Learn how to draw portraits, comic books, & more with this training

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/20/learn-how-to-draw-portraits-c.html


1 Like

Randall Munroe has definitively shown me that I cannot handle even stick figure drawing well.




not sure anyone seeking drawing instructions is actually reading this comment thread, but the key to it all is training your hand to mark what your eye sees.
you can do this. the traditional exercise that both works and is totally free is to set up a subject and to draw it both without picking the pencil off the paper, and without looking at the paper. set up a screen if you can’t help cheating. tune out, go slow, and anywhere your eye goes, concentrate on moving the pencil along the paper.
these are exercises. they will totally suck, particularly at first. but if you stick with it, they will get more coherent. set aside an hour to just concentrate and zone-in each time. unlocking that challenge will allow you to draw line drawings (outlines) more-and-more better when you actually look at the paper for real drawings.

part 2 is learning to draw with light and shadow. real life does not have lines around everything; everything you see is just the transition between light and dark. learn to recognize that with your eye and then your hand (already trained to follow your eye) can fill in tone on the paper.

try this: get a large sheet of paper. make some large folds, bend it funny, tape any interesting forms in place. do some crumpling. whatever. make it into an interesting object to look at. shine an adjustable lamp at it until the shadows and hilights look cool.

you’re making a random shape so that your brain is not saying to your hand : this is a person, it has a head, 2 arms and 2 legs so your problem-solving brain draws a stick figure because that’s the way you already know how to draw a person. you need to unlearn all that.

now, to draw it, take a charcoal stick and make broad strokes across the paper you’re drawing on until it’s medium grey. block in the overall rough shape lightly in outline (this can change: work lightly). now, as your eye falls across the shape, any part that is darker, shade in. any part lighter, erase.
tune out and do this for several hours.

there. that’s drawing 101 at any University.


Thank you for your TED talk. Would read again.


next, you learn colors which is alchemy, really, but it works. basically, the human mind perceives colors in harmony and also in contrast with each other so you learn how it works (google color theory) and exploit that.

also, I edited in a paragraph above about random forms since you replied so check it .


A lot cheaper than $1496 is also Betty Edwards’ book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, which is really not as esoteric as it sounds, and a primer for sight-sizing, understanding form and negative space, and various drawing techniques.


Was required reading in art school.

1 Like

Another well respected book is Kimon Nicolaides “The Natural Way to Draw”.

One I like is “Drawing: Seeing and Observation” by Ian Simpson. I have no idea if that one’s well known or well liked - just a find from the local library, but a good find.

Disclaimer: few people have admired my drawing






Well, at least one person seeking drawing instruction read this, so… have a :heart:


my high-school art teacher taught us from that text. I never read the book but she quoted it in class and gave us handouts, and then we would do the exercises, so yes, would recommend.


It’s pretty damn dishonest saying that the bundle is pay what you want, when in actual fact 8 out of 9 courses are locked if you pay less than the average. A single course can in no way be described as a bundle. Not saying paying the average isn’t great value, but deliberately misleading customers is still deliberately misleading customers.


Finally. Now i can draw doug.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.