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Art & Crafts : Drawing Basics: Lessons & Tutorials for Beginners

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Drawing Basics: Lessons & Tutorials for Beginners

A dozen free resources to learn the fine art of drawing from professional art teachers.

By Chris Dunmire | Updated 4/3/16

If you are new to drawing or want to improve your skills, you'll be happy to know that this long-time art can be done with a variety of tools and mediums, from old-school paper to iPhone apps.

Branch out!Go hands-on drawing with pencil, color pencils, charcoal, or pen and ink on paper. Or, if digital canvas is your thing, erase pixel and vector renderings on-screen using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or your favorite app with or without a Wacom tablet or drawing stylus.

No matter your medium or mode, the foundations of art and drawing are a study in itself, with styles ranging from representational and abstract rendering, to sketching, illustration, cartooning, and caricature. Don't be afraid to branch out and experiment!

Many students learn how to draw by instruction through classes, teachers, books, and videos accompanied by lots of practice! (Even self-taught artists practice what they learn over and over.)

Want to try your hand at drawing? Following are over a dozen places online, many by professional art teachers, offering free drawing lessons, videos, tutorials, and more with descriptions of what they offer and how they can help you develop your artistic mind and drawing skills.

Free Drawing Lessons Online

Squeaky ChalkJoy Sikorski's Free Drawing Lessons
It's not that hard to learn how to draw! Let Joy Sikorski show you how through simple lessons from her books: Squeaky Chalk and How to Draw a Clam, both books featured in the Modern Museum of Art (MOM).

John Morfis' HelloArtsy.com
Hello Artsy is a free source of quality drawing and painting instruction. With an emphasis on art-making logic, not guesswork, the tutorials found on this site are perfect for both beginners and advanced artists. From basic pencil shading to advanced oil painting techniques you’ll learn valuable skills from professional artist John Morfis.

The Scribbles Institute
The Scribbles Institute is dedicated to promoting the importance of drawing in culture and society. Their products and services help kids and adults learn drawing skills for work, school, and enjoyment. The site includes a number of how-to articles and tutorials related to drawing and creativity, plus video snippets from their Draw to Learn program.

Artgraphica: Art Lessons
Free and commercial art lessons and demonstrations dedicated to traditional arts. Features tutorials and art instructions for use in all mediums — graphite, painting, oils, watercolour, pastel, ink, charcoal, acrylics from sketching to finished artworks, and portrait drawing.

Duey's Drawing Tutorials
Features a variety of how-to draw tutorials and tips including: face drawing, pastel painting, still life, circulism technique, and negative drawing.

Artyfactory: Art and Design Workshop
An art education resource you can use to teach yourself art and design by following simple step-by-step instructions featured in their gallery.

The Draw Squad
A site based on the book by Mark Kistler featuring online drawing lessons. Learn the seven keywords of drawing and concepts that will help you to draw in 3D.

Portrait Artist
A portrait art tutorial site with lessons on sketching and drawing faces, anatomy, and people; digital art; and an overview of art and drawing techniques.

Toad Hollow Studio
Drawing lessons and how-to articles about drawing technique. All you need is a pencil and paper to follow along with the site's free online drawing lesson.

Drawing Coach
Free step-by-step drawing guides show you how to draw the fun and easy way! Learn how to improve your technique in no time with the help of an online drawing coach. Great resource for artists interested in cartoons, illustration, painting, and portrait.

Try an Exercise: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
Site of Dr. Betty Edwards, author of "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" which 'has enabled millions of people around the world to learn to draw.' Covers information about the theory in the book and has online exercises 'that demonstrate its effectiveness.

Drawing and Sketching at About.com
A solid drawing resource that includes step-by-step drawing lessons, tips and ideas, kids drawing, articles, tutorials, resources and community. Topics include graphite and colored pencils, pen and ink, pastel, charcoal, printmaking, contemporary art, realism, cartoon / animation, anime / manga, nature, sci-fi / fantasy, horse / western, and figure / portrait.

Marvin Barte's Teaching Drawing Essays
Essays by Marvin Bartel with good tips and advice for teaching children how to draw. Discusses observational drawing, relating work to other artists, and what to do with your child's completed work. Essays include: How to Teach Drawing to Children and Art Rituals in the Classroom.

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