How to Draw Even if You'll Never Be Leonardo Da Vinci

Do you have the will, but not the skills to draw? Everyone has to start at the beginning, so don't be put off by the fact you're not great at drawing yet. Even if you're a stick figure artist at present, you can improve given enough time. Further, learning how to draw will also be fun if you shake off tension and allow yourself to play. Here's how to draw, despite not sharing much in common with Leonardo.

Learn to see

Whether you want to draw pictures that stem from real life or your imagination, the first step is to see the subject clearly. The number-one difference between great artists and hobby artists stems from the ability to see accurately.

Top artists' eyes frequently flick from the subject they are drawing to the paper and back. People who are never proficient take a cursory look at what they want to draw and then focus on drawing. That's a big mistake.

Your drawing will improve if you spend a few minutes looking at the subject you want to replicate before putting pencil to paper. If the image is in your head, the same tip applies. Make sure you have a clear vision of what you want to draw so that you can see it with or without your eyes open, then begin. Continue to glance back and forth at the subject every few seconds. 

Look at spaces

Amateur artists often think the solid matter they draw is the most important part of a picture. Well, here's news; the space between an object counts as much as the subject. Unless you correctly portray the areas where nothing seems to exist, your picture will look wrong.

As you glance from the page to the subject, pay attention to the gaps between solid lines. Are they the right size relative to the subject and background? Keep adjusting them until you're satisfied.

Pay attention to angles and shapes

Think of drawing as an exercise in reflecting shapes and angles for a while to hone your attention. What forms can you see when you look at the spaces between solid lines? Hold your pencil in front of your outstretched arm, lining it up with the angles you see and transfer them to the page. Next, soften lines that aren't angular; note they are organic-looking and rounded.

Practice shading

Shading can make all the difference between a flat picture and one that comes to life on the page. Light areas show parts of a picture that are closer to you than darker shaded areas.

Darken areas that are far away and allow more light to show through where the subject projects outward and is nearer to you. The bulging muscles of a horse, for instance, are light. Also, practice making pencil marks. Rather than filling in patches, cross hatch. Doing so lightly will create a different effect to apply pressure as you make lines. Experiment and you'll understand the concept.

Use the tips mentioned to improve your drawing skills. Additionally, note that brilliant artists put in thousands of hours. Your favorite artists may have been born with artistic flair, but their work wasn't great until they practiced and learned how to draw well. If you haven't the time, you can still get great pleasure from drawing as a means of creative expression.