How To Draw

Drawing tips:

For the realist:

Draw what you see, not what you think. Take this for example:

When you see this:

Draw the shapes you see:

Don’t try to draw the actual shoe. If you draw an actual shoe, you might come up with something off-kilter. The viewing angle may be farther to the side or top (maybe along the lines of this):

 or this:  

To get into the habit of drawing what you see, flip your picture upside down and draw that. Sideways works too. This prevents your mind from trying to draw an image you remember. A person or any other type of subject looks different upside down. Drawing upside down can be used for checking yourself, too. Rotate your photo every once in a while to see the resemblance. Your art, if drawn by what is seen, should resemble the photo at every angle.


This is very helpful when drawing small detail such as fur or feathers. Also  helpful when you need small pricks of white for reflection or highlights. Use the tip of something pointy (not sharp, but pointy). I use the the tip of a mechanical pencil .7mm w/o the lead. Use it to make small indentations or lines where you want the paper to stay bright white.


Faces can be the hardest subject to draw. The only time they are not difficult is when you’re just drawing a face off the top of your head. However, if you are drawing a portrait, you most likely want the finished product to look just like the subject. Faces are very diverse. Often, if you dent get a unique detail accurate, it won’t look quite like the subject. Sure, it will look similar, but it will seem like a look-a-like instead of the actual person.

Copyright 2012. These are all my words. Don’t plagiarize. Don’t copy without my permission.


26 Responses “How To Draw” →
  1. GREAT tips on drawing! EVERYTHING is made up of abstract shapes. Are you familiar with the drawings of Terry Miller? If not, his blog is Pencil Shavings. In my opinion, the best drawings are both loose AND accurate; yours have that. Check out Raymond Ching’s drawings also. I use a nail punch for indenting.

  2. Mousepad! Now THAT is a COPYRIGHT worthy idea! 😉 Brill.

  3. Heh heh… we pick up some interesting “tricks” of our own, though, don’t we?

    • True we do. and from others. Like I had never used q-tips in drawing until a couple nights ago after seeing it mentioned on a blog.

      • How do you keep from smudging? No matter how hard I try to keep it clean, I always have smudges on my paper when I draw with graphite.

        • Try putting a sheet under your hand. I reccommend maybe putting your hand on something like a mouse pad. A mouse pad will definitely not slide around so it won’t smudge.

  4. very good tips!!

  5. I’m going to be posting a step-by-step horse portrait on mine and my sister’s blog (By Hook or By Pen) and I was wondering if it would be alright to quote you on your step about flipping and rotating your drawing as you draw. I will happily provide a link to your blog on the post.
    P.S. My post will be going up tomorrow so please let me know ASAP! 🙂


  6. I’ll have to try that when I do my dog’s portrait. The eyelids are so hard to lighten with just and eraser.

  7. Thanks for the tips! I never thought of the indentation thing. I always leaved the spot blank and then neatened it up with my eraser. Sort of like ‘drawing in light’. I’ll definitely be trying this. Thanks again!

    • the most useful time I’ve ever used indentation was with the eagle’s eye (specifically the lower eyelid)

      • YOu don’t find the indentations sometimes cause odd “reflective” areas on your paper? (I have when I have even accidentally pressed too deep with my pencil and then erases the graphite.)

        • Oh that definitely happens. For example, the lower fluff on my recent cat drawing has some stripes that I need to draw inside of because the fluff isn’t a place for sharply defined hair. now with the black lab, i applied a smooth, slightly dark pencil layer down before indenting, to reduce contrast.

        • good idea!

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  1. Step-By-Step: Horse Portrait | By Hook or By Pen

    […] resemblance. Your art, if drawn by what is seen, should resemble the photo at every angle.” ~ Drawing Tip from artmkc . Some people use a graph, which helps a lot too. Make sure you press your pencil very […]

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