A quick beginner’s guide to drawing
6 drawing exercises to get you started right now!
The basic craft of drawing is about two things: you learn to control your hand and to see.
Tip: For the following 6 exercises I suggest you stick with one pen and one particular type of paper (for instance A5).
Dexterity — two workouts
The first two exercises are about controlling your hand. We want to build muscles and train our hand-eye-coordination. Mechanical exercises like these are great for beginners. Later on you might use them to explore new pens or get started when you don’t know what to draw yet.
They are also terrific ways to relax your mind.
Exercise 1: Circles — more is more!
Distribute circles of various sizes on a piece of paper until the paper is filled. Make sure the circles do not overlap.
Drawing circles is not as easy as you might think. Notice how the circles become harder, the bigger you make them? Try them in both directions — and make lots of them.
Tip: Shake your hand when it starts cramping! This is a workout for our hands after all.
Exercise 2: Hatching — the joy of structure
Fill a piece of paper with parallel lines.
Diagonal lines come easiest for us because they comply to the motion of our wrist. Did you notice how left-handed people prefer the opposite direction than right-handed people? Have a look at drawings by your favourite draughtswoman or draughtsman (in my case: Leonardo), and guess which hand they used!
Now make sure to try other directions as well. Have fun! Combine various hatchings and enjoy watching the darkness spread on your paper.
Tip: Don’t rotate the paper. The whole point here is to train your hand to get comfortable with all directions.
So now that we have worked our hands a little, let’s train our eyes!