50+ Free Art Lessons!

All 490+ art lessons on my website are authored and richly illustrated by professional artists and art educators. Choose your passion! Draw with graphite and colored pencils; paint with acrylics; learn about art history and art therapy; and more!

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The 50+ free lessons are marked in green with “FREE”.  Register for free and receive 3 Credits every month to view or download any other 3 lessons you want.

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Lessons are categorized into 8 modules (and 18 topics).

Module 1: Introduction to Drawing

Module 2: Contour Drawing

Module 3: Shading Techniques

Module 4: Composition and Perspective

Module 5: Diversity in Visual Arts

Module 6: People and Animals

Module 7: The Lighter Side of Art

Module 8: Creating Art in Color

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Portraits of Babies are Easy to Draw!

Check Out a Few Guidelines and Get Started!

In three lessons, you examine realistically-proportioned baby faces; shade the forms of a baby’s mouth; and draw a baby named Grace. You are then ready to practice drawing portraits of babies.

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6.1.R5: Facial Proportions of Babies (by Brenda Hoddinott)

Beginner to Intermediate: Guidelines to help draw realistically-proportioned babies’ faces and heads, from newborn to toddler

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6.1.A2: Sketch and Shade a Baby’s Mouth (by Brenda Hoddinott)

Beginner to Intermediate: Outline shapes and then add shading to draw a baby’s mouth that appears three-dimensional

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6.1.A9: Profile View of Baby Grace (by Brenda Hoddinott)

Beginner to Intermediate: Draw a realistic facial profile of a baby by first outlining accurate proportions and then shading textures and forms with hatching

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Become a Drawspace Member for FREE!

– Browse all 8 Drawspace modules to View/Download over 50 FREE lessons now!

– Choose another 3 FREE lessons every month just for registering.

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Improve Your Memory and Visual Intelligence!

As an internationally certified forensic composite artist for 25 years, my primary area of expertise was creating drawings based on the memories of other people (witnesses to and victims of major crimes). My most valuable tool was an interviewing technique known as a cognitive interview. Many of my publications reflect the knowledge I gained throughout this aspect of my career.

You, too can learn and practice techniques for remembering what you see and translating your memories into artworks.

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2.2.R15: Drawing on Your Memory (by Brenda Hoddinott)

Beginner to Advanced: Techniques for seeing and remembering potential subjects so you can translate your memories into drawings

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2.2.R3: Enhancing Your Visual Intelligence (by Brenda Hoddinott)

Beginner to Advanced: Insights into how your vision and brain work together and suggestions for strengthening your visual intelligence

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2.2.A18: Draw Still Life from Memory (by Brenda Hoddinott)

Beginner to Intermediate: Sketch a familiar object without looking at it, then use a memory-enhancement technique to recall its details, and re-draw it from memory

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Explore the Art of Self Discovery!

Express Yourself through Art Therapist Judith Campanaro!

My dear friend, Judith, gently provides guidance for an inspirational journey toward self-empowerment through creative expression.

bulldog laughing at another dog dressed up with clown wig

Art therapy is a unique experience based on using the medium of art as an instrument of change. Rather than learning conventional techniques and modalities, art therapy approaches the medium in a natural experiential way.

Here’s four of the 46 lessons authored by Judith on my website:

Introduction to Art Therapy (5.3.R1 – 10 Pages and 7 Illustrations)

Understanding art therapy and how creating art enables you to enhance your well-being

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Exercises to Build Confidence (5.3.A6 – 8 Pages and 13 Illustrations)

Gift yourself with enlightening activities to help enhance your personal growth, physical well-being, and self-esteem

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Exploring the Art of Self Discovery (5.3.R2 – 8 Pages and 7 Illustrations)

Embracing the powers of clarity and choice as instruments for enriching personal growth

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Voyage of Discovery (5.3.A8 – 2 Pages and 4 Illustrations)

Create a contour drawing with glue, add bright colors with watercolor paints, and outline shapes with a black marker

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Draw Animals with Stripes and Spots!

Now everyone can draw zebras and giraffes!

Richly illustrated, step-by-step drawing exercises and projects for artists from beginner to intermediate

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Adobe Images Licence Numbers: 1411682 and  124963123

Beginner: 6.2.A7 Shade Simple Furry Stripes (4 Pages and 6 Illustrations)

Use curved hatching lines to practice drawing a striped pattern with a furry texture.

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Beginner to Intermediate: 6.2.A20 A Zebra Named Spot (16 Pages and 33 Illustrations)

Draw the striped pattern, furry texture, and exterior anatomical forms of a baby zebra’s face, head, and neck.

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Beginner: 6.2.A8 Shade Spotted Furry Textures (6 Pages and 16 Illustrations)

Use hatching lines to practice drawing the texture and pattern of realistic, spotted fur.

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Beginner to Intermediate: 6.2.A17 Dandy the Baby Giraffe (14 Pages and 41 Illustrations)

Outline proportions and shapes and then add shading to create the forms, textures, and patterns of an adorable young giraffe

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Good Posture First!

Choose a high-quality, ergonomic chair to prevent your muscles from becoming strained and sore.

Draw on a slanted surface! When you draw on a flat surface, the top of your paper is farther away from you than the bottom and this can distort your proportions.

Place your feet flat on the floor or on a footstool when drawing in a seated position.

This lesson is free until June 28!

https://www.drawspace.com/lessons/988/overview/good-posture-first

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Free Lessons: The Great Masters!

Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo are long gone but their drawings live on and serve as teachers of classical techniques developed during the Renaissance. As a child (during the early 60’s), I studied the Great Masters while spending Saturdays at my local public library in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. These books were the beginning of my journey as a self-taught artist.

Fast forward to the 1990’s and the dawn of the Internet! This exciting new venue enabled me to share my skills with other aspiring artists through simple, step-by step illustrated lessons. These lessons now enable you to draw in the styles and techniques of great masters, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. You can recreate their masterpieces and/or create your own original drawings based on their techniques.

 

Study for the Head of a Girl

Employ the drawing techniques of Leonardo da Vinci to create a soft, delicate portrait of a beautiful girl. Leonardo was a master of hatching; his shading is mostly made up of lines that are drawn at an angle of around 45 degrees.

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Study of a Rosebud

Draw a gorgeous rosebud with basic hatching lines in the style of Leonardo da Vinci. As a left-handed artist, his diagonal hatching lines were drawn downward (from the upper left to lower right) and/or upward (from the lower right to the upper left).

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Sketch of a Youth

Use basic hatching techniques to sketch a portrait of a youth in the style of Michelangelo ‒ the ultimate perfectionist. During his lifetime, he destroyed several of his own drawings and even scrapped his original painting on which the Sistine Chapel version was based.

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Method Behind a Madness!

Henry is about to draw a portrait of his friend, Harvey. Harvey looks worried when Henry suddenly holds up a freshly sharpened pencil.

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But, Harvey has nothing to fear! Henry is an accomplished artist who simply knows how to measure distances by using a pencil. The step-by-step process for using this technique is as follows:

Step 1: Step back from your subject – far enough away to see the whole subject, but close enough to see the details clearly.

Step 2: Hold your pencil in a closed fist with the pointy end pointed up.

Step 3: Place your thumb on the pencil so your thumbnail is facing you.

Step 4: Extend your arm toward your subject.

Step 5: Find some part of your subject to measure (such as the vertical length of Harvey’s nose).

Step 6: Position the tip of the pencil so it appears to be on the uppermost section of the part you want to measure (such as the upper section of Harvey’s nose in between his eyes).

Step 7: Without moving the pencil, slide your thumb up and down along the pencil until the top edge of your thumb is level with the lowest part of what you want to measure (such as the bottom of Harvey’s nose). The distance between the tip of the pencil and the tip of your thumb is the same as the part of your subject you want to measure (such as the length of Harvey’s nose).

Step 8: Stay where you are and keep your thumb in the same place on the pencil. Move only your outstretched arm (without moving your body) to various places on the subject until you find another distance that is the same as the first. You now have a clue for drawing your subject accurately: two parts of your subject are the same length.

And, Henry now has his first clue for drawing Harvey correctly. The vertical distance from the top of Harvey’s head to the uppermost section of his eyes is the same as the length of his nose.

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You can find more clues by repeating this process. When you can’t find any more vertical distances, rotate your arm (without moving your thumb from the pencil) to find horizontal and diagonal distances that are the same.

Understanding Talent Part 5

The act of drawing produces a physical reward: art.

It really doesn’t matter why you draw or who sees your drawings. Maybe you hope to one day publicly exhibit your drawings. Or, you may choose to only share them with family and friends. You also have the option of keeping them all to yourself.

Your drawings serve as a journal of your artistic journey. Have you ever thought about writing a book? Why not use your own drawings to illustrate your literary art?

You can also use your drawings to decorate your surroundings with your own personal touch. Have some of your drawings framed and hang them in your home or workspace.

Family, co-workers, and friends easily become quite fascinated by artistic creations. Don’t be surprised if they soon request some of your drawings for their own homes. Of course, this is a good time to encourage them to take up drawing themselves.

Draw in a way you really love.

Every artist seems to have a unique approach to drawing. Some love big, bold, loose drawings; while others like little tiny drawings with lots of intricate details.

Deciding which style label applies to a specific drawing is not easy. Many artists choose to not label their drawings at all. Your personal style evolves each time you attempt new and diverse methods of drawing, so keep an open mind while carefully noting which of your drawings you prefer. Styles are neither right nor wrong… they just are. With time, your style(s) develops automatically.

You have already taken the first step!

Just by reading this, you are already on your way to becoming an artist. Perceived personal limitations are not obstacles; your only challenge is making a commitment.

For most of my adult life, I have chosen to share my love of art with both children and adults by teaching art.

Whether it is your desire to learn the very basics of drawing or to improve the drawing skills you already have, my tutorials will hopefully have something of interest to you.

Art has become very accessible in recent years.

Galleries, the Internet, art books, and your own community provide vast art resources.

By carefully observing the drawings of other artists, you gain invaluable information which you can apply to your own drawings. Take time to examine and appreciate a diverse range of art and artists.

Investigate and participate in some of the wonderful drawing e-groups, where international artists share tips, critique one another’s work, and openly exchange various art techniques and resources.

Check out your local community-based educational facilities and recreational centers for drawing programs in your area. You can always benefit from drawing classes and workshops, where you’ll meet others within your community who also want to improve their drawing skills, techniques and styles.

As you uncover local art resources, you’ll meet diverse artists, and have opportunities to become involved in art groups. Many art groups organize incredible workshops, taught by prominent artists, and the camaraderie and enjoyment is well worth your time.

With an interest in self-expression, you CAN develop exceptional drawing skills.

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Understanding Talent Part 3

Individuals progress at their own special pace.

Drawing is as natural a human activity as learning to walk or talk. From the ancient caves of prehistoric humans to the tombs of Egyptian and Native peoples all over the world, we have found evidence that humans used art to communicate and immortalize events and objects precious to their lives and cultures. The creators of these ancient artworks were probably not disparaged by self-doubt – they made art because it was the natural thing to do.

From the beginnings of recorded history to modern day, prodigies have been considered to be persons who acquire a special ability with little effort, and talent is understood by many to only include these prodigies. However, most prodigies begin to obsessively work to develop their skills when they are very young. By continuing to challenge themselves, they discover their ability to transcend to extraordinary levels of technical competence. 

Not everyone can become a prodigy, but everyone can develop talent. You are a unique individual with diverse abilities. Be patient with yourself: drawing skills develop over time. If your dream is to be a talented artist, you need to be true to yourself. Hard work, patience and devotion inevitably challenge a mediocre artist to become an exceptional artist.

Below is a fun, fantasy painting titled “Serendipity” that I created many years ago.

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