How to Draw a Good Picture

Two Parts:Preparing for DrawingDrawing a Good Picture

The art of drawing a good picture involves practice and a willingness to keep trying. A good picture requires a focus on technique and style. The more you learn about drawing techniques and the more you practice, the sooner you'll end up creating good pictures.

Part 1
Preparing for Drawing

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    Choose a good quality drawing pencil. A school pencil will give you a good medium shade line and a medium width of the line. If you want a darker pencil use a B pencil. Most craft and art stores sell drawing pencils. The best drawings use a variety of pencil shades.
    • The higher the number, the darker you can go. For example, 6B is much darker than 2B.
    • If you want a really light line use an H pencil. The higher the number the lighter the line. For example, 6H is much lighter than 2H.
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    Keep the pencil point sharp. The sharper the point, the better you can draw. Sharpen it often as you draw.
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    Choose the perfect paper. Bristol Board is by far the best drawing paper on the planet.[citation needed] The smoother the finish, the more awesome the drawing.
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    Keep your paper clean by washing your hands before starting. This prevents smudges and stains. If you get up to grab a snack, wash your hands again before getting back to your drawing.
    • Never rest any part of your hand on any part of your paper that has pencil on it. In other words never rest your hand on your actual drawing. Try to keep your hand on the blank parts of the paper. This prevents blurring your lines.
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    Use a 'kneaded eraser'. These are special erasers which will erase pencil lines without scratching the paper.

Part 2
Drawing a Good Picture

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    Think of what you want to draw. Before you start, picture the image you want to draw in your head first. Planning ahead allows you to work out what particular techniques will work best with the chosen subject. Some examples of good drawing subjects include people, animals, still life (still objects) and landscapes.
    • It might help to warm up first. Sketch without judging the outcome, to loosen up before you start on your picture.
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    Sketch the basic form of the object you are trying to draw. Try to break it down to basic shapes or forms. Use circles, squares, triangles and rectangles to represent the largest parts of the object. Pay special attention to relationships; for example, one object is two and a half times taller than the one beside it and twice as wide. When sketching, use small, fine lines with a pencil to draw quickly and lightly.
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    Erase and redraw as needed. This can be done as often as you like, until you are satisfied that the basic shapes look good.
    • The more effort you make to draw the forms correctly, the more convincing and impressive your drawing will look. No amount of detail will compensate for unintentional inaccuracies or laziness.
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    Go over the drawing when you're satisfied with the form and outline. Add small, wispy lines to increase detail and to show light and shadow.
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    Finish the line work. Go over the lines with a fine tipped pen or sharp pencil. At this point, you can add details to the darker areas using solid lines.
    • If you used pen, take an eraser (a rubber eraser is better than the standard pencil eraser) and erase all of the original fine lines you made with the pencil.
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    Color if you wish. This is optional. If you do color, use the technique of making wispy lines.
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    Continue working on improving your drawing skills. Whether or not the drawing turned out as you wanted it to be, keep learning, keep improving. No artist sits still and thinks they've reached a pinnacle; art is an ongoing journey of improving and changing throughout life.
    • The best artists are those who try hard, have patience, take their time, and have pride in their own work.


  • Draw softly so if you make a mistake, it will not show. After you are happy with the picture, you can accent the lines more forcefully. If you are drawing something a bit complex, do a very light sketch on your paper before you start. This will allow you to get a sense of the shapes involved. Then when you got the light sketch you like, draw over it and add the details.
  • Never press on the paper too hard. If you make a mistake, it's a lot harder to erase than light pencil lines.
  • Have good lighting around where you are drawing.
  • If coloring, test the color on something else first before applying it to your picture so that you don't suddenly realize that you were expecting a different color.
  • Do not use too much force with your pencil (unless you actually mean to, for effect). Doing so without planning for it can lead to thick, dark lines that are hard to erase and can cause the pencil to dull faster.
  • If you have trouble drawing straight from an image or from your imagination, try doing some drawing tutorials to help you get a rough idea and be familiar with shapes and lines to make a good drawing.
  • Use a hard surface so it will be straighter.
  • Don't rest your hand on your drawing, and if you do, don't press too hard. Draw lightly at first, and go over your drawing with a darker coat or pencil or marker.
  • Draw in a peaceful, quiet place, without anyone else on the room, so as to stay focused on your drawing.
  • If you're drawing a person or thing by looking at it, look at every single detail.
  • If you don't believe in yourself or are finding it hard, wait 10 minutes and try again.
  • Make sure there are no lines on the outside of the drawing.


  • Frustration is a part of being an artist. Let it go, it's just part of the experience.
  • Keep your hands off the paper, to avoid any smudging.
  • If you want it to be the best you can, don't rush. Take your time and come back to it if you've had enough at any one sitting.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • An eraser/ rubber eraser

Article Info

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