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.

Drawabox is a set of free exercise-based lessons that focus on the fundamentals - the skills you'll need to make sense of all the other resources and tutorials out there. First we focus on the basic mechanics of mark making, and how to use your arm. By the end, we develop a strong understanding of form, 3D space and construction.

I won't lie to you - our approach is tough and involves a lot of hard work. It's also structured and gives you a clear path with concise explanations and assignments you can complete and submit for review.

You can read more about Drawabox and how it came about here.

Or you can join the community of thousands of beginners and professionals alike and get started.

Homework

Once you've completed a lesson, one of the best ways to refine your understanding of that material is to help others by critiquing their work. After having done thousands of critiques and having improved immensely over the last few years, I can attest to that myself.

  • 250 Cylinder Challenge

    Lupursian

    7:34 PM, Saturday September 17th 2022
  • Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants

    Farhanthenerd

    2:08 PM, Friday September 23rd 2022
  • Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants

    Wizard_hatt

    1:34 AM, Thursday September 22nd 2022
  • 25 Wheel Challenge

    HFO1

    11:17 AM, Tuesday September 20th 2022
  • Lesson 2: Contour Lines, Texture and Construction

    MrRobot167

    8:16 AM, Friday September 23rd 2022
  • 25 Wheel Challenge

    aeshnabx

    1:21 AM, Monday September 12th 2022
  • Lesson 4: Applying Construction to Insects and Arachnids

    boblybob

    3:33 AM, Thursday September 22nd 2022
  • Lesson 4: Applying Construction to Insects and Arachnids

    JackC

    2:10 AM, Thursday September 22nd 2022
  • Lesson 6: Applying Construction to Everyday Objects

    Bruh

    5:06 PM, Wednesday September 21st 2022
  • Lesson 2: Contour Lines, Texture and Construction

    Awkward_Magazine

    4:33 AM, Wednesday September 21st 2022

Questions/Discussions

Take a moment to answer someone's question, or contribute to a discussion, if you have anything to offer.

  • The Urge To Chicken Scratch

    AgesLABS

  • Restarting Drawabox after a long break

    tobyhypur

  • Tools of The Trade (Applying DAB information)

    AgesLABS

  • Lesson 3 and "Do Not Grind"

    tmmillea

Sketchbooks

Along with Drawabox work, our community members also post other artwork to their sketchbooks.

  • Aturia24's Sketchbook: Attempt #2 At rotated boxes after 250 box challenge.

  • MNXA_Sn33d's Sketchbook: 20 minute thumbnails

  • JJag's Sketchbook: Fiat 500

  • boblybob's Sketchbook: 6 plant drawings

  • Loziale's Sketchbook: Ollie my dog

The recommendation below is an advertisement. Most of the links here are part of Amazon's affiliate program (unless otherwise stated), which helps support this website. It's also more than that - it's a hand-picked recommendation of something I've used myself. If you're interested, here is a full list.
Drawabox-Tested Fineliners (Pack of 10, $17.50 USD)

Drawabox-Tested Fineliners (Pack of 10, $17.50 USD)

Let's be real here for a second: fineliners can get pricey. It varies from brand to brand, store to store, and country to country, but good fineliners like the Staedtler Pigment Liner (my personal brand favourite) can cost an arm and a leg. I remember finding them being sold individually at a Michael's for $4-$5 each. That's highway robbery right there.

Now, we're not a big company ourselves or anything, but we have been in a position to periodically import large batches of pens that we've sourced ourselves - using the wholesale route to keep costs down, and then to split the savings between getting pens to you for cheaper, and setting some aside to one day produce our own.

These pens are each hand-tested (on a little card we include in the package) to avoid sending out any duds (another problem with pens sold in stores). We also checked out a handful of different options before settling on this supplier - mainly looking for pens that were as close to the Staedtler Pigment Liner. If I'm being honest, I think these might even perform a little better, at least for our use case in this course.

We've also tested their longevity. We've found that if we're reasonably gentle with them, we can get through all of Lesson 1, and halfway through the box challenge. We actually had ScyllaStew test them while recording realtime videos of her working through the lesson work, which you can check out here, along with a variety of reviews of other brands.

Now, I will say this - we're only really in a position to make this an attractive offer for those in the continental United States (where we can offer shipping for free). We do ship internationally, but between the shipping prices and shipping times, it's probably not the best offer you can find - though this may depend. We also straight up can't ship to the UK, thanks to some fairly new restrictions they've put into place relating to their Brexit transition. I know that's a bummer - I'm Canadian myself - but hopefully one day we can expand things more meaningfully to the rest of the world.

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