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Learn To Draw Like a Master Artist

Updated on November 18, 2015
BellaNocheLucia profile image

Noelle Lucia has been a writer and author for over 10 years. She wears a lot of different hats and uses her experience to fuel her writing.

My Own Drawing Skills Improved Ten-Fold!

My personal drawing of Don Knotts as Barney Fife!
My personal drawing of Don Knotts as Barney Fife! | Source

Learning How to Draw Can be Simple and Fun!

Lots of people think you have to be born with some kind of x-factor to draw well. While talent certainly helps, absolutely anyone can learn how to draw and make beautiful art. The internet is chock-full of resources for folks who say things like, "I can only draw stick-figures". That's part of the beauty of the internet age. People can learn anything with a little practice and a little know-how. And you don't have to spend a fortune to go to art school! You can learn in your pajamas if you want. Below are three different methods that can help you become a better artist!

First, The Grid Method

The first method is commonly called "The Grid Method". Remember graph paper in math class? You can use the same basic technology to make beautiful drawings. What the artist does is take a reference photo of something they want to draw, like a picture of an apple. Then they measure out and draw a grid on the reference photo with a ruler. Or if the artist is computer-savvy, there are ways to place a digital grid on the reference photo using photoshop and other artistic programs. Then the artist creates an identical grid on a clean piece of paper that will later become their drawing. It is absolutely imperative that the grids match in size. When the artist draws, they only pay attention to one square in the grid at a time, so the final drawing comes together in pieces, and it doesn't become too overwhelming. Check out the video below and one of the awesome drawings created from this method!

This is a brief video explanation of how to do the grid method.

This drawing was created using the Grid Method

My own drawing I made after learning the grid method.
My own drawing I made after learning the grid method.

Not every drawing has to be hugely complicated.

If you are a bit intimidated or just starting out, try drawing something simple like an inanimate object or even your favorite cartoon characters like the artist below.

This cartoon image was also created using the grid method. Colored pencil is optional. An artist can do something really simple or complex using this method!
This cartoon image was also created using the grid method. Colored pencil is optional. An artist can do something really simple or complex using this method! | Source

Second, The Free Hand Method

The Free Hand method is probably the one that most people are familiar with. It is very simple in theory but can be difficult to do in practice. The artist keeps the reference photo and their drawing paper side-by-side. The artist draws on their drawing paper, pausing to look at their reference photo when needed. This results in an entirely ocular (using your eyeballs) and mental transfer. Some people can do this very well, and some people can't. Some people get a lot better with practice. So don't get discouraged if your first couple of attempts don't turn out perfect!

This drawing is an example of free-hand work.

This drawing was created with the free-hand technique, meaning the artist looked at a photo and transferred it only by sight.
This drawing was created with the free-hand technique, meaning the artist looked at a photo and transferred it only by sight.

Third, the Tracing Method

Many artists believe tracing to be a completely legitimate technique, especially when an artist is learning. There are actually two ways of tracing. The first is to use tracing paper, which is much thinner than regular paper and it is translucent, which makes it easier to see the reference photo under the drawing paper. Tracing paper can be messy though and difficult to erase on, so it isn't for everybody. The other method requires some preparation, but it is well-worth it. Basically, the artist covers the back of the reference photo in a layer of graphite, scribbling all across the back to make a solid wall of color. Then the artist places the reference photo graphite-side-down on the drawing paper, so the reference photo is showing. Then the artist traces the outlines of the reference photo with a pen or similar object that creates pressure. Drawing on the reference photo will create a graphite imprint on the drawing paper below, so the artist is left with a great outline to draw on when they remove the reference photo.

A Quick Tracing Lesson

This is an example of an artist using the tracing technique.

The artist here traced from a photo then added the shading and details afterward.
The artist here traced from a photo then added the shading and details afterward.

Tracing: An Easier Way to Make Fonts and Letters

Tracing can be an incredibly useful tool if you need to create fonts or lettering from scratch. Whether you're creating a T-Shirt or a poster, letters can be tough to get straight and neat. Tracing is an awesome way to eliminate all that erasing. Check out an example below.

Font Created Using Tracing in Photoshop

The artist used digital tools to trace a font for a t-shirt design, making a neat and clean word.
The artist used digital tools to trace a font for a t-shirt design, making a neat and clean word. | Source

The Different Kinds of Drawing Methods

What Method of Drawing Are You Interested in Learning?

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Practice Doesn't Make Perfect But It Can Help You Improve

The fact is that there's no such thing as perfect, especially in art! Some artists in New York make millions of dollars by cutting basketballs in half, putting them in aquariums and calling it art. Art is totally subjective and all kinds of people like different kinds of art. So do the art only you want to do. And don't forget that you are often your own worst critic, so when you practice, go easy on yourself. You will get better with a little time, especially using some of the methods outlined above. So get out there and create some beautiful art, because it's one of the joys in life!

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    • BellaNocheLucia profile imageAUTHOR

      BellaNocheLucia 

      2 years ago

      Hi Steve Smith! Thanks for commenting, I'm glad you like the hub. It all depends on your personal perspective, some say grid method is copying and others don't. The debate will probably rage on forever. You should do what makes you most comfortable.

      As far as music and tv goes, I sometimes use relaxing music. Tv is distracting, I usually get less work done with the tv going. Old professional animators maintain that music is too distracting too, that you should focus all your brainpower on the work. But I use music sometimes, and if a project is really hard, I'll take little exercise breaks, like getting up and walking around outside or gardening. It helps clear your mind and gives your wrists a break. I hope this helps SteveSmith, happy drawing!

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