Learn how to draw anything in 36 hours
Is it possible for someone to learn how to draw anything in 36 hours? Have you ever noticed that when a conversation about drawing starts, most people are quick to respond with the infamous
“I can’t draw to save my life”
“I can draw a stick figure and an emoji! That’s about it.”
Drawing is difficult. But so is learning how to do anything. So the question here is. Can someone really learn how to draw in 36 hours? Perhaps if we were to move away from all the complex things that surround us then we might begin to see the world in a simpler way.
Giving us a better chance at succeeding to learn how to draw.
This short course concept is essentially made up of a series of drawing examples from my research and learning process. Don’t limit yourself to this, join some online groups, and chat forums. Find people who have an art style that you would like to learn. It’s a good way to discover art in general while you are learning.
So! just what is required
to learn how to draw anything in 36 hours?
Without neglecting the theoretical or conceptual importance of making art. The physical act of learning how to draw comes down to understanding a few very simple techniques and principles, then applying them to a practical context.
The following examples will focus on the nuts and bolts of how to construct a drawing rather than copying one. This is done by identifying and simplifying shapes, patterns, and lines to deconstruct complex information into digestible portions. Making it much easier for anyone to learn how to draw.
What will be the learning outcomes of this drawing tutorial?
Working independently is not easy. But learning how to draw is achievable. I am sure you can set aside 36 hrs of your time over the next 6 weeks. You will be amazed at the progress that you can make by following these guidelines of keeping things simple.
No matter what medium or format you are using, the fundamental rules of drawing and composition remain the same. Understanding and practicing these rules will help you progress instantly.
Learning how to draw anything in 36 hours may seem like an impossible task at this stage. Don’t panic, you can easily stick to this plan by breaking up your work sessions into several weeks or even months.
Obviously the closer together your drawing sessions are the quicker you will learn and remember the techniques. In any case, this will allow you sufficient time to focus 1hr per day or 2 hrs per day several days per week.
Learning about the fundamental rules of how to draw will challenge & most likely frustrate you.
The great thing about open learning is that you are free to decide what subject matter you want to use during the workshop. So to keep things interesting, draw things you like to encourage you to keep learning.
This workshop will challenge your observational drawing skills and techniques. The better we get at observing the world around us the easier it becomes to see things in a new way. The more you learn about art the more you can enjoy your self and appreciate the art of others.
To help me illustrate some of these drawing concepts, I will focus mainly on the fundamental shapes.
To finish off I am going to demonstrate how to establish a successful approach to learning how to draw anything you want.
You can also follow along with me.
And you don’t have to draw a clothes peg. Just find a subject or object that you would like to learn how to draw and use that.
For the majority of this tutorial, the only materials that you will really need are paper, pencils and a few markers. A stack of A4 or A3 printer paper will do just fine.
You can be as creative as you like with the mediums and materials you choose to use. Keep this learning process experimental and try to explore a variety of possibilities as you go.
Breaking away from the blank sheet of paper. Draw a scribble
In the same way that you might consider a warm-up before playing a sport, similar rules apply for drawing. It is important to loosen up your neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, and fingers before you start drawing.
If this surprises you then just think of drawing as physical activity. Learning how to draw is a practical process and without getting involved, nothing will happen.
One of the hardest aspects of learning how to draw is actually learning how to let go.
My favorite warm technique is to get a large blank page, close my eyes, and draw freely all over the page for a few minutes.
It is important to try and keep your lines flowing all the time. Think of this as wandering around without any care. Just let your pencil mark the actions you are doing.
It takes a bit of courage to just let go and not worry. So if you are feeling blocked by this, don’t stress. Have a go and just enjoy the process. It gets easier.
Here are two examples
Take a few sheets of paper and try this out for yourself.
Why not start a daily doodle chart to help you get through this tutorial.
Practice drawing all of the main basic shapes required for drawing.
If you want to progress in drawing then do take the time to try all of these drawing examples. Feel free to interpret them in your unique way.
Being confident to draw these basic shapes is the first step in the right direction if you are serious about learning how to draw anything.
Without a clear understanding of these shapes, you will most likely remain highly dependant on references and learning how to draw will be slow and frustrating.
So don’t be too concerned with the accuracy and detail of your work at this stage. It is normal to make mistakes in drawing and necessary in order to learn.
Focus on achieving a consistent result by drawing these shapes in repetition so that you become familiar with them.
The reason for this is to create muscle memory for each of these shapes as they will continuously be used throughout all your drawing processes.
Having a decent understanding of volume, dimension, and depth is what will unlock your potential to learn how to draw anything you want to.
Repeat these exercises as many times as you need to until you are comfortable to draw each one them accurately without a reference.
A few pages per shape is a good start.
Drawing a line
The first step to learning how to draw anything that you want is to learn how to draw a proper line. Line accuracy is especially important when drawing in perspective.
It also helps to build your confidence to use a pencil. Try drawing lines of various lengths. Draw vertical and horizontal lines.
Draw squares in proportion to each other. Try drawing them from different angles and rotations. Fill up a few A4 sheets of paper to practice them.
Repeat the same process as you have done for the squares. Each time you draw a shape try to see how you can make changes in the position of you pencil or even your hand and arm. It is important to be comfortable and relaxed when you draw.
Triangles are a great way to start practicing diagonal lines and proportions. Draw a variety of sizes and rotations so that you become familiar with drawing lines in multiple directions.
Drawing ellipses and ovals
Ellipses and ovals are not easy to draw and often pose the biggest problems for artists. Draw as many of these shapes as you can. try to alternate the widths of the ellipses. Think about wheels, bowls, cups, and plates as you draw these shapes.
Drawing the C & S curves
The C curve and S curves are essential to understanding how to create rhythm in your drawings. Practicing them on a regular basis is a good idea to keep your drawings fluid and energetic.
Draw in perspective
One point and two-point perspectives are essential to understanding how to draw anything. Perspective is what will bring your drawings to life on the page. When you think in perspective you automatically create a sense of space and volume in your drawing. Practice drawing objects in perspective from a variety of angles. This will give you the confidence to explore and experiment with more creativity.
Drawing 2 Dimensional shapes
For this exercise, all you will need is a hand full of paper and a pencil. First, redraw the flat shapes to establish a basic proportion. Then proceed to draw each shape individually.
Take the time to draw all the shapes at least 10 times so that you can see the progress with each variation as you progress through this tutorial.
It is important for these tutorials that you keep all of your drawings. This will allow you to track your progress. So if you do make a mistake just move to the next drawing and carry on.
The Cube, pyramid, sphere, and cylinder can be found in references all around you. There is a high probability that the item you have chosen to draw will have either one or several of these basic shapes.
Here are a few examples to get you on the right track.
Adding texture, light, and style to your drawing.
Using the same techniques you can also refer to your own objects, shapes or items to draw. In fact, I encourage you to do so.
If you are feeling confident then try adding some shading and a light source to a few of the basic shapes to get a good idea of how this technique works.
Don’t worry too much about the details for now. The important thing here is to keep your drawings simple.
Depending on your interests, start to think about a subject that you would like to draw. Think about the various shapes that you might need to be able to draw what you have always dreamed of.
Here are a few examples.
Adding light and shade to shapes.
Now let’s look at adding volume to a drawing with contour lines and hatching
Drawing with contour lines is a great way to understand how the planes of an object are formed. Using lines to follow the surface definition of an object, the viewer is able to define what the shapes are meant to represent as well as which way they are facing.
Here are a few examples I have done using some practical shapes and forms. Practice these examples for yourself as they will serve you well in the future.
You can also try this with any kind of shape. Have a go at your own design and see what you can come up with.
Drawing anything from observation
Drawing from observation is a broad term used in the art industry to describe a drawing that has been produced either from a still life installation, a photo image, or in a live context. The word observation simply suggests that the artist is using a source of reference or inspiration to create art.
For this exercise, choose a subject, or object, preferably a nonliving subject. Avoid drawing your pets for example. But don’t worry we will get to them later on.
For now try to stick with basic items that you can find around the house, garage, or in your garden. Something that you are able to study for the duration of the tutorial.
Choose something that you are genuinely interested in so that this process is enjoyable. Try to find something that has an interesting shape with a good dimensional form. It will make your learning process more enjoyable.
If you are unsure of what you want to draw than start with one item and see how you go. For the purpose of this tutorial, I was unsure about the items so I tried a few samples and decided to settle with a clothes peg and a skateboard.
Have you chosen your subject yet?
Keep your drawings simple and straight to the point. Focusing only on big main shapes and creating a sense of volume.
Draw your subject several times from various different angles so that you become familiar with the shapes and proportions. Observational drawing is a great way to sharpen your eye-hand coordination skills.
Remember to draw what you see, not what you think you see.
Now for the fun and challenging part. Here is a step by step process of how I would approach learning how to draw something for the first time. I want to point out that this tutorial does not cover finished art.
The focus here is mainly on the tools and techniques to achieve a result that you can then build on and fine-tune to your liking. Obviously the more time you spend on a drawing the better the final product will be.
We will start with a Peg.
Seeing objects from different angles increases awareness of space and volume.
Let’s apply the same method for a skateboard.
Finish up with a final drawing that you can be proud of.
Learn how to draw people & faces
Drawing people & faces is no different from learning how to draw other random objects. Every drawing process requires you to follow a few simple steps.
Now that you have completed your first 36 hours you will realize the importance of these steps. They are the building blocks that enable you to establish basic proportions and guides before working on details and finishes.
This tutorial will skim through the overall basics of understanding how to draw people and faces using simple shapes such as circles, spheres, triangles, and blocks.
Here are a few examples of shapes and forms that I would recommend practicing if you want to learn how to draw people and portraits.
Thankfully it doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. Let’s discover them together and move one step closer to making some great art.
Join me here again soon for another how to draw tutorial where I will show you simple ways to understand the head proportions, basic anatomy, and gesture drawing
Thinking in a contemporary way will allow you to investigate traditional methods while adapting them to today’s visual context.
You don’t have to limit yourself to just drawing.
The possibility of experimenting with abstract ideas and techniques. Use this time to question what you enjoy about art as well as what styles that inspire you. Learn how to be curious and inquisitive with your approach to being creative.
Discover new ways of painting or mark-making and get to know some of the key techniques that will make your art look professional.
You don’t have to commit to any long term contracts. Instead, follow the tutorials and examples at your own pace. The more you practice the better you will get.
How long will it take for you to grasp the fundamentals of drawing?
For beginners, learning about drawing fundamentals is a process that may seem impossible at first glance. Condensing that 36 hours of art time represents a lot of information to digest in one go.
So it is not uncommon for people to occasionally go back and refresh on previous topics as they progress. As long as you remain active in practicing and learning you should see progress start to evolve within weeks and even days.
Sometimes it is just easier to put a time frame to a process in order to stick to a committed plan.
The reason for this 36-hour program is to keep it short enough for anyone to achieve results as well as long enough for people to decide if art is truly something that they would like to pursue. All this without the pressure of committing to a long drawn experience.
If you are thinking of clearing your calendar for some art lessons then reach out to me with your details and I will be happy to see how I can help.
Artist David Lagesse
If you like the idea of learning how to draw in 36 hours. You might also be interested in understanding how to turn your art into a business.
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It has been a pleasure sharing this information with you. We are all on our own drawing journey. But we can still share our experiences and feel connected to a drawing community.