Teaching Treasures™


drawing lessons title


lesson 7 picture

If you can learn to draw a few geometrical shapes like cubes, cylinders, spheres and cones, you can learn to draw almost anything. It's surprising what you can achieve if you set your mind to it. Did you know that learning to draw what you see gives you the joy of achievement in art?

It is said that drawing is logical and the ability to draw what you see is a simple, logical process. You have to develop your observation skills so you can draw two and three dimensional objects.

Just a tip... when you draw try moving your whole arm not just your fingers or wrist. Most professional artists use their entire arm even when drawing something small. By moving just your fingers and wrist your whole arm will soon begin to ache. It is much better to use your whole arm from the shoulder down with smooth, unrestricted motions.

Begin drawing with big, simple shapes without worrying about precise lines. After you have the general shape and proportions, add those personal details.

But before you can start drawing you'll need the 'basics'.

  • Choose whichever paper you prefer or can easily obtain.
  • Experiment with a variety of pencils, charcoal or chalks.
  • Try to create the illusion of depth.
  • Draw shades of grey to create contrast in your drawing.
  • Learn to draw simple geometric shapes by drawing almost anything. Even landscapes can be drawn as cubes, cylinders, cones and spheres.
  • Start with a few basic lines then add more complex details when you are happy with the basic lines.

Draw using these four basic steps.

  • Identify geometric shapes.
  • Create realistic contours.
  • Use shadows.
  • Add all details.

Identify your pencils.

  • When we talk about pencils, we usually mean graphite pencil. Artists' pencils are roughly divided into two groups - Soft & Hard. A soft pencil will make a darker line than a hard pencil. Soft pencils are marked B plus a number to indicate the degree of softness. 3B is softer and blacker than 2B.
pencil picture
  • Hard pencils are marked H plus a number. 3H is harder and makes a paler line than 2H. HB pencils are considered an all-purpose pencil because it is between hard and soft. Artists usually use more soft pencils than hard pencils.
  • If you want to buy a range of pencils, buy a full range of soft ones from HB to 6B. Cylindrical graphite sticks are also available in various thicknesses to fit into plastic or metal holders. You can also buy rectangular graphite sticks which will make broad lines.


  • A black pastel pencil or Conte Pencil is a cylindrical stick of black chalk and like the normal graphite pencil it has a wood casing. After you've tried chalk in pencil form you may like to try the rectangular black stick of hard pastel or Conte crayon. You can also try the cylindrical sticks of black chalk that fit into plastic or metal holders.


charcoal graphic

  • When trying charcoal for the first time buy hard, medium and soft types. Charcoal is sometimes rated like pencils from HB to 6B. HB is the hardest, 6B the softest. Also try a few sticks of natural charcoal leads which fit into metal or plastic holders. Excellent for experimenting light and dark shades. Also try charcoal from a fire place or burned log. Tribal artists in some countries have used this type of charcoal for many years and produced lovely results. Try charcoal drawing on a different medium besides paper.



  • For pencil drawing, the usual eraser is soft rubber either pink or white. If you want to erase a chalk or charcoal drawing you use a kneaded rubber (or putty rubber). A kneaded rubber comes in the shape of a small block which you can squeeze or knead like clay into whichever shape you desire. There is also, what is called a blocky soap eraser which is useful for cleaning up the white areas of your drawing.


  • Ordinary white paper is great to start with but you really should experiment with different types of paper. Charcoal paper has a fine ribbed texture with a hard surface making your lines look rough but you can blend your strokes to create blended tones. Ask your art supplier to show you some different types of paper, buy a few sheets of each type and have fun experimenting with these different mediums. Try cartridge paper, litho paper, tracing paper and water-colour paper. Some papers yellow and crumble over time and if you intend to keep your drawings for years and years you should use a good quality paper. Few papers are still made of 'rags' (as in the last century) but some manufacturers still use the term "100% rag" to indicate durable paper made from chemically pure cellulose fibers.

Bits and Pieces

  • You may find a wooden drawing board to support your drawing pad handy. Or try a soft fibreboard to which you can tack your loose sheets of paper. You may need a retractable single edge razor or sharp knife for sharpening your drawing tools but be careful not to cut yourself. A sandpaper pad for shaping your drawing tools is also handy. Keep some thumbtacks handy for tacking loose sheets to your fibreboard. Also a 'stomp' for blending tones and a spray can of fixative. This is a very thin varnish which keeps your drawings from smudging.

Your Work Area

  • You should always have good light when drawing. Natural light is often the best. When using a lamp it should be on your left if you're right handed so your hand won't cast a shadow on your drawing paper. Reverse of course if you are left handed. Always store your pencils points up in a jar so the tips don't get damaged. Store chalk, charcoal and other drawing sticks in a shallow box or tray with handy compartments. This can be good for storing pencils as well. Keep erasers in a separate small box to keep them clean. There is nothing worse than erasing part of your drawing with a smudged eraser and ruining your hard work.
Lesson 1
frottage and

Lesson 2
3D still life

Lesson 3
3D and

Lesson 4
double point

Lesson 5
double point

Lesson 6
still life

Lesson 7
the past
a viewer

Lesson 8
get the
right angle

Lesson 9
trees using 

Lesson 10
hats shoes 

Lesson 11

Lesson 12

Lesson 13
ink drawing
ink markings
Lesson 14
review ink
Lesson 15
still life
Lesson 16
fruit and

Art ages 9-10 | Art ages 11-13 | more art ideas


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