Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Squirkling a Bumpy Texture

In the real world, very few objects have actual lines defining their forms. Rather, contrasting values identify the edges of the object’s parts according to the lights and darks created by the dominant light source. This lesson focuses on values and forms rather than lines and shapes. You use squirkles to draw the wonderful bumpy texture of an avocado with shading only – no outlining.

Billy Blob Blended

In this project, you outline a simple shape, add some values with squirkles, and blend the shading to create a smooth three- dimensional cartoon with a face.

Spruce Tree

In ten simple steps, you use squirkles to transform a single vertical line on a sheet of paper, into a drawing of a majestic spruce tree. With lots of practice using squirkles and examining spruce trees in nature, you can easily learn to sketch a tree in a couple of minutes (or less). However, you need to work your way slowly through this exercise to give yourself a chance to fully understand the process.

Sam & Samantha

In this project, you use curved lines to outline a cartoon child, and then make the hair curly with squirkles. Most ofthe illustrated steps are the same for drawing either Sam or Samantha; hence you can draw two children or only one.

Baby Curly

This lesson provides you with lots of information and exercises to help you become familiar with creating values and graduations with squirkles. You follow along with super simple illustrated step-by-step instructions to draw an adorable cartoon baby with curly hair.

The Pupil of Iris

This simple project takes you through the process of sketching the shapes of an iris, pupil, and highlight; then, you add shading with squirkles.

Graduating Squirkles

In this lesson you explore squirkle shading in drawings and then render graduated values with squirkles. By varying the density (drawing the lines either far apart or close together) of the lines, you can achieve many different values. Light values tend to have noticeable curved lines with lots of white space showing. In darker values, the lines are drawn more closely together, filling in most of the paper with squirkles.

Squirkling Values

What do you get when you cross squiggles with circles? You get Squirkles! Squirkling is a method of shading incorperating randomly draw curved lines to create textured values.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Variations of Bud

Line drawings can look very different from one another even when the subject is identical. In this project, you draw six different versions of a simple flower bud based on a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci (of course, I named it Bud).


This heavily illustrated lesson challenges you to rely primarily on your visual skills as you combine lines with shapes to create a cartoon drawing of a baby mermaid.

Allie Alligator

Learning to see as an artist is the very foundation of drawing. A thorough visual examination of your subject is the most important ingredient for making great sketches. This lesson challenges you to rely completely on your visual skills rather than verbal instructions. Thirty illustrations take you through the process of combining lines with shapes to create a cartoon drawing of an alligator.

Starr Fish

Twenty-three illustrations take you through the process of enhancing your visiual skills while creating a cartoon drawing of a starfish named Starr Fish. Various beginner drawing skills are utilized including sketching accurate proportions, combining lines to make shapes, and adding details with lines and circular shapes.


Learning to see as an artist is the very foundation of drawing. This lesson challenges you to rely completely on your visual skills rather than verbal instructions. Twenty-nine illustrations take you through the process of combining lines with shapes to create a cartoon drawing of a fish.


This fun project takes you step by step through the process of setting up proportional guidleines, and drawing the facial features and hair, of a female anime character named Kira.


In this project, you set up proportional guidelines, and then draw the adorable facial features and hair of a young anime child named Bitty.

Linus the Lion

This project offers simple step-by-step illustrated instructions, to guide you through the basic process of combining various lines to create a cartoon of Linus the Lion. You exercise your observation skills by using a line of symmetry to help you draw both sides of the lion the same.

Kayla the Koala

This project is designed to help improve your skills at seeing and drawing lines - especially fuzzy lines, which are the foundation for drawing animals with fur.

hree Families of Lines

Lines visually seperate and/or define the forms, shapes, and patterns of the various components of a drawing.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Seeing Light and Shadow

Knowing where to draw light and shadows can turn shapes into forms, such as a circle into a sphere. In this article, you examine four aspects of light and shadow created by a dominant light source, which show artists where to draw light, medium, and dark values.

Seeing Shapes of a Horse's Head

An illustrated discussion surrounding a photo of a horse’s head focuses on the process of breaking down a seemingly complex subject into simple shapes.

Seeing Shapes in a Photo of a Dog's Head

In this lesson, an illustrated discussion surrounding a photo of a dog’s head focuses on the process of breaking down a seemingly complex subject into simple shapes.At the same time, you follow along with numerous illustrations to render a proportionately correct sketch of Isaac.

Grendel Gremlin

Learning to draw is all about learning to see. In this project, you exercise your vision to examine the step-by-step illustrations that show you the various stages of drawing a goofy-looking gremlin.

Seeing Values

Learning to draw is learning to see. Values are the most important ingredients in realistic drawing.

Blind Contour Drawing

Learning to draw accurately depends on many hours of practicing the skill of coordinating your visual skills with your drawing hand, until your eyes and hand work together effortlessly. This fun project enhances your observation skills by encouraging you to very closely examine your subject. In essence, you draw by looking only at your drawing subject, rather than your subject and your pencil and paper.

Faces and a Vase

In a fun project, you exercise your brain, vision, and drawing skills with a traditional optical illusion in which you see two different images within the same drawing.

Simple Symmetry

Many drawing subjects, including frontal views of faces, etc., look more believable when drawn the same on both sides.

Shapes of a Duck

Seeing and sketching accurate proportions is the foundation of drawing.This lesson takes you step-by-step, through the entire process of drawing a cute little candle-shaped duck, from initially looking at the shapes and proportions to completing a contour drawing.

Drawing with Spaces

When you can identify positive and negative spaces inside a drawing space, you can draw what you see more accurately. This article illustrates the process of drawing objects by identifying and drawing three different types of spaces.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Drawing Curved Lines Naturally

In Lesson  you discovered your natural hand movement for drawing straight lines. In this lesson, I show you how to find your natural hand movement for drawing curved lines and circular shapes (such as circles and ovals).

You're A Natural!

Many aspiring artists simply jump into drawing without taking the time to discover their natural hand movement. As a matter of fact, most people don’t even know they have one! This section explores the natural hand movement of Leonardo da Vinci, and helps you find yours.

Making and Using a Viewfinder Frame

A viewfinder frame is an adjustable, see-through drawing format, which allows you to examine a potential drawing subject from various viewpoints, and can be used for portraits, figures, landscapes, or any other drawing subjects.

Good Posture First!

Sitting correctly is very important; not just for your health, but also for improving your drawing skills. In this article, I explain and illustrate good posture for sitting at a drafting desk or other sloped surface.

Making a Portfolio

A hard-sided portfolio is indispensable for protecting your drawing paper and completed drawings from becoming wrinkled, damaged, or destroyed. You can buy many types of wonderful portfolios in art supply stores. However, most tend to be very expensive, especially those made of leather.

Creating Your Own Drawing Space

With the increased popularity of home based computers, a renaissance of classical drawing endeavors, and a resurgence of art-based businesses, comes an exciting and virtually limitless choice of options for furnishing an in-home art studio.

Buying Drawing Supplies

With so many different products available, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Actually, you need very little to get started! This article offers practical guidance for buying drawing materials.

Understanding Talent

This inspirational article provides insights into myths surrounding art and artists.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Understanding Talent

This inspirational article provides insights into myths surrounding art and artists.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Illustrated Glossary of Drawing Words and Terms

This glossary provides definitions and illustrations of the art-related vocabulary used throughout Drawspace lessons and articles. I tend to stay away from complicated and unnecessary words. However, knowing the meanings of fundamental terms is essential to the learning process. Becoming familiar with the vocabulary of drawing enhances your comprehension of the diverse articles and lessons throughout this website, and helps make your drawing experiences more pleasurable and less frustrating!