Drawing Exercises in 4 Steps With Photoshop

Here are some helpful drawing exercises to start you off. That is, it is imperative that you have a good grasp of basic drawing skills to be a successful artist as these drawing tips are very useful regardless of medium.

This section will focus on some key sketching tips to practice on so you can build up your foundation. First thing to do is to get comfortable. Grab a desk, sit straight up, and open up Photoshop or any digital drawing software of choice.

Just the basic digital art brush is fine. Use the most basic brush settings with nothing fancy. It is just to get you comfortable with the tool. The second thing is to get rid of distractions as these will take time to master.

We will focus on controlling the lines, adding pressure, shading, quick speed drawings, and finding values between light and dark colors. You will find all these extremely helpful when taking on complex drawings in the future.

Drawing exercises on the line

These drawing tips are to help you control your line art form. On the digital canvas, begin drawing a straight line. How did it go? Did your hands move a bit slow? Did you have to go back and forth making your line look all fuzzy? Is your line short?

Depending on how you answered those questions, you will need to make some effort on improving drawing the basic line. This is because the line is an important factor in creating shapes, forming shading, and adding depth.

drawing exercises part 1 from cgattic.ca

For this first phase, an ideal line should be fairly straight, long, done in one stroke, and has even pressure throughout the entire length. After that, try altering your line. For example, try bending the lines to form a curve, zig-zag, spirals, and waves.

Try to draw lines that are continuous as much as possible without any breakage. Work on practicing those drawing concepts to get a good core foundation that you will use for everything you draw.

Drawing exercises on pressure

The drawing tips in this section deal with how well you can control your pressure sensitivity. When you first did your line in step one, how hard did you push? In drawing, pressure create different values to suggest distance.

That is, the farther you are from the object, the fainter the object is by creating a desaturated value of that color. This is true for lines. In this lesson, I want you do draw your line again.

drawing exercises part 2 from cgattic.ca

Practice going to consecutive sessions of light and hard pressure sensitivity on the same line. Make your lines curve while controlling your hand pressure at the same time. Think about a natural environment as you do this.

As mentioned, compositions through color values can illustrate a sense of depth. What type of atmosphere and compositions can you do with just simple shading techniques created from practicing pressure?

Drawing exercises on speed

Speed is very important for any artist. For those aiming to be professional illustrators, you need to do things fast because your time during the sketch and idea phases are usually unpaid.

Even doing it as a hobby, you want to minimize this time as much as possible. Given what you have learned up to this point, you need to combine all the elements in your previous lesson with doing it faster and faster.

drawing exercises part 3 from cgattic.ca

Here is your chance to do multiple lines in various values as fast as possible and with a good degree of control. By the end of the lesson, your hands should have gotten a very nice workout.

Test yourself as well. What types of drawings can you do within a given time frame? It's not about creating a finished product. It is, however, all about creating a tangible composition so you can start with the finishing touches.

Drawing exercises on value

Everything up to this point is to help you progress in a way that is natural. Once mastered, the drawing tips for this section is to simply draw using values. There are many ways to draw.

The common method is to draw from reference. In other words, you want to copy or trace the object to get a feel of it. You can start with simple inorganic objects like a cup, a flower vase, or whatever interests you in general. Only by studying real life object can you really begin building your own imaginative world.

drawing exercises part 4 from cgattic.ca

As you draw it as fast as possible, keep in mind its proportions. You want to train your mind to pick up the important parts that make the object what it is rather than worry about the details. It is this type of training that will become useful when you are creating a digital painting from scratch.

If you're having difficulties, try using a grid. A grid will help you break down the values into manageable parts. Then, outline the general shapes and see how it fills out the grid in proportion to other objects.

As usual, your pressure sensitivity exercise will determine the values needed to depict shadows and depth in these drawing exercises while an understanding of light will bring the objects to life.

Please remind yourself that these drawing exercises are an ongoing learning process. You can never have enough practice. Once you are adequate with these drawing tips, you can now freely transfer these skills to to other mediums to create beautiful illustrations.