YouTube is a fantastic learning tool, and that’s primarily because many of us learn best by watching someone do something. This rings especially true when it comes to drawing – if you’re bursting with creativity but are falling short in the artistic department, YouTube might be able to help.
Drawing is a skill best nurtured by practice, but a little help can go a long way. Whether you’re having trouble drawing facial features like eyes or haven’t got a clue how to tackle a 3D perspective, it’s YouTube to the rescue!
Drawing With Karl Gude
One of my favourite instructional YouTubers is Karl Gude, former director of graphics at Newsweek magazine and current teacher at Michigan State University’s school of journalism. Not only is he a talented artist, but Karl’s sense of humour and lighthearted approach make for very watchable videos.
In the video above, Karl walks us through the intricacies of drawing a human eye. Minutes into the video his pencil breaks, and so he simply carries on with a broken tip. If it’s possible to draw at this quality with a broken pencil, there’s hope for the worst of us.
The two point perspective is simple in theory but easy to mess up, and so it’s nice to watch someone else tackle the 3D effect while making mental notes. Karl is an excellent teacher for this simple technique.
At present Karl only has seven videos on his whole channel, and his uploading schedule is a bit erratic, though he has recently started adding more. Fingers crossed he keeps them coming.
Watch: Karl Gude on YouTube
Drawing Lessons at Expert Village
Expert Village is one of those “how to do absolutely anything” websites, now owned by Demand Media (you know, eHow). While these sites don’t always offer the most knowledgeable walkthroughs, there’s no denying that the 60 plus videos the site has for drawing tutorials are useful.
There are a variety of experts weighing in, one of which is Joel Hickerson who can be seen above dishing out some advice for wannabe cartoonists. Joel has illustrated over 50 publications, so he knows a thing or two about his chosen profession.
Perspective is important when drawing anything, not least human figures. Learn how Joe draws a man by mapping out proportions and focusing on shoulders and hips.
Animals are another popular subject, and here you can watch Joel draw a sausage dog, giraffe and horse. These are three very differently proportioned animals, and Joel approaches each slightly differently.
Drawing step-by-step involves copying a real-life object without using the same techniques you would use when drawing freehand from memory. This isn’t the most useful video, but it’s one of my favourites for the resulting cartoon.
Finally, cartoonists and signwriters alike often need bubble lettering. Watch Joel’s tutorial for perfect bubble letters above. There are many more of these tutorials in the playlist below, so explore and have fun.
Draw with Jazza
The third and final channel is Draw with Jazza, a channel that’s all about learning to draw, paint and animate. The channel is run by a friendly Australian (as if Jazza didn’t give that away) who doesn’t waste any time before going into detail.
Jazza’s tutorials are 20-minute-plus long in-depth lessons, rather than quick samples. Above is a 25 minute-long video about drawing skulls, and below a 35 minute guide to drawing villains.
The channel doesn’t only focus on drawing, but also colouring, software and other art forms. Below you can watch a crash course in creating isometric art, for example, often known as “pixel art” presented from a diagonal perspective.
The channel focuses very much on digital art, but many of the techniques (the drawing techniques) apply to both paper and pixels. There’s even a cross-over lesson about getting your hand drawn art into a digital medium for even more fun.
Lastly one of my favourite of Jazza’s videos can be seen above, and it’s all about spotting your own mistakes and improving by recognising your weaknesses.
Have I missed a masterpiece? Recommend your favourite artists, channels and tutorials in the comments, below!
Intro image: 64/365: Color Macro (Andrés Nieto Porras)