What's the best way to start drawing a picture?

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Answered by: Shaun, An Expert in the Drawing Techniques Category
Many people who are just getting started at drawing are often confused about what to do on paper when they first get started. At first it's hard to tell where to make the first mark on a clean sheet of paper. The most important tools they can have is a common graphite pencil and an eraser. It's also good for for them to know when, they are starting to draw a picture, that it's fine to make mistakes. Also, it's often helpful if they put a small mark where they want the center of their picture to be on the paper.

When they first start drawing a picture, they should use general shapes of what they actually intend to be in the picture. It's important that they don't press down too hard when they're drawing them. The general shapes, along with the center mark will serve as guides. Often some of the general shapes will have to be erased and redrawn after other general shapes have been drawn. That's because the general shapes will indicate the position and balance of what they're trying to draw. It's good for them to lightly draw, erase, and redraw these general shapes till the desired position and balance is reached.

After many of the general shapes of what they want to be in the picture are in the right position, which is often the most satisfying step to complete when they start drawing a picture, it will be time to perfect the shapes that have been drawn. They shoulds erase and redraw the outward lines of these shapes till they best reflect what's intended to be in that area of the picture. the outward lines to the general shape should be perfected first before any detail is drawn inside it. The outward lines will act as guides for the details that need to be drawn inside them.

After one of the general shapes have been perfected, it's best for them to perfect another general shape that is nearest to the one they just did. That way the one that had just been perfected and act as an additional guide for the next one. After two of the general shapes have been perfected that are next to each other, they can more easily draw the details between. them so that the shapes are connected.

They should continue doing that till the outline is complete. It's important to note that even when the outline is nearly completed, they still might have to erase and redraw areas they thought earlier were already completed. That's because mistakes stand out more when there more surrounding detail. The graphite pencil is the best choice for doing outlines because the markes it leaves on the paper can usually be easily erased so long as they weren't made to bold.

Special care needs to be taken when shading in areas with a graphite pencil because too much graphite on the paper can affect the way other mediums, such as colored pencils, work on the paper surface. It's best to do any shading with a graphite pencil very lightly. It's also good for them to look at the paper from different angles and distances as they are drawing the outline.

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