If you were to place a crayon or pencil in a child’s hand, after possibly trying to eat it, they would usually attempt to make a mark with it. This is an instinctive way of trying to express oneself.
Drawing is relatively simple and an easy skill to acquire and develop. It is something you can have great fun with.
When starting out it doesn’t have to be a costly hobby as all you really need is paper and a few pencils.
Obviously as you progress, you can add to your collection of art supplies and it can become a little more expensive, especially if you want very high quality paints or you decide to hone your digital art skills, as drawing tablets can be a bit pricey. (Drawing tablets are a piece of hardware, linked to a computer, that allows you to draw directly into software on your PC with a pen-shaped stylus.)
In this day and age, we have information at our fingertips and sourcing information on drawing and sketching (and other art forms) is easy and inexpensive. You can surf the web and find many websites that provide tips and tutorials (including this one!)
Like any skill, with regular and consistent practice, you can become a great artist!
1. When creating a space to draw, if you are right-handed, ideally you want your light source to come from your left side. This will prevent your hand forming a shadow on your paper. If you are left-handed, the light needs to come from the right.
2. Start by practicing drawing lines - straight lines, curved lines, scribbled lines, zigzags etc. Take your time and practice getting your hand to do what your brain is telling it to! Practice this brain-hand-control and before long you should be able to draw what you see in your head.
3. Once you have mastered basic lines, move on to drawing circles, oval shapes, crossed lines and bold/thick lines. Just like a baby develops from crawling to walking, your art should also develop step by step.
4. Initially you probably won’t be able to draw a perfect circle or oval, but don't get discouraged. With plenty of practice you will get better at it! I would also suggest keeping all your drawings from the early days so that you can look back and see how much you are improving. (You could also date your sketches.)
5. These lines and curves are like the structural supports of a building. The foundation should be strong before you start building; similarly, these initial small lines and curves will go a long way to help you in your art journey.
You should also start playing around with controlling the amount of pressure you put on your pencil. You can create the desired darkness and thickness of your lines by simply increasing or decreasing the pressure you put on the pencil.
6. If there is something you don’t feel you are very good at, focus on developing that skill. So, if for example you are not able to shade properly then practice doing more of that until you feel more confident at it. There are many ways of shading, so find one that works for you. Build your own individuality and style. Take inspiration from other artists but never copy them line for line.
7. Last but not the least, use the right materials and use good quality materials. Whilst you can obviously start doodling with any old HB pencil and scrap of paper, if you want to develop your drawing skills, I would suggest investing in a few 2B-6B pencils (better for shading) and a good quality, cartridge paper sketchbook or note book with thick paper (ideally 160gsm if you want to play with pens and paints too). These should be enough to start with.
Most importantly, relax and have fun with it!