It never looks nice
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It never looks nice

No first drawing looks nice, not even Vermeer’s or Rembrandt’s if you didn’t know! And as Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Every artist was first an amateur“, so be kind to yourself ☺️

Saying that, there are 2 things you need to remember:

  1. Don’t have high expectations (not only when you first start drawing, but never). When the product doesn’t meet up with your expectation, disappointment follows. And so it goes with most things in our lives.

It’s great to have dreams though…so just dream about how your artworks are so good that they will blow people’s mind and it will happen …or not, and here it is, second advice

  • Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out.

You will know if you are into art soon anyway. How will you know?! Well, if the drawings look like they’re done by a 4 years old kid but you still won’t give up and more than that, you will find yourself thinking about it all the time, and wanting to do it all the time, then you definitely are into it …. you will rule the world one day (or at least the art galleries ☺️).

I really believe that it doesn’t matter how good you are at something, what it matters more is to try your best, always, to be consistent and persistent. And this is really important because any art form (or anything really) can not be learned just for the sake of it; there has to be passion, interest, curiosity, and dedication attached to the process of learning as they say: “It doesn’t matter how good you are. It matters if you have the passion.”  This definitely applied to me…and once you find your true passion, never let go! I know I didn’t and now, after 2 years and a half, my life changed in so many ways…I have more reasons to wake up in the morning, more reasons to be proud of myself, more reasons to be happy.

As promised, here are some of my first drawings ( as a grown up ☺️, we are not even talking about the drawings I did when I was a child, firstly cause I don’t have them and secondly cause they probably were stick figures and who cares about that ha ha )

I reaaaallly tried to do more of what they recommend to do: lines and shapes. But being a Sagittarius and “Impatient” is my second name, I must admit I was done with those in noooo time….be aware, I’m not saying that you should’t practice like that. I actually think this is how you should begin, but for how long you should do it?! Well that depends on you only ….First start with simple shapes like circles, squares, rectangles, triangles ( sounds like a maths lesson ☺️ ) and then, at this beginner stage, there are two approaches that you can adopt –

  1. To try and add shades to the basic shapes that you’ve already “mastered” (drawing a nearly perfect circle free hand is not that easy, believe me ☺️ , and so you will get a sense of how to add depth also called a 3D-effect to any shape. You will also get well versed with how to add shadows and where to put them with respect to light source, etc., in any figure you would draw in the future. (It’s really simple to be honest, wherever there is light, the shadow will be at its opposite direction.) 
These are done with charcoal, hence the mess ☺️
Some of the shape look weird cause they’re from my imagination ☺️
That is not a leaf….but don’t know what it was supposed to be either ha ha

2. To build more complex shapes on to these basic shapes that you have mastered, hopefully ☺️, keep drawing different things that you would observe in your surroundings (a vase, a table etc) And also, imagine shapes in the mind and try to draw them as accurately as possible (if you can’t, that’s ok, just stick with the ones you see)

Here are some of my sketches

You can tell that the flowers were from my imagination ☺️ but at least I tried!
I was very proud of this one, I thought I had mastered light and shadows ha ha ha

Oki Doki, now that I have explained what I first did when I got my art supplies (the ones I talked in my previous post, remember ☺️ ?), and you saw my first drawings (there were quite a few but wouldn’t want to bore you with that, I’m keeping them though to sell them as my first sketches once I’m famous and they’re worth few thousands each ☺️ fingers crossed, I am letting you practice and play with some straight lines and shapes. And don’t cheat by using a ruler, I can seeee youuuu!!!

I’ll be back with more about how I learned to shade (still one of my favourite thing when working in pencil), till then you can borrow some books from the library, I’ll mention some here and also check these YouTube channels (they really helped me).

Draw with Jazza is  Josiah Brooks‘ youtube channel, he’s a cool Australian artist who has a clear passion and talent for teaching people how to draw, animate and paint, using both analogue and traditional media. 

Emmy Kalia is also a self-taught pencil artist from the Netherlands, she loves figurative drawing and she has with some serious skills at creating photo realistic portraits using graphite. Her YouTube channel contains a mixture of tutorials and time-lapse videos that showcase and demonstrate her technique but, although this will come in handy a bit later, it’s still awesome to watch.



You will soon discover more great art learning sources and maybe become addicted to watching them, as I did! I was mesmerised by what these people could do (still am) that I couldn’t stop (that drove my husband and kids crazy so I loved it even more☺️).

As for the books, the one you see in the photo will guide you through more drawing techniques and mediums, and there are a few more that I borrowed from the library (I wish I had the money to buy them, but damn, they’re expensive ☹)

 Drawing for the Absolute Beginner  helps you build the confidence and pushes you to study the fundamentals like form, lighting, perspective, and other related properties (which are very important, obviously )

I was recommend Betty Edwards’ Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain as the perfect beginner’s book. and although it does have a lot of practical exercises that build on previous ideas in the book until you learn to see perspective, negative space, and values, for me it didn’t make much sense and I didn’t resonate with it ( try it, you never now maybe it will be the one for you)

Still life drawings are perfect for beginners and no wonder as objects don’t move like the human figure and they are not as complicated either.This is exactly what Drawing for the Absolute and Utter Beginner. will do, help anyone learn to draw from life with accuracy.

Whoaaa….when I put it all down I realise just how much I have learned these last 2 years….and how happy I am to be able to share with you all this precious information! I hope you are not only enjoying my “witty“remarks or my “tongue-in-cheek” comments (I literally stick my tongue in cheek a lot and my friends can confirm that ☺), but also learn something if you’re a complete beginner, confused and a bit scared. YOU CAN DO THIS! And when you do, send me some images with your progress, I’d love to see them (promise I won’t laugh)

It’s late and I’ve heard “mummy I’m hungry” more than 3 times already since I’ve started writing this article, just to get my attention, (no joke) so I’ll let you go on with your dreams to become a great artist.

Till next time, which I hope it will be soon, be kind to yourselves and live life in colour.


  • rosanna
    Posted at 17:58h, 01 February Reply

    well, you might be impatient but also extremely accurate and consistent, what an amazing artist you are! 👍👍

    • Alex
      Posted at 15:55h, 03 February Reply

      Thank you Rosanna, you are an amazing artist as well, as I said before, you have a special way with words, not only Charcoal ♡♡♡

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