I could never hold a tune, but to a moderate degree I succeeded in holding a brush and palette. I never reached the artistic heights of a Picasso or anywhere remotely close, but I did well enough to breeze through Biology’s vertical sections and sundry anatomical illustrations. The art classes that I took certainly helped to shore up my understanding of symmetry and perspective.
Let’s take computer art. Photoshop and Illustrator can help just that much with their tools and filters. It’s the same with user-friendly drawing apps. To take it to the next level, a good drawing hand is essential. And it’s never too late to dust off the years and take up lessons on how to draw. Think of the web and these websites profiled below as your free online drawing and art class. Brush up your skills.
How to Draw it is a simple site but with lots of lessons. From the kid who is just beginning to take up the art to the guy who needs to go back to the basics, the lessons cover all. The beginner lessons are composed of 10 exercises from shading to use of watercolors. The fundamental concepts will require a lot of reading, but it’s worth that for understanding how creative art comes together. For instance: the laws behind good composition.
The specialty of the site seems to be the lessons that show how to draw different kinds of animals easily.
Drawspace is definitely one of the best sites you could go to for learning how to draw and sketch. The person behind the site is. It’s not only the variety of things you can learn to draw or the well supported discussion board on the site. It’s also the layout of the site where you can jump straight to your skill level (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced) or choose a particular skill from the dropdown. Then there is the Gallery of finished art to seek inspiration from.
You might especially like the high quality downloadable PDF tutorials that are detailed with illustrations and steps. You can also view them online. If you doubt your caliber as an artist, download and read the lesson titled – Understanding Talent. To access the lessons in full, you need to register (free).
Rate My Drawings is a leading online art community with 50,000 plus members. The site is a platform for drawing tutorials and community discussion forums to learn and share. The site has a Flash based interface that’s like an online canvas. Users draw using the Flash based (or the more advanced Java based) drawing software tool, and people rate drawings with a score that’s anything between a masterpiece and a disaster. The online drawing tool is also the canvas for multi-user collaborative art. You can draw and chat. For instance, an interactive tutoring session can be easily set up by two or more users.
About.com is usually a bouquet of guides written by guides who know their stuff. The DrawSketch section focuses on drawing and art. You can stat from Learn to Draw and go on to the various Projects and Techniques that cover everything from landscapes to anime and manga (Japanese cartoons). There are also a few video tutorials mentioned on the side. One thing you can definitely do is sign up for the newsletter.
Drawing Now is a user driven site that’s simple and not overwhelming for the beginner or the intermediate user. With a free membership you can enjoy interactive features like live chat and IM. The tutorials are step by step and easy to follow. What makes them easier to follow are the screencasts along with the step by step instructions. You can also create your own tutorials, thus teaching others how to draw.
Drawing Coach leans more towards caricatures and cartoons. Though the number of lessons isn’t that many, it has a lot of variety. The lessons are rated according to their difficulty level, so you can jump straight in. Want to learn how to do tattoos? Check out the lessons that cover tattoo art.
Drago Art is not only about learning to draw dragons. That’s just reserved for 80 odd of the 3,000+ tutorials the site offers. If you have drawing tutorials on mythical beasts, then you get ones on sci-fi too. Then there are categories that cover fantasy themes and manga too. Check out all the drawing categories on the left sidebar. Right at the bottom, you will find a few that cover the basics of drawing techniques. Drago Art takes you through the paces with both step by step illustrations as well as video tutorials.
If you want to learn how to draw Spock or do a drawing impersonation of Darth Vader, check out this site. Though, very basic in looks, the site covers a lot of categories like 80’s styled cartoons to video game characters like Pacman. And of course, Mr. Spock and Darth Vader.
If you have just taken up the paintbrush or the pencil, it will take you a while to reach Deviant Art. Deviant Art is probably the largest art community on the net. The site says it has 13 million registered members. As a beginner, the sole purpose of frequent visits to this online “˜art gallery’ is inspiration. Though, there is a large enough tutorial resource. The site showcases what you too can create with a bit of work on your artistic skills.
YouTube hosts a lot of video tutorials on drawing and illustration. Some of them belong to the sites we have mentioned above. Search YouTube with something like “˜drawing’ and the search box drops down a few auto-suggestions for you. For instance, with a keyword like “˜drawing lessons’ you get about 3,300 results.
A simpler search with “˜drawing’ gives 126,000+ videos. The search throws up a few drawing playlists which are series of videos arranged on the topic. Of course, you can be more specific with the keywords too. You can go into the search options and use filters like Channel and Duration to better organize your search results.
Well, do these sites somehow inspire you to take up the brush (or the digital pen)? Or would you rather pick up the saxophone? Let us know.
Image Credit: Gambarrotti