This week, we brought you a ton of specialized drawing tutorials, from the best of Photoshop in 2013 to how to draw a dog, a snowman and Manga facial expressions.

But what we want to focus on most, is the basics we brought -- the fundamental skills needed to move on to these higher, more difficult levels of creation. 

First off, pencil shading. If you can create a solid graident in shading, you're halfway to creating dynamic shadows and figures, which is one of the first skills you'll need in your drawing endeavors:

Next up, simple exercises, like drawing a circle, straight line and organic mass that don't look like someone had a stroke while creating them. These can be some of the most difficult shapes to create by hand, but they're definitely a necessary evil!

Still lifes are the next step in the drawing ladder of success, because objects don't move and you're able to practice shadow and form for days, weeks and months on end. Pro tip: if an object turns out to be more difficult than you thought to recreate on paper, work at it till it's perfect instead of nixing it from the composition:

This last tutorial begins the next phase of ultimate drawing skills: creating people. If you learn how to draw realistic eyes, you've created the most difficult part of human expression: the windows to the soul.

So the next time you're looking to get a little back to the basics in your drawings, check out any of the above articles for tips on how to acheive the most realistic composition possible. And follow our scoops to stay updated on the latest and greatest drawing tips online.