How To Draw Arts 211-001

by Stephanie Hayes

Drawing is sometimes seen as this ominous, scary, art form that only "true" artists can render, which frightens many from ever learning or trying. However, drawing is far easier than most think, and with simple instruction, can be accomplished.

Supplies To Get Started:
  • artist pencils
  • white and kneaded erasers
  • pencil sharpener
  • tracing paper
  • mixed media paper
  • tape (artist or scotch variety)
Top photos: Tracing paper is a thin, transparent paper that can easily be erased on. Below photos: Mixed media paper is a thick paper that can be used with a lot of different media: graphite pencils, colored pencils, alcohol- based markers, watercolors, etc.

The very first step in the drawing process is to start by framing whatever it is you are drawing with a frame or border; This prevents your image from running off the page. It is customary to have a one-inch border all the way around your paper.

Before starting the actual piece, the amateur artist needs to know some basic principles: measuring and proportions.

1. Proportions

A proportion is a measurement that is equivalent to another measurement, within its own scale.

For example, the boxes that each of these pictures are in are not equivalent; the one on the left is larger. Regardless, the pictures have a 1 to 1 proportion.

So you may be asking, "How do I find a proportion?" These are found through measuring.

2. Measuring

Measuring is the method artists use to find proportions, so that their pieces can be identical to the real life object, or picture they are using.

To measure: take your pencil as shown above; your finger should be lined up against one edge and the tip of the pencil on the other edge of whatever you are measuring.

To find any one point on an image, find the measurement from the length and width.

On to the Piece

By this point you have decided what to draw, you've drawn your borders, and you know all about measuring and proportions, so you're ready to tackle the piece.

For my demonstration, I drew a fashion illustration, adhering to anatomy of a fashion model.

On your tracing paper, start by drawing ten equal heads within your box.

Proportions are very important when it comes to models. For example, the length of the body is equal to ten heads, the width of the shoulders is 1 1/2 heads, and the torso is about 4 heads long.

Once your sketch is complete, it's time to transfer it from the transfer paper to the mixed media paper.

Transferring Process

You can purchase transfer paper, or you can make it yourself by shading a piece of tracing paper with graphite.
  1. Take a clean piece of mixed media paper
  2. Take your transfer paper and tape it FACE DOWN on your mixed media paper.

3. Place your sketch on top, and tape it down. (It is very important to tape it down; if it shifts, the transfer will not work)

Once everything is taped down, trace over your drawing to complete the process.

This is what the transfer should look like once you remove the layers.

Smooth Tone Shading

Smooth tone is a shading technique that creates a beautiful, even texture, and is arguably the best shading method when working with pencils.

To smooth tone, take your pencil, and make small circles all throughout the drawing.

Make sure to use a few different shades when smooth toning to create dimension, and evenly blend.


Once the piece is complete, a flap is necessary to protect the drawing.

Flip the picture over, and place a long piece of artist tape at the top.

Flip it to the front, place a clean sheet of tracing paper on top. Next, fold the tape down over the front, and the flap is complete!

Now that you've sat through this presentation, you now know all the skills necessary to start drawing beautiful masterpieces! Now go and create!


Created with images by cromaconceptovisual - "address book notebook notes" • Joe Dearman - "Prismacolor Pencils Perspective"

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