Drawing is the oldest and simplest form of art. Drawing images can be used to express feelings, done for the enjoyment of the activity, or to share ideas with others. There are no boundaries on methods used to create your drawing so you are free to use the medium that suits you best. Using pencil, charcoal, ink or pastels, you can draw in line or tone or use both. Line drawings are made with lines only, while tone uses shading and differing degrees of light and dark.

Using art to communicate through drawn lines is a talent that anyone can use with minimal effort. What you find here will only be a small fraction of the enormous world of art techniques and materials used in drawing. It is a common belief that the person starting to draw must begin by observing the world around them before embarking on problems of expression.
“… and every day I am more convinced that people who do not first wrestle with Nature never succeed” Van Gogh, Nuenan January 1885

Where do you start? I think Van Gogh would say a beginner should work on exercises which help develop your visual vocabulary of marks, lines and tone. It’s okay to make mistakes, just learn from them all. This is the only way you will gain the confidence through anything in life. My favorite saying is, “The master has made more mistakes than the beginner has made attempts.”

What materials and equipment do you need?

There is a wide variety of materials and equipment available for drawing and painting. Each has their intended use, but as a beginner, let’s start small.

The things needed are;

·       Plywood drawing board 21x20 inches

·       Drawing paper in multiple sizes

·       Sketch pad 18”x12”

·       Hard back sketchbook

·       2B,4B and 6B pencils

·       Box of thick charcoal sticks

·       Compressed charcoal

·       Soft charcoal pencil

·       Metal dip pen with a variety of nibs

·       A reed or bamboo pen

·       Three nylon brushes

·       A plastic eraser

·       A bottle of waterproof Indian Ink

·       A white oil crayon

·       A tube of white gouache

·       A plastic or ceramic stacking palette

·       Craft knife

·       Masking Tape

·       Gummed Kraft Paper Tape

·       Rubber based adhesive

·       Spray fixative

·       18” Metal ruler

·       Storage box

If you can, designate a small room or partition part of a room permanently for your art area of operations. Take the time to organize your space. Make it comfortable for you, obtaining materials and supplies, and procuring adequate lighting will save you both time and aggravation when you’re practicing your new hobby. Some of the things you need to consider when choosing your space are the quality of light. You will need good consistent light. Set up your drawing board near a window and avoid the dark corners of your chosen room. Because it’s hard to concentrate with loud noise you need to find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted continuously. Your area should not be near a strong source of heat, but you need it to be in a warm area so you’re comfortable to continue drawing or painting during the cold months of the year.

As you begin putting your ink to paper, the ink can cause the paper to wrinkle as it dries.  The best technique to prevent this is to stretch your paper. This involves wetting the paper and letting it dry. Sounds complicated, but it’s much easier than you may think. Let me walk you through the process.

1.     Place your paper on the center of your drawing board.

2.     Cut 4 pieces of Gummed craft paper tape a little longer so that they overlap at the corners. Set aside.

3.     Using a sponge that is not excessively wet, wipe the drawing paper down on both sides. Apply just enough pressure that you don’t cause damage to the paper.

4.     Now dip the gum tape in a bowl of water. Run the tape through your fingers to remove excess water, being careful not to remove the gum.

5.     Now place the tape over the paper so that half of the tape covers the paper and half is over your drawing board.  Repeat this process until all 4 sides are complete.

6.     Rub the tape with a moist sponge to absorb the excess water from the tape and to make sure the tape is flat and securely fastened to your drawing board.

7.     Gently dab the sponge over the paper, allowing the paper to dry at room temperature. When the paper is completely dry it should be flat.

8.     Lay the board flat so that the paper can dry evenly.  Do NOT speed up the drying process with a fan or dryer. This can cause the paper to wrinkle, buckle, or tear.

Now you are ready to slap some lines on your paper. In future articles we will discuss basic line techniques using pencil or pen, as well as working from observation. I hope you enjoyed this article! Share it with your friends and families which helps support Art at Attention.