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drawing pad and pencilsThe very first drawings were done by prehistoric hunters who sketched animals on the walls of their caves to help "capture" their prey even before the hunt began.

Today, drawing remains a favorite activity for all ages - as you can never quite get a drawing down on paper perfectly (at least not the first time around), but it's always fun trying!

And, the more you practice, the better you get.

In addition, there are lots of insider tricks that even make the the more difficult aspects of drawing -- like proportion and perspective -- fun and easy.

A quick tutorial on how to proportion the human face:

The human face is probably the most interesting - and most challenging - of subjects to draw for the beginner.

Why? Most often, it's the proportions of ears, eyes, nose and mouth. If you've never done it before, it's hard to know the right spacing between them. In fact, sometimes your subject may look like an abstract painting rather than the realistic likeness you're attempting to get!

So the secret to drawing a face with correct proportions is knowing what you're looking at.

Notice how the top of the eyebrows align with the top of the ears? The same goes with the classic alignment of the bottom of the ears with the bottom of the nose. Take a look:

human face proportions
First, set up a vertical center line. Then, a horizontal "system of thirds" is
a time-tested way of getting the proportions of the human face just right.


With a little practice, you won't need the diagram, but will naturally find the correct position of all the features of the human face without having to think about it!

Meanwhile, as you really get good at arranging the features, the eyes are probably the most fun to capture, especially the light reflected from the pupil which gives your eyes life and expression. They truly are "the windows to the soul".

How to draw the human eye:

steps to drawing the human eye

Most eyes are almond-shaped, so begin with semi-circles (1 and 2) that enclose the eye. At the midpoint of this shape, 3 draw a circle for the iris (the colored part of the eye) then add a half-moon shape (4) to denote the pupil. Shade in the iris (5) and leave highlights that reflect the light. Finish up by (6) drawing the eyelid and eyelashes.

Want more? For more lessons on the human face try this easy tutorial for drawing the human nose, eyes and mouth.

For drawing hands, try this great lesson on Tips for Drawing: Hands 101.

More tips and tricks to drawing

Of course, humans aren't the only subjects you will want to capture with pencil and paper. There are tricks to drawing from nature that you should also have in your artistic arsenal.

Perspective in drawing is a challenge for the beginner, but for now, forget the word "perspective". Rather, see how objects overlap. It's a great way to tackle the subject before going on to master the more technical aspects of classical perspective.

Another tip to realistic perspective? Add more detail for objects in the foreground, and less detail for objects the move further away from view.

the use of perspective in the renaissance

Renaissance perspective introduced the vanishing point, overlapping of objects, and extensive shading.

Line is another topic of discussion when it comes to good drawing. To bring give your drawing more visual interest, try to vary the shape, thickness and curvature of your line.

• When drawing from nature, soften stiff lines with "S" curves to make them more fluid, and remember the old adage that nothing in nature grows in a perfectly straight line.

• And, finally, a word about composition in drawing.

Composition is the placement of objects within the frame that holds the viewer's interest. Therefore, a classical trick to creating a good composition is that no two shapes should be exactly alike. That includes the shapes of objects as well as the "negative shapes" (or spaces in between them.)

pyramid composition and inverted pyramid show stability and instability
A pyramid-shaped composition conveys stability. An inverted pyramid usually has the opposite effect.

Above all, don't state the obvious! That is, never put the main subject of your drawing in the exact center of your composition -- and never, ever have more than one subject as the main point of interest.

Composition also has a psychological component. For example, lots of curvy lines and rounded shapes give a feeling of peace and calm. A pyramid-shaped composition conveys stability. An inverted pyramid usually has the opposite effect.

More information about how to draw around the Web:

Around the web, check out more online drawing tutorials including tips and tricks to anime, manga and other comic and cartoon styles, Harry Potter creatures plus seriously fascinating lessons on landscapes, seascapes, and drawing human anatomy ....

Get drawing.... and have fun!

Art lessons by the ArtFactory - This site has it all for the beginner with tips, drawing & coloring lessons including tricks to perspective, still life lessons, drawing the portrait, and more.

Learn to Draw - Take the virtual art class tour for a lesson on proportion including how to capture eyes, lips, nose, ears, hair and facial expressions, plus more on how to make a caricature.

Drawing Tutorials by Diane Wright - Excellent collection of lessons by an expert artist with how to's on drawing landscapes, trees, sky & clouds, rocks & water.

Free Art Demos - Arts Graphica offers advanced tutorials and video instructions from leading fine artists.

also see in Art -> Beginners Guide to Acrylic Paints

Oil Painting | Watercolor Painting


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