Jun 28, 2021

Learn to Draw a Honey Bee

This week I demonstrate drawing a bee, and this demo walks you through the steps to draw a bee from start to finish. From this tutorial, we learn to use the basic shapes and forms to step up the structures of the bee, then learn how to add the details onto that structure.

We will also practice some shading and change the line weight of our linework to finish the drawing. 

This demo starts at the very beginning of the drawing process and ends with a completed drawing, with no skipped steps in between. You will see everything I do, even my adjustments and corrections.

Enjoy the video and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Jun 21, 2021

A Simple Practice Exercise to Improve your Drawing Skills

An example of a drawing practice exercise. Practicing drawing boxes can help improve your drawing skills.

As with any complicated skill, it takes practice to get good at it. Just like learning to dance, play a sport, or learning a musical instrument, learning to draw requires that we practice. One thing that is often forgotten about or ignored when we are first learning to draw is that we can practice our drawing techniques.  

Our drawing technique is the method in which we engage with the tools we use as we draw. Our primary tool is the pencil. The pencil is a very versatile tool and, if we learn how to use it to take advantage of that versatility, we'll improve our skills. As a result, our drawings will be a higher quality of craftsmanship. A more confident artist will have created these drawings as well.

As we explore different techniques, practicing helps us better understand them. It is through practice that we truly learn each technique. Let's take a look at an easy exercise to practice how we use the pencil to draw lines.

The Exercise

In this exercise, we are practicing drawing fluid, confident lines. We are also practicing our control of the movement of the pencil as we draw.

For this exercise, we will draw a bunch of boxes. As we draw these boxes, we will focus on the lines we draw to make those boxes. We will pay attention to and practice how we draw those lines. 

Fill the sketchbook page with as many boxes as will fit on the page.
Fill the sketchbook page with as many boxes as will fit on the page.

To explore and practice our linework, we want to draw as many boxes as we can. We should fill each page of our sketchbook with boxes until there is no more room for any more. We also should fill several pages of our sketchbook this way to give ourselves enough practice. 

Draw each box small enough to fit several boxes on the page. Depending on the size of the paper, 10 to 20 boxes per page is a good range.

Jun 13, 2021

Figure Drawing: Drawing an Arm

Arm illustration
In this video, we are drawing an arm to see how we can separate elements of the arm drawing to make it easier to draw. Drawing the human figure can be a difficult thing to do. It can be challenging because the figure is a complex form that we are accustomed to seeing. This complexity and familiarity require us to pay attention to many different elements if we want to draw the figure accurately. 

The arm is an excellent example of the problems we might encounter as we draw. Though we regularly see arms, we are, likely, not as familiar with the different structures of the arm as we might think. Nor are those new to figure drawing necessarily familiar with the various elements we need to consider when illustrating the arm. 

To make it easier, we can separate the elements that go into drawing an arm into stages. Then we can focus on them at different times, allowing us to address one part at a time. That is what we do in this demonstration. 


Let's look at how we can separate the different elements of drawing an arm to make the process easier. The list below shows how I separated those elements and the order in which I drew each.

Basic Shapes

Let's look at how we can separate the different elements of drawing an arm to make the process easier. The list below shows how I separated those elements and the order in which I drew each.

The first thing we can do is translate the main parts of the arm into basic shapes. Here, I converted the hand, upper arm, and lower arm into three rectangles.

Draw the parts of the arm as translated into basic shapes.

Drawing these basic shapes allows us to work on the general positioning and portions of those parts. We use these basic shapes to see if we have the right size for each part of the arm relative to each other. We can also use these basic shapes to make sure that the length and width of each part of the arm are correct.

'We can also use these basic shapes to place the parts of the arm correctly. We want to draw them to have the joints connecting accurately. We can also work out the angles that each segment points to get the directions lined up. 

Jun 6, 2021

Drawing Basics: Drawing a Barn

The underlying structure od a barn

If you are just beginning to use the basic or simple form to draw, this step-by-step demonstration provides some tips on how to set up a drawing using simple forms.

This video shows us how we can use one of the simple or basic forms to draw a building. I demonstrate how we can use the box to establish the underlying structure to work out the positioning, proportions, and perspective as we draw a barn. We also take a look at how to set up some drawing guidelines to center or align parts of the barn to keep it appearing symmetrical.

Underlying Structure

This drawing technique looks for the hidden or underlying structures of objects to make drawing these objects easier to do. The underlying structure is the framework of shapes and forms that the complex visual information and details hang on. We can reinterpret each object into simple geometric shapes and forms. We can then use these simple geometric shapes and forms to understand how all the parts of the subject come together within three-dimensional space. 

The simplified forms used to set up this drwing of a dog.
The simple forms used to set up the structure of the drawing of the dog.