Skill Level: Middle School+ Tools: Paper & Pencil; Digital Painting (optional) Skill Sets: Drawing Basics; Contrast; Value; Line; Balance; Emphasis
Step 1: Basic Shape Framework
Line drawing of basic shapes of how to draw an octopus by Nate Lindley.
Tip: Convert complex images into basic shapes. Work loosely and lightly - most of these lines will be erased.
Step 2: Improving the Basic Shapes
Line drawing of the basic form: How to draw an octopus by Nate Lindley.
Tip: Think about the scale and relation between various shapes. Wait to darken the lines until you are certain the objects are correctly placed and sized.
Step 3: Forming Complex Shapes
Line Drawing of complex shapes: how to draw an octopus by Nate Lindley.
Tip: Do not worry about getting every smudge off the piece. Sometimes those smudges leave a faint detail that can help inspire you when finishing the piece.
Step 4: Skill-Level Finishing
Fully rendered artwork: how to draw an octopus by Nate Lindley.
Tip: Be sure to vary line intensity and to maximize your use of value throughout your artwork. If every line looks exactly the same and there is no value change occurring, the piece will be flat. Mix bold and thin lines as well as highlights and shadows; the piece will become visually interesting.