you actually teach yourself to draw and paint?
drawing a talent or a skill?
anyone learn to create fine art or are some people just hopelessly
lost and will never be able to draw or paint as well as the amazing
artists they admire?
about to find out!
Drawing A Talent Or A Skill?
is a skill, but talent can make it easier to improve that skill.
Someone who is called “naturally talented” in drawing generally just has better visual/spatial intelligence than other people. That means he or she is inherently good at grasping things visually, measuring distances, observing colors and more. (There are actually 9 types of intelligence with visual/spatial intelligence being just one of them.)
inherent ability is useful, but nobody gets born being able to draw
picture-perfect artworks with correct proportions, perspective and
is still a skill that can be learned and improved. Talent makes it
easier to improve that skill, but anyone can do it with enough time
really good at drawing and painting requires a lot of time and
“Repetition is the mother of skill.”
if you’re not naturally talented, you can become very proficient. All
great artists have put years and years into their craft. It’s not
just talent but mileage.
“You are what you do repeatedly.”
You Learn Drawing And Painting At Any Age?
doesn’t matter how old you are, you can learn drawing and painting at
course it’s easier to learn anything at a young age, but that doesn’t
mean that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Research has shown that motivation is a key factor in our abilty to learn new things even at an old age.
the one hand your mind maybe isn’t as sharp as it once was
anymore. But on the other hand things like discipline and work ethic
might actually be much better than when you were younger.
all depends on your drive and your perseverance. If you really want
to learn drawing, you can do it.
the older you are, the less time you have to learn how to draw and
paint. But that doesn’t mean much.
was an American woman who took up painting at the ripe age of 78 (!)
years. She was quite successful up until she died at 101 years of
Long Does It Take To Learn Drawing?
is no clear answer to the question of how long it takes to learn
to draw something can take anywhere from a few minutes or hours to a
couple of years.
They say it takes 10,000 hours to master anything. It’s called the “10,000 hours rule”. It was made famous by the bestselling book “Outliers” of Malcom Gladwell. (It’s pretty cheap on Amazon right here.)
this is a very vague guideline.
may apply to one specific skill like hitting a baseball with a bat.
If you hit a baseball 10,000 times over a few years, you ought to be
pretty good at it. But drawing is much more than that.
example, even if you spent 10,000 hours learning how to draw cars,
you wouldn’t be able to draw humans convincingly.
a matter of prioritization and also the complexity of what you want
If you take a measured approach, you can learn quickly though.
this means though is this:
Learning Process Never Ends
the end every stroke you make on a surface will make you better at
drawing in general.
no matter how far you get in your journey as an artist, the learning
a great artist requires you to push yourself and try new things all
the time. Even if you are a master portrait artist, you may still
struggle to draw animals or landscapes. You will have a good base,
for sure, but you will still have to learn new things and fail a few
That’s a good thing though. The possibilities are endless and even after years of creating fine art you can still keep things fresh by learning to draw or paint new things or trying out new mediums. (If you’ve been at it for a few years and you’re out of ideas, check out my 15 Amazing Art Ideas To Spark Your Creativity.)
Just don’t try to be a jack of all trades – and master of none. To a certain degree you have to narrow down the list of things you want to draw to become proficient at it. Just like I prefer to draw mainly superhero-related stuff.
Proof That You Can Learn To Draw
If you need proof that you can learn to draw, I’ve got you covered. Let this be the motivation to start today.
1. Max Deutsch Learned Portrait Drawing in 30 Days
In his project called “Month to Master” writer Max Deutsch improved his portrait drawing skills immensely in just 30 days.
2. Progress Of 72 Different Artists
This article clearly shows that consistent practice leads to marked improvement of your skills. A lot of them went from “okay” to “amazing” in a few years. You can do it, too!
3. Me – Daniel Büsken
The Batman drawings above are both from me. The left one is from 1999 and the right one from the beginning of 2019. I’m not the best artist in the world by a long shot, but I do have made some progress since I was a child.
not writing this post to discourage you, but to motivate you to start
can learn to draw, as long as you can hold a pencil. Even without
natural talent you will learn drawing, if you practice often. With
enough motivation and dedication anyone will learn drawing, if he/she
believes in himself/herself.
the first steps is never easy. It’s hard to start at square one.
But you must have the right mindset about it. Try to see it this way:
The closer you are to the beginning of your journey, the greater the potential for improvement is.
may be very bad at drawing right now, but you can improve more
quickly than someone who has been drawing for years.
Take me for example again. I’ve been drawing since I was a child and while I still have a long way to go, I can’t improve as quickly anymore as I could a few years ago.
you’re thinking about starting to learn drawing right now, realize
that you will improve at the fastest rate at the beginning!
And seeing this rapid progress can be very motivating.
You might be able to go from “What the hell am I doing?” to “This actually looks pretty good!” in a relatively short amount of time, which in turn will push you to practice even more. It’s a snowball effect of positive drawing energy, if you will.
of a baby that’s learning how
to walk: At
the beginning it fails quite some times, but by getting up and trying
again, it makes fast progress
and can walk before you know it.
While moving more elegantly takes longer to learn, the basics can be
acquired in a short amount of time.
the same with creating art.
don’t put it off any longer and start drawing right now!
Do You Start To Learn Drawing?
you’ve finally decided to start to learn drawing… where exactly do
First, I suggest you just START and get your feet wet. Just doodle around with a pencil and HAVE FUN. After all that’s what drawing should be about. Switch off your perfectionism and just sketch something.
sets the stage for how you should approach creating an artwork in
general and lists several important topics you have to concern
It’s also important that you learn how to practice effectively. You can’t just create finished artworks, you also need to do some dedicated practice from time to time. For this, read my article What Is The Best Way To Improve Your Art?.
drawing and painting are a visual thing, so YouTube is actually a
great resource to learn drawing.
are some other good videos for beginners to check out:
around on YouTube, there’s a lot of great tutorials for beginners
A great professional channel for beginners as well as more experienced artists is Proko.
Finally, I want
to leave you with a special trick:
If you want to get better faster, flip your images horizontally every now and then. You will be amazed by the results. Read my article Why Does My Art Look Weird When I Flip It? to learn how it can help you to see your own mistakes and improve much more quickly.
I’d love to see some of your first drawings posted in the comments!
luck and have fun!
P.S.: Just to let you know: I’m also on Instagram and Facebook. I’d appreciate it, if you check it out!