Drawabox | A free, exercise based approach to learning the fundamentals of drawing

Anyone can learn to draw. It's not some magical talent a few people are born with. It's a skill you can train. We can help.

When I was younger, I was taught that one could practice, and perhaps pick up a little here and there, but if you weren't born with the talent you wouldn't get far. The few drawing courses I took in school, and even those at the local community college seemed to reinforce this notion. Just draw, they'd say. Keep trying until it clicks, and if it doesn't click, oh well.

Here, we approach things differently. We focus on structured exercises that train muscle memory and develop concrete skills in a way that appeal to an analytical mind.

The lessons here won't turn you into a master on their own - they will however set you on the right path, help you develop the confidence you need to move forwards, and will leave you with a solid foundation that will be critical in further development of your skills. Whether you're a beginner or self-taught - all you need to bring to the table is the patience and conscientiousness to follow the instructions as they are written and demonstrated, and a willingness to accept and appreciate all your mistakes and failures along the way.

While I insist on the use of ink through lessons 1 to 7, the skills you'll learn here are as applicable to traditional media as they are to digital art. For example, I frequently have students asking if they can do these exercises on their iPad Pro with their Apple Pencil - while you certainly can, the mindset working through them in ink will help you develop faster and more efficiently, building good habits and a greater respect for every mark you put down.

For a while now, many have lauded Drawabox as the best free drawing course online today, but it's not purely because of the lessons. It's because of the community - we started on /r/ArtFundamentals on Reddit, and now have a thriving Discord Chat with thousands of members, all looking to learn and develop their skills in a healthy, encouraging - though not coddling - environment. The community has for years now helped keep Drawabox alive and entirely free, through gestures like critiquing each others' homework to funding Drawabox on Patreon with a few dollars a month. None of this would have been possible without their support.

So, if you're looking to learn to draw and are interested in a structured, exercise-based approach to developing your fundamentals and setting you in the right direction, Lesson 0 (Getting Started) is a great place to start.

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Here are some of the topics we cover
Check out the full list of lessons
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The Art of Brom

The Art of Brom

Here we're getting into the subjective - Gerald Brom is one of my favourite artists (and a pretty fantastic novelist!). That said, if I recommended art books just for the beautiful images contained therein, my list of recommendations would be miles long.

The reason this book is close to my heart is because of its introduction, where Brom goes explains in detail just how he went from being an army brat to one of the most highly respected dark fantasy artists in the world today. I believe that one's work is flavoured by their life's experiences, and discovering the roots from which other artists hail can help give one perspective on their own beginnings, and perhaps their eventual destination as well.

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