How to start drawing – guide to beginners

One of most often asked question by beginners is “How to start”?
In this article, I will try to answer your question. You will find here pieces of information on how to prepare mentally for drawing, how to come up with interesting ideas and how to motivate yourself to sit a few hours at your desk. Oh, and of course, what accessories will be the best for starters!

So… How to learn to draw? It’s really easy, follow the steps below, and make them a habit!

Give yourself a time

Let’s be honest – unless you’re a born genius, drawing lessons will probably take you a few long months. And on the way, many times you will have a huge desire to quit everything and take care of something else, because it does not go the way you want. However, if you feel that drawing is something for you, try to find pleasure in learning, not just in effects. The point is not to lose your enthusiasm.

Enjoy the process

It’s quite hard to finish something if you don’t really enjoy doing it. The secret of many great artists is that they really enjoy the drawing process – and the whole process of creating an art is more entertaining for them than results.
Turn the pencil in your hands, feel how cold it is, smell it (it smells beautifully with wood). Crumble it well, and while drawing carefully watch the line that comes out from under the stylus.

Find your favorite topic

To make drawing learning fun, try to find a theme for drawing, which you will be crazy about. These may be, for example, characters from games, illustrations to favorite books,  portraits of favorite actors. Try to illustrate your dreams.

Watch the work of others

When we look at beautifully made drawings, we get more willing to create something. Look for inspiring artists, find your favorite painter and try to answer the question: “Why do I like their paintings the most?” Follow artistic accounts on Instagram to have a new dose of inspiration every day, visit Artstation and other art platforms.

Collect inspirations!

Carry a notebook or a sketchpad with you. When something interest you, try to draw it. It does not have to be nice! You can redraw it later in the house cleanly. If you have a camera and feel like wearing it – do it. Or make an appointment with someone for an amateur photo session. Create a special folder in which you’ll be able to collect photos and other inspirations.

Take artistic challenges

Try, for example, to draw something with the cheapest pencils you can find in Tesco or create a drawing using only a pen. Or maybe you will be tempted to “Draw all year”, the challenge of creating one drawing every day?  Such challenges motivate and suggest interesting ideas.

How to motivate yourself?

I heard such an opinion that if something needs to be specially motivated, it means that it should not be our hobby. I do not quite agree with this. I like to draw and write a blog, but I’m often too tired to take care of it. And probably many of you have the same. So, how to mobilize to draw?

Have a tidy desk!

The idea is that there should always be a place for a sheet of paper and pencils on the desk. When you return from school or work or college, probably the vision of cleaning the desk before drawing will effectively discourage you from drawing. Ideally, it would be a separate desk to work at the computer and separate for creative work, but I know it is often not possible. If you have laptops, do not keep them permanently on the counter. If stationary – try to at least keep the keyboard.

Hold a stack of paper or a sketchbook and your favorite drawing accessories on your desk

When we have something at hand, it’s much easier to reach for it. Try to get rid of guilt that you are wasting paper. If you want to scrabble – do it! Maybe by accident, you will sketch something that later turns out to be an interesting topic for drawing.

What accessories to start with?

The ones that you like are the best!

Test different techniques and choose the one that appeals to you the most. The most important thing is that drawing makes me happy.


At the beginning, I especially recommend pencils. If you’re just starting out, then HB, 3B, 5B and 8B are enough. Later, as your drawings become more and more detailed, and you start to feel the difference in the hardness of the pencils, you can try others pencil with different hardness. Read “Different types of pencils” to learn more about pencils.

Erasers are necessary to remove any mistakes. Watch out to have you erasers clean, otherwise, you can accidentally leave a dirty smudge on your drawing, which is hard to remove. I usually have prepared an additional paper, where I rub away the dirt from my eraser.

Don’t spend lots of money on sketchbooks – an ordinary paper is completely sufficient. You can even use a ruled notebook. Some people tend to focus too much on creating “the perfect drawing” in their brand new sketchbook, and when the drawing is not good enough (in their opinion), they end up being frustrated, and start to procrastinate, waiting for the perfect time to create an “acceptable” drawing in their sketchbook (…that’s me). That’s why I don’t recommend purchasing any expensive sketchbooks for beginners.

That are most basic steps that will help you to start drawing like a pro – the whole secret is to make these steps a habit. And remember – “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great!”.

keep drawing from STUDIO SHELTER on Vimeo.

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