By Glenn Vilppu

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But do your best to hold off on the fun until after you map out the general layout of the drawing. You’ll be glad you did when you see the finished product! Adapting to ambiguity Part of what makes drawing exciting is its unpredictability. But, for some reason, the very fact that you know you can’t totally control it makes you want to try anyway. When you’re just getting started with drawing, the uncertainties may feel like failings on your part. They’re not! Try to be patient with yourself, focus on seeing like an artist, and keep telling yourself that you have what it takes to work through the murky parts of drawing.

This way of holding your pencil is comfortable to use with a drawing surface at any angle — flat, slanted, or vertical — and it’s perfect for drawing on larger surfaces (larger than 9 x 12 inches). When you use this particular hold, the movement for drawing comes from your whole arm rather than just your wrist and fingers. When you draw from your arm, you tend to make larger, looser movements, resulting in larger, looser marks. These loose marks help you lay the foundation for your drawing by creating the basic shapes and values in your subject and keep you from getting too tight too early in your drawing.

If you can try out a tool or supply in the store before you buy it, do so. Chances are, though, when you’re new to buying art supplies, you may not know what a “good” pencil is supposed to feel like. The best way to find out is trial and error. Buy a couple of different pencils and try them out at home to see which ones you like the best. Whenever you can, add a new supply to your drawing toolbox, and, in no time, you’ll know which tools work best for you and your drawing style. If you can’t test out your tools before you buy them and you don’t have any preferences yet, shop by price.

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