Sunday, January 3, 2016

Draw a snow human: beginner art lesson

Note: This is the first in an irregular series of guides to drawing for beginners. It is a step by step demonstration of how to draw an object. Feel free to print this out. This is something that you can do with kids. It is all about fun so relax and have a good time.

One of the biggest mistakes that beginning artists make is to try to draw too much detail when they first start drawing. I know about that because I was that type of beginner. After struggling with massive amounts of detail and erasing furiously, some of the pictures simply found their way to the trash receptacle, where they met a sad fate. These days, fewer of my pictures are ending up in the recycle bin.

The reason for the saving of the pictures?

Start with a minimum of detail and add the details later.

When you look at an object that you want to draw, look for the shapes and draw a series of shapes. This wooden snow human has just a few main shapes: cylinders and a circle and a very compact roundish oval shape (technical term, lol).

Above, I have drawn shapes, one on top of the other. At this point, the only drawing utensil that I need is a number 2 pencil.

You can now start embellishing on each shape. Here, I have added some details to the hat. 

I start making a few corrections. The top of the head needs to be a little wider so that the hat fits more snugly.

Even if the face is non realistic, you will still want the proportions to be relatively accurate. In a head, the eyes are right at the middle. Draw your first construction line at the halfway point. Add your eyes. Then draw the next construction line halfway between the eyes and the bottom of the face. That is where you will add the nose. The mouth will go directly beneath that.

In a later beginner art lesson, I will demonstrate a more realistic looking face.

Here is the entire snow human with the details added. Add a few lines next to and beneath the snow human so that it looks as if it is on the ground. Without those lines, the snow human will appear to be floating somewhere in space.

Outline the snow human with a black pen. Not a ball point pen... more like a Sharpie.

Here, you can start adding a background color.

When you color in the top hat, remember that it is shiny. You'll want to leave some white in it. That shows that it is reflecting the light of the sun.

Beneath the snow human, add a dark shadow. This small shadow is called the "cast shadow." That is the shadow cast by the object. This shadow will further made the object appear as if it is sitting on the ground.

Which brings me up to one more point. Art is about making things appear as you want them to appear. It is illusion... unless you're doing sculpture or some other three-dimensional art form, you are giving the illusion of a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional piece of paper.

Your drawing doesn't have to be an exact replica of the original object.

Have fun and enjoy drawing.


  1. Thanks for the step-by-step directions and explanations. Since there's no snow outside, I think I'll have some fun and find a paper and pencil...

  2. Thank you, Ruthanne. We don't have any snow here, either. Tis not the day for snowshoe fun.

  3. I think drawing is so relaxing and fun!! I definitely will try this one out. We don't have any snow either, but it sure is cold lol. Great post!!

  4. Here's mine! (I didn't color him in - I liked him black and white.)