about precise visual measurements. If lines are inaccurate even by the smallest margin then mistakes will jump out at the viewer. Be prepared to erase and much as you draw. This beginning stage was drawn with an H pencil.

Drawing Tips: Ensuring everything is in proportion at the beginning of the drawing will save you headaches later on.

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 2) - I've added the basic outlines of the rain drops, the title "Counting Crows" and began with some simple detail at the top of the building. This helped make sure everything was in proportion. Once I was comfortable with the proportions I began to shade the building, leaving more space around the rain drops then necessary allowing me to makes mistakes. I'm still using an H pencil at this point as well as a 2B for the shading on the building.

Drawing Tips: Draw from all angles. Turning your drawing upside down will make mistakes jump out at you. Get comfortable with drawing from all sides and you'll improve your drawing.

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 3) - I continue to shade in the bottom buildings with a 2B pencil. In the original photo the bottom buildings are very dark and it's hard to make out the detail. This is good because it allows me to work quickly without worrying to much about mistakes.

Drawing Tips: Fill in as much detail as possible early on. It can help to show you how your drawing is advancing.

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 4) -The first phase of the bottom building is now complete. Everything has been shaded and the details have been left white, and with more space then needed so I ensure I didn't make mistakes I can change later. I've also sprayed this part of my drawing with an adhesive, so I can work without smudging areas I need to keep clean and white.

Drawing Tips: Use an adhesive spray throughout your drawing on the sections that you've completed. It helps to avoid smudging and ruining areas you might need to keep white. 

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 5) - Close up of the completion of the first layer of the bottom building. Again, I've left slightly more space then necessary around the white parts so I able to make changes later on.

Drawing Tips: Use an adhesive spray throughout your drawing on the sections that you've completed. It helps to avoid smudging and ruining areas you might need to keep white. 

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 6) - Sometimes I become overwhelmed with the difficulty of a particular area in the drawing. Figuring out how to make the rain drops look like actual rain drops was daunting so I moved on to the top of the building. It helps sometimes to remove yourself from a difficult spot and then come back to later.

Drawing Tips: If your having difficulty, move on to a different part of your drawing and come back later with a fresh perspective.

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 7) - Case in point. I began to have difficulty with the task of drawing all the windows but felt refreshed enough to come back to the rain drops. Because of the poor resolution of the image I was working from the rain drops appeared very distorted. I fell back on my motto of drawing what I see and not actually trying to create a rain drop. It worked!

Drawing Tips: Draw the shapes and lines of what you see. Not what is obvious.

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 8) - Here's a little closer view of the rain drops and the lower buildings. The drops look like small ameobas but I've been able to add the main detail to all of them.

Drawing Tips: Don't give up!

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 9) -It's really beginning to come together. I felt the main building would be my toughest task to draw and left it to the last. You'll notice I've also filled in most of the shading of the bottom building.

Drawing Tips: Leave the hardest work for the last.

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 10) - Now begins the hard part. My goal was less about the detail and more about making the windows proportioned. Once that's done I can begin to fill in detail.

Drawing Tips: Build from the ground up. Correct proportion before detail.

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 11) - Now that I'm confident I have the correct amount of windows, as well as the proper proportions, I can begin to add detail and shading. As I did with the rain drops, I left more white space then was necessary to allow for errors and corrections when the second layer of shading is added.

Drawing Tips: Add your shading in layers. Don't do it all at once.

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 12) - Now adding the second layer of shading, but still very light, in order to all room for filling in the rain drops without drawing myself into a corner.

Drawing Tips: Always leave room for error.

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 13) - I pulled back just to show you how things are looking overall. The drawing is really beginning to come together at this point and the stress of whether or not it will work out is over. Notice how long into this drawing I was still concerned with proportion being correct.

Drawing Tips: Your never as good as you think you are. But your always better then the worst thing said about you.

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 14) - I've finished the second layer of shading on the facade of the building. I've left the side parts of the building to the last, because it was really tough to pick up the detail.

Drawing Tips: Step back from your drawing from time to time to see it from a realistic point of view.

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 15) - Added the third layer of shading onto the building by this point. Proper shading requires a lot of time and patience. If you really hope to achieve a realistic drawing, you have to be willing to go over areas more then once. It began with an H pencil, and finished with a 7B.

Drawing Tips: Love your mom and dad. They usually deserve it.

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 16) - A close up of the main building.

Drawing Tips: Keep your mind and your pencil sharp for the main detail.

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 17) - Another closeup. The lines weren't perfect, but I'm happy with it at this point.

Drawing Tips: Don't stress your mistakes. We all make them and you'll never have the perfect drawing.

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 18) - The drawing is almost complete. Now I step back and assess what final touches are needed. The rain drops weren't as perfect as I liked as this point and I decided to spend a little more time on completing them.

Drawing Tips: Be yourself and no one else.

how to draw - art lessons

(FIG. 20) - Drawing is now complete and it looks great! Finally tally? 125 hours of work.

Drawing Tips: Always do your best and be good to yourself. You never lose when you try.


 Nova Scotia artist Robb Scott
Contact: artist@www.robbscottdrawings.com
2221 Lilyvale Road
Greenfield, NS
B6L 3T9
All images copyright 2001-2008 Robb Scott ©

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