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Beginner Drawings: Your Pencil, Your Paper and Your Stance
Learning how to draw? It is as simple as popping open your sketchbook to the first page and getting started with learning how to hold your pencil, position your paper and stand, as well as discovering things to draw as beginners.
1. Your Pencil Grip
Gripping your pencil for writing allows you to create tight, controlled marks. These are ideal for when you want to add details to a drawing or are working in a small area.
An overhand grip is when the pencil is held between thumb and index finger, with the middle finger supporting and the rest of the fingers resting on your paper. This grip allows for a broader range of strokes, which are lighter and wider if you are using the side of the pencil; and darker and thinner if you are using the tip of the pencil.
You can have your paper on a horizontal surface, ideal for the writer’s grip, or vertical or on a slight incline when using the overhand grip.
2. Your Stance
Standing or sitting, you always want to have good posture and your weight evenly distributed on each leg. If you are sitting, have your feet flat on the floor. The one and only rule
The one and only rule: Always try to draw from the shoulder. Isolating the wrist works well for adding detail to a drawing. But for the beginning strokes, you want to lock your wrist and draw with your whole arm–all the way to your shoulder.
3. Things to Draw for Beginners
Start by pantomiming the marks you want to draw on your paper. Then, once you feel the rhythm, apply your pencil to your sketchbook paper and make all kinds of strokes–horizontals, verticals, circles, diagonals, and ovals. Fill several pages with these sketches.
Next, select an object–a flower or a vase or figurine. Don’t think about proportion or accuracy, you just want to look at the big overall shapes. No details!
Instead, try to capture the overall gesture of the object–where its parts are pointing and where the biggest and smallest areas are. Just react and flow.
4. Drawing Blind
Now take your same object from the previous exercise and do a blind contour drawing of it. This means you don’t look at your paper as you draw.
Instead, let your eye guide your hand as you observe the minute details of your object and trace out the contour. This is a great way to let loose and boost your confidence.
Next Steps in Beginner Drawings
Gasp! You’ve done it. Your first drawing session is done and you’ve accomplished a lot! Repeat these exercises until you feel completely comfortable with them. And, when you’re ready, take on more complex objects if you want to challenge yourself.
If you are ready to take the next step now, download our free e-book on Learning How to Draw, which features 26 beginner drawing exercises you can start doing in your sketchbook now. Happy drawing, artists!