“Can I REALLY learn to draw?”
You love to draw, but you have that niggling feeling. Like, “I wasn’t born with the Drawing Gene… can I really learn how to do it?”
Spoiler alert: YAS!!! You totally can! And I’m here to help you get started.
Good news? I can say fo’ sho’ there is no Drawing Gene.
Sure, there are people who have some ‘natural talent.’ But it only takes you so far.
If you want it, you can do it.
And I know – because I used to TOTALLY suck at drawing. (True story.)
When I started drawing, there were just a few things I knew for sure:
- I loved to draw and had so much fun doing it
- Drawing let me relax, feel zen, and disconnect from the world – the ultimate stress release
- It gave me a whole new way to express myself and be creative
Awesome. Then you’re right where you need to be. I totally get what you’re feeling, and I put together this free into to drawing mini-course page just for you!
Because I found the more I drew… the better I got… and the more fun I had.
And I want you to know what it feels like, too!
Hey, you’ve learned literally THOUSANDS of things before – so you can learn this too!
Drawing is just a skill. Totally learnable.
So if you’ve figured out how to:
- Ride a bike
- Tie your shoes
- Figure out the latest iPhone update
… you’ve got what it takes.
The first step is knowing “I want to draw”
And since you’re here, BAM! That’s already done. Check Step 1 off the list!
Next I’m going to share some essential beginner drawing tips so you can learn how to draw.
So stick with me and discover simple techniques and exercises you can do right now which will fast track your drawing skills.
Soon you’ll be the person doodling on the napkin… and someone else will look at you and think, “Man, I wish I could draw like THAT!”
Sharpen your pencils… let’s draw!
Basic Drawing Tips
First we’ll cover the basics – before you start drawing, you need something to draw with.
You grab a half-used pencil you find lying around at the bottom of your desk drawer.
You give yourself a quick pre-drawing peptalk. #letsdothis
You start sketching…
K, outline done.
So now you get fancy and start shading…
Huh. Well, THAT’S not cool.
Your outline and shading? They both look… kinda the same.
Flat. Blah. Boring.
HOLD UP. You’ve got a writing pencil.
Before you learn how to draw, you first need the tools of the trade.
These aren’t your regular pencils you’d normally buy during a “Back To School” shopping spree.
(Srrrrsly, wasn’t that the BEST part of going back to school?! *dreamy sigh!*)
Instead, you need drawing pencils. So let’s dig into what they are, and what’s right for you.
What’s the difference between a writing and drawing pencil?
A writing pencil only has to make letters on the page. “You have 1 job, writing pencil!”
Drawing? You need the ability to create tone, depth, shadow…. make things look REAL.
So just 1 pencil isn’t going to cut it. You need to be able to make really light lines, super dark ones, and eeeeeeverything in between.
That’s why getting a good starter pack of 12 drawing pencils is key. You get a great range of “light” and “dark” pencils so you’ve got the flexibility you need.
Light VS dark drawing pencils
So it’s gonna get a BIT technical here, but stick with me… it’s super helpful to know!
- The darker and blacker the pencil, the ‘softer’ the graphite core is
- The lighter the pencil, the ‘harder’ the graphite core is
It sounds weird – but think of it like butter.
If you just got it out of the fridge it’s as hard as a brick. You can only shave off really light, thin bits.
But if it’s been on the counter for a while it’s soft and spreadable – easy to smoosh all over your toast.
How do you tell a dark pencil from a light pencil?
The most commonly used international scale for pencils is the “HB” scale.
You’re a smart cookie, so you might’ve already figured out that H stand for hard and B stands for black. Makes sense, right? Awesome!
So if you wanna draw light lines, choose an H pencil.
The higher the number, the lighter it is. A 6H pencil is lighter than a 2H.
And if you want to shade and add depth, choose a B pencil.
The higher the number, the darker it is. A 8B is darker than a 3B.
And the middle of the road?
That’s basically your good ol’ writing pencil – known as either HB or #2.
What are my favorite drawing pencils?
It really depends what I’m doing.
If I’m being suuuuuuper careful, I like starting with an H pencil to lay down my lines. Since it’s so light, it’s easy to erase… because hey, I ain’t perfect!
And after that I like diving into the B pencils. My absolute must-have pencils are B through B4.
So you’ve got your pencils and you’re ready to start learning how to draw!
Now that you’ve got one, you need to know…
How to Hold the Pencil
3 classic ways to hold your drawing pencil
There are 3 hacks for holding your pencil. The bonus is each of these has their own ‘specialty’ so you can use them at different times to get the look you’re after.
Look familiar? You betcha. This is the exact same grip you use for writing – so you’ve already mastered this! #likeaboss
You’ll use this one most often. The only “bad” thing about the tripod grip? It’s prone to smudging. Ugh.
But there’s a secret.
Use it, and you won’t mess up your drawing with smudges. (Or end up with pencil smeared all over your hand!)
Slide your hand along the pencil so it’s closer to the back end of your pencil than the tip. This is called the extended tripod grip, and it’s great because it moves your hand away from the ‘smear zone.’
It takes a bit of time to get used to, but it’s TOTALLY worth it.
This is the overhand grip. Instead of using the very tip of the pencil to draw, it actually uses the side of the lead (ok, graphite) to draw.
This is the go-to grip for shading.
And last there’s the underhand grip. It’s kinda like the tripod grip but tilted over and looser.
So this is perfect for making light lines – like when you’re just starting your sketch and want to put down faint outlines to follow.
TIP: Hand cramping up?
Take Taylor Swift’s advice and shake it off!
People who are beginning to draw tend to clench the pencil with an iron fist. So if you’re doing this too, you’re not alone.
If your hand feels suuuuuper tired after drawing, shake it out to relax your muscles. (Hey, this is about chilling out, not stressing out!)
Just keep an eye out to make sure you aren’t accidentally holding onto your pencil with a death grip. Shake it off, breathe, and draw!
Test drive your tools
Play with pencils
Crack open your pencil set!
- See how faint you can draw using H pencils
- Experiment with how dark you can get with B pencils
- Shade a gradient from lightest to darkest
(Pop quiz – what grip is best to make a gradient? Ding ding ding – overhand!)
It sounds simple, but these easy exercises can skyrocket your confidence with using the different pencil grades.
Get a grip
True story – some of the pencil grips? Feel kinda weird at first.
But once you build the muscle memory and get used to them, knowing which grip to use to get the effect you want makes a MAJOR difference to your drawings.
Now you’re checked out on the tools, it’s time to…
Grab your favorite cup of tea or coffee and let’s draw!
Throw on your PJs, get cozy, and start sketching. Because this time is for YOU!
- To have fun
- To step away from the screen and unplug for, like, 5 seconds
- To get totally wrapped up in the moment and have those worries and stress melt away
So no pressure, k? You might suck at the beginning. I did. You’re on the right track to getting better… while having an awesome time.
You ready? Awesome! Let me show you how to start learning how to draw…
My Top Pick For Drawing Tutorial
The Most Complete Drawing Course!
Learn To Draw!
See Like An Artist
The weirdest thing about learning how to draw? It’s actually about learning how to see.
First – don’t randomly draw from memory
That’s the FASTEST way to draw something that looks like total crap. I promise.
Find something you have lying around, Google an image, or pick one of your own photos to draw. Literally anything… except for what’s in your head.
And you might be like “but I want to draw monsters and aliens and stuff that’s never been seen before!! How can I do that?!”
Look, I get it. You can totally experiment with that later – it sounds rad. But for now, learn how to “see” like an artist first to develop the skill, and once you’ve nailed it you can let ‘er rip. (You’ll thank me later.)
Second – trust your eyes
In a sec I’m going to show you a pic where I outlined the “big things” in the image.
And when you look at it, you have to throw away everything you “know” about these objects and instead trust what you see. Completely.
Drawing is kind of trippy. It’s like an alternate universe, in a way.
See, you KNOW that mug is a rounded, 3D object. It’s not flat. But check the left hand side of the mug…. that’s a straight line.
But our brains are all like “Hey, let me help! I know that mug isn’t flat! How about give it more curves or dimension or something to show that it’s real, blah blah blah!”
And weirdly, when we use that knowledge of the world in our drawing… it looks fake. Wrong. Not normal.
So you have to turn off your brain (we love you, but kick back and have a break!) and trust your eyes.
I heard that drawing is 50% skill, and 50% observation. And that’s on point!
Mini Online Drawing Lesson 1: Bubbles
This first exercise SOUNDS super easy. You’re probably going to be like “psssssh, are you kidding me?!”
…But then you do it. And realize it takes a LOT more skill than it seems!
So get a piece of paper.
Fill the entire sheet with circles of different sizes. Circle until you can’t circle any more. You might notice that drawing smaller circles is easier than bigger ones.
Oh, and no cheating! No overlapping circles in this game.
Switch the direction you draw them in, too. Beginners who want to learn to draw are usually shocked at the difference just changing the direction can make!
Yeah, I know one direction might give lumpy-looking circles (and they’re harder to draw), but THIS is exactly why this exercise is gold. You’re developing that muscle control you need for drawing.
So do yourself a favor. Don’t use a gigantic sheet of paper, or otherwise your hand will be freakin’ tired by the end.
Draw this a couple times a week and you’ll quickly see a MAJOR difference in your circles – which means you’re getting the strength and control you need to draw everything you want!
Mini Online Drawing Lesson 2: Tentacles
Ok, so now you’re drawing circles like a boss. If I need one drawn, I know who I’m calling! *points at you*
So now you’re gonna use your circle genius, pair it with lines, and draw some tentacles!
K, maaaaaaybe drawing an octopus ain’t high on your “must
do draw” list, but this technique is insanely powrful. Once you learn this, it can help you draw just about anything.
Simple Straight Tentacle
Draw 4 or 5 circles in a straight line. Make each circle a bit smaller than the one before it. You can leave a bit of space in between each circle.
Now, draw two lines encasing the row of circles, one on top and the other on the bottom. The lines should just touch the top or bottom of each circle, and meet at the last circle.
BAM! Lookathat! You just drew a straight tentacle. Now let’s take it up a notch…
So for this, you’re going to draw the same circles as before – biggest to smallest.
But this time? Forget the straight line! Change the vertical position so each circle is a little higher and lower than the one before.
And now you’re gonna rock that srrrrrs curve-drawing muscle you built by drawing all those bubbles.
Aim for drawing a smooth curve to connect the circles. Aaaaaand you’re done!
Want to learn how to draw better, faster?
Use these ideas for even more practice!
- Switch up the vertical location of the circles to create different tentacle positions
- Draw bigger tentacles by adding more circles
- Move the circles further apart – but be sure to keep that connecting line smooth!
The more you do this, the better you get. Soon drawing smooth curves will be a total breeze!
Mini Online Drawing Lesson 3: The Straight Line Drawing Hack
Lines. So simple, right? Ha! They’re deceptively tricky. Unless you know this hack.
If your “straight line” look like you pounded 2 shots of tequila before picking up the pencil, you’re going to LOVE this.
In fact, this even works for curves – but since straight lines are more challenging to draw, this is where you need it most.
Don’t draw that line in one go. Instead, break it up into teeny tiny sections using a light dashed line.
Once it looks about right, you can start connecting the dashes to make your beeeee-utiful long line. Add a bit of definition and boom – instant cure for line-induced headaches.
Mini Online Drawing Lesson 4: Draw Perfect Parallel Lines
Ok, now that I’ve let you in on the hack for drawing a straight line…
We’re gonna turn up the heat so you master them!
Because trust me – it sucks if your entire drawing is thrown off by a line which is SUPPOSED to be straight… but isn’t. Nothing says “Amateur Hour” like a wobbly line.
So grab your pencil and sketchbook – and rock out drawing groups of parallel lines! Fill up the whoooooole sheet with small groupings of short parallel lines.
You don’t want to draw them just straight across or up and down. Too easy! You’re up for the challenge.
Switch the orientation of your lines to develop the skills and strength in your hand.
I know it’s soooooooo freaking tempting to rotate your paper, but resist the urge! You’re better than that! Keep your paper straight and turn your hand instead. THIS is how you get good, fast.
So while you’re drawing your perfect parallel lines (OK, they might not start out so perfect… but they’ll get there), you’ll notice something.
Horizontal, vertical, tilted, diagonal… some directions are easier than others. When you learn to draw, it’s almost like doing yoga for your hand. You’ll notice some stiff parts, some flexible parts. But the more you practice, the easier it gets. So keep on drawing! Your hand will get accustomed to the different positions.
Bonus? This exercise is killer for noticing and preventing smudges!
Nothing like a smudge sneak attack to try and run a good drawing. Ugh, smudge gremlins. The worst.
Especially if you started drawing in the centre of the paper, chances are you’ll run into the smudge monster. But over time you’ll learn how to carefully position or move your hand to keep smudgies at bay. It’s all part of learning how draw!
Also, remember the whole ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ thing with pencils? The softer (and blacker) your pencil is, the more smear-prone it is. Harder, lighter pencils are more smudgeproof. #protip
Drawing Challenge – Draw Actual Objects!
Are you ready for this??
Ok, so you’ve been doing your beginner drawing exercises… but it’s time to give a REAL object a whirl.
Don’t worry, I know it’s not gonna be perfect… but that’s not the point. We’ve all gotta start somewhere!
Pick a simple item you have lying around and start to draw it. Forget the little details – at this point, just focus on the contours of the object.
Remember how you learned to see like an artist? Focus on the main “lines” and let the details fade into the background. Just ignore them for now. You can always go back and add them in later if you want to!
K, so let’s say you try drawing a pencil sharpener. Chances are good you’ve got one of those around – and if you don’t, you will soon! When you learn how to draw, and start drawing more… you’ll be sharpening a LOTTA pencils.
Focus on the outline. The general contours. Not so tricky, right? It’s just a few basic shapes put together. You can TOTALLY do this.
Once you have the outline drawn… well, you see it’s actually not too tricky!
In fact, you can even up the ante if you want to and go back and add some detail to bring it to life. Add some shading, texture – and suddenly it ain’t looking too shabby. Not bad for someone who was just drawing lines and circles before!
THIS is actually one of the secrets to drawing – deconstructing a complex object into simple parts. It seems kind of impossible until you do it, and you realize “hey it’s actually not that hard!”
Now you might want to rotate the sharpener and draw it from a whole other angle. Cool, huh? You can see how changing the “view” you look at it with gives you a whole other series of mini drawing challenges. Learning how to draw is full of these!
The more you practice, the more detail you add, the more realistic your drawing gets.
Next step – Learn more secrets to drawing!
You’ve made MAJOR headway so far! Awesome job, I know how exciting it is to start to see your dream of drawing start to take shape.
But you and I both know that there’s a LOT more to learn.
And I want to help you get there. Here’s how to learn the other secrets to drawing, and learn to draw everything you want!
So if you…
- Love being “in the moment” while you’re drawing – but you’re kinda disappointed with your finished piece…
- Can’t wait to skip over the “I suck at drawing” part quickly, and just get to the point where you make something everyone oohs and ahhs over…
- Want to draw on your own time – without having to rearrange your life to make it to the drawing class on the other side of town during rush hour…
You want to get The Secrets To Drawing.
Thanks to this course I can confidently pick up a pencil and draw something I’m proud of.
I’ve got a go-to activity which helps melt stress away.
Once I pick up the pencil, time disappears. It clears my head – like meditation, only better. (WAY more fun than trying to force myself to sit and ‘think of nothing!’)
Finally, I can create something I’m proud of and makes me feel amazing.
And it’s not just me…
22,000+ people have learned to draw using The Secrets To Drawing!
And out of all those students, it’s rated a whopping 4.4 stars
Here’s what other people have to say…
I’m finally an artist
“Having been told at the age of six that I couldn’t draw I always believed this until about 4 months ago… I decided to have a go. With the help of this course I have become what my family now call an ‘artist’.”
– John Chappell
“It’s a great step-by-step programme for both emerging and experienced artists. Thanks!”
– Lizzie Gault
Learn to draw even if you’re not ‘gifted’
“My dream was to learn how to draw. But I always thought that since I’m not gifted I couldn’t learn. But this course, by teaching the basics is giving me a sense of fulfillment.”
– Sun Ricart
Want to draw too? Click here to get The Secrets To Drawing.
You deserve to…
- Create something which makes you burst with pride
- Completely let go of the stress of daily life
- Have something you can do anytime, anywhere which makes you feel amazing
And never again feel like…
“I’m not good enough”
“I don’t enjoy drawing as much as I should because I can’t create what I want”
“I wish I knew how to turn off my brain, I always feel ‘on’ and like I can never tune out from stress”
And if you’re like me, you’re SOOOO freakin’ busy.
You don’t have time to rearrange your schedule, shlep to a drawing class, WHILE working /going to school / having a life.
That’s why I love this course.
It’s all online so you can do it anytime. Or, download it all so you can access it anywhere!
You have free access to all course updates.
Learn whichever way is best for you! Watch the videos or read the books.
It’s quick! Each lesson is short, bite-size, and easy to understand.
It’s super practical – start drawing right away. (No weeks of so-boring-I-will-fall-asleep theory.)
And hey, you can try it out.
Not for you? No problem… return it in 60 days, and get all your money back.
So give it a whirl! If it isn’t for you, that’s cool. Just return it. (Like that hideous electric green hoodie I bought a while ago – what was I thinking?!)
The only risk is not being able to draw the way you want to.
Become the artist you always wanted to be
“I learnt so much through this series and it has helped me so much it will also help me become an artist like I always wanted to be thank you”
– Chris Hewett
Easy to understand drawing basics
“I’m returning to drawing after a long abscence and I love this course because it is helping me to understand the basics of drawing using easy to follow exercises which help to cement the understanding. I like the little hints and tips that are given from the experience of the instructor.”
– Stephen Tanner
Anyone who wants to learn to draw should take this course
“This is a fantastic introductory course to the ‘secrets’ of drawing: comprehensive, informative, easy to follow. I’d encourage anyone serious about learning to draw (and paint) to undertake this course. It has been an invaluable learning experience.”
– Megan Johnstone
If you’re ready for…
Step-by-step training which makes it easy to draw – even if you’ve never picked up a pencil before…
The pure relaxation and joy which comes from drawing…
Pride and confidence knowing you can draw like you’ve always wanted to…
My Top Pick To Learn How To Draw
The Complete A-Z Drawing Course!