Drawing 101: Lesson One
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.
Lay an apple on a table in front of you. Make sure there is a source of light shining on it. Putting the apple near a window so sunlight is shining on it from an angle is best. I recommend drawing with a pencil to start with. You can use other mediums later once you practice more. Honestly, the kind of pencil and paper don’t matter that much. I’ve used all kinds of pencils and paper and they are all fun to use. You just have to decide which kind you prefer. Grab whatever you have at your house.
Start by drawing the outline of the apple. Don’t worry about a perfect line. Just start drawing the outline as you see it. You can make adjustments as you go. Don’t erase any perceived mistakes. Remember, this is not about perfection, it’s about practice. I think many people get derailed early on because their drawings aren’t “perfect.”
Now draw the outline of the stem and other shapes you see in the apple. Don’t think about what an apple is supposed to look like. Simply draw any shapes you see in the apple. These are parts of the apple peel and shapes that the light is casting. Something important to keep in mind as you are learning to draw is that you are not going for an idealized version of the apple. Instead, you are going for a realistic drawing of what you see in front of you.
The last thing you will do is draw the shading. This is what makes the object look three dimensional. A good trick is to close one eye and look at the apple. Where are the areas that are darker? Start shading in that area lightly with your pencil. Add only a little bit of lead to the paper. It helps to turn the pencil sideways for this. Don’t use the point of the pencil. You can always add more later but you can’t take it away. Then look at the way the light plays on the apple again. Start shading in the areas that are different values of light and dark. Just like anything else, the side that is away from the light will be darker. If the light is coming from the right, the left side of the apple needs to be darker. Keep adding layers and layers of shading until you are satisfied that 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.
- Rambling Ever On Pays Tribute To Steve Lytle - June 14, 2020
- Five Reasons You Should Read “The Chronicles of Narnia” - February 14, 2020
- The Top Ten Characters of Lost - September 18, 2019
8 thoughts on “Drawing 101: Lesson One”
Well done. I’m going to give this a go later.
My son Aidan is excited about this series. I’m looking forward to what he will learn from it.
I’m glad you’re doing this, Brandon!!
Good stuff, Brandon. I am the worst artist in the world but I have plenty of self confidence so maybe I should give this a shot.
Both of the things Mike just said are the most true statements I have read in my life.
LOL. At the last two comments.
My son, John-Mark, is excited about drawing, but scared to try. I appreciate your remarks about perfection vs. practice, and I hope he grasps that concept. He’s 9 and has a variety of “special needs”, but he really can (IMHO) draw. Thank you for making these lessons possible for him.
Thank you for those kind words. This series by Brandon has had way more impact than any of us ever imagined.