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Drawing is not for professional or self-proclaimed artists only. Drawing is something anyone can do. If you ever pick up a pen or pencil during a telephone conversation and start doodling, you are drawing. 

Drawing is a skill anyone can learn. It’s like riding a bike, skiing, typing, using a computer, or anything else. The more you do it, the better you become. But remember, drawing doesn’t have to be about the finished product. The best part of drawing is the process. Drawing takes your mind off everything else. It can be relaxing, calming, rewarding, and fun.

Take a little time today to grab a pencil and a piece of paper - or even the back of a receipt or a napkin - and make a few doodles. Have fun with it. You might be surprised to find you are more creative than you thought. Here are some tips to help you bring out your inner artist.

Try to use your shoulder to help you draw. Move your whole arm when you draw instead of just your wrist and hand. 

Warm up before you start. To loosen up, do some simple fluid hand movements across your paper with a pencil for a few minutes. Draw circles or flowing lines.

Be yourself and exist within your own creativity. Draw from your perspective and find your own, natural style. Don’t compare your drawings to someone else’s, unless you are trying to learn a new technique from that person’s work.

Start with something simple. Some people find it helpful to draw the entire alphabet, one letter at a time, before tackling something more involved. Most people who are new to drawing also find it easier to begin drawing from photos rather than real life. 

Investigate before you draw. Look very closely at whatever you are going to draw. Drawing is about recreating what you see with your own eyes.

Add details to the drawing’s forms and outlines. When you are ready, add shapes within shapes and then create more intricate details. Use thicker lines in some areas and thinner in others to show the effects of light and dark.

See in shapes. Everything you draw will be made up of a varied combination of basic shapes. Look for the squares, circles and/or triangles that make up the overall form of your subject. Begin by drawing the outlines of the shapes you see. 

You Can Draw! Yes...YOU!

Draw whenever you have time. If you want to improve, you will want to draw every day. Schedule time to draw in your daily calendar. Keep your drawing supplies close at hand so you can draw, draw, draw, and draw some more. You never know when something will inspire you to begin sketching. 

Keep your paper clean. It is important to avoid unintended smudging or marks on your paper. Try not to rest any part of your hand on areas of the paper you have drawn on. Also wash your hands before you begin to draw and also at intervals while drawing. 

Draw basic outlines and forms lightly. That way you can easily erase any mistakes. Erase and redraw as needed until you are satisfied that your basic shapes look the way you want them to look. When you are happy with what you have, you can define your lines more precisely. 

Be positive about your outcomes. Don’t be surprised if your first drawings do not come out exactly as you had imagined them. The same thing happens with accomplished artists. Art is fluid by nature and often takes on a life of its own. If you do not like a drawing, put it away for a while. When you look at it again later, you may find it seems a whole lot better than your initial appraisal.

Draw images you enjoy. You want to find pleasure in the experience of drawing so draw something that interests you.

Tips for Getting Started

Get the proper materials. Stop by your local arts and crafts store. Pick up a sketchbook with paper made especially for drawing along with some graphite pencils. Graphite pencils come in different degrees of hardness and softness. H pencils are the hardest pencils. They are smudge resistant and draw cleaner lines. F and HB (standard #2 pencil) pencils are dark and provide minimal smudging. B pencils are soft. They smudge easily and can be erased with little effort.