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Getting started

To start drawing in colour is to take a step into the area of painting, although in this volume we will mainly be looking at colour as an adjunct to drawing. There are various methods and media to explore, beginning with the materials and how to get used to them through a series of exercises. We will be concerned mostly with drawing in coloured pencil, pastels, coloured inks and watercolour.

So we start with a list of the materials that will be useful to your work. You may not want to use them all but it is a good idea to try them out, if only in a limited way. Then your choice of which medium to use will be based on knowledge and experience rather than mere guesswork. This is a much more practical way of ensuring that you have some control over your medium.

Go through all the exercises shown here because they will familiarize you with a range of mediums and also provide you with practice, which every artist needs. You may even find you can invent a few exercises of your own, which is a sign that you are engaging with the medium in depth. It is also more fun for you when you play around with different mediums. Most of the exercises are simple enough but don't be misled into thinking that therefore they are not worth trying out. In fact, simple repetition of straightforward technical practices is the bedrock of all artistic expertise. When you see a young artist doodling with patterns and repetitive marks on a sheet of paper, he or she is in the process of learning the manual dexterity that is so important for any artist.

Drawing is always drawing, whether in colour or not. So do not be put off if you know nothing or little about it. The way to learn is by experimentation and experiencing both success and failure. When you are drawing easily without any problems, it is only because previously you have overcome difficulties of some sort. And remember, when you appear to be having difficulties, that is when you are learning most. It will become easier if you persevere.

Materials and mediums

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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