50 Clever Tutorials and Techniques on Traditional Drawing


Traditional drawing is certainly way harder than digital and it is true that people are able to progress much faster digitally, but one should learn the traditional type of drawing and painting before starting digital drawing, since it often lays out the foundation for screen design.

This article contains a mixture of traditional drawing tutorials, drawing techniques and some methods for transforming and preparing your creations for screen design. Some are intermediate level and some are advanced tutorials that include general theory, useful tips, comic inspired art, sketch a pencil drawing, coloring processing, character sketching, shapes, proportional, perspective and much more. We hope that drawing tutorials and techniques in this post will be a great help to you.

Traditional Drawing Tutorials

Marilyn Portrait Tutorial1
A truly fantastic drawing tutorial to learn how to draw a portrait of Marilyn Monroe with pencil. Each step of the portrait is perfectly well explained and commented. This tutorial is very detailed, and requires a lot of patience.


Portrait tutorial3
This is a step by step tutorial on how to draw a realistic portrait. The artist assumes that you have a basic understanding of drawing and shading before attempting to draw a serious portrait. For this lesson he is drawing on 11″x14″ Fabriano Hotpressed Watercolor Paper. He is using Derwent Graphic Pencils ranging from 2H to 7B. For more information on any of the drawing tools that he mention in this tutorial, visit the drawing materials page.


How to draw lips5
In this tutorial artist will explain how to draw the structure of the human lips.


How to Draw a Car7
For this tutorial the artist will show the different steps he takes in drawing a realistic looking car. He chose to draw an american classic, the Corvette. This tutorial will apply to any car though because for the most part, they are all the same. The key to drawing a car that will pop off the page is having a good balance of lights, midtones, and darks along with clean, sharp edges. He is using Derwent Graphic Pencils and Fabriano Artistico Bright White Watercolor Paper, he is also using mechanical pencils for small details.


How to Draw Optimus Prime From Transformers9
In this tutorial you will be learning how to draw one of the most popular of the Autobots, Optimus Prime. This drawing tutorial will show you in detail how to sketch, draw, and shade in this character that is popular around the world


Pet Portrait11
A very good tutorial about how to draw pet portraits with colored pencils. Basic process and tips. Medium : Prismacolor Colored Pencils.


How to Draw a Ninja13
This tutorial will show you how to draw a ninja step by step. This tutorial has easy to follow directions and steps making it that much more possible for anybody to tackle



  1. 1 http://www.stars-portraits.com/en/tutorial/marilyn-tutorial.php
  2. 2 http://www.stars-portraits.com/en/tutorial/marilyn-tutorial.php
  3. 3 http://www.dueysdrawings.com/portrait_tutorial.html
  4. 4 http://www.dueysdrawings.com/portrait_tutorial.html
  5. 5 http://cataclysm-x.deviantart.com/art/Tutorials-How-to-draw-lips-103303840
  6. 6 http://cataclysm-x.deviantart.com/art/Tutorials-How-to-draw-lips-103303840
  7. 7 http://www.dueysdrawings.com/how_to_draw_a_car.html
  8. 8 http://www.dueysdrawings.com/how_to_draw_a_car.html
  9. 9 http://www.dragoart.com/tuts/559/1/1/how-to-draw-optimus-prime-from-transformers.htm
  10. 10 http://www.dragoart.com/tuts/559/1/1/how-to-draw-optimus-prime-from-transformers.htm
  11. 11 http://fauna-art.net/Gallery/process.htm
  12. 12 http://fauna-art.net/Gallery/process.htm
  13. 13 http://www.dragoart.com/tuts/874/1/1/how-to-draw-a-ninja.htm
  14. 14 http://www.dragoart.com/tuts/874/1/1/how-to-draw-a-ninja.htm

↑ Back to top Tweet itShare on Facebook

Aquil Akhter is a web graphic designer and has been working in this field for 8 years. He also runs the blog webdesigncore.com, which focuses on free web resources and inspiration for designers and developers.

  1. 1

    Very nice tutorial collection!
    Will try some of them ^-^

  2. 2

    Very nice list!

  3. 3

    If you have enough talent, these tuts will just give you some help…

    But If you don’t have any talent, they won;t help you a bit at all…

  4. 4

    I agree with lx!

  5. 5

    Tip for people who really want to get into drawing, and develop a style that is original, unique and accomplished: go to life drawing lessons, and go to them frequently – with an open mind and a willingness to put a lot of hours in.

  6. 6

    excelent post !!!!

  7. 7

    awesome post.. thank you

  8. 8

    um…this is the most useful and amazing list ever put together by smashing. blown away and thank you!!

  9. 9

    Gabriella Azurra Sky

    September 8, 2009 6:47 am

    These are amazing. Thanks for the great post

  10. 10

    haha… I was looking for some dragons to create a tatoo… very inspiring… thanks!!!

  11. 11

    I see some negative as well as positive comments on the post. In learning to draw what helped me the most was a bit of guidance from an art teacher and LOTS of practice. My favorite way to draw is to just sit and observe and sketch the object in view and focus on what I’m seeing more than what I’m putting onto the paper. I believe it is important to focus on the contour of the object, the area it fills in space, etc. in the beginning and hold off on trying to create features.

  12. 12

    I agree with Joshua – nothing beats drawing how you see it! The problem with tutorials such as these can be that you are in effect copying another artists style, not drawing it how you see it. Don’t get me wrong, some helpful tips there but remember, it’s your uniqueness that makes you great!!!

  13. 13

    What a coincidence, I just bought a sketch pad the other day with the intention to start drawing again. I’m sure these tuts will be of great use :]

    Is there any chance of getting some Wacom tuts as well?

  14. 14

    Every day I check smashing and you guys have exactly something I’ve been looking for. Awesome, thanks again sm.

  15. 15

    I have been drawing for over 25 years, and I quickly realized the best way to learn to draw is just do it. I think tutorials like these are useful after you have established your style and methods. You don’t want to compromise you unique style and how you see the world.

  16. 16

    Maupioga Michael (KNUST, FASA Digital Studio)

    September 8, 2009 8:50 am

    Wonderful collection of traditional rendering techniques. Thanks to the smashing team. You are just too good.

  17. 17

    Great list SM, just what I needed right now.

    To all you other artists commenting that this doesn’t help: You’re being ridiculous. You could say the same thing about every single photoshop tutorial on this site. I’m walking through drawing tutorials because I don’t know how to draw well. Once I learn how to appropriately render hair (or whatever) then I can start applying my own style.

    In my opinion these tutorials are far from useless.

  18. 18

    Great, great, GREAT! I’ve been looking to improve my drawing skills, this looks like it will be of great guidance. Cheers SM.

  19. 19


  20. 20

    I agree that these tutorials are largely useless. They all start off with a near perfect render outline. Anyone who really wants to learn to draw *can’t do a perfect render*. None of these tutorials even begin to explain how to measure and triangulate positions to lay out proper proportions. “Circles and sausages?” don’t make me laugh! Sure shapes are important if they are the right shapes.

    These tutorials will turn off beginners to drawing, and only feed the “I have no talent” mentality. Drawing is a process, not a talent.

  21. 21

    I can’t wait to start my drawing lessons with a great instructor and these tuts just made me wanna draw even more. I have bookmarked to come back back over and over. Thanks

  22. 22

    Rocking collection, thanks for another great list, keep up the good post.

  23. 23

    I worked at Universal Studios Orlando Fl, doing caricatures…. and i remember spending hours drawing, now in this digital era i gotta confess that i become very lazy. Now spending more than a couple hours doing something its too much…

  24. 24

    I have to agree to Joshua, TheDude, lx and other…I don’t see ANY tutorial showing you how to draw from NATURE and not trace over a photo. Sorry, useless.

  25. 25

    SMASHING SKETCHING, I love Circulism, pencil is empty now :) nice result.
    Great article, thanks

  26. 26

    I see that smashing magazine becoming more and more selfish everyday. I was a huge fan of this site, but lately my visits drop to once in 2 weeks or so.
    I do NOT have a blog or website but SM removed “link dropping” now i see that they also remved links from people names.
    this is just pity. You ask people to comment but no link even not their very own websites lol
    Yeah there will be lots of spammers but just spend some time to edit comments
    is that so hard ?????????????????????????????????????????
    i think thats the main reason that SMs traffic is going down every single day.
    but to be honest you guys deserve this.
    google for “linkluv” or “commentluv”

  27. 27

    Smashing Editorial

    September 8, 2009 1:47 pm

    @Greg Andrew (#29): “link dropping” was removed almost a year ago. This is the necessary measure to prevent people from spamming. And no, SM’s traffic isn’t going down every single day. Now imagine the work of checking and removing links from 750 articles every single day. I am pretty that’s not the job you’d like to do in your spare time.

  28. 28

    Interesting how you address the traffic comment, and not all the ones calling this a useless article. There is no way in hell a beginner would be able to get step 1 in any of those examples without first knowing the very basics.

  29. 29

    I was really looking for these tutorials. Great collection. Thanks a lot

  30. 31

    Most of these tutorials are just bulls***. And I would really petition somewhere that they are banned. They don’t show you how to draw, they just show you how to render and kitschy image with a pencil. And these techniques just misinform an enthusiast beginner. Bad, bad SM! Tutorials should focus on construction, observation, relativity etc… not effects. The thing is, an artist will never render hair, lips or eyes as shown above, because it’s just n00b-ish.

    • 32

      i think youre just a piece of shit. nice use of big words there duche bag. if they didnt help, then they didnt help you, no need to bad mouth them. oh, and by the way, saying “n00b” and hyphenating it with “ish” after it, makes you sound unprofessional, and like a stupid fuck.

      • 33

        Well, you don’t sound too intelligent yourself mister. “N00b-ish” sounds better than “dumb fuck” anyday.

  31. 34

    The only thing that bothers me is that I can’t draw unless I’m really in the mood. How do people force themselves to get into that drawing mood. Is there something I need to do to be able to draw at anytime I want. Inspiration is always around but I just don’t draw as good unless I’m really in the mood.
    Good list to give people different techniques and I think it helps everybody.

  32. 35

    interesting… i like it

  33. 36

    AWESOME collection of stuff here. Thanks for everything, again!

  34. 37

    They don’t really look like the kinds of things that teach you how to draw but rather copy someone else’s style or image.

  35. 38

    Great compilation but nevertheless, some are really poor ones. Especially the anime hair somethin’ somethin.

    Now I don’t have to search the web.

    But i could’ve been better for newbies if the others were presented as techniques not tutorials that you can’t do anything with besides the subject. :)

  36. 39

    A lot of good tuts, very Impressive and informative.

  37. 40

    If a menu was what it took to make your site nice, then I guess a lot of these sites would rank well. My problem was that except for Full Cream Milk, none of the sites were of any value in terms of accessibility.

  38. 41

    Nice post! very useful.

  39. 42

    Agree with some posters. These tutorials are disappointing and will be of limited use – following these tutorials will give you some sort of quick-fix ‘hacked’ result, but I’m not sure in what way this could ever be helpful. When I was 20 I thought I could draw pretty well, then I went to art college – and learned how to draw properly from those who really knew. Want a good drawing for a project? Hire someone who can draw. Want to learn how to draw yourself? Get a sketchbook and start drawing people, hands, feet, still lifes, a pile of chairs (for how things sit in space, form etc) – REAL stuff. Draw every day. Then draw some more. You might find you have a talent, you might not – but doing it that way will be far more rewarding.

    • 43

      I have never replied to any posts before, until I read yours. I am a writer and piddle around with a pencil. Your advice to people about being or wanting to be an artist is directly on point. The same advice is true with writing. Thank you, Steve.

  40. 44

    Great post! will be useful for sure

  41. 45

    Wow awesome post!

  42. 46

    Wow, this is just amazing hun! I love drawing with pencils but I’ve never known how to do horsey shading! But this really inspires me, I hope I get some free time soon to try it out! Brilliant job hun! Thank you so much for making this tutorial !!!

    disque dur externe

  43. 47

    Extremly nice!!!

  44. 48

    Excellent post! Thanks!

  45. 49

    Drawing isn’t tracing!
    Traditional drawing is about volumes, light, movement.
    Most of the “tutorials” shown here are like Photoshop’s pen tool used IRL… and that’s not drawing at all.

  46. 50

    Some of those tutorials are useless – few steps without good sketch, just outlines. In my opinion best drawing tutorials are ANDREW LOOMIS books. Some of those books are here: http://fineart.sk/

  47. 51

    Nice collection, showing the best drawing tutorials on the net!

  48. 52

    I have to agree with the posters who took great delight that this article doesn’t show the REAL basics, however, as somebody who is married to an art teacher I can see many advantages to this article. The most important one is … take your time and try. The examples shown are varied and include many things that my wife teaches. You have to start somewhere.

    I’ll be the first to admit that not all of these articles interest me, but I do not give SM a hard time because I disagree. The beauty of the internet is … I am just a click away from looking at something else. I suggest you naysayers try that. If you don’t like it … leave.

  49. 53

    Hmmmm the best tutorial any artist can follow is to get out there and draw what they see, go to a life drawing class, or use a mirror. Develop their own style, not copy someone elses.

    The above tutorials will teach you to be them, not yourself.

  50. 54

    Fantastic Resources! thanks for putting it together!


↑ Back to top