TRSE: How To Draw Tutorials:
Drawing Tools

    The artists always need something to draw with and there are many different types of tools such as pencils, paintings, watercolors, color markers, color pencils, and computer coloring the novice artists can try and go with those they like most. Many tools can be found in the office supplies and art stores as well as various online stores specializing in special art supplies, and it should be noted that the tools always have pros and cons.
    The papers come in many forms and the best types would be a smooth and blank papers for clean drawings. You can practice drawing on the blank newspaper type papers, sketchbooks or any old printer papers. For best results, you want to draw on the papers that are very smooth, very clean and thick. You can draw on the canvas if you're interested in watercoloring, airbrushing or oil paintings.
    The erasable pencils are the basis of all drawing, and they are necesssary for experimental sketching and outlining out the draft layout of a picture. There are many different types of pencils and pens you can try and use. I suggest the pencils in form of 3H, and 2H which "H" means hardness. The 3H pencils will produce very light lines useful for light sketching to set up the layout of the drawing, and they are also great with experimenting in the sketching, shading, and positioning of any objects. 2H pencils can be used to draw the lines you want to draw in preparation for inking or for shading. Don't forget the erasers needed to erase any mistakes! The problem with the pencils are that they're always messy and even erasers can leave behind any dusty marks. That can be solved by taping a blank paper on the sketch and tracing the lines you want to be drawn with softer pencils or pens.
    The ink pens and markers are used to outline the pencil sketches especially the lines you want to be drawn in ink as in case of cartoon/anime drawings as well as computer-coloring. I suggest any type of drafting or art markers with varying thickness from 0.5 to 8 millimeters and those are best for detailed drawings but they tend to be overflow if drawn too slowly, or damaged if pressed too hard. The pointy ballpoint pens also work especially when drawing long lines (straight or curving), adding the wrinkles to the clothing or drawing the multi-lined hairstyles, but they're not reliable in drawing small details.
    A measuring ruler is which I consider a very important tool for any drawings. A simple ruler helps make your drawings look more accurate, symmetrical, and leveled (especially the face) as well as drawing straight lines. I had seen so many pictures with lopsided eyes/faces as if the artists haven't used something to keep the faces leveled. The rulers can be used to keep the characters lined straight up without making them look like they're ready to fall.
    Beside the rulers, there are the templates that can be used to help keep the drawings look neat. The example are triangles, drafting templates with rounded holes used to draw near-perfect circles and the "French Curve", a type of template used to draw curving lines like a curving samurai swords and curving outlines of the cars. The French Curve looks something like this picture.
   There's this cel method which the animators used to produce the cels making up the animated shows. It involves tracing a blank paper over a sketched drawing resulting in a clean drawing. You can build a box with glass on the top, and put a light inside it (but leave some opening to let the heat out). Tape a blank paper to a pencil sketch, put it on the glass, and then, trace what you want to be traced with ink. Such method would result in a very clean drawing that can making coloring in any mediums (pencil coloring, computer coloring, watercoloring, etc.) much easier and cleaner, no more hassles of using the eraser. ^_^
    Knowledge can be quite a powerful tool in learning to draw many objects. I found the knowledge of science (human anatomy, physics, biology, whatever) to be very valuable asset especially when it comes to doing stories and technical stuff. "Bad science" (misinformation and "flying pigs" stuff) tend to result in lousy stories (and lousy drawings in several cases too). So it helps to take few general science classes. For example, if you understand the science behind the roses, you'll able to draw the roses well and Tuxedo Kamen/Mask from BSSailorMoon would be very grateful, heheh. ^_^   You can pay attention to anything out there and note how shapes and details of each object.
    There are many books or magazines you can study to learn how to draw something such as the pictorial books, National Geography Society magazines, and those on How To Draw Manga, human anatomy, animals, cars, etc.. Many advanced/professional artists (including Naoko Takeuchi) reply on the knowledge of human anatomy to draw the human figures very well. By reading on the human anatomy, the artists are able to make their decisions on their drawing styles and preferences, decide on exaggerations (like making legs longer), and to draw the characters properly especially when they're in actions/poses. For example, the muscles under the skin stretch and thicken as the limbs are moved. The knowledge of human anatomy also helps the artists understand the limitations of the limbs' movements. For example, a head cannot turn more than 160 degrees from one side to other side. So it helps to get your hands on such books and magazines.
    WARNING! With the recent advances in the computer-editing technology, many pictures of so-called "Supermodels" are very likely to be ARTIFICIALLY ALTERED meaning that they now have technology to change the way the models look. The examples are breast enlargements, fuller lips, beautying up the faces, lengthening of the limbs, and removal of minor flaws like freckles. I advise against those kind of magazines including those about the Hollywood-type celebrities.
    It would be helpful to have real live models to help with your human studies. You can use a mirror to observe your own body, and see how your limbs move, but that could be a problem if you're not a slim person, and you want to draw the slim characters. Any artists also may have problems drawing the characters of opposite sex. For example, I'm a male drawer, so I'm not completely familiar with a female body. But it can happen that some male drawers would know more about the female body than female artists do and vera vice
    Now the four most important tools of all.... Brains, Patience, determination and LOTs of practice. If you lack any of  those four, it would be very hard for you to become a good artist.

Let's move to learn about
Reading the Patterns in the Pictures