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


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.


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.


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.


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


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!



FREE Lessons on Drawing Animals!

Enjoyable Step-by-step Lessons for Beginners (free until Friday, May 13, 2016)! These lessons are suitable for artists from age 10 to 101!

Kevin Bacon

From a story book called The Three Little Pigs to television and movie stars such as Porky Pig, Babe, and Miss Piggy, pigs have been charming the hearts and minds of artists for centuries.

Outline a caricature of a piglet and then add shading to capture his three-dimensional forms and spotted fur (10 Pages and 12 Illustrations).

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Tuttle the Turtle

When living in a natural habitat, a box turtle’s cuisine includes such delicacies as spiders, flies, worms, crickets, grasshoppers, slugs, and snails. Yummy!

Sketch a turtle’s proportions within a simple grid, outline her with neat lines, and add shading with hatching graduations (10 Pages and 26 Illustrations).

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Rocky the Rodent

Draw a sweet little mouse and add shading lines to make his forms look furry and three-dimensional. The light source in this drawing originates from the upper left, which means that the shading is slightly darker on the right and lower-right sections of his body (8 Pages and 15 Illustrations).

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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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Free Lessons: Create Art in Color!

Draw with colored pencils and markers, and paint with acrylics and watercolors. Until Thursday, April 28, 2016, you can download three free lessons authored by Drawspace authors/artists.

Use Impasto to Paint with Texture (Beginner to Advanced) by Cailin Green

Create a richly textured painting with tissue paper and a painting knife. This project is fun, easy to do and requires only a few supplies. The dazzling three-dimensional forms catch light and create shadows in the peaks and valleys of the paint.

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The Ancient Art of Creating Mandalas (Beginner to Advanced) by art therapist, Judith Campanaro

Explore the history, art, and science of the sacred Mandala as inspiration to design your own symbol for inner harmony. Suggested media include colored pencils, markers, and/or watercolors.

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Draw a Vibrant Red Poppy (Beginner to Intermediate) by Tannis Trydal

Use layering, juxtaposing, erasing, impressing, and the grid method to render a colored pencil drawing of a red poppy.

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Protect Yourself when Drawing!

Many years ago, I almost lost the use of my right hand – my drawing hand! Subsequent to surgery and several months of physiotherapy, I regained full use of this hand. Needless to say, I have been very careful ever since.

You can prevent similar repetitive movement injuries by paying attention to how you hold your arm and hand as you draw.

Try to move only your lower and upper arm when drawing – drawing is more like conducting an orchestra than writing a shopping list. When you do need to move your fingers and/or wrist, relax your hand and bend your wrist back slightly to keep the carpal tunnel open.

To prevent your back from getting tired or cramped, remember to place your feet flat on the floor or on a footstool when drawing in a seated position.


Create Winged Lightning!

A few months after being struck by lightning,  my amazing daughter asked me to design a tattoo for her that represented her survival. Even though her spine was badly injured, she has since resumed many of the activities she enjoyed before the strike.

To create a similar design, refer to the directions below.


Colored pencils are an amazing medium for designing tattoos. Just remember that the final canvas for the design is human skin – so keep your colors very bright.

1. Lightly sketch one wing and the lightning bolt.

2. Choose a palette of colors and shade your design.

3. You then have two options to complete the design:

Option 1:  Draw and shade the second wing and outline the entire design with a sharpened black colored pencil. If you need help, refer to 1.2.A3 Shortcut for Drawing with Symmetry in the Pro lessons (free until June 16).

Option 2: Scan the wing and lightning bolt and bring it into Photoshop or similar software. Use a thin brush tool to outline the shapes. To add the second wing:

  • Widen the canvas enough to add the second wing.
  • Select the lasso tool and copy the wing.
  • Flip the design horizontally, paste it, and move it into place.
  • Trim the edges with eraser tools.
  • Flatten the layers and flip the design again (optional).

Pierre Perroquet the Parrot!

This caricature of a parrot is back on my drawing desk and ready to be finished after being “on hold” for several weeks. Like most artists, I sometimes get frustrated with a drawing not turning out as well as I originally envisioned. So – I simply put it away out of sight for a while. I have now touched up a few details and I’m back on a roll. :o)

When you get annoyed with a drawing, stop working! To continue may result in irreparable mistakes. Put the drawing away in a safe place for a few days or a few weeks and start something new. When you examine it with fresh eyes, you’ll not only be able to identify problem areas, but you’ll also see that it’s not as bad as you thought it was.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with have several projects on the go at once. However, to avoid the “P-word” (procrastination), never have more than 5 to 10 works-in-progress tucked safely away in folders. Discipline yourself to always finish one of these works-in-progress before you permit yourself to begin a new drawing. This process works for most artists – especially those with ADHD (like me). :o)



Ladybug Lounging on a Leaf

I finally finished this fun drawing by adding a leaf and foliage in the background. To make sure the ladybug stands out strongly as the focal point of the drawing, the background is light and considerably less detailed.

As I created this drawing I did a little research to find out more about ladybugs:

  • Despite the inference of their name, ladybugs are not bugs – they are beetles. Often considered a friend to gardeners, the ladybug loves to snack on such delicacies as aphids, mites, broccoli worms, and tomato hornworms.
  • Ladybugs have very few natural predators. Their bright colors warn most potential predators that a ladybug lunch could make them very sick – or dead! If a predator get too close, a ladybug warns them by releasing a foul smelling and tasting chemical from their joints.
  • Approximately 5,000 different species of ladybugs live on planet earth. Most of these species only live for a year; however, the Asian Lady Beetle has been known to live for 2 to 3 years.
  • Ladybugs come in many colors, such as: yellow, orange, black, grey, brown, and even pink. Some species have no spots and others have up to 24 spots. Several species have stripes instead of spots.
  • Unlike mosquitoes and fleas, ladybugs do not bite humans. However, if under stress they can pinch you with their tiny mandibles – an injury so slight that it’s barely noticeable.
  • Ladybugs are often imported from other countries to help with organic and biological pest control. They make their homes in many different types of vegetable and floral gardens, as well as in forests and fields.
  • Ladybugs rarely invade people’s homes. When they do take up residence in a house, they almost never chew walls, furniture, or fabrics. 


Ladybug – Please Fly Away Home!

Ever since I can remember, I have loved ladybugs. I recently discovered a ladybug not moving and lying on her back in my bathroom. I’d heard that ladybugs sometime play dead, so I gently picked her up and placed her outside on the railing of my back deck. Later, she was gone. I’ll never know if she was eaten by a bird, blew off the railing onto the grass below, or flew away to live another day.

I’ve been planning to draw a ladybug for years. Finally, this drawing is in progress (2H to 6B grades of graphite on Strathmore Bristol, smooth surface). I plan to add a leaf for her to stand on and a bit of a background.


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