Have you always loved drawing, for as long as you can remember?
Thousands of people across Britain share this passion. Drawing is meditative and stimulates your creative side, sparking your imagination.
Maybe it’s time to finally take those drawing lessons to learn drawing basics or improve your painting technique.
But how can you learn to draw, and with whom?
Whether you are taking lessons in an art studio, doing beginner week-end courses or paying an art tutor – the possibilities are almost endless. But not all of them suited to everybody. You need to choose the type of art class adapted to your needs – and for that you need to know the difference between them.
Choosing the right art teacher, making rapid progress, buying the right drawing supplies – here are some tips to help you along.
Deciding to learn to draw is one thing, but finding the perfect art teacher is another.
You often enjoy a subject more or less depending on the type of teacher you have. Whether it’s for maths, French lessons or drawing classes – it’s all the same.
But what makes a good drawing professor and how do you find one?
A good drawing tutor is first and foremost one who is a good fit for you. In other words, if you are interested in drawing manga, there’s no use in taking a teacher specialising in realistic painting techniques.
Though many art teachers are competent in several mediums, they will have a greater affinity for certain techniques (graphite, sanguine, charcoal, crayons, oil painting, watercolours etc.). Be sure to choose your drawing professor not only based on medium, but on technique as well (depending on whether you want to learn to draw comics, still life, portraiture…)
If you want to improve, it’s important to receive professional criticism so that you know what to work on and how to fine-tune your artistic instincts. This means teachers who know how to criticise without discouraging or insulting their students.
The Superprof platform matches drawing and painting enthusiasts with people wanting to learn the basics.
You can look at each individual profile and choose the ideal drawing teacher for your needs. Choosing a private tutor also means staying in control of your timetable and budget.
One profile is especially common among our art tutors – the art student.
Students at an art school often give lessons during their studies to help support themselves financially or gain experience for their later professional life.
Whether they are studying at a school of Fine Arts, design or architecture – art students have solid base in both theory and practice and can pass it on easily.
To find art school students or any other professional drawing teacher, don’t hesitate to post on open forums, put up notices in shop windows or corkboards or simply head over to Superprof.
Art supplies are the most important element when learning to draw. And with a little bit of industry, basic supplies shouldn’t cost you more than a dozen pounds.
A lot of art teachers have a store of supplies for beginner students, but you should still buy your own pencil, kneaded eraser, pencil sharpener and ruler.
Your very first art lessons will probably cover line drawing. You first need to know how to draw realistically on a white piece of paper, using the various forms of perspective and foreshortening but also learning how light and shadow work.
Basic drawings materials are simple and cheap: a pencil, paper and an eraser. Photo by SSAVE w/ over 8 MILLION views THX on Visualhunt.com
For that, a simple HB pencil is ideal. It’s the perfect compromise between a soft (B) and hard (H) lead.
You will also need an eraser to eradicate your mistakes. A kneaded eraser is perfect for the task, allowing you to either dim your lines or erase them completely, depending on your needs.
Once you have a firm grasp of the different mediums, you will know what art supplies you should invest in. You can’t buy everything you need for all the drawing techniques out there, and even once you choose which ones to focus on, getting just the right palette of supplies for your personal style will take time.
As you progress in your art lessons, you will get a feel for the supplies you need. Each technique has its own range of specific supplies (acrylic paints, charcoal sticks or pencils, palettes, brushes, canvas…) For example, if you decide to continue drawing in pencil, you will probably want to invest in the whole range of graphite strengths from 9H to 9B.
To avoid having to buy new supplies too often, you need to take care of them properly. Pouches are perfect for your finished drawings and virgin paper. A pencil case will protect your pencils. Some specialised items let you put away a whole range of tools as you progress in various techniques such as acrylic painting or pen and ink.
And don’t forget to clean your brushes and palettes after every use. They can quickly become unusable if you don’t rinse them correctly (with turpentine, for example, so that the bristles don’t stick together.)
Whether in a department store, specialised art supplies shop or on the Internet, you are sure to find the right art supplies for your needs.
Learning to draw can be done with drawing lessons online behind the computer screen or with the help of an art teacher. Or you can sign up at an art studio.
Art studios and art schools offer regular classes and a curriculum that progresses throughout the length of the course. Each lesson builds upon the one before it while accredited teachers help you improve.
You can find art studios in almost every city. Prices vary depending on location and what art techniques they teach. Prices range from £4 a drawing session to £160 for a ten-lesson course.
If you don’t have time to attend art courses every week, holiday drawing classes might be the right fit for you.
They cost around £300-500 for a week and offer the perfect chance for intensive drawing sessions over the course of several days, allowing you to make quick progress in very little time. It is also a great way to discover new drawing mediums and techniques before committing yourself to them. You can take summer drawing courses on almost every subject, from sketching, still life, portrait drawing, drawing comics…
You don’t need to draw money to pay for art classes. Private drawing lessons can be very affordable. Photo by Internet Archive Book Images on Visualhunt
But to save on drawing lessons or avoid being stuck with a fixed weekly appointment, you can learn drawing basics in private drawing classes.
On Superprof, “Arts and Hobbies” lessons are among the least expensive. On average, you will pay:
You can also reduce the cost of art lessons by taking advantage of discounts by some of our professors. Many offer the first hour for free – this lets you get an idea of what drawing classes are like but also see if the teacher is right for you.
Some also offer a discount if you book more than 10 lessons with them. And trust me, it’s going to take more than 10 lessons to master the basics of drawing.
Don’t forget to factor in the price of your drawing materials (pencil, etui, kneadable eraser…)
The next drawing class sometimes seems so far away. So what can you do to train and improve between two art lessons?
There are a lot of exercises you can do to help improve the motor skills and mental capacities useful for drawing.
Landscape or scene artists often draw scenes that only last a few minutes. They have to remember as many details as possible to put them down on paper later.
For this as for anything, practice makes perfect. Go out and draw people on the street. This will teach you to sharpen your gaze and work your memory.
Draw whenever you can. Take advantage of fine weather to sketch the shrubs and flowers in a park or passer-by on your street. Constant doodling also has health benefits, but mostly it is how a good artist trains his eye and learns from his errors.
Go outside and sketch to learn to draw scenes and people. Photo by DS Williams on Visualhunt
Concentration and diligence are also essential qualities for making progress in drawing. You need to draw regularly and tune out everyday worries in order to concentrate on the drawing before you.
And if you vary your drawing techniques, you will learn new methods of dealing with colour and tone. Though you might feel comfortable with charcoal or pastel, learning something new can help you improve your core techniques as well. There are so many drawing mediums and techniques out there, and every one of them has something to teach you.
If you can, go to museums to discover the variety of paintings and styles out there. It will inspire you and open your mind to new drawing techniques. Or make a family outing of it – museums are good for everyone.
Visiting art museums can give you a new perspective on your own art and help improve your drawing.Photo by -Jeffrey- on Visual hunt
Or why not work on your own exhibition? The critiques it will generate will help you improve.