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How to draw: the best drawing tutorials

How to draw
(Image credit: Catherine Falls Commercial via Getty Images)

Keen to learn how to draw? Our roundup of diverse drawing tutorials has all you need. Whatever your ability, these lessons will finesse your skills in drawing everything from animals and parts of the human body to flowers and other parts of the environment. Just use the jump links to skip to the ones you're interested in. 

Here, we've included a mix of video lessons and written guides so you'll have a real chance to wrap your head around different types of drawing. Even seasoned professionals have more to learn, so you're bound to have at least one area that alludes you (noses, right?). Do save this post and come back whenever you find yourself stuck, or you want to sharpen your skills in a different area.

Some of these drawing tutorials use digital tools, and others cover more traditional methods – there are plenty of skills to learn from both (if you want some new kit, see our guide to the best pencils). And, if you want to trace your results to really hone your pencil skills, check out our best lightboxes article. 

Working with Adobe Illustrator? Don't miss our round up of the best Illustrator tutorials from around the web. And if you're after sketching advice specifically, then be sure to read our sketching tips from the experts.

How to draw: Animals

How to draw a dog

How to draw: a dog

Draw a dog that's realistic and anatomically correct

Kate Oleska offers a simple step-by-step guide to how to draw a dog, covering the key rules to follow to ensure your dog drawing is realistic and anatomically correct. Different breeds of dog may look very different, but beneath that fur they're structurally similar. So even if your chosen pooch isn't like the one in the drawing above, this step-by-step guide will come in handy. 

How to draw a cat

How to draw: a cat

Top tips for capturing realistic furry felines

The key to capturing a realistic cat is understanding that beneath all that fluffy fur is a solid structure. Learn how to draw a cat once and for all by following this simple, step-by-step guide from Kate Oleska. There's also more helpful advice on developing your drawing skills, walking through how to observe and sketch cats, as well as how to recognise the internal skeleton. 

How to draw a horse

How to draw: a horse

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

Horses are notoriously difficult to capture. There's no mass of fur to hide behind, there are all kinds of difficult angles on the head, and the skeleton works differently to what we're typically used to. Plus, get it wrong and your steed will quickly start to look comical. Find out how to draw a horse that looks realistic in this easy to follow tutorial, which comes with a helpful video.

How to draw a wolf

How to draw: 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 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

How to draw: 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

How to draw: 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

How to draw: a dragon

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.

Top tips for drawing fur

How to draw: 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

How to draw: 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

How to draw: cartoon animals

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 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

How to draw: Draw the human body from sight

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

How to draw: How to draw a 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

How to draw 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

How to draw: muscles

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

How to draw: a nose

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

Noses are notoriously difficult to get right. In this tutorial, Kate Oleska breaks the process down into simple steps. She's using oils, but the steps are relevant to any medium.

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

How to draw: hands

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 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

How to draw: an arm

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. 

Add energy to your life drawings

How to draw: add energy

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

How to draw: challenging poses

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. 

How to draw a character in pen and ink

How to draw: Character

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?)

How to draw: Nature

How to draw a rose

How to draw: a rose

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 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 a landscape

How to draw: landscapes

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.

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Georgia Coggan is a freelance writer and editor.