Category Archives: Arts

Best Drawing Websites for Beginners

Nature drawing

Being able to draw, and do it well, is a skill many people wish they had and can lead to art careers, such as graphic design. While simple doodling can be fun, taking it to another level is more difficult.

Until recently, the only way to learn how to draw properly was to sign up for a local class. These days, there are countless drawing websites for beginners to check out. Below are a few of the very best, and what they do particularly well.

Draw Space

The biggest selling feature for Draw Space is that they have so many different classes available for all skill levels. No matter what a person wants to focus on in drawing, there is a class to help.

They offer plenty of free classes for people to get a good understanding on the teaching methods they use. As for their classes that do require payment, it is overall a great value since a person can get very detailed lessons on so many topics.

It’s a great starting place for true beginners, and even works for more seasoned drawing artists. They actually offer a test lesson on understanding talent so a person knows exactly what skill level they are starting out with.

Drawing Coach

People who want to focus specifically on drawing cartoons and caricatures should consider Drawing Coach. This is the best way to learn how to draw comic strip cartoons, anime, people, intricate tattoos, clip art and more.

Improving overall technique is the number one focus with all the tutorials. Instead of spending too much time on overall art theory, it is a great way to technically improve and create a solid drawing foundation. Learning the proper technique now can pay off big in the future.

After a few walkthroughs, it is encouraging to see a finished project if every step is followed. While most people aren’t going to put together a great looking comic strip on their first try, it’s a great start.

Duey’s Drawings

Bryan Duey has created a solid following on his website by keeping his lessons and methods simple. He offers free advice people can follow step-by-step in order to improve their drawing skill. He really seems to have a passion for teaching, and is willing to take the time to thoroughly explain everything.

The tutorials are broken down by skill level, but what really helps bring this site together is a community message board. There is a bunch of information and answers on there for people who are just starting out. He’s not as active as he once was, but there is still a very in-depth catalog of drawing tutorials to comb through.

Drawing Now

Some people might prefer a website where they can learn drawing from other regular users out there. All a person has to do to get started at Drawing Now is to sign up for a free membership, and they can interact with other members.

Users can create their own tutorials, allowing for a lot of different teaching methods to be posted on the website. It becomes a competition amongst other members to have the best tutorials and be considered a go-to expert in the field. Being able to reach out to other members with instant messaging and open chat is a great tool to have as well. Most are very open to providing advice and feedback on finished art.

YouTube

Technically speaking, YouTube is not a website strictly for learning how to draw. However, simply searching for drawing tutorials can provide powerful results. Many artists are using YouTube as a way to promote their own teaching techniques.

Since YouTube is so big, people can get very specific with searching methods. This allows people to learn how to draw what they want at their own pace. Some artists will use YouTube as a vehicle to drive traffic to their personal website, but others just enjoy giving back to the community and providing all their lessons on the video-sharing website.

How to Create Clip Art

Clip art.

Clip art is a popular concept for those who use computers to produce information products such as documents, flyers and brochures, projects and even websites. But why and how do people use clip art and how is it made?

What is Clip Art?

Clip art is the term used to describe non-photographic graphic images. The name is derived from the fact that people used to cut-out (or clip) images from books or magazines and put them onto their pages.

In today’s modern society of internet and computer-based work, clip art images are stored on the computer and internet and, in some cases, are even created using the computer. They are imported for use on documents or websites to enhance work and support written documentation.

Images are usually categorized according to their content and the most popular categories are animals, people, nature and objects. This makes it easy for people to find what they are looking for. In some cases clip art is free for anybody to use as required. Some images do have copyrights however.

So, when selecting one, be sure to seek out the legalities first. It is best to purchase clip art packages – they usually cost around 1 cent for 10 images – to avoid any copyright issues.

Learning to Create Clip Art

Clip art is created in multiple ways but for those people who are looking for a simple method you can draw one by hand and scan into the computer. Firstly choose what you are going to draw – get some inspiration from a live object or photograph.

If you are a decent artist yourself and are confident with a pen then you can draw your image onto a piece of white paper. Use a dark, black pen to go over it and then scan the image into the computer.

If you are not confident with the specific details look at the bigger shapes of the object (circles, triangles, lines, etc) and use them to give a basic outline shape of your object. It doesn’t have to be intricately detailed. Once it has been scanned into the computer you can then open the image in Photoshop (or other image software), add shadows, highlights, etc and then save the file as jpeg, png or gif.

Dino Russ image
Credit: Dino Russ

If you are not someone who is confident at drawing, you can use Microsoft Power Point. This is a good program to use because it is user friendly and free. Simply have an image of what you want to copy and open it in Power Point. Then you need to create a layer over the top of the image that is transparent, so that you can still see the original image but can place lines, shapes and colors over the top. Then using the lines, shapes, etc mirror the image. For example if you have a bike – place two circles where the wheels are (like tracing), lines for spokes, handles bars, frame, etc. Then use colors and shading to give your image some detail until you have the desired effect.

Training in digital media such as clip art design can be formal (e.g. as part of an information technology program) or something you do yourself with the help of software and instruction videos. It’s something you can start getting results with quickly but can keep improving with practice.

Using Images

Once you have finished styling your creation, you can use it to enhance your documents, projects, advertising material or even your website. The list of uses is endless. To use it on a document, simply copy or save the image. When you have your document open (like Microsoft Word or Publisher) you can either import your image or insert it. From there you can adjust the size, rotation and placement of the image to suit your document.