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

    Thanks these look really useful, I do a bit of drawing and ullustration in my work as a webdesigner. If you have time I would advise anyone to do a life drawing class, at Uni I did a week of it and went from awful cartoon drawings to realistic sketches, really valuable!

  2. 52

    Wow… excellent compilation, really excellent. =)

  3. 103

    Thank you, SM, for this and all your tutorials and tips that make the creative more accessible for everyone. For the artists that see no use in this collection of web articles, you should realize it’s not intended for you. Until I met my husband, who paints in oils, I thought a person was either born a da Vinci or should just give up any artistic aspirations. He’s helped change the way I “see” the world in ways that had never occurred to non-artistic me.

    Saying “just draw what you see” doesn’t work for the rest of us that don’t naturally have your talent, your gift, your vision. Having someone break down the mechanics, step through the parts in an over-simplified way, gives me a greater appreciation that it requires hard work to harness even superior talent. Trying my hand at these tips and tricks teaches me to view other’s work by going beyond a simple gut reaction of “I like it” or “I don’t like it” and ask questions I never knew to ask before like, “why did they choose to shade with that particular technique?”

    I don’t expect nor desire to draw a piece of art, but it gives me personal pleasure that I can now produce a drawing that looks like it was done by someone older than 12.

    So all you artists, cut Smashing Magazine some slack for occasionally neglecting you in favor of teaching the rest of us less-gifted in ways to greater appreciate your efforts.

  4. 154

    very very useful collection, thx

  5. 205

    Tschai said exactly what I was about to post. I think these would be great for me to study, but a LOT of designers have no artistic ability at all. Just like a lot of artists have no design ability. Good thing I’ve always been good at both.

  6. 256

    RE: Terry and bernadette:

    “Saying “just draw what you see” doesn’t work for the rest of us” was actually my point (and others). “Step one” in every single tutorial above is an example of what a beginner **can’t yet do**.

    “first start with a perfectly rendered and proportioned sketch” is not step one. For a beginner, that’s the goal.

  7. 307
  8. 358

    great article! nice post!
    i hope i can draw again..

  9. 409

    nice article. Keep them coming.

  10. 460

    awesome work, thanks :)

  11. 511

    really love that one! Eventhough I always visit to SM whenever I am on linem Idon’t used to comment about sth. But This is one really have to say “Oh really thanks to you”.

  12. 562

    These tutorials are great and LX is a moron for thinking that this doesn’t help at all.Talent is one thing being mediocre is another.

  13. 613

    If you want to learn how to draw the human body then this site is a must see Structure of Man

  14. 664

    Here is a tutorial about drawing human face in photoshop. You should see this Human Face Drawing

  15. 715

    You can find on this website two tutorials (in french) :
    portrait : http://tutoriel.graphit-art.com/portrait/
    clothes : http://tutoriel.graphit-art.com/vetements/

  16. 766

    in my opinion the most useful tutorial ever :-)

    thanks a lot for this


  17. 817

    great tutorial its awesome thanks dude .. keep them coming

  18. 868

    Very detailed list of tutorials for those of us with artistic talent. The outcomes are exceptional. Nice job for compiling these.

    That being said, I think some of the posters have hit the nail on the head. These tutorials start too far ahead, assuming you have basic drawing technique down. SM does a wonderful job with balancing beginner and advanced content, so I think it would be appropriate to have another post with the fundamentals. I would really like to see tutorials on shading and basic perception of form and style,as well as different aspects of developing personal style with drawing.

  19. 919

    Hi guys,

    good list of aides for all level of artists. i’ve been looking for such a list an compiling some of my own. i’ve had to go to about, squidoo, and anything basically found from page 1 of google to well after page 20 onwards. i’ve even had to be very precise with my search queries from drawing to how to draw hand, mouth, portaits, clothes, fashion poses, etc. you guys even have some links from deviant art (had to go there to find some lessons as well as some perzonalized stock photos). i haven’t read all of the comments but from a quick skim i saw some comments mentioning that it would be helpful if smashing had a beginner section for non artists…which i agree, but i bet that if i search this site i can find something like that, which is more suitable for people posing that option. i’m not a novice, but before i start a project i like to research and work on my fundies because although i can draw lifelike, i always have to practise, and there are just some things that i can fake draw and get away with but i don’t draw well. :) i think you guys covered a lot of fundamentals as well as some tutorials that just jump right in assuming that people can do this or that. it doesn’t hurt anyone to try. i’ll be working on one a couple of the hair tutorials because people have all different kind of techniques and shortcuts on how to do hair, as well as the eye tutorials, and i want to have some go to’s in my head.

    thanks again. i’ve checked out a lot of the articles on this website (the one’s that interest me) and believe it or not i’ve always reached out to the websites of interest and have become a devoted follower of some of the artists.

  20. 970

    Yeah, I saw a few helpful tutorials but the majority would be pretty much useless unless you’ve already got good control of your medium (in this case, it looks like it’s mostly oriented towards drawing in pencil?) — because, like a few people already stated, you don’t start out learning to draw like this. It’s not a question of artists sniping at things that weren’t intended for them. The topics addressed by most of these tutorials aren’t the fundamentals. You get to them later. But first you have to understand how to even look at something, and that’s hardly addressed here.

    (Also, I honestly don’t think most of these tutorials will be all that helpful in developing one’s own style, but anyway…)

  21. 1021

    I agree with lx and others. Most of these aren’t about proper drawing, but merely skin-deep guides on how to apply pencil to paper and create something pretty. The second one (portait of dark-haired female), is really bad: No one with proper drawing skills would draw something from top-to-bottom like that!

  22. 1072

    I wonder how many people in here dissing the article can draw real good themselves.

  23. 1123

    Shame … Art by recipes … This Century Way of Life.

  24. 1174

    genial recopilacion, muchas gracias por el material

    excelente fuente de conocimineto como siempre.

  25. 1225

    These tutorials are very helpful, especially for continuing development. The idea isn’t to copy the style of the artist but to analyze techniques and give them a try yourself. They’re there to inspire. If you’re looking for basic fundamentals, find a copy of Betty Edwards’ Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and do the exercises.

    And don’t fool yourself into the idea that you need talent or some god given gifts to become an artist when all you need is interest. Interest enough to put in the long hours to figure out how it’s done, to patiently learn a craft and master it.

  26. 1276

    This compilation is completely useless for a beginner like me.

  27. 1327

    Well gee, sure would be nice if the “artists” that are ranting and kicking their feet in the air about the lack of basics being taught here would actually POINT US to somewhere where these basics are being taught. So show us a tutorial where your basics are taught then… or otherwise just accept that a lot of people who make fantastic portraits and still lifes do so by slapping a grid on a photograph and calling it a day :) Either deliver, or keep it to yourself next time.

  28. 1378

    Andrew Loomis is a good reference to learn how to do tradition drawing. Simple realistic and straightforward techniques. His books are out of print long time ago but i’m sure you can find some of his teachings on the web. I might be able to find some references or point you to the right direction if interested. Let me know.

  29. 1429

    Definitely a mixed bag of links. Some good gems hidden among them. I’ll second the notion that Andrew Loomis is the best out there in teaching and he’s impossible to find. I printed out a version of his Figure Drawing for All it’s Worth and constantly refer back to it. Best place to find his books are as torrents. I’d say go buy them, but they all cost at least $100 each on Amazon due to their collector item status.
    For those interested in figure drawing, Glen Vilppu’s DVD’s are the best out there. Also, I’d check out the Conceptart.org forums for some of the best art on the interwebs.

    I just wrote a tutorial on how to draw gnarled, complex trees for anyone interested.

    Of course, the real trick is never set the pencil down and in five short years you’re a master (or at the very least partially competent)

  30. 1480

    love it! thanks

  31. 1531

    Hi everyone,

    I do agree with some comments, NOT all.
    You are not BORN An ARTIST, you develop
    your skills that YOU HAVE LEARNED over

    My EMPHASIS here is to let the viewer know,
    that although you should definitely be practising
    your drawing skill everyday that you get the chance,
    there are TECHNIQUES to drawing that make the
    drawing more APPEALING.

    These techniques are posted above by Smashing
    Magazine for anyone interested in learning those

    with your life, PLEASE.

    Best Regards to Smashing Magazine

  32. 1582


    January 2, 2010 12:13 am

    I’ve just started studying traditional drawing (one of my new year’s resolutions), and seeing the list of tutorials shown on this post, these are great if you’re on the intermediate or advance level.

    To anyone who really wants to learn traditional drawing, I highly recommend this website:
    http://www.drawspace.com/ (but you need to register first)

    They offer free lessons, from beginner (learning to see, symmetry, shading, light and shadow, etc) to advance level. :)

  33. 1633

    thanks a lot for these amazing tutorials. they are really halpfull :D

  34. 1684

    I love it! be sure to check out the
    Top 10 Ways to Become a Better Artist

  35. 1735

    What a great collection of drawing lessons. Want to work through them all.

  36. 1786

    I disagree, I think digital art is way harder than traditional art because of the eye hand coordination part.

  37. 1837


  38. 1888

    Drawing Tutorials

    March 2, 2010 6:55 am

    This is a worthy collection of drawing tutorials that offer some great advice to draw many different things in the art world, I like the dragon drawing and the evil skull drawing best

    Fantasy Arts Resource

  39. 1939

    awesome collection

  40. 1990


  41. 2041

    Thank you for the tutorials, they’ve helped me a lot ^_^

  42. 2092

    Greetings from Argentina!

    Thank you so much. I love these tutorials, especially the portrait of the dog.

    I’m studiying many ways of painting animals from the web and some books .

  43. 2143

    No puedo decir lo que siento porque ya de todo se dijo.
    Solo mi Humilde opinion: siempre habra alguien mas talentoso que nosotros…

  44. 2194

    nice very helpful

  45. 2245

    Excelent … Thx : )

  46. 2296

    Great tutorial for drawing! Congratulations, I have learned a lot and keep improving my skills. Thanks!

    How to draw caricatures

  47. 2347


  48. 2398

    i tried some techniques and its effective..hehe…thanks :)

  49. 2449

    all this stuff really help…i wonder why those people say bull***t….

  50. 2500

    this is so stupid. You wanna know why? its because all it shows is an outline of a corvette perfectly and how are you supposed to draw a perfect outline if you are a beginner? he is a pile of sperm


↑ Back to top