“If we can master a bit of drawing, everything else is possible.” - Alberto Giacometti
A lot of people like to draw and while generally thought of as something we do as children, there are many adults interested in drawing, too. Nostalgia certainly helps, as can be seen with all the remakes we’re seeing in the media. The cartoons of our childhood clearly made a lasting impression and there are a lot of us who also want to pick a pencil back up.
So how easy is it to learn how to draw?
Let’s take a look.
Why Should You Learn to Draw?
Drawing is an enjoyable, relaxing, and freeing activity. We’re often tasked with drawing as children, but some people decide to continue drawing into adulthood and get better with every day they spend doing it.
Drawing allows you to improve and perfect the techniques you use and some artists work towards improving their art while others just find that getting better at drawing is the natural result of regular practice.
Those who draw regularly for fun mightn’t be working towards improving their art, but they’ll still see it happen. Others will be actively working on their art and seeking to get better at it.
Some artists have a goal in mind and will need to achieve this by improving their drawings.
Students, for example, will be looking to put together portfolios and projects to get good grades while others may be looking to sell their work or just create a nice present for a family member, friend, or loved one.
Whatever the reasons for wanting to improve your drawings, you should know that it’ll still take time. More often than not, you’ll want to draw nearly every day. There are many materials you can use to draw (pencils, pens, crayons, etc.), but all these different mediums still require time and effort. Someone who can draw really well with a pencil might be useless when drawing with pens.
You don’t want to rush things, either. By rushing things, you’ll miss out on important fundamental concepts like perspective, colour theory, or composition.
Learning to Draw Requires Regular Practice
You can make a lot of progress if you regularly draw. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an amateur or professional artist, either. Practice makes perfect!
The more you draw, the more it’ll become second nature to you through a process known as procedural memory. You can go back to the same place and draw the same landscape or practise drawing the same object again and again. As you progress, you can even start drawing these things in different styles using different techniques.
There are plenty of challenges that can help you get used to drawing, too. This is particularly true of Inktober, where artists have to draw something every day throughout the month of October. Each day has a theme.
The goal is to spend no longer than 3 hours on each drawing, but really, you want to be spending at least between 15 minutes and half an hour on each piece. There are lots of illustrators and artists who follow the challenge each year and it can encourage artists to regularly draw and improve as a result.
There’s an official list published each year, but there are also artists who will publish their own lists that you can follow if the official one isn’t to your taste.
There are also lists for weekly drawings you can do throughout the year.
Learning to Draw Requires Motivation
To learn how to draw, you need to be motivated. Motivation and practice go hand-in-hand as if you don’t practise, you’ll lose your motivation, and if you aren’t motivated, you’ll probably never practise!
Ask yourself why you want to get better at drawing. Having a regular goal in mind can help you when it’s time to sit down and draw and you can even set yourself smaller goals to achieve with each drawing session.
Are you looking to fill a sketchbook with drawings?
Start by listing everything you’d like your book to include and then go step-by-step. Start with the simplest and most affordable options.
What about a still life? Or a landscape? Animals, perhaps?
Bit by bit, you can use the resources available to you to improve your drawing. Eventually, you’ll also fill your sketchbook with drawings. Just make sure you keep your goals in mind.
Is Learning to Draw Easy?
It’s difficult to say as different people find certain things easier than others. Similarly, drawing isn’t necessarily an innate skill and it can also be learned.
Even those who appear to be incredibly talented have probably practised a lot. Even if they didn’t take classes, they will have probably studied a lot in their own way.
Drawing is also a question of patience. Those who are patient won’t mind spending hours working on the finer details of their drawings. Again, it’s not about being naturally talented, but about working on improving your skills. If you aren’t patient enough to do this, learning how to draw is going to be very challenging.
The Tools You’ll Need to Improve Your Drawing
Like with any other skill, you need the right tools for the job.
Firstly, start by learning the basics and fundamentals of drawing either in a class or on your own. Once you understand the fundamentals of drawing, you can start participating in challenges like Inktober or getting into the habit of drawing regularly.
You can also make a note of your progression. If you’re looking to improve in a three-month period, plan out how you’ll work during those three months with time set aside to work on your goals. This schedule will help you meet your objectives.
Don’t hesitate to show others your work and get constructive feedback on what you’ve been drawing. There are artists who’ll be happy to provide you with tips and comments on how to make your work better. Keep in mind that if the feedback is mean or doesn’t offer any advice on how to improve, you may as well ignore it.
Use social media at your own risk!
Teaching Yourself How to Draw
Drawing is a skill that can be learnt without a teacher. Self-taught artists regularly work on their drawing and learn by watching videos on YouTube or reading books on art, for example.
Can you improve if you’re teaching yourself?
The advantage of teaching yourself to draw is that you’re in charge of the syllabus and can choose when your lessons take place. You don’t have the timetable to worry about so you can draw at night, before work, or even on your lunch break!
Setting your own schedule also allows you to choose times when you’ll be most motivated. Furthermore, you can also choose the video tutorials or subject matter that you enjoy. There’s plenty of drawing tutorials and material online.
Domestika, for example, is an online community for creatives to learn from professionals. There are artists offering courses on how to draw as well as many other artistic skills. However, you won’t be able to get instant feedback from your teacher.
For some, a lack of instant constructive feedback may stifle their creativity and hinder their progression.
Learning to Draw with a Teacher
Choosing the right teacher can speed up the learning process, especially when it comes to learning how to draw. Your teacher can make sure you correctly learn the fundamentals, saving you a lot of time.
In some cases, those learning to draw may struggle to find a solution to a particular problem. With their experience, the teacher can quickly point them in the right direction and keep them on track.
An art or drawing teacher can also put together a coherent course depending on what you want to learn, especially if you’re learning with a private tutor.
You can also attend art classes on a regular basis. This is a good way to learn new skills and techniques.
Consider getting help from one of the many talented and experienced tutors on the Superprof website. There are tutors for almost every academic subject and skills and hobbies like drawing, too. You can get face-to-face, online, and group tuition and since each type of tutoring comes with its pros and cons, you'll need to think carefully about which is best for you and your budget.
Don't forget that many of the tutors on Superprof also offer the first hour of tutoring for free so you can try several different tutors out before deciding upon which one is right for you.