By Brenda Hoddinott

An illustrated guide to the order in which the lessons in this topic should be completed, and helpful information on the unique content of all Drawspace lessons

This lesson plan/guide has five sections:

  • Sequential List of Core Lessons
  • Additional Resource Lessons
  • About Drawspace Lessons
  • Copyright Basics for Artists
  • Info for Art Educators

As an Aside

Lessons listed in the first section (Sequential List of Core Lessons) are all included in the Drawspace course-in-a-book: Introduction to Drawing (Second Edition):


Figure 1.1

Topic 1.1 lessons are designed to gently immerse absolute beginners in the visual art of drawing and also help experienced artists brush up on fundamental drawing skills and techniques.

Sequential List of Core Lessons

The 33 drawing lessons in this section need to be completed in the order listed. The information, skills, and/or techniques in each lesson build on the previous lesson and prepare you for the next.

Figure 1


1.1.R15 Understanding Talent

Insight into myths about art and artists

Figure 2


1.1.R12 Good Posture First!

How to sit properly and comfortably when you draw

Figure 3


1.1.R13 Protecting Your Wrist and Hand

How to properly hold drawing mediums to prevent discomfort and injury

Figure 4


1.1.R10 Setting up a Creative Space

A few ideas and tips for creating a place to draw in your home

Figure 5


1.1.A1 Make a Storage Portfolio

Follow illustrated instructions to make a unique folder for the storage and preservation of two-dimensional artworks

Figure 6


1.1.R3 Examining Graphite and Grades

Understanding the differences between H and B grades of graphite

Figure 7


1.1.R4 Seeing Grades in Drawings

Graphite drawings demonstrate the visual qualities of H and B grades of pencils

Figure 8


1.1.R5 Picking out Graphite Pencils

How to select the right graphite pencils for learning how to draw

Figure 9


1.1.R6 Sketchbooks and Drawing Papers

Choosing the right size, quality, and weight of drawing paper

Figure 10


1.1.R7 Check Up on the Tooth of Papers

How a paper's tooth affects the appearance of graphite drawings

Figure 11


1.1.R8 Tools for Sharpening and Erasing

The best sharpeners and erasers for artists who draw

Figure 12


1.1.A6 Buy the Right Drawing Supplies

The short list of essential supplies to get your drawing journey off to a great start

Figure 13


1.1.A3 Sketch a Self-Portrait

Document your current drawing skills by sketching yourself

Figure 14


1.1.R2 Travelling Back in Time with Graphite

A few fascinating tidbits about graphite and its lengthy history

Figure 15


1.1.A8 Experiment with Pencil Points

Use a 4B pencil to try out three different types of pencil points on medium tooth paper

Figure 16


1.1.A2 Play with Five Grades of Graphite

Use the base values of five different grades of pencils to shade eight simple line drawings

Figure 17


1.1.R14 Examining Diagonal Lines of Masters

Compare drawings to identify the natural hand motions of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo

Figure 18


1.1.A5 Find Your Natural Hand Movements

Discover your natural hand movements for drawing straight and curved lines

Figure 19


1.1.A7 Rotate Your Paper to Draw a Shape

Draw a simple shape by rotating your paper to continuously use your natural hand movement

Figure 20


1.1.A9 Use Lines to Draw a Feather

Sketch the shape of a real or imaginary feather and add details with lines

Figure 21


1.1.R9 Checking Out Charcoal

Discover the versatility of charcoal by examining the marks it makes in various applications

Figure 22


1.1.A4 Play with Kneaded and Vinyl Erasers

Experiment with charcoal as a shading medium and two different types of erasers as drawing tools

Figure 23


1.1.A18 Pull a Sphere from the Dark

Shade your paper with charcoal; then pull out light values with erasers and shade darker values with charcoal

Figure 24


1.1.A17 Turn Sketches into Contour Drawings

Use feathered lines to sketch shapes and then use your imagination and continuous lines to create drawings

Figure 25


1.1.A10 The Point of Shading Values

Use five grades of pencils and three different pencil points to create a reference guide of values and textures

Figure 26


1.1.A13 Move Mountains Into Distant Space

Use a range of different values to create the illusion of depth in a mountain scene

Figure 27


1.1.R16 The Magic of Tapered Lines

Exploring the advantages of tapered lines as an invaluable technique for shading smooth values

Figure 28


1.1.A11 Shade Shapes with Tapered Lines

Outline various shapes with contour lines and use a rounded pencil point to add shading with tapered lines

Figure 29


1.1.A14 Outline the Contours of a Tulip

Use feathered lines to sketch proportions and then use continuous lines to outline a tulip, stem, and leaf

Figure 30


1.1.A15 Map the Values of a Tulip

Create an easy-to-follow shading guide by outlining the shapes of six values on your contour drawing of a tulip

Figure 31


1.1.A16 Shade an Impressionistic Tulip

Use various pencils, tapered lines, burnishing, and/or blending to shade a tulip in the style of impressionism

Figure 32


1.1.R11 Putting Together a Portable Studio

Practical supplies to bring along when you take your love of drawing outside

Figure 33


1.1.A12 Capture Subjects in a Sketchbook

Document your formative years of artistic development by sketching subjects that interest you

Additional Resource Lessons

The information in these two bonus lessons is invaluable to a beginner's artistic development.

Figure 34


1.1.R18 Illustrative and Traditional Realism

Examine drawings to compare the techniques used for rendering two substyles of realism

Figure 35


1.1.R17 185 Terrific Tips For Artists

A broad range of tips to help prevent common mistakes and make your drawing journey more pleasurable

About Drawspace Lessons

Drawspace is logically organized into lessons, topics, and modules:

  • Lessons: Drawspace lessons are the foundation of Drawspace on which all books and courses are created.
  • Topics: A topic is a container for a series of related lessons that are separated into two categories: resources and activities.
  • Modules: A module is a container for a series of related topics.

Each series of related lessons is grouped together in a topic, and each series of related topics is grouped together in a module. Each Drawspace lesson is either a resource (requires no supplies) or an activity (requires supplies).

Resource: Information and/or Demonstrations

A resource (R) lesson is a heavily-illustrated mini textbook of information. Resources discuss and/or demonstrate art-related topics such as techniques, skills, styles, artists, philosophy, and/or history. The information in each resource serves as a reference for one or more related call-to-action activity lessons.

Activity: Call-to-Action Requiring Supplies

An activity (A) is a call-to-action assignment or project that requires supplies. Each activity includes a list of all supplies needed to complete the assignment(s).

Naming Conventions for Lessons

Each Drawspace lesson is assigned a unique number/letter curriculum code based on its:

  • Module number
  • Topic number in a module
  • Type of lesson: Resource (R) or Activity (A)
  • Rank (sequential ranking in a resource or activity)

An example of curriculum code for a published lesson is:

1.1.R15 Understanding Talent: Module 1; Topic 1; Resource R; Rank 15

In addition to a unique curriculum code, each lesson is also assigned a unique Drawspace Publishing ISBN number, which is then legally-registered with Library and Archives Canada and The Canadian ISBN Service System (CISS).

Sizing Up the Sidebars

Scattered throughout most lessons are sidebars filled with useful information related to the topics being discussed. There are six different types of sidebars and each is easily identified by a simple icon.

Figure 36


Definitions of visual art terms with a focus on the vocabulary of drawing and painting to help you better understand the content of lessons.

Figure 37

As an Aside

Inspirational and/or informative art-related information, such as contemporary and historical artists and their experiences and philosophies.

Figure 38


Invaluable info to save you time, energy, and frustration by suggesting easier ways to do some tasks or how to take better care of your supplies.

Figure 39


Better safe than sorry! Protect your drawings (or yourself) from potential mishaps by learning how to prevent problems before they begin.

Figure 40

Visual Challenge!

Enhance your ability to see as an artist by finding and/or examining specific art-related components in drawings or in your environment.

Figure 41


Gather your drawing supplies and try a new technique, spend additional time practicing a skill, and/or create a sketch or drawing.

Assigned Degree of Difficulty

Drawspace lessons are designed for students of all ages and abilities, including many for whom English is not their first language. The overall text content of lessons is simple and direct, but not dumbed-down.

Each author of a lesson selects the most appropriate level from the following six options:

  • Beginner (B): knows very little about drawing.
  • Beginner to Intermediate (BI): has basic drawing skills.
  • Beginner to Advanced (BA): includes all skill levels.
  • Intermediate (I): has a solid foundation of beginner skills and techniques.
  • Intermediate to Advanced (IA): has a solid foundation of intermediate techniques.
  • Advanced (A): aspires to learn advanced techniques within specific areas of expertise.

Copyright Basics for Artists

Copyright is a form of protection that grants artists of all disciplines the exclusive right to sell, reproduce, or exhibit their own original creations.

You are Protected

Artists who live in a country that has signed the Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property (also known as the Berne Convention) automatically own the copyrights to their completed original creations. An artwork can only be considered original if you were the first to bring the work from its intellectual conception to its creative conclusion.

Artworks that you create from step-by-step lessons are completely yours to display, share, reproduce, and add to a website, but are not considered original.

Drawspace is Protected

All Drawspace published lessons, books, and illustrations are also copyright protected by the Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property (also known as the Berne Convention), Library and Archives Canada, and The Canadian ISBN Service System (CISS).

Drawspace content may not be shared, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transferred, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the author and Drawspace Publishing.

Info for Art Educators

Drawspace lessons and books are used by home-schooling families, private art teachers, and art educators in diverse learning environments such as schools, colleges, universities, recreational organizations, and senior centers. All resources and activities can be worked.

Lessons in this topic are authored by

Brenda Hoddinott

Figure 42

Award-winning artist, illustrator, art educator, curriculum designer, forensic artist (retired), owner of Drawspace.com and Drawspace Publishing, and author of numerous art instruction books.