For any beginner artists, tutorials are an incredibly helpful tool. When I started getting into drawing, I relied on the one how-to-draw book I had. It didn’t really have any words, just step-by-step images on drawing various animals. And while it was fun, I wanted to learn about drawing other things.
Soon after, I started looking around online for tutorials. As you would probably assume, there were countless numbers of them— some more helpful than others.
So I’ve put together a list of the websites I’ve found most useful and may help you as well. (They’re in no particular order, by the way.) And the best part? They’re all available for free.
I used this website nearly daily when learning to draw. Featuring step-by-step tutorials, you can find guides on everything from pop culture icons and characters to backgrounds and shading techniques.
(The website has changed a bit since I used it, and some of the tutorials now link to drawinghub.com. However, the tutorials still look the same.)
Many of the tutorials are user-submitted, so they can be a bit stylized. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As your skills improve, you could even submit your own lessons. There’s also a small community if you’re interested in sharing your finished drawings and seeing those of others.
I want to give a shout-out to FinalProdigy, whose DragoArt tutorials taught me a lot of what I know about working with graphite. I highly recommend you check out their guides. They’re easy to follow and teach a lot about shading and developing a drawing.
2. Drawing Now
Also featuring user-submitted tutorials, DrawingNow is unique in that you can use a slider to scub through a speed drawing. The video automatically pauses at set steps, or you can fast-forward and rewind in slow-motion to see each line as it’s drawn.
As for the subjects, most of the videos are for cartoony designs. But you can also find anime and semi-realistic ones, too. There is also a small community for sharing your art.
While DragoArt’s user tutorials are mostly beneficial, Drawing Now does show one of the downsides of such tutorial generation more prevalently. A few of them are not, well, good, but there are quite a few useful videos. And being videos, they may be easier to learn from than step-by-steps, depending on your learning style.
Also known as “Carol’s Drawing Blog”, there are so many helpful guides for learning both essential techniques and advanced methods of drawing.
This website teaches everything from the basics of using pencils and shading to creating realistic graphite illustrations. There are also lessons on drawing what you see, which is an essential skill for growing artists to start learning and improving upon.
Now this one may seem a little strange, but hear me out. Pinterest functions as an aggregator, or collector, of things on the internet. For artists, that means it gathers tutorials and reference pictures from across the interwebs into one viewable platform.
You can search for whatever it is you are interested in. If you want hand tutorials, horse reference pictures, or clothing designs, Pinterest brings together images from other websites that match your search terms.
Thanks to Pinterest’s format, you can then ‘pin’(or save) whatever and as many of those images as you want onto your pin boards (a filing system, like folders on your computer). For example, I have ‘clothing folds’, ‘animal references’, and ‘figure and pose references’ boards. Whenever I find a useful image, I’ll pin it to the corresponding board I’ve created.
Then, say, if I want some help drawing clothing wrinkles, I can go to my ‘clothing folds‘ board. There I can see all of the ‘pins’ I’ve saved for reference.
Each user can personalize the boards however you want, so you can organize the tutorials and references you’ve found in a way that works for you.
And trust me, you’ll definitely find a lot of helpful resources you may not have otherwise. When I want to practice or learn how to draw something, Pinterest is my go-to.
You do need to create an account to make your own customized boards, but it’s totally free—it just takes an email address.
Perfect for young artists, this website’s title is pretty accurate. It has step-by-steps for popular characters from Disney movies, Nickelodeon cartoons, Nintendo games, and more.
Each tutorial includes an image for each step, and a video for the whole tutorial. Which is nice, I think, because different learning styles benefit from different methods of teaching.
A companion site for Easy Drawing Tutorials, this one aptly focuses on animals. Most are realistic pencil drawings, but a small number are cartoons. There’s a great variety of species to choose from. Like the other website, each tutorial consists of a video and a written/pictorial guide.
Okay, this one isn’t a tutorial website per se. BUT, it is home to many-a tutorial video, including those for drawing. MarkCrilley is one of the most popular YouTube artists, and with good reason. He posts weekly how-to-draw videos that are both clear and easy to follow, and tend to be quite humorous.
There’re too many other tutorial artists worth checking out to mention, but a few notable ones are Alphonso Dunn, Art ala Carte, and Fine Art-Tips. Art for Kids Hub is great for kids, as each video features the channel’s family in an art lesson.
ArtGraphica is somewhat special in that they also offer instructions on how to use an assortment of mediums, such as watercolors, pastels, and ink. In addition, they do have standard drawing lessons. They’re pretty much all free, but there is a shop where you can buy more guides.
I should point out, too, that this website is for fairly intermediate to advanced artists. I’m hesitant to call the tutorials step-by-steps, because while there are steps, there are also giant leaps between them.
That said, if you are a more experienced artist you may find new and interesting techniques here for further refinement or experimentation in your art.
Going back to sites great for kids, this website is exactly what it sounds. Both original and pop culture characters can be found in these step-by-step tutorials. To make things a little easier, they are organized in general terms of Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced difficulty.
The website is legitimate and safe to use, but it does use clickable ads. Most of these have unclear intentions with big “Start Download” buttons, though, so be sure to avoid clicking them (or tell your little artist to do the same).
Despite the website’s name, especially with the subtitle of “How to Draw Step-by-Step Drawing Tutorials” (which grammatically should make you think it teaches you to make drawing tutorials), Drawing How to Draw actually teaches you how to draw.
Most of those tutorials focus on cartoony styles, like kawaii chibis and silly cartoons, but there are dabbles into realism and perspectives. A lot more than dabbles, really, but they do take up the minority of lessons. The clothing fold section would likely be very useful, if you’re like me and are still learning the fold-y language that is cloth wrinkles.
So there you have them. While there are many drawing websites out there, a lot of them require a paid subscription or another purchase to see their lessons. I hope you find these free websites fun and educational!
Are there any other free tutorial websites you visit? Or were these helpful? Let me know below!