Learning How to Draw, A Journal by warpy



i have been doing a lot of drawing the past couple of years and about a month ago i decided to actually take the time and go study with a private teacher.
its actually quite nice working in the same room with people who can draw better than you, while having a master teacher at your disposal.

my previous drawing thread: warpy’s sketchbook

i wish i had done this thing many many moons ago, its very cheap and it would have saved me a whole lot of frustrations in the whole process of figuring out things on my own.

i decided to post my progress, i will try to update every once in a while so that newbies like me can actually learn a thing or two on how things are done in the real world… yea the one OUTSIDE of your computer room.

i would like to add that i am writing this on the fly and i am sorry if there are any typos, most of it should be clear to any english speaking newbie :slight_smile:

okay so here we go…


so here i am at the new studio, my first lesson was 4.5 hours…
my teacher’s name is george… so from now on i’ll just call he george, easy right ?

now you must remember that i have started drawing couple of years ago and before i went to the first lesson i was prepared to do the BASICS all over again! i cant stress this enough, if you dont know your basics then nothing is going to work properly for you in the future.

so i have about a month of doing basic drawings and to tell you the truth its pretty fun…

for the first hour and a half he talked to me about many things, tried to see where i am headed with this and if i am serious, a good teacher will want you to sit in his class and just waste your time while giving him money, he will want you to put hours and hours of work into your drawing skills. he will even give you homework.

so he tells me to draw this doggy doll in 10 minutes, i have never done a drawing under 30 minutes and i wasnt comfortable with this, but i still did it… 10 minutes passed and now he tells me to doodle (he called this “gesture” i dont know the proper name for this… but we can call this doodling.
so anyways i am doodling this doggy doll, i did about 10 doodling, each took 1 minute, its all about the contour and not the actual drawing, this is suppose to give your drawing some animation, doodling will make you see the dynamic movement of a still object (people trace it afterwards to get a better shape) but the whole thing is realy about capturing movement.

as you can see, the first picture is the one i did in 10 minutes, and the rest are the doodling that imo are actually better… they do show the movement or the dynamic pose of the doggy doll…

i was pretty happy with how this was and we continued…


next thing we practiced shading, we did this gradient row of squares shading it with the pencil and then going from the second square to the last one, while adding more graphite to it, then from the 3rd square to the last one, this way we get a nice gradient… this was good practice and was done because next i was suppose to take a bunch of boxes and shade them.

first i did some thumbnailing to see what the shading on the bigger version is going to look like, i actually moved myself in the process to get a different angle that suited me better.

this is suppose to be a lesson about shading, shading boxes, making them look 3d with respect to the enviroment and themselves and learning how to use the pencil to get 12 variation of color.

you can see that there are reflections, shading, shadows, and each plane of the box is receiving a different shade color, over all there should be atleast 12 shading colors.
the first set of boxes is what i did in class, the second one is what i did on my own time as homework…

i started with a low level color, and started to give each surface its own shade, then i tried to balance the whole picture, keeping in mind that the strengh of light is different on each surface, so if 2 surfaces started to look the same color, i added more color to the darker one, thus balancing the whole picture to a finished state.

Lessons learned :

  1. the background coloring pushes the boxes and makes them look 3d
  2. shadows also have reflections (like in a pool)
  3. there is no need for hard edges, with just color variation between surfaces,
    the actual feeling you get without hard edges is so much better, look at the small
    box and you will see that there is no hard edge realy, but it looks hard edged…
  4. you must stay inside the frame, although you can go out of it and erase afterwards,
    but the end result should be inside the frame.


now i am a full time student, i am studying computer science and well… i have so many classes, so in my classes i started doing my drawing homework, i dont realy write in class so what is better than to draw :slight_smile:

did a few doodles of people around campus (moving people, this doodle is so quick that you can actually doodle walking people) i also went to the anatomy thread of icey and doodled his drawings.

the mistakes i did were that i shouldnt have just drawn the out line of the body, george says that i should doodle like a kid and do the insides which is MORE important, because it captures the animation of the object, later on you can select your edges from that same doodle and do something fancy with it, according to him (and he supplied proof) a lot of the old masters did this.


from now on for the 10 first minutes of the drawing lesson i should do 10 quick doodles, there are many ways to do this, because i am in a class with a few other people, they are constantly moving, so its 1 drawing per minute of someone …

as you can see i corrected my mistake and now the bodies are not hollow, they have doodly lines in them.

the lesson continuted and today i am suppose to do cylinders, cylinders as opposed to cubes has smooth gradient, they dont have surfaces that just take different shade of gray.
remember that adding shadow to the end result gives it a better 3d looks.

Instructions :

  1. do a bunch of cylinders and do the shading properly, full gradient with the 12 gradient colors but the transition has to be smooth.
  2. make sure i have done the inside of the cylinder, as you can see its actually backwards because the light source is hitting the inside of the cylinder on the farthest side and not on the front.
  3. add the return light to the back of the cylinder, this light should not be as strong as the shading on the front of the cylinder.


nice^^ i see you practiced alot there, good work. ^^


Hi warpy,

I like the idea for this thread, and it’s nice to see your progress ~ how many more classes like this will you be taking? :slight_smile:

Would you mind capitalizing your title, like so:

Learning How to Draw, A Journal by warpy




Nice job, man, good to see you pushing yourself. :slight_smile:


@ rebecca: i tried, but no idea how, can you do it please ??
as long as i still want to, afford it, its good for me … probably a long time lol

@ lotekk, thanks man :slight_smile: hopefully this will be the place for all noobs to come and push themselves… crossing fingers


I will be keeping an eye on this thread.
This will be a great threat, I am looking forward to your updates.



Way to go Warpy. Its indeed a very good idea. Goodluck!


great idea!! i hope to learn from it as well … which i think is the objective of the thread… thanks a lot :slight_smile:



One thing that I strongly recommend is to do a number of 2-5-10 or -15 minute gesture exercise sequences as can be found posted here at the beginning of the Beginners’ Lounge thread:

Gesture Exercises

I really think that doing these exercises, either traditionally or digitally, will greatly advance your study of the figure.

You can also find lots of goodies here:

Master Copy Resources

Cheers, :slight_smile:



Hi Ori,

already told you how much I like the idea beid this thread and how useful it will turn out to be for all of us beginners.

Practising basic shapes is a very good exercise which can be applied to many things. You will find yourself shading anatomical shapes the way you learned shading basic shapes, because they are hidden all over the place!

Looking forward to your updates, man!


:slight_smile: HI WARPY …GREAT IDEA for a thread …:thumbsup:

When I first learned to really DRAW and REALLY SEE …what I was LOOKING AT, we used the same metod of SPOTLIGHTING SHAPES …sphere circle triangle cube ect.
We used a mechanial pencil, with an assortment of leads …from soft to hard, and a piece of
sand paper, to keep the leads… SUPPER SHARP, with a very fine NEDDLE POINT…gotten by
rolling the tip of the lead between the fingertips, while incased in a little strip of sandpaper,
held between or fingertips…the sharper the point, the finer the DRAWING or RENDERING.
We were not allowed to use the side of the lead, but were taught to use just the very sharp tip of the lead…and to kind of prick the paper with the point,…filling in every pore of the paper
in the process with these tiny pin pricks.
Our first exercise was to do a gray scale chart…one inch squres…ten or twelve…placed in a row, and going from top to bottom, …we would fill in each squre …starting with hardest
lead for the lightest shade, and ending up with the softest lead for the darkest shade at
the other end of the scale…what we ended up with was a seamless scale of VALUES, from
light to dark…Took a week using this method…:scream: The point of this method, and the result
was to teach us to slow down, and to REALLY SEE what we were LOOKING AT.
Then we went on to do SPOTLIGHTED cubes sphers ect…and finally ended up doing organic
shapes from nature…I think my first one was a crab claw…took a month…had to do it ten
times larger than it actually was…,by theTIME , I had gotten done with it, I realized that I had been on a journy that taught me to …SEE…:bounce:




.gotten by
rolling the tip of the lead between the fingertips, while incased in a little strip of sandpaper,
held between or fingertips…the sharper the point, the finer the DRAWING or RENDERING.

hrng! wha a priceless hint! I have just today been discussing how to get a reeeal sharp pin on my graphite mines with a clerk in my art supplies store. Maybe I should go back and tell her how to do it…:rolleyes:

thanks Glenn!


i am realy getting to like this whole gesturing thing, doodling is nice and you draw an incredible amount of things, this helped me understand how to make a still figure appear as if its moving… its quite nice and if you doodle in campus its the best excuse to stare at girls without it being all weird :stuck_out_tongue:

here are some of the boxes i did as homework before lesson 4, imo it looks good :slight_smile:
dont forget to do your homework or else there is no point in going to class !!


some more homework for last week :

this week i learned how to make spheres, a sphere is a simple circle shaded in such a way that you make it look like a ball. the instructions i was given for shading the sphere were
that a sphere is like a a few cylinders grouped together in parallel and you shade each of them until you get the illusion of the sphere (dont forget to add shadow and reflection to make it look pretty and 3d)

how to make a sphere :

my attempts :

i still have to do more spheres for the next lesson, so i’ll update as soon as i finished them spheres.


i have also taken the time to doodle this nice girl who was sleeping on a bench, here are the results :slight_smile:


Hi nice work!. I hope you don’t mind a little critique, and if you already know what I’m about to say then just tell me to shut up :smiley:

When your sketching, try to keep the lines clean, so that you don’t go back and forth with the pencil over the same spot. Try to make your pencil (or whatever material your using) flow across the page whilst you follow the contors with your eye.

You can also vary the thickness of your lines making them thicker where there is shadow and very thin where there are highlights.

Nice work :thumbsup: