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Ready, Set, Draw :: A Free Printable Drawing Guide

by Jean Van't Hul
July 29, 2015

Ready, Set, Draw with a Free Printable Drawing Guide on Illustration Basics

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks to Craftsy for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

The kids and I have been drawing more lately, using a free Craftsy eGuide on illustration basics as our inspiration for some of the activities.

We’ve been practicing drawing emotions, making line drawings, and experimenting with different methods for coloring illustrations.

The eGuide is called Ready, Set, Draw! Illustration Basics for Beginners and was created by David Huyck and Jessie Oleson Moore.

Despite beginning with, “there is only one simple trick to improving your drawings—you need to draw more,” Huyck and Moore include plenty of concrete tips for improving your drawings.

Drawing with Kids

I especially like the sections on developing characters…

Develop a character’s basic form, then try out extreme versions to make it memorable. Try a huge head and small body, give it long legs, try a different eye, nose, or mouth shape.

Emotion Studies - Creating Emotive Characters
An Emotion Studies Activity from the Guide – I made a page full of blank faces, photocopied it, and invited everyone in the family to draw people (and animals) expressing different emotions.

…and doing expression studies.

Subtle changes can be expressed by eyebrows or mouth. Also, “making the face you’re drawing is surprisingly effective.”

Showing Motion in Drawings
Tips for Showing Motion in Drawings from the eGuide

Here’s the full table of contents for this drawing guide ::

  1. Improve Your Illustrations With This One Simple Trick
  2. A Primer on the Best Paper for Illustration
  3. A Foolproof Methodology for Developing Characters
  4. 6 Tips for Creating Emotive Characters
  5. Adding Movement to Your Artwork
  6. 7 Different Methods for Coloring Illustrations
  7. The Art of Restraint :: How to Know an Illustration is Finished
  8. Meet the Experts

Want to learn all this good stuff? Or help your kids learn it?

Then this free eGuide might be for you.

Ready, Set, Draw Free Printable Drawing Guide by Craftsy

Ready, Set, Draw! Illustration Basics for Beginners

Click here to download the drawing guide

If you and/or your children would like to improve your drawing and illustration skills, this is a fun guide to work with.

Here’s one drawing activity we did, inspired by the guide, that the kids especially enjoyed…

Drawing Our Own Coloring Sheets to Experiment with Different Methods of Coloring Illustrations

For the section on learning different methods for coloring illustrations, we each made one or two line drawings with a black pen with the idea that they would be used somewhat like coloring sheets. Then we photocopied them so that each of us ended up with the entire set of black and white drawings.

Experimenting with Different Methods for Coloring Illustrations - Using Colored Pencil Over Line Drawings

We colored some in with colored pencil.

Experimenting with Different Methods for Coloring Illustrations - Using Marker Over Line Drawings

Some with marker.

Experimenting with Different Methods for Coloring Illustrations - Using Watercolor Over Line Drawings

And some with watercolor paint. (For these, we photocopied the original drawing onto watercolor paper.)

Experimenting with Different Methods for Coloring Illustrations - Using Watercolor Over Line Drawings

We all liked the watercolors the best out of the methods we tried (although we have yet to try acrylics or digital coloring this way).

Here’s Maia’s watercolor over a line drawing of a house that I did (above).

Experimenting with Different Methods for Coloring Illustrations - Using Watercolor Over Line Drawings

And my watercolor over Daphne’s line drawing of an ice cream and cupcake party.

Overall, I’d say that we got a lot out of this Ready, Set, Draw! eGuide and think that the ideas are readily accessible to families and kids. It’s free, so give it a try!

My kids were especially into Jessie Oleson Moore’s illustration style (and her cupcakes with faces) but I have to say that David Huyck sounds like my kind of person. He says, “I love art stores. I call them toy stores.” and that he used to draw on the floor with his brothers as a kid, “passing an Ed Emberley book back and forth for ideas.”

More Craftsy Drawing Guides and Classes 

(my reviews and experiences)

This post was sponsored by Craftsy; all opinions expressed are my own.

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Improve your drawing and illustration with a free printable drawing guide that shows you how to develop characters, depict emotions, show motion, color illustrations, and more.

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