What to Draw as a Beginner

It matters less what you draw, it matters more how much of a habit drawing becomes. That said, the habit is easier to form when you are drawing something that isn’t impossible, keeps you interested and is repeatable. Through this habit, your skills will develop. And these skills will be essential to anybody’s progress as an artist. So to help yourself attain this habit more easily, you need to consider what to draw as a beginner.

Why is drawing important for beginners?

Drawing is an essential skill for any artist, as it forms the foundation for all visual art. It is through drawing that an artist develops their eye for detail, composition, and form. With regular practice, an artist can improve their ability to observe and capture the world around them, which will enable them to create more realistic and dynamic works of art. Most importantly, drawing is quick and cheap, which allow you to experiment with different ideas, composition and concepts in a way with very few barriers to entry. 

Drawing also helps to build fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and the ability to think in 3 dimensions. Practicing drawing the the key advice for any beginner artist.  

What is the easiest thing to draw as a beginner?

When getting started, you can’t go wrong drawing a simple sphere or cube. It is the simplest thing you can start to draw as a beginner. These simple geometric shapes will make up much more complex shapes as you progress.  Once you have the basics of a sphere down, for instance, it’s a short step to practice drawing an apple, a lemon, an egg, a teapot, a vase with flowers, and a bowl of fruit. These objects are relatively simple in shape and have straightforward lighting and shading, making them ideal for beginners.

Using a sphere as the basis to draw the human head

Books like Eric Barrett’s 30 Days Learning to Draw gives a great structured approach to learning to draw via mastery of simple geometric shapes. 

You might also want to draw from photographs, especially black and white photographs. These are a great way to practice and helps the geometric practice feel less monotonous. This method can help you understand how light and shadow fall on objects and capitalise on all you have learned from drawing your simpler three-dimensional shapes.

If you wanted some help to accompany this process, How To Draw Lifelike Portraits From Photographs by Lee Hammond is highly recommended. 

The key is to start with something simple, and gradually increase the complexity as you gain more skill and confidence. And don’t forget to focus on the basics of composition, perspective, and proportion.

Equipment when drawing as a beginner

Here’s the full list of equipment you need once you’ve chosen what to draw as a beginner: paper, pencils and a pencil sharpener. 

That’s it. That’s the list. If you are feeling particularly rich, you can treat yourself to a rubber. Or you might want to live with, and learn from, your mistakes for a while. 


When learning to draw, it is important to start with the basics and build a strong foundation of skills. Pencils are a great tool for beginners because they are inexpensive, easy to use, and versatile.

Most importantly, they offer you a chance to focus on the fundamentals of drawing, such as line, value, and composition, without the added pressure of working with more difficult mediums like paints or inks. Pencils offer a low-pressure, forgiving tool allowing beginners to learn from mistakes without feeling discouraged.

They do not require any special equipment or supplies, and can be used on a wide variety of paper types. This allows beginners to experiment and find the materials that work best for them without breaking the bank.

Despite their simplicity, they also offer great variety. They can be sharpened to a fine point for detailed work or blended with a finger or a blending tool to create smooth gradations of tone. This makes pencils a great option for learning about light and shadow and how to create the illusion of depth and dimension on a flat surface – essential concepts for a beginner artist. 

Third, pencils are versatile. They can be used for a wide range of subjects, including still life, portraiture, and landscape drawing, and can be combined with other drawing tools like erasers and ink pens to create different effects. You can even use pencils with Copic Markers to great effect. This allows beginners to experiment with different techniques and styles and find their own artistic voice.


You can get away using any paper at first, really. Scrap paper, plain old printer paper. The backs of parcels, receipts etc. 

However, once you get a real rhythm with your practice it makes sense to have a way to keep your drawings together so you can watch how you progress. For this, there’s no better solution than a sketch pad. 

For a beginner, go for something like the Soucolor 9″ x 12″ Sketch Book. It doesn’t cost the earth, and gives 100 sheets to practice with. 

Drawing exercises for beginners

Once you have spent some time practicing the basics, if you can build a habit around a more advanced exercise you will notice you progress even faster. Try one of these three simple exercised and do them religiously for a week to see what progress you can make. 

  1. “Blind Contour Drawing”: Take a pen or pencil and a piece of paper. Without looking at the paper, try to draw the contours (outlines) of an object in front of you. This exercise helps to develop observation skills and muscle memory.
  2. “Still Life Drawing”: Set up a still life (a collection of objects) on a table. Take a pencil and paper and draw the objects as accurately as possible. Pay attention to the shapes, shadows, and details. This exercise will help you to improve your observation skills and accuracy.
  3. “Gesture Drawing”: Take a pen or pencil and a piece of paper. Draw a series of quick, loose sketches of a moving subject, such as a person or an animal. The goal is to capture the movement and gesture of the subject, rather than the details. This exercise can help to improve your ability to draw movement and capture the essence of a subject.

Another resource you might benefit from when starting out is a book containing varied drawing tasks such as How to Draw: 53 Step-by-Step Drawing Projects. You might also want to check out CreativeLive’s 60+ things to draw.

What to draw as a beginner? Just begin drawing!

As a beginner, the best thing you can do is just draw. Hopefully this article has given you a few ideas of what to draw as a beginner. Grab those pencils and get a feel for it, you will thank yourself in the long run.