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5 super helpful things i wish i knew as a beginner pencil artist

A lot of people with artistic potential feel a powerful fear of failure that they don’t even start learning how to draw. Thus their potential is wasting each day doing nothing with their talent. How to try your hand at drawing and not be discouraged during your learning process? Here is what you need to know.

Tip number 1: Don’t be afraid of making bad art

How to start? Start simple: buy a sketchbook, a pencil and an eraser. Most important thing is: DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THE RESULTS. Just sketch and try to have fun with it! Enjoy the process. Remember that your only competition should be the person that you were yesterday. So don’t compare yourself to others! Because comparision is a thief of joy and self-confidence.

Tip number 2: Sketch as frequently as you can

Always remember to sketch and draw, every day if you can. Same as before, try not to worry about the results. They require a lot of time, practice, patience and self-confidence. Step by step you develop the muscle memories, the passion and the skill. Your journey with drawing is a marathon, not a sprint.

If you need some inspiration and ideas for sketching – click and watch this Getting GREAT At Sketching – Try This One Thing tutorial.

Tip number 3: Never draw from your imagination

I had a friend once, she has told me that drawing from reference is something shameful. She had an opinion that every artist should draw from imagination, otherwise they’ll be considered a cheater. I was confused and started to think that I shouldn’t look at my favorite artist’s artworks for getting inspiration for my own art. I was scared that I’ll be accused of stealing their style. This kind of thinking has blocked me for many months. I thought that I had not enough talent to be capable of drawing beautiful things.

But fortunately I hit on Ethan Becker’s Youtube channel. He is a funny and really entertaining man, but at the same time he helps young artists to find their own way. He also helped me realize that every artwork is inspired by something or someone in this world. No one is original.

Here is his video about finding artistic style.

So now it is the best moment to move on to the last tip which is…

Tip number 4: Learn from the best

Find a couple of artists that inspire you. Watch their tutorials on Youtube, follow them on social media, observe how they work. There are a lot of talented people sharing their drawing techniques and tricks which allow you to improve your drawing skills faster. Here is a list of my favorite pencil artists:

Tip number 5: Buy high quality art supplies

I remember my first attempts at drawing. I had only one pencil, thin paper and a horrible eraser which was making a lot of smudges. So not only I had basically no skills – I had no proper equipment too. It’s no wonder that my first drawings looked really, really bad.

Then I bought my first professional pencil set. After doing only the first sketches I felt a HUGE difference. Drawing with my new pencils was so easy and comfortable that my motivation for creating art increased a lot! Only in that moment I believed I could learn to draw and be good at it.

So, I suggest you to begin with a basic starter set, which includes:

  • graphite pencils – it comes without saying that pencils are crucial part of any artist’s supplies. I highly suggest you to buy a professional drawing pencils which let you to try out a wide variety of lines and shading. Personally I have a Faber Castell set of 12 pencils for a variety of grades: 8B, 7B, 6B, 5B, 4B, 3B, 2B, B, HB, F, H and 2H (“H” stands for hardness and “B” for blackness). I bought it for 23$ and I think it’s definiately worth every cent. This set will allow you to craft fine, detailed illustrations & textured shading like a pro. But if you want to start small you can buy a smaller set for a start, for example this one (price: 13$).
  • kneadable eraser (putty rubber) – it can be shaped by hand for precision erasing. It’s very cheap and in my opinion a must have; (price: 2$)
  • blending stump (tortillon) – it’s made of rolled paper and is used to smudge for shading or blending marks with pencil; (price: 2-3$)
  • sharpener (price: 2-4$)
  • sketchbook – for now I use CANSON Student 90g sketchbook for drawing. It’s not perfect, but good for the start. I’d like my next sketchbook to have thicker paper (at least 120g),
  • some tissues and ear sticks – they are perfect for blending.

I hope that you feel at least a little bit inspired right now! So get your art supplies and keep drawing! 🙂

You could share your thoughts with me by leaving a comment if you like. I’d love to know your experience during your own art journey.

Love, M.

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