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Historic Drawing Secrets Revealed

by GJ Gillespie, Artist and Founder of Leda Art Supply 

Albrecht Dürer was one of the most celebrated artists of his time, and his drawing style was unrivaled. If you're looking to improve your own drawing skills, there are plenty of lessons that can be gleaned from Dürer's work. Here are some tips:

- Use a light touch when starting out. Dürer would often begin his sketches with very light lines, gradually building up the details as he went along. This helped him to get a feel for the overall composition before getting bogged down in the details.

- Take your time. Dürer didn't rush his sketches – he took care to capture every detail precisely. This might seem like it would take forever, but in reality it often results in a more polished and professional-looking drawing.

- Use reference materials. Dürer was known for his meticulous attention to detail, and part of that was due to his use of reference materials. He would often sketch from life, or from memory, but he would also consult books and other artworks to make sure his drawings were as accurate as possible.

Dog From Durer’s Netherlands Sketchbook

- Pay attention to proportions. One of the things that made Dürer's drawings so realistic was his careful attention to proportions. He didn't just eyeball it – he used measurements and other techniques to ensure that everything was in proportion.  He said“As I grew older, I realized that it was much better to insist on the genuine forms of nature, for simplicity is the greatest adornment of art." ~ Albrecht Dürer (1471 - 1528)

- Use different drawing tools. Dürer didn't just stick to one drawing tool – he used whatever was appropriate for the drawing he was working on. He would often use a pencil for initial sketches, then move on to charcoal or ink for the final drawing.

- Experiment with different techniques. Dürer was always experimenting with new drawing techniques, and that's something that you should do as well. Try out different mediums and styles, and see what works best for you.

By following these tips, you can start to draw like one of history's greatest artists!

Albrecht Durer’s 15th century sketchbook.


Albrecht Dürer was a renowned German Renaissance artist who lived from 1471 to 1528.

Some key details about Albrecht Dürer and his life:

  • Born in Nuremberg, Germany on May 21, 1471
  • Active as an artist during the German Renaissance period
  • Worked in a variety of media including painting, printmaking, and drawing
  • Known for his meticulous and detailed engravings and woodcuts
  • Considered one of the greatest artists of the Northern Renaissance
  • Traveled to Italy and was influenced by Italian Renaissance art
  • Wrote influential treatises on art and perspective
  • Died in Nuremberg on April 6, 1528 at the age of 56

Dürer was a prolific and innovative artist who had a major impact on the development of Northern Renaissance art. His technical mastery and conceptual approach to art were highly influential on generations of artists that followed him. His works are admired and studied by art historians to this day.


Start sketching like the masters in a premium Leda Sketchbook. Made with fine art paper with a stitched binding and durable cover. Your art will last centuries.

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