How to draw: the best drawing tutorials

How to draw
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you've got questions about how to draw, this varied collection of drawing tutorials will set you off on the right path. For beginners and professional artists, and everyone in-between, there is always something new to learn, and this roundup of tutorials will teach you the basics and enable you to master the skills you already have. Whether you want to draw animals, body parts or flowers, we've got you covered. 

This roundup includes a mix of video guides and written tutorials, so you'll be able to get your head around the most complex techniques. 

We've included different drawing mediums and cover more traditional methods as well as modern ones. If you're hoping to update your drawing kit before you start, then make sure you check out our guide to the best pencils or to take your drawing experience to another level, have a look at our best lightboxes article. 

If you're working on Adobe Illustrator, then have a look at our list of the best Adobe Illustrator tutorials from around the web. Or if you're a little more old-school, we have a range of sketching tips from the experts. 

How to draw: Animals

How to draw fantasy beasts

How to draw a fantasy beast illustration

(Image credit: Emily Hare)

In this imaginative tutorial, Emily Hare teaches us how to draw fantasy beasts using pencil and watercolours. The step-by-step guide takes you through the process right from the start, from concept sketches all the way to fine details, encouraging you to "go with the flow." This how-to is a great place to start if you're anxious about starting your drawing journey as there are no strict rules to creating your own unique fantasy beast – so let your mind run wild. 

How to draw a dog

A sketch of a dog

Draw a dog that's realistic and anatomically correct

In this tutorial, Kate Oleska, teaches us how to draw a dog with step-by-step instructions. While every dog breed looks different, below the fur, they're all structurally very similar. So even if you are aiming to draw a pup different to the one in this tutorial, this guide will equip you with the skills to draw a realistic dog, whatever the breed.

How to draw a cat

A sketch of a cat in pencil

Top tips for capturing realistic furry felines

Kate Oleska walks us through how to draw a cat with this handy step-by-step guide. This tutorial even includes super nifty advice on how to develop your drawing skills, and how to observe cats when sketching. There are also some pointers on how to recognise a cat's internal skeleton, which will help you to draw a number of cat breeds from tigers to kittens.

How to draw a horse

A pencil sketch of a horse

Draw better horses with a solid understanding of horse anatomy and mechanics

Horses are notoriously complex animals to draw, with their long faces and lack of fur to hide behind it can be a feat to capture them correctly. Not to mention the fact that a horse's skeleton works a little different to what we are typically used to. The slightest wrong line might take your horse from realistic to comical, but don't worry, this how to draw a horse tutorial is easy to follow and even comes with a super helpful video. 

How to draw a wolf

Pencil sketch of a wolf with a full winter coat

Learn how to draw a wolf with this easy-to-follow video tutorial

Next up, it's the king of all canines – how to draw a wolf. Believe it or not, there are many differences between dogs and wolves, so don't just assume because you can draw one, you can also draw the other. In this video tutorial, Masae Seki explains how these canine breeds differ, before walking through the process of drawing a side view of a standing wolf. As a bonus, there are also instructions on how to add a winter coat for those chillier months.

How to draw a fox

how to draw a fox - image of a fox in pastels

(Image credit: Rebecca de Mendonça)

This how to draw a fox tutorial shows you how to create a cunning and alert animal using soft pastels, charcoal, Conté crayons and pastel pencils. Rebecca de Mendonça shares tips for building up darks and lights to create the form, and then working into areas of detail. The result is pretty spectacular. 

How to draw a bird

This how to draw a bird tutorial is a step-by-step guide to drawing a side view of a bird, using an American Robin as an example. The lesson begins by explaining the six major body parts to watch for when drawing a bird, before carving out its mass and structure. Finally the guide will cover the fine details, such as the facial features, feet, and most importantly, the feathers. There are also tips on how to draw a bird with its wings open.

How to draw a lion

This step-by-step tutorial will guide you through how to draw a lion – specifically, a side view of a male African Lion. You'll start by establishing the skeletal structure, then move on to sketching in form, and finally adding details to create an accurate representation of a lion. Not exciting enough for you? This tutorial will also touch on the best way to depict a lion roaring.

How to draw an elephant

A grey sketch of an elephant

Learn how to draw the world's largest land animal 

Capture the world's largest land animal with this in-depth video tutorial on how to draw an elephant. Start with blocking in shapes and covering basic anatomy, then move on to carving out the elephant's mass and form of the body before diving into the details of this beautiful animal's skin. 

How to draw a bear

A pencil sketch of a bear

Follow this tutorial to draw a realistic bear

Want to learn how to draw a bear that doesn't look like a teddy? This drawing tutorial offers pro tips for getting the anatomy right, so that you can create a believable bear.

How to draw a dragon

A digital art piece of a dragon breathing fire

Consider its weight and backstory (Image credit: Alex Stone)

Learn how to draw a dragon, one of fantasy art's staple creatures. This guide is complete with 16 pro tips to help you when drawing your own unique dragon.  From use of colour to considering its backstory, this advice covers all you need to know.

How to draw fur

how to draw fur with pastels - painting of a cat

Create a strikingly realistic coat for your animal (Image credit: Jill Tisbury)

In this four-step tutorial using pastels, Jill Tisbury explains how to draw fur on an animal, using a wildcat as an example. The result is an incredibly realistic depiction of a cat.

Drawing fur digitally

A digital piece of a growling bear with black fur

Use scattering-type texture brushes to blend elements and give the illusion of fur

Fur can be difficult to paint effectively. In this set of pro tips, concept artist Mikaël Léger guides you through how to paint fur on a large beast using Photoshop

How to draw feathers

A hand drawing a picture of feathers

Top tips for giving your feathers a 3D finish (Image credit: Ivan Jones)

This guide to how to draw feathers will have you drawing feathers with a three-dimensional finish, using pastels. It will take you through using highlights and shading to finish off your feathers, making them look super-realistic.

How to draw cartoon animals

A sketch of a fox and the final digital colour fox

Discover how to add personality to creatures and characters that will make viewers care

Once you've learned how to draw animals, you need to know how to make them work effectively within your paintings. This series of expert creature creation tips gives you great insight into drawing cartoon animals with personality, and how to use body language to tell a story with your creatures.

How to draw: People

How to draw a person

Whichever kind of artist you are, learning how to draw the human form is a fundamental skill that will serve you well. In this brilliant video tutorial, character designer and illustrator Masae Seki will teach you how to draw a person that's realistic and anatomically correct.

Draw the human body from sight

Pencil sketch of a human body

Draw what you actually see, not what you think you see (Image credit: Phillip Tyler)

This tutorial takes you through how to draw the human body from sight. We sometimes let our preconceptions about what the body looks like get in the way of how it actually appears. Here, we take you through different approaches to take to make sure your body drawings are super-accurate.

How to draw a torso

pencil sketch of a torso

Learn how to draw all parts of the torso (Image credit: Lancelot Richardson)

Learn how to draw a torso, the part of the body that underpins your life drawing. This guide focuses on all the parts of the torso, from muscles to the waist, addressing common issues and things to watch out for.

How to draw eyes

This narrated step-by-step tutorial for beginners walks through exactly how to draw an eye. It’s easy to follow and will have you drawing realistic eyes in no time – no matter how good (or bad) you are at them now.

How to draw a neck and shoulders

A pencil sketch of someone's neck and shoulders

Get the neck and shoulders right (Image credit: Lancelot Richardson)

This in-depth tutorial explains how to draw a neck and shoulders, in a step-by-step format. You'll delve into the exact muscles and bones lurking beneath the surface, and how they should inform your composition. The tutorial also covers shading and finishing your piece.

How to draw a figure

Drawing a full human figure is no easy feat. In this almost hour long video tutorial, discover how to draw a female figure, covering fundamental aspects including figure proportions, gestures, poses and fluid lines. 

How to draw muscles

A black and white photo of a man lying down

Learn how to draw accurate muscles (Image credit: Patrick J Jones)

Learn how to draw muscles in motion and harness the power of gesture with this helpful step-by-step guide from artist Patrick J Jones. 

How to draw faces

Another tutorial for beginners, this video explains how to draw faces from scratch. You’ll learn how to draw both female faces and male faces, and you’ll also find out how to demonstrate your characters by making just a few simple changes. 

How to draw a nose

A pen drawing a nose on canvas

This step-by-step guide shows you exactly how to draw a nose

In this tutorial, Kate Oleska teaches you how to draw a nose by breaking the process down into simple steps. She's using oils, but the steps are relevant to any medium. Noses are notoriously difficult to get right

How to draw hair

This detailed video walks through how to draw hair. It’s a long video – but you don’t have to watch it in one sitting, and you can fast-forward, too. If you want to find out how other artists draw hair, this is worth a watch.

How to draw hands

A pencil sketch of a clenched fist

Many artists struggle to draw hands

Learning to create realistic hands is a stumbling block for many an artist. This fantastic tutorial breaks the process of how to draw a hand down into easy steps, so you'll be drawing realistic hands in no time. It also features some bonus tutorials for drawing hands.

How to draw an arm

Two arms drawn in pencil and a hand holding a model bone

Don't forget about the arms! (Image credit: Patrick J Jones)

Hands get a lot of attention, but it's also important to get the arms right. In this tutorial, Patrick J Jones explains how to draw an arm with the correct proportions and muscular structure. 

How to draw legs

how to draw legs - leg sketches

(Image credit: Lancelot Richardson)

Learn how to create realistic legs with this how to draw legs tutorial, which will help you create a pair of legs that are in proportion to the rest of the body.

Add energy to your life drawings

Pencil drawing of a woman in black and white

Bring some life into your figure drawings (Image credit: Patrick J Jones)

In this more advanced tutorial, Patrick J Jones will show you how to draw a figure with a feeling of energy and movement. You'll need to have the basic skills nailed before you move on to this guide, but it's a great way to expand your figure drawing technique further.

How to capture more interesting poses

An upside down woman drawn in pencil

Try some more challenging poses with this advanced tutorial (Image credit: Patrick J Jones)

Mastered drawing a figure? Push your skills further by exploring more challenging poses. In this guide, Patrick J Jones offers advice to help you incorporate the effects of gravity and compression into your figure drawings, and teaches you how to draw complex figures.

How to draw a character in pen and ink

Pen drawing of a part of a character in black and white

Learn to have confidence when drawing a character using pen and ink (Image credit: Andrew Mar)

This expert guide will walk you through some advice for drawing a character using pen and ink. With tips like starting your project with thumbnails, to how to use shadows for maximum impact, this guide will improve your character drawing skills in no time. (If you're desigining your own character, why not take a look at our character design tips?)

Draw anatomy - top tips

draw anatomy sketches

This tutorial shows you how to flesh out your initial sketches (Image credit: Glen Vilppu)

For a roundup of some of the above skills, see our draw anatomy: top tips piece, which outlines 12 tips for drawing the body. From quick sketches to using shapes and forms to bring a drawing to life, this tutorial has a range of helpful advice.

How to draw: Nature

How to draw a rose

A rose sketch in pencil with red arrows showing where to draw lines

A rose by any other name would be just as complicated to draw

You might know how to draw flowers generally, but do you know how to draw a rose? It's one of the most popular flowers around, yet many artists hit a wall when trying to figure it out – here's a step-by-step guide to nailing how to draw a rose.

How to draw petals

This tutorial shares how to paint petals in watercolour. It also has an accompanying video (see above).

How to draw a landscape

Oil pastel artwork of a landscape

Get some top tips for creating an atmospheric landscape in pastels

This tutorial walks though how to create an atmospheric landscape using chalk pastels, including how to create intensity and use highlights effectively.

How to draw water

If you want to learn how to draw water, this super short tutorial has some great tips. Give it a watch if you need to know how to draw realistic drops of water.

How to paint a sky

paint a sky

Create gorgeous skies with this tutorial (Image credit: Valérie Pirlot)

This tutorial urges you not to see the sky as an afterthought, but to consider it in connection with the rest of the painting. This how to paint skies tutorial has some top tips for doing just that. Also see our how to paint clouds tutorial for more sky-related advice.

For more drawing tutorials, check out our beginner's guide on how to draw on the iPad, for easy on-the-go illustrations, or take a look at our guide on how to use Procreate to create a detailed illustration to help you master those all-important finishing touches. 

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