I want to begin with drawing but I have literally no experience. I wonder if there are high quality video tutorials, like www.digitaltutors.com just for drawing?

I want to start with hard surface objects.

Also would you recommend me to begin with a pencil or with a tablet?

  • 2
    You don't really need any tutorials. Just pick up whatever is comfortable and try and draw something you see. Keep doing that and you'll continue to get better.
    – Scott
    Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 20:24

5 Answers 5


Get a nature journal and spend a few weeks making a go at it. Small things are good so you can focus on the basics of observation and not get overwhelmed by the subject. You'll make lots of mistakes but don't criticize too early. Just draw. A lot. And draw everything you see.

Any sketchbook that seems convenient will work. I like Moleskine's Cahier books for their portability and durability. I keep my drawing kit close at hand but I also have a wallet with a mini sketch area, just in case.

Once you get your feet wet, pick up some drawing books and study the principals while you work through the exercises. These are my faves:

Those two will get you a long way toward understanding how to really see.

  • 1
    It is important for a new artist to enjoy the experience, but even more important to fail to see anything they produce as "mistakes" at all. Mistakes are a failure of the product to live up to one's hopes and expectations, so be as loose as possible with what you want.
    – horatio
    Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 22:28
  • Regarding Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, which edition would you recommend? There seems to be varying reviews on which edition is best (e.g. "The chapter on color is missing from the definitive 4th edition, etc.").
    – user69858
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 14:40
  • @imlouisrussell couldn't tell you. My edition is probably 20 yrs old now. Just go by the reviews. Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 14:46
  • @plainclothes Thank you for your time. It seems the '89 edition is the best bet based on some additional research.
    – user69858
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 14:51

Definitely start with just a pencil and drawing pad. You don't want to spend money on an expensive tablet just to find out you don't like it and won't stick with it.

That said, it depends on what your goals are, but drawing from life is the best way to understand whatever it is your trying to draw. If you just want to get better at drawing objects in perspective there's not any better way than just setting objects out on a table and sketching them. Photo reference works too, but you lose the benefit of seeing an object from any angle right in front of you.

This site has a lot of information on art in general. It's geared toward painting, but he stresses drawing as a base so you may find a lot of this stuff useful.


Here's another tutorial site. He has a good series on drawing people. http://www.proko.com/

Other than that, search youtube. There's tons of people putting instructional videos up out there. And keep drawing.

  • I agree that photo reference is different than the in-person approach, but the ability to see an object from all angles is actually an impediment to a new artist. The subtle movement of your eye position as you turn your head and slouch is a direct source measurement error (as is taking comparative measurements with one's pencil but not consistently holding the pencil at the same distance from one's eye)
    – horatio
    Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 22:26

I have a graphic and product design studio, for me what i can say is that the best you can do is practicing every single day. Time you spend doing things is when you gain your skills, buy a bunch of pencils and a paper block, and follow this guy here: http://www.youtube.com/user/sketchadaydotcom/videos there are some great videos about how to draw basic shapes, use of colors, markers etc...

I this is a solid start, when you are happy of your pencils results, buy a tablet.


I haven't used any video tutorials for drawing, but there are a lot of good texts such as those by Andrew Loomis. And then there's always taking a figure drawing class at the local community college.

However, one video tutorial series I've been considering purchasing is The Structure of Man HD by Riven Phoenix. He also has a lot of other video series (most have been updated for HD, I think), such as gesture drawing, The Structure of Perspective, etc. Supposedly these drawing systems are used by institutions like Lucas Film, so there must be something to them.

But while such drawing systems may be of great help, it ultimately comes down to hands-on practice to develop the fine muscle reflex/coordination etc. to make the lines on paper. I.e. you can watch others draw a million masterpieces, but still have no clue how to shade properly because you haven't taken up the practice to commit these physical techniques to muscle memory.

So probably more effective than video tutorials or a book is finding a subject you really enjoy drawing, and just practicing it every chance you get. Most professional artists tend to go this route and develop their own techniques and systems based on their own experience and preference.

As far as the tablet vs. pencil question, I have a rather unpopular opinion. I think anyone serious about visual arts (either as a hobby or career) should go out and pick up a $70 Wacom Bamboo or $150~250 Intuos4/5 as soon as possible. Get one used if you have to, get a student discount, split one with a friend/colleague, or get your employer to buy one for you, but if you want to be an artist in the modern world, you should have a tablet.

In this day and age, digital is the dominant format for visual art. It's the preferred medium for storage, professional production, as well as publication/distribution. If it's anything other than a doodle you don't want anyone else to see, then you're just gonna end up digitizing it anyway. So why not just draw it digitally in the first place rather than doing a pencil sketch, then inking it, then scanning it, then "cleaning it up" which usually means re-drawing it over the scanned image.

Pencil and paper still have their merits, but if you have both options, then you're likely to practice more when the mood strikes you. There's no wasted paper, there's no cleanup, and if you're a bad artist like me, then you can hit the undo button (which I've conveniently keyed to one of my tablet's express keys) as many times as you want without worrying about leaving smudges or wearing down the paper.

In addition to being an indispensable tool for any professional artist and actually being cheaper in the long run than having to buy years of physical art supplies, drawing on a screen-less tablet like a Bamboo or Intuos actually takes a lot of practice to get used to in and of itself. It's completely different from drawing on paper, so the sooner you pick one up and begin practicing on it, the sooner you'll get a feel for it and the better off you'll be. Otherwise, it's like having to learn how to draw twice.

Of course there is a down side. If you don't actually stick with drawing, you could end up with a somewhat expensive paperweight. Full disclosure: I own a $200 set of golf clubs that I never use, as well as a $600 guitar that's just been gathering dust for years. Luckily, tablets don't seem to depreciate much (trust me, I've tried to bargain hunt for used tablets on eBay, and even 4-5-year-old tablets sell for about 80% of their original retail cost).


Lynda have lots of tutorials on illustrations check the list of Illustrator tutorials on the link below


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