How to Draw: Free Beginner’s Course

How to DrawWant to learn how to draw but don’t know where to start? Are you frustrated with your slow progress and feel like you’ve hit a wall?

This free drawing course will guide you through a series of fun and easy tutorials which will develop your drawing skills quickly.

If you’re a seasoned artist, this course could be a great refresher! You might even learn something new.

My name is Darlene and I created this free drawing course because I want to provide beginners with all the resources to learn the skills they need without having to fork up loads of cash or rummage the web for bits and pieces.

Shout out to Nadia Adalath for inspiring me to create this course! Thank you :)

The unique thing about this course is that I’m going to use my non-dominate hand to learn along with you.

That means that I won’t have the same level of control as my right hand and will basically need to develop my drawing muscles from scratch! I want to prove to you that you can learn how to draw even if your writing looks like chicken scratch!

How to Draw _ Left vs Right hand

Some of the things you will learn:

  • How to draw the smart way
  • How to draw more realistically
  • How to draw what you see
  • How to shade realistically
  • How to draw with perfect proportions
  • And more!

Tools you’ll need to begin:

A sharp pencil, blank piece of paper and an open mind.

  • HB Pencil: Also known as #2 pencil
  • Any sketch paper
  • Eraser


How to Draw for Beginners: Course Outline

There are 5 levels in this free drawing course with a total of 10 lessons (I may decide to add more). Each lesson can be completed at your own pace and comes with a series of homework assignments.

You can submit your homework assignments on the RFA facebook page and get feedback from me and other students participating in the course, just like in a real classroom. It will be a great way to track your progress as well!

I like to date all of my work (yes, even if it’s bad) so that I can go back and see my improvements later. It’s really fun and I highly suggest you do it as well :)

If you want to make some suggestions on what to cover in future lessons, let me know. I’m always taking in new ideas and since these lessons are for YOU, I want them to be more personalized.

You can access all lessons from this page, so make sure to bookmark it in your browser. You can even subscribe to my mailing list to get notified when new lessons are posted!

Ready to start?


LEVEL 1: The Building Blocks of Art

Level 1 covers the very basics of drawing and why you don’t need to be perfect when it comes to sketching. You’ll learn how to draw faster and how to draw things that are more structurally sound.

Lesson 1: How to Sketch
If you can make a mark on a piece of paper, you can sketch!  –> Go to lesson!

Lesson 2: Learn to see things differently
Learn how you can draw more accurately and quickly by breaking complicated objects down into simple shapes   –> Go to lesson!

Lesson 3: Going from 2D to 3D
Step up your game and learn how to make your drawings go from 2D to 3D using various techniques.   –> Go to lesson!

LEVEL 2: The Devil’s in the Details

Level 2 allows you to really pay attention to what you’re drawing and how you can make even your line drawings look realistic!

Lesson 4: How to draw with accurate proportions
Learn 4 awesome techniques to get your proportions more accurate.   –> Go to lesson!

Lesson 5: Common Drawing Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Are you paying enough attention? Learn how to analyze your artwork and easily identify areas that could use improvement    –> Go to lesson!


LEVEL 3: Techniques to Step Up Your Game

Lesson 6: Introduction to Linear Perspective
Learn how you can draw unique scenes with people using one-point and two-point linear perspective –> Go to lesson!

Lesson 7: Introduction to Line Quality
Learn how to further enhance your drawings by varying your line weight  –> Go to lesson!


LEVEL 4: How to Shade Realistic Textures

Lesson 8: Introduction to shading techniques

Learn four different shading techniques to shade a variety of realistic textures –> Go to lesson!

Lesson 9: Learn how to shade

Learn 7 simple steps so you can start shading today! –> Go to lesson!


LEVEL 5: Wrapping it all up

Lesson 10: – Putting it all together

Learn how to put everything from lessons 1-9 into practice through 3 examples –> Go to lesson!

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  1. so glad i found these ,, could draw as a child, couldnt for 25 years after apart from a month recently ,,
    had some life issues and just happened ,, drew lots of pictures im way more happy wit now than i was as i cant draw again n e more ,, found these ,, did tutorial 1, and 100 pieces of paper no less , later have 3 decentish family portraits and bobble head edition , i will send u my month could draw and a sample of my nows thanks to ur 1st tut

  2. Hello Darlene, When I was searching on chrome for some realistic drawings I accidently pushed a key. And god knows how I was then reading your introduction. Now I think god did this on purpose. Thank you for all this, I’m a big fan of sketching. When I start sketching I just can’t resist leaving it. And you won’t believe I’m just 11 years old just now. But then I draw very well. Thank you Darlene for this wonderful site of yours.

  3. Hi Iam a subscriber of your channel and Iam 14 years old pls do a video or lesson on how we can
    draw faces by looking a photo. And iam a starter or beginer. pls do post :)

  4. Thank you for teaching me how to draw and even though i am able to do a little on my own, you have given me more encouragement and more techniques on how to improve on my drawing.I THANK YOU very much and GOD RICHLY BLESS YOU.

  5. Hi Darlene,
    Just bumped to your site and I am very happy person today! I was given a task to drawing human body such as skeleton & organ (anatomical drawing) by my superior. Can i request from you to do an human anatomical drawing (with the right proportion) especially THORACIC CAGE drawing? Please help me.. This is my first drawing task I’ve got after 10 years of my service. Fyi, I am 37 years old and try to learn new skill and will take this task as a challenge!

    Thanks in advance, Darlene. Hope you can be my hero!!

  6. Hello Ms. Darlene! I know that I am quite late but I still have to say it.

    I was quite crazy about art a very long time ago. I got introduced to drawing quite tediously due to my lack of confidence in putting pencil to paper. However, being forced to draw really opened an avenue of inspiration for me and I found myself gaining confidence as I could draw cartoons and mostly any illustrations I could get. However, when I started attending high school, not only was my time occupied, I could no longer find the zeal to draw because of the mandatory art classes I had to suffer through.

    Learning theory was good but when it came to drawing still life and portraits, I was at a loss. Even the fruits and veggies were tough for me to draw and I felt that all I practiced was not enough. My shading was also terrible.

    However, I have been skimming through all your free course material and would like to say that you have captured everything to be taught in such a comprehensive manner that makes me impatient for the weekend to start so I can begin your courses! From what I have seen and read, I know that my inspiration and passion for drawing will once again resurface as you have spelt everything out in a way that high school teachers could never really do for me. I would also like to thank you for making this a free course as it doesn’t limit me from harnessing my true artistic potential and that I could also save up for my design degree. This has truly been a godsend. Thanks a million!

  7. Your tutorials are the best i ever seen and ive watched tons and yours was the easiest to follow and the most understanding to follow. Thank you so much! Keep going at it girl!

  8. Hello Darlene. I just found your site this afternoon. I’m a moderate artist 55yo, and I definitely need instructions. I also have a 12yo daughter whom I’ve introduced to art. We both love it, but I’ve never had any training to pass along.
    So, in short, I look forward to your course. (We) look forward to your course.)
    Thank you.

  9. I am a beginner but anyone can’t say that i am a beginner. But there is a problem i can not any sketch without see. By seeing i can make everything. I love you Miss darlene and also love your art. #Mahadev

  10. I appreciate your desire to help others, and I wish I can have a good start with drawing.I am 67 YO but still have the stamina to do something. I need some encouragement and guidance to which way I should be heading. Nguyen my dear Vietnamese, would you stand by my side until I do good drawing.

  11. I know! When I was 8 I was still drawing stick figures. now Im 10 and Im drawing waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better! :)

  12. Hi Darlene, even though your videos are long but they are very very helpful. I really like that you show each and every step properly. thanks a lot for all the tutorials you have made and please keep making more!!! and love your videos:):)

  13. Hey…I am 11 and I am learning to draw. My drawings are very bad and I need help. Am I aloud to do this if i’m a preteen? I’m almost twelve…

    • You know every source I find online and even in my school tells me to avoid sketchy lines, and now you’re telling me to use sketchy lines and sketch! I am not really making any progress, I’ve been meaning to learn to draw since last year but I’ve just been so clueless as to how to get started. Hope this helps me get started on the right foot!

  14. Hello Ma,am
    I am dinesh
    (Graphics Designer)
    I have am interest in sketching and want to learn sketching but the problem is that lat’s start with sketching.
    So please help me.

  15. Almost as bad on computers as I am at drawing. So HUGE THANKS helping get the VEIKK S640.. Not sure it will improve my drawing, but will be fun finding out..THANKS AGAIN..

  16. Thank you so very much Darlene, I love drawing but I just don’t know where to begin, I got really frustrated because I didn’t see any progress with my drawing, what you did really help me a lot. Keep up the good work and inspire many more people!

  17. Hi darline I was wondering if you could do a online drawing like if people don’t have the things they need to draw and they don’t have time to go to the store why not have a special area to do it and maybe you could video chat with some people, oh and do some eyebrow and hair tutorials I wanna impress a boy in my class…

  18. Ilove this site i actually tried so many tutorials on YouTube but didn’t learn so much but i found your site and i loved your way explaining things it’s easy and looks so helpful so I’m going to start my first lesson today wish me luck thank you for your hard work 😊💖💖

    • They’re meant to be completed based on how much time you want/have to spend. So feel free to follow it at your own pace :)

  19. Wow, really great site with tons of info and tutorials! Its been a while since I’ve worked on sketching and illustrations and have completely forgotten all the basics. You’ve done an amazing job on setting up these step by step lessons and offering them to the public. Thank you. All the best. You have an incredible talent. Keep up the great work!!

  20. Hi,Darlene. How are you? I just want to ask if you have a whole body tutorial for a beginners like me.
    Thank you!

  21. What a brilliant course! I have always been annoyed that I can’t draw but as part of recovering from an illness I decided to try colouring books. I enjoyed this and decided to give drawing yet another try. I have been sketching boats and fish and recently have started buildings. Not nothing about people. However I did a search for some help in drawing faces and this site came up. What a fantastic resource! Many thanks Darlene. Your work is amazing and the way you break things down is really helpful. I am going to work through each and every step and I will see how my work improves.

    Thanks so much!

  22. I would like to thank you for taking the time and effort to share your talent and lessons with others! I am going to follow your lessons and see what I can do. :)

  23. On the shading complete face course, is there a template of the face so a person can practice without drawing it each time. Thanks and love your work. You are very talented.

    • Thanks for the great idea, Dale! I’ll add some downloadable templates to the tutorial for everyone to use :)

  24. Hi Darlene, I am self taught up to this point and I’m still advancing my drawings and I have never gone to really look for tutorials because all the tutorials I know are usually really long videos and that’s hard to start and stop because I don’t tend to have to much time to do stuff. I’m a very busy person and I love to draw, but what I tend to draw is very creepy/horror looking pictures and animations because they have the ability to not have to be a consistent look, but I have always wanted to learn how to draw realistically and I just managed to find your site and I am so glad I did. I can’t wait to start working on this course. Thank you for making this free as well, any other artist as good as yourself would be making you pay $40 or so and I’m 16 and don’t have a job so learning this stuff usually takes a lot of time and a lot of money which I have neither of. I can send you some of the stuff I have drawn up to this point if you care to see it. I also like drawing on white boards because they usually have a lot of open room and if I think of something I want to add, there’s enough room for it. I also don’t own any drawing pads or anything so I tend to draw on whatever I can. I’m really excited to start drawing realistically. Thanks again and I hope to see your work in museums sometime in the future.

  25. This site is really helpful! i cant believe that this is free! you are so sweet to be sharing this with no cost. people have always told me i was really good at drawing, but i never believe them. they say my drawings are great now! God bless!

  26. hiii I just saw this amazing site, I’m practising my draw skills. And you help me with your lessons! You can draw amazing!! For school I need to draw a face, but I’m very bad at drawing lips…… And your lessons fixed it! THANK YOUU :-)

  27. ciao Darlene!, sto seguendo le tue lezioni, dopo la numero 10 cosa devo fare per continuare?, grazie della tua risposta. sandra

    • Hi Sandra, after lesson 10 (the last lesson in the beginners’ course), you can…
      1.) Go back and practice everything again
      2.) Take what you learned and apply it when drawing different subjects (discover your own techniques, mix and match with other people’s as well)
      3.) I might make a more advanced course next year which you can look out for
      4.) I’m also working on an ebook this year, which probably won’t be published until next year
      5.) Practice drawing via other tutorials around the web to build your skill and experience

      If I misinterpreted your question, please let me know :)

  28. I want to draw my horses, my cats, and dogs. I want to draw rivers, old barns, and flower gardens. Thank you for helping at no cost. If I become even semi decent, I promise to pay it forward.

  29. Hi Darlene
    I am a 72 year old retired teacher who always has had an interest in drawing. Although I have tried drawing a few times at different points in my life, recently I have developed a real passion for learning techniques that can feed this passion and help me find a pastime that will allow me to joyfully lose the sense of the passing time.
    I happened upon your drawing lessons and find your artistic ability coupled with your wonderful teaching techniques to be a true inspiration to me. I rate myself as a beginner but have had most fun so far attempting to follow your clear and detailed lessons on drawing human faces. I’m having lots of fun. I thank you so much for creating these outstanding lessons. You are a special treasure.

    • It’s great that you’re picking it back up again with a real passion! I’m so excited for you!! Glad you’re having fun and welcome to RFA :)

  30. Hi Darlene, i have been searching and taking courses online for drawing and your work is the best i found so far. It really resonates with me and the way you present your lessons is the simplest but the most comprehensive i have seen in all tutorials about drawing so far. I hope this project grows more and more and reach more people who want to draw and expand their creativity. I want to become a cartoonist and i am here to get a good foundation in drawing. Thank you so much Darlene for this. You are now one of my favourite people.

    • You’re so sweet Dino! Your comment motivates me to push through and work harder. Thank you so much for your feedback and support. I really appreciate it! :)

  31. Hi Darlene,

    Drawing/Sketching was my 1st love, but I happened to be struggling w/ shading and putting colors on my sketches. I don’t know as well what are the proper materials to use coz maybe i did not seek prof help or did not enroll on an art class. Although I’ve been sketching since I was little, but I still consider myself as a beginner. I happened to draw again a week ago, I was thinking of doing it again so I searched over the internet and I bumped to your articles which is really helpful. Wish I could get more tutorials.

  32. Thank you, Darlene, I still not believe I have found a free drawing course. I don’t have words to thank you.
    I am really surprised, I am going to learn how to draw and how to play with drawing.
    once again Thankyou Darlene…,

  33. Thank you for allowing a beginner. So us who don’t have money to get knowledge of how to draw some things that hold us back. I understand they like to make money also. I only have a few dollars to put to draw. Thank you for helping. Retired Minister, Mason Barker.

  34. I’m so happy and sad i at the same time, i am happy because i finally came across a tutorial on draw that really make sense to me and it is a lot simpler than others site, i am sad why in the world i did not found your site sooner. I am also at the mature side i am 40 years old, but drawing is actually my passion but due to all the things that happen during my life i kind of put it aside, now recently that passion is start to coming back, thank you for your site i can now begin in the proper way. I just hope at least i am half as good as you. Thank you again Darlene.

    • It’s so great to hear that you’ve found your way back to your passion, Igor. It’s never to late to fire it up again! And thank you for your ever so kind words. If you have any questions feel free to ask, I’ll do my best to help :)

  35. not sure how i came across your site, but so glad i did!! you have the best tutorials, i actually think i could use them, and looking forward to starting.
    i tweeted the links but didnt have luck downloading pdfs….is it possiblle to download ALL your pdfs…do you have that option??? i really hope so!!
    thanks for making these tutorials available!! enormous work!! greatly appreciated!!’

  36. How old do you have to be for this course? My 12 yr old sister wants to try this.
    Also you draw very beautiful drawings.

  37. Hi Darlene!

    Since I was a kid, I never quite got past drawing stick figures and symbols. I’ve always loved illustrations and pencil art but gave up when I couldn’t grasp the basics. This year, at 38yrs old, I decided to take the plunge. Bought a few books, watched hours upon hours of YouTube tutorials, and scoured the net for answers to my drawing “pains.” But there is absolutely nothing that compares to the stunning resources you have given us right here. Words can’t express how grateful I am to have found your site. Your tutorials are so clear and easy to follow with simple, no-nonsense instructions. You’re a great tutor and I just wanted to thank you so much for this! So please, keep up this amazing project. You’ve definitely got a new fan here.

  38. Hi Darlene,

    Thankyou so much for your time. I have just found you through Pinterest and Wow can’t believe what I have seen so far. Amazing. I have tried for years to draw more miss than hit I am afraid and faces are well just a nightmare for me. I am an amateur water colour artist (Landscapes) this doesn’t require much pencil work. I do thank you again for what you do.
    Many Thanks.

    • Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving such a lovely comment, Wendy :)
      I’m glad you’re enjoying the site! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email!

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