How to learn how to draw freehand well and what it takes to do it yourself

Drawing is a technique that we learn as children and with age it can only improve. Children are the first to be enchanted by a beautiful drawing: they are able to see with eyes different from ours and express their creativity in a way that all different from an adult. It is important to stimulate this expressive language, which is why in the video below the expert Chiara Grecchi teaches us how to support children in their creative path.

How to draw well: techniques to learn

There was a time when you drew with any object you could come across; it happened when you were a child or a young boy. When you are little you really feel the need to convey what goes on in your mind and you don't care much of the shape. It was quite simple in that period, you didn't care to use pencils, colors or simple sticks. However, already in those days you could notice that someone was more gifted than others (maybe you?), because he was able to represent the environment surrounding with an accuracy that did not belong to you.

You may have stopped drawing for a while "because you don't consider yourself good enough or out of laziness, but if you are reading these lines you probably feel the need to go back to that time, where drawing was the main expressive form of your emotions. It is possible to learn To draw well even as adults? Of course, yes, and the good news is that with the right techniques and a little training you can do it alone. Arm yourself with paper, pencil and a lot of patience and start practicing in your free time, where it happens: the beauty of doing things independently is that you can have the freedom to draw what strikes you most and especially when, even if it is. of an unusual object in the middle of the road or a boundless landscape.

So let's find out together which are the right techniques to learn how to draw freehand and which tools can help you.

© GettyImages

Drawing with pencil: the ideal tools to do it

Okay, you're an adult now and it's only fair that you expect a little more of yourself when it comes to putting your art skills to the test. Get started on the right foot by getting some good drawing pencils and a nice sketch pad.

For the first sketches any pencil will suffice, but with practice it will be advisable to purchase the most suitable items; as pencils in general all those denoted with the letters H, HB or B are fine. There is no "univocal sketch pencil, because they change in gradation and hardness according to the subject we want to draw and to our skill. There are pencils on the market. with soft graphite, highly recommended for those who make artistic sketches (2B, 4B, 6B and 8B) and dry charcoals, as well as sanguine pencils. Experiment with all these categories and the best option for you will be the one that will allow you to express yourself better.
If you choose charcoal pencils keep in mind that to draw well they must have a final fixative, but they are ideal for making quick sketches on paper; the more classic pencils, on the other hand, allow you to have a great variety of choices precisely because they are sold in different degrees of hardness and are therefore an excellent option for blending and creating different shades of color.

Once you've found your favorite pencil for drawing, it's time to get yourself a good pad of drawing paper. As with pencils, the rule is that any piece of paper is fine for initial sketches or imprisoning an "imporovvisa idea on paper, but with the consolidation of the techniques that we will show you shortly, it will be necessary to have a special sketch pad. , with reduced weight.
Finally, take some time for yourself, grab a white eraser, a sharpener and your personal drawing course can begin!

© GettyImages

How to learn to draw: start with simple objects / subjects

The strength of pencil drawing or freehand drawing is that you can get inspired wherever you are!
To start drawing with pencil it is useful to start with simple objects; if you start from something complex you run the risk of getting discouraged and getting a result on paper that you don't like.
An apple, a bottle, a candle, a house, trees ... All ideal subjects to become familiar with the art of drawing and your pencil as the first objects to depict.
Animated figures have so many details that are difficult to grasp if you are not yet familiar with the basics of drawing. The simple shapes of the fruit, on the other hand, are perfect for practicing; you can write down the date of realization to see how over time you have managed to insert more and more details.

If you do not like the first sketches, do not abandon the idea immediately; try and try again on the same drawing until you get a result you like. To get an objective evaluation of your work you can ask a friend for an opinion; an external eye helps to improve the technique.
Only after having trained your manual skills can you move on to drawing more complex subjects, such as faces or the human body.

© GettyImages

How to learn to draw: train yourself in the art of observation

It may seem trivial to you as a step in your artistic path, but perhaps it is one of the most important. To learn well how to draw freehand, it is necessary to observe long and carefully what you want to portray. Only with practice will you be able to depict on paper what corresponds to reality.
Perhaps you think you can already do this by recalling a familiar face or an object of common use, but seeing with a keen eye requires training. When we look at something we actually know it is a fleeting glance, unable to grasp the peculiar traits.
Those who draw will first have to dwell on the general forms, but after the primary and simpler ones it is necessary to go into the details because only by recognizing as much as possible is it possible to create a truly realistic drawing.

Learning to draw means changing your gaze on the world because you are interested in what surrounds us in a deeper way. Not surprisingly, drawing well is an "art!"
Obviously, don't expect excellent results from yourself right away; it takes time. The first drawings may not be very beautiful, but by making the right corrections you will see that time will help you in making your sketches as truthful as possible.

© GettyImages

How to learn to draw: transform a sketch into a real drawing

While you are training to see and observe more precisely the reality near you, do not lose sight of your goal: you are learning the art of drawing. Therefore always proceed in stages.
Are you going to represent a house? Do not start immediately by making its different sections in detail or with shading, but rather start with an approximate sketch of the entire house; it will help you to better understand the proportions and to have in your head a more precise idea of ​​the result you want to obtain.
Our suggestion is to start by drawing very light lines: these will be your guidelines that will make any mistakes like a huge door or a very small roof jump to the eye.
The strokes must be fast and represent the skeleton of what your finished drawing will be.
It may be helpful to break down the figures into geometric shapes and add depth only in a later step.

With depth you can also insert shadows and reflections. This is a bit more difficult step, but with experience it will become natural to add these details. Observe well how the sun's rays fall on a specific subject and what plays of light they create; learn how adding or removing some lines can transform your drawing, and let yourself be carried away by the illusions of shading. To draw masterfully, you need to experiment!

See also: Children's crafts: lots of creative ideas to keep them entertained!

© Pinterest Crafts for children: lots of creative ideas to keep them entertained!

Shadows are created by practicing on large shapes, such as bars. Use different pencils to create the detachment of intensity or if you are more skilled press the pencil firmly on the paper until the tones darken. Practice making transitions smoother, which you can do on any notebook or piece of paper.

In this step your sketch develops into a drawing, that is when you have obtained the basic scheme that makes you realize the proportions and shapes, as well as the perspective.
Finally, the plays of light and shadows make it possible to give brightness and intensity to the pencil drawing. You have to give yourself time to study the movements and the shape that the shadows take at different times of the day, in order to reproduce them on paper.

The final touch that gives body to the drawing is the perspective; if you are in the middle of your artistic learning path you can dedicate yourself to drawing a scene with more elements. You give them different dimensions depending on their proximity or distance from your observing eye.

At the risk of being repetitive we want to tell you that there is nothing to do but practice and practice, to have a realistic and detailed drawing in your hands. see things with a clear mind and try to improve it when you have greater peace of mind.

© GettyImages

How to Learn to Draw: Experiment as often as you can

Drawing well is just a skill and as such it is not enough to have a gift to be an aspiring artist. Constant practice is the best way to master basic drawing techniques and this involves practicing whenever you have the opportunity.

As daily exercises you should not force your hand with something long and complex, but basic geometric shapes will suffice. When those elements have no more secrets for you, then you can move on to more three-dimensional designs with curves, spirals and shadows.

And if you need educational support from time to time you can always take refuge in some theory books, which can be purchased both online and in specialized stores. Do not underestimate the kindle formats to learn how to draw, to take wherever you go, light and compact, to be read even under the umbrella.

The anatomy texts are very useful, not those oriented to drawing, but the same ones that would be used in a biology lesson.
Look at the figures of the human body and try to sketch the skeletons you see represented, then move on to the muscles. The human body is extremely rich in detail and studying its composition will help you make your pencil strokes more truthful, even when it comes to expressive faces or bodies in motion.

The same goes for animals; why not also browse some books on animal anatomy?

© GettyImages

How to learn to draw animals

After simple figures, animals are ideal subjects for learning to draw. We draw them since we were children because we are curious about their movements and the actions they do.
But you will remember well that drawing them correctly and above all in a realistic way is not easy at all.
How to manage not to make them look like stylized creatures and that by chance they all look a bit alike?
To do this, it is necessary to understand their anatomy and what distinguishes one species from another.
Here we tell you about the most common animals, which you could reproduce on your pad on a weekend outing.

Draw a dog
Start by choosing the breed you want to represent but above all keep in mind that you have to analyze it with the eyes of the artist. To understand how to draw a dog you have to think about its structure, bone and muscle. The canine neck is always short and the paws are thin, while the body can be more or less slender.These are the essential points from which to draw your dog, starting from the sketches!
Better to try to sketch something in different positions, to better understand its conformation. Initially draw the elements with geometric shapes: the muzzle as a cylinder, the tail as a thin cone, the muscles ... and only at a later time do you get to work with the shadows and the hair.

© GettyImages

Draw a cat
Or how to depict a feline. Yes, because once you learn how to sketch a cat you can apply the same drawing rules to other cats. Here the features you need to replicate are elongated bodies and well developed shoulders; the movement is sinuous, perfect for not being caught before the ambush.
As for the dog, think about what is under the coat and start from there. You will do the details later. A tip? Always start from the back, a bit squat, and then continue with the limbs.

Draw a horse
To be able to draw a horse correctly you need to think carefully about its proportions. Take a specific unit of measurement, such as his head, and base it on that to create the rest of his body. This way you can calculate how long and how tall he is (for example 4 heads in length and 3 heads in height); draw the body like a large bean and thin it near the butt.
The neck is a truncated cone that ends in another conoidal figure (the head) while the legs are each made up of two rather thin cylinders. The muzzle do it apart: it's more complicated than you think!

Draw a rabbit
Get your image of a rabbit out of your head as if it were a stuffed animal, because it's not! Especially when you try to make your drawing stand out on the sheet. The rule for obtaining a realistic rabbit on paper is the same as for making other animals: you have to think about the basic structure and how to divide the little body into geometric elements such as beans, ovals, cones ... what position to portray the subject, whether crouching or moving.
Once this is done, you can trace the profile of your rabbit with a pencil without thinking about the fur or the shadows: you must instead focus on the external lines, on the expression of the rabbit. When the profile is done you can start inserting the fine elements, such as the hair and shading.

how to learn to draw: cat lying in pencil