Drawing 101: Lesson Four
Anybody can draw. I realize that is not the common view but I stick by it. If you want to learn how to draw, you can. You just have to practice and have some confidence in yourself. Here are seven “lessons” that will help you get there. I’ve been drawing since I was a kid and had art lessons in high school. I’ve also read a few books on drawing. I’m taking ideas from all my experiences and reading to help you learn how to start drawing. I recommend doing no more than one lesson a day. It takes some time to learn to draw. Just like anything else, you have to practice on a regular basis to get there.
You might be noticing that many of the steps are the same. Good job! This is drawing 101 and practicing the basics with different subject matter is how you learn! A side note: these basic lessons are in black and white. This is also known as monochromatic. I suggest practicing monochromatic before you start using several different colors.
For this lesson find some flowers in your house or yard. No need to arrange them. Just draw them as they are. This is good practice because it takes the shading skills you’ve been working on and develops them a bit. With flowers you will have even more levels of shading. Mastering your shading skills is what will take your art to the next level. The better the shading, the more interesting and realistic your drawing will be. The way that light plays on objects is what catches the eye. Shading is basically capturing the various levels of light.
As always, start with the outline. Roughly sketch the flowers, stems, leaves, and background. This is your first picture with a background. So far you have just drawn the object itself. For this drawing, fill up the entire piece of paper. With most flowers there will be negative space. Look at the space between the flowers. What shapes do you see? That is the negative space. Carefully observe what those spaces look like. As you draw multiple objects, scale becomes important. Making sure the negative spaces are correct will help you with your scale. For instance, if there is a diamond shape between two flowers and you draw the stems to make a circle shape then you have the positioning wrong.
Next, start filling in the outline with the shapes that light is making. Drawing flowers is a good practice because there are lots of details and textures. You will spend more time on this step based on how much detail you want to add. In my drawing I chose to draw each seed on the top of the coneflower. That took time, but it made it look more realistic. So start adding the details that you see.
Lastly, take the side of your pencil and shade in the darker areas. Stems are round so I shade both sides and leave the middle lighter. Leaves are folded in all sorts of shapes. Think about something that is folded. The crease where it folds is going to be darker. It is important to slow down and really look at the way the light is projected on the object. This is will guide your shading process. Start with the darker areas and then move to the lighter places. Go back and keep adding to the dark areas until it looks like what you see.
Editor’s Note: We are now accepting submissions by anyone that has attempted these lessons. Go here to see how to submit your drawings.