I’ll come right out and say it: I can’t draw. If I had to draw a cartoon to save my life, it probably wouldn’t end well. My drawing talents start and end with stick figures, and even that’s a stretch. Despite this unfortunate fact, or maybe because of it, I got interested in video tutorials that teach you how to draw.
YouTube is full of such tutorials for anything from a smiley face to complex characters, but many of them are hard to follow or just plain bad. How can you know which channels to focus on if you want to learn to draw, or hone your drawing skills? That’s what MakeUseOf here for! Below you’ll find a list of the top YouTube channels, arranged by drawing level from simple to more advanced, that will help you learn how to draw. Whether you’re a total beginner or you’ve already done some drawing, you should find at least one you’re going to love.
If you’re really a beginner like I am, this one is perfect for you. Short and sweet, these videos will teach you how to draw very simple cartoons in a matter of minutes. Seriously, even I can draw these. Yes, they’re slightly out of focus, and yes, they can (and are) done by kids, but they’re excellent little tutorials. DoodleKat’s tutorials are done with black marker on paper, and in 2-3 minutes, you’ll find yourself drawing a cute little owl, horse, cake, or even a taco. Guaranteed.
While these tutorials are probably meant for kids, they’re also great for those of us who are just starting our journey into drawing. Using black marker on paper, these short videos will teach you how to draw very simple doodles such as a ladybug, a raccoon, a shark, etc. These are really, really simple drawings. Even if you’ve never drawn anything before, you’re going to be able to follow these easily and get some cool drawings you’ll be proud of.
If you’re new to drawing but you’re ambitious, Mark Crilliey’s videos are going to get you hooked. In these very detailed videos you’ll learn how to draw Manga characters, dragons, and more, and even find specific tips such as how to draw hair or feet. The videos are mostly done with pencil on paper, and are easy to follow despite the use of stop motion techniques. Almost every line is explained in full, and you can easily pause and continue to catch up with each new line. Even for a newbie like me, these are a joy to watch.
If you can handle a pencil, and want to draw your favorite cartoon characters, Evan Burse from CartoonBlock will show you how. These are pretty short videos, so the tutorials are not very detailed, but if you just need guidance and inspiration, they can be very useful. Done with pencils on paper, the tutorials include many different characters, from Wolverine and Anakin Skywalker to Bart Simpson and Sonic. Also included are some videos of famous artists sketching some characters from scratch. Great for inspiration, if you already know what you’re doing.
Despite its name, IDrawGirls is not just about drawing girls, but about drawing characters in general. It’s not for beginners – I will probably never be able to draw like this – but it offers long and detailed tutorials that can help you reach real results. Most drawings in the videos are done with Photoshop and a Wacom tablet, so if you’re using those, you’ll find it much easier. If you’re drawing on paper, you can still get some pretty useful tips.
If you’re really into drawing already, and are looking for good, advanced tutorials, look no further than Sycra. You won’t find 3-minute tutorials here. If you want to draw a dragon, you’ll learn how to do so in 5 separate videos, each longer than 10 minutes. The videos include detailed explanations that go even beyond the basic drawing techniques. Most of the drawings are done with Photoshop and a Wacom tablet, and can also teach you about things like proportions, patterns, and more.
As you can imagine, these are just the tip of the iceberg. As a beginner, I tend to pick tutorials that include explanations and are easy to understand, and not those that just show speedy drawing with music in the background. I would love to hear about your own favorite YouTube channels for learning how to draw. Which style of tutorials do you prefer? And if you can’t draw (like me), hopefully you’ve just found some inspiration to get started!
Image Credit: drawing man image via Shutterstock