50+ Free Art Lessons

Check out each of Drawspace’s 19 art topics to download/view your FREE lessons (marked green). Popular genres and mediums, including drawing, painting, art therapy, crafting, art history, and more…

https://www.drawspace.com/

Three brushes paint a beautiful landscape with poppies.

Drawspace lessons are used by millions of individuals and homeschoolers, and in thousands of schools, colleges, and universities all over the world.

Insights into Visual Intelligence

Visual intelligence is a relatively new area of study with two major components: visual-spatial and visual-object.

  • Visual-spatial ability is widely accepted as a dimension of intelligence and is included in most tests that measure intelligence.
  • Visual-object ability continues to be studied and may also have the attributes required to be characterized as a dimension of overall intelligence.

In her book, Visual Intelligence: Perception, Image, and Manipulation in Visual Communication, Ann Marie Barry writes that visual intelligence:

  • suggests the ability to think in different, more abstract, and more perceptually oriented ways, as our linear logic fails us in the presence of overpoweringly beautiful, violent, or political images.
  • implies an integrated perceptual awareness of mediated visual messages – one which permeates all of our thinking – and a mental alertness to the role of media within the whole spectrum of experience.

Everything you see is your brain’s interpretation of reality. For instance, your brain may determine that a shiny, fresh apple sitting on the kitchen table is edible. Your brain may also determine that a painting of that same apple is not edible. The fact that you can tell the difference between these two apples is a reflection of visual intelligence.

The brain processes associated with visual intelligence are so integral to human functionality and survival that they occupy nearly half of the cerebral cortex. Your brain automatically processes and interprets what you see based on your lifetime of experiences.

If, as a small child you were bitten by a large black dog, then as an adult you may feel uncomfortable when you see a large black dog. This is your visual intelligence (and common sense) telling you to be careful.

From their 2010 research exploring visual ability and intelligence, Olesya Blazhenkova and Maria Kozhevnikov describe:

  • Visual intelligence: one’s ability to process information about the visual appearances of objects and their pictorial properties (such as shape, color and texture).
  • Visual-spatial ability: represents a number of related subcomponents (such as spatial visualization, spatial relations) that have to do with how individuals deal with materials presented in space, or with how individuals orient themselves in space.

This research provides “insights” into “Eye-Q”!

This is the first section of my article titled: Enhancing Your Visual Intelligence. You can view/download the full version (free) on my website:

https://www.drawspace.com/lessons/1055/overview/enhancing-your-visual-intelligence

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Stress Busters to Help You Relax

My dear friend and art therapist, Judith Campanaro, shares over 70 ways to relax – from the scientific to the enjoyable. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Harvard research suggests that playing card games helps people calm down, squashes their worries dramatically, and delivers almost as much stress relief as exercising, because it takes your mind off whatever’s troubling you. No more feeling guilty about playing solitaire on the computer.
  • When you have a migraine or just need to de-stress, a mustard foot bath can work wonders. When you have a headache, the blood vessels and nerves are inflamed. The warm water and mustard seed draws blood away from the head to the feet. Pour comfortably hot water into a basin, and add one teaspoon of freshly-ground mustard seed for every gallon of water. Soak your feet in the water with a thick towel over the basin to retain the heat for about twenty minutes.
  • Sit or lie comfortably with your eyes closed. Breathe slowly and imagine something that you would like to happen that would make you more relaxed. Surround that fantasy with a pink bubble. Now let the bubble containing your vision go. Once it is free to float around in the universe, it will gather the energy needed to manifest itself to you.
  • Tickle a baby, say hello to a stranger, swing on a swing, take a bubble bath, or simply sit on a park bench and watch the world go by.

The full version of this article by art therapist, Judith Campanaro © is FREE only on Drawspace.

6 Pages and 14 Illustrations

https://www.drawspace.com/lessons/1370/overview/stress-busters-to-help-you-relax

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Sketch of a Youth (Michelangelo)

Use mixed lineweights and hatching to sketch a portrait in the style of Michelangelo (6 Pages and 9 Illustrations).

Michelangelo was the ultimate perfectionist.  He destroyed several of his own drawings and even scrapped his original painting on the Sistine Chapel. Thankfully, some of his drawings survived the ravages of time and now serve as extraordinary examples of classical drawing techniques.

By copying the masters’ drawings, 21st century artists continue to learn from their styles and techniques. Contemporary artists are also using innovative technologies, mediums, and drawing tools to advance classical drawing techniques into the future.

The full version of this lesson by Brenda Hoddinott © is FREE only on Drawspace.

https://www.drawspace.com/lessons/1139/overview/sketch-of-a-youth-michelangelo

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Elegant White Calla Lily

Use dry-mixing, blending, burnishing, and impressing to create a colored pencil “painting” of a simple flower.

Colored pencils are a wonderful medium for drawing everything and anything. They beautifully capture delicate drawings such as portraits and flowers, and also work very well for subjects that need a bolder, more colorful approach.

Colored pencils were originally developed for commercial artists and illustrators. Over the past few decades, “painting” with colored pencils has gained new respect as a fine art medium. This medium is relatively inexpensive, neat, and portable.

Today, colored pencils come in a wide variety of qualities, from student to professional. The permanency rating of the pigment used in the mixture helps determine the ultimate quality of the pencils. During the manufacturing process, various synthetic and/or organic pigments are added to binding agents (such as clay or chalk) and wax.

When drawing with color, values are more important than the chosen colors. As you can see below, the values of the colors for the flower itself are light-to-medium. The stem and the lower section of the stamen are made up of colors that are medium-to-dark in value.

The full version of this lesson by Brenda Hoddinott © is FREE only on Drawspace.

12 Pages and 18 Illustrations

https://www.drawspace.com/lessons/1337/overview/elegant-white-calla-lily

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A Forest Fades Into the Mist

Employ geometric and atmospheric perspective to create a three-dimensional view into a brightly-lit opening beyond the trees (10 Pages and 18 Illustrations).

Fourteen trees are used to create the illusion of depth in this drawing. Assume that in reality, these trees are approximately the same size. However, according to the rules of geometric perspective, they need to be drawn of varying sizes. Geometric perspective helps create the illusion that the trees in the foreground are larger than those farther away. This illusion is enhanced by drawing the base of each tree progressively higher within the drawing space from the foreground toward the background.

Trees that appear to be far away from the viewer are rendered light in value and with few details due to the perceived presence of high levels of atmospheric components in the air (atmospheric perspective). Conversely, trees that appear to be closer to the viewer are rendered in sharp focus, and have bright highlights and dark shadows. Low levels of dust, pollen, and/or droplets enable the viewer to clearly see the textures of trees that are closer to the viewer.

The full version of this lesson by Brenda Hoddinott © is FREE only on Drawspace.

https://www.drawspace.com/lessons/1291/overview/a-forest-fades-into-the-mist

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Self-Portraits: Past and Present

This new lesson on my website by Jim Lane includes several helpful art-related topics, such as creating, preparing, pricing, and presenting your art (8 Pages and 9 Illustrations).

For example, creating art may include a self-portrait. Art history provides fascinating facts and theories surrounding the creation of self-portraits by famous artists. Though there’s no evidence, Michelangelo is said to have considered his depiction of God in The Creation of Adam (1511) as a self-portrait.

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Contemporary cartoonist, Garry Trudeau, is better-known by his alter ego, Mike Doonesbury, the guy peeking over his shoulder in his self portrait. Doonesbury appears in Trudeau’s daily comic strip, which might be considered to be the longest-running, and perhaps even the most insightful self-portrait in the history of self-portraits.

There are many concepts in Trudeau’s art, and they flow together like chocolate syrup stirred into a glass of milk. They have an unmistakably liberal political flavor and a freshness, rivaled only by today’s social media.

The full version of this new lesson by Jim Lane © is FREE until Friday, July 8.

https://www.drawspace.com/lessons/1504/overview/doing-art-art-past-present-and-future-part-10b

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garry_Trudeau

Exploring the Art of Self Discovery

Living the divine self is learning to live with the awareness of our inner power. The key is to be authentic and to truly be who we are. That’s easy to say, but harder to do.

So much of who we are is hidden in the faces and masks we present to the world because of who we think we should be. As we grow older, we sometimes lose our true selves because of negative tapes and messages that have been instilled in us since childhood.

Being able to make small changes, at every step we take, is a chance to grow larger and freer. Even the tiniest move in the direction of emotional freedom is impressive. Every choice we make to triumph over negativity, large or small, is about transforming energy. Then, the chosen nature of such ongoing transformation makes us stronger, brighter, and in turn acts to illuminate our path.

If we are not willing to take our minds off the mundane life, our bodies will be in trauma and our minds in confusion. In order to bring our inner truth into form, we must know what makes us sing, dance, laugh, and love. And, it is in solitude that we find these answers.

The full version of this lesson by artist and art therapist, Judith Campanaro © is FREE only on Drawspace.

8 pages and 7 illustrations

https://www.drawspace.com/lessons/1305/overview/exploring-the-art-of-self-discovery

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Enhancing Your Visual Intelligence

Neurons continue to grow throughout one’s life. For years, scientists and doctors thought that brain and neural tissue couldn’t regenerate. Now, we know about neurogenesis (the birth of new neurons), which is re-shaping the way science studies brain functions.

Visual intelligence is a relatively new area of study with two major components: visual-spatial and visual-object. Visual-spatial ability is widely accepted as a dimension of intelligence and is included in most tests that measure intelligence. Current research suggests that visual-object ability may also have the attributes required to be characterized as a dimension of overall intelligence.

Visual-spatial intelligence is associated with specialization in the sciences, while visual-object intelligence predicts specialization in art (Blazhenkova and Kozhevnikov, 2010).

Recent studies support the theory that learning how to draw can enhance visual-object intelligence. For instance, you can challenge your brain to find alternative realities beyond the obvious and identify more than one reality in a single image. The actual process of learning to draw offers numerous other enjoyable ways to strengthen visual intelligence.

The full version of this lesson by Brenda Hoddinott © is FREE only on Drawspace.

https://www.drawspace.com/lessons/1055/overview/enhancing-your-visual-intelligence

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Illustrative and Traditional Realism

Illustrative realism is often used by commercial artists such as illustrators, designers, and graphic artists. Using contour lines to outline artworks is also popular with illustrative realists. The resulting images appear bold and powerful when used for various commercial applications such as websites, icons, logos, magazines, advertisements, and/or books.

A drawing of a giraffe in the style of illustrative realism is outlined with thin contour lines. In a close-up view, the contour lines stand out even stronger.

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Traditional realism employs a variety of different drawing techniques, most of which attempt to represent living beings and objects as they appear in real life without stylization or distortion. Traditional realists prefer to “suggest” contours through shading rather than render actual contour lines. After all, you can’t see lines around objects in the real world.

Precisely rendered shading added adjacent to sections of a subject allows viewers to clearly see its edges without using lines. For example, a drawing of a young man demonstrates a technique used by most traditional realists to create the illusion of outlines. The viewer’s subconscious mind automatically fills in contour lines where the contrasting background meets the edges of his arm and face.

The full version of this lesson by Brenda Hoddinott © is FREE only on Drawspace.

https://www.drawspace.com/lessons/1500/overview/illustrative-and-traditional-realism

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