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Can You Teach Yourself to Draw? (Beginner’s Guide Inside)

Can you teach yourself to draw

Maybe you’re wondering:

  • Can you learn to draw at any age?
  • How do I start learning to draw?
  • Finally, how long exactly does it take to learn to draw?

These are all very common questions when you are interested in learning to draw or just starting out. If there’s one thing I hope you can take away from this post – it is to just start drawing by following our top drawing tips for beginners.

Can You Teach Yourself to Draw?

Can you teach yourself to draw? YES

Yes, you can teach yourself to draw. With consistent practice, a willingness not to give up, and being driven by your desire to create art, you can teach yourself to draw. You will be surprised at how much you can improve after such a short amount of time.

Can you learn to draw at any age? YES

From my personal experience, as an adult of 27 years old, I just decided one day that I wanted to learn to draw. I started trying to mimic styles and works of art that I appreciated, primarily figures and portraits and after ~3 years I began to feel happy with my progress.

Here is my (in progress) portrait attempt of Lucian Freud after 2.5 years of drawing:

Before starting to draw, I would constantly avoid trying to learn by being stuck on the question, “how long does it take to learn to draw?”, “what’s the point of even learning?”, “am I too old to start drawing?”.

The truth is none of those questions mattered. If you are drawn to art and are inspired by other art or drawings, why not dedicate yourself to learning and creating your own masterpiece?

Table of Contents

    How to Learn to Draw

    Here are our top tips for how to learn to draw for beginners:

    • Try to mimic drawing styles and artworks that you enjoy
    • Consider following guides from dedicated websites, youtube, or books
    • Understand that it will take time – expect to learn to draw decently at 2-3 years of consistent practice
    • Try to create a consistent and manageable drawing schedule
      • for example, set to a daily routine to draw every night from 6-7:30 PM
    • In reality, you don’t need lessons, books, or guides – you just need to practice

    Over time, you will gain more observational skills and be able to better discern finer details in shade, shape, and size then be able to better replicate them from your reference images to your drawings.

    For some practical tips:

    • Draw loosely and lightly
    • Start with major shapes then work toward details
    • Details make the drawing so don’t be worried if your drawings don’t look good initially
    • Try to understand value and how shadows and highlights make drawings more realistic
    • Don’t be afraid to erase large sections and/or start over entirely
    • Keep in mind that a finished drawing can take up to 30 hours (I know on most of my portrait attempts I spend ~30 hours)

    When learning how to draw, beginners are sometimes encouraged to practice on subjects such as simple forms, still lifes, or landscapes, the ones you can see around you or an image for reference, before proceeding on to more complicated compositions

    Practicing this method, you’ll better understand how to transform three-dimensional things into a flat canvas.

    You may also want to learn art fundamentals and drawing tips for beginners through various internet resources, including video lectures, tutorials, books, and community pages for artists. 

    With that, practice often and experiment with various drawing materials like pencils, charcoal, and markers to discover the one you love and are comfortable working with the best.

    What Materials Do I Need

    The Top Five Essential Drawing Tools

    The following is a list of some of the fundamental tools and materials that you need to start drawing:

    • Pencils – pencils vary from soft (B pencils) to hard (H pencils).  When drawing, a harder pencil (such as an HB) produces lighter lines, while a softer pencil (such as a 4B) produces darker lines. It will give you the ability to draw in a variety of shades.
    • Paper – a blank pad of sketching paper is needed. Drawing papers come in various textures and surfaces, from smooth to rough. 
    • Eraser – one should always have a standard eraser and a kneaded eraser (which may be formed into various forms) on hand to remove unwanted marks or for correction.
    • Smudging Stick – is used for blending and softening lines in a drawing, also known as tortillon, made of rolled paper.
    • Transparent Ruler – to easily create straight lines and measure distances on your drawing.

    To begin drawing, you’ll need these essential items. As your skills improve, you may wish to venture out and use different materials such as charcoal, colored pencils, or even markers.

    But the most important material you need is the mediums you discover that interest you the most.

    For more list of drawing materials you might need, here is a related post:

    Can You Learn to Draw at Any Age?

    Yes, you can learn and teach yourself to draw at any age. 

    Regardless of your age, you can always benefit from learning how to draw. Many adults discover that art-making helps them relax and unleash their imagination.

    It is usual for people to pick up new learnings at their pace. You shouldn’t feel rushed and shouldn’t feel like you must immediately become an expert in every method. 

    Instead, focus on having fun while making something or finding a way to express yourself; this is what art is all about.

    As for adults, you can follow what was said earlier about how to learn how to draw.

    How Do I Start Learning to Draw

    A woman starting to draw in a blank canvas

    One must be open to learning and practicing to start learning to draw. The following are some extra pointers that can help you begin drawing:

    Find a comfortable workspace: pick a place that is free from distractions and has enough lighting, and arrange your supplies in a pleasing manner.

    Follow your own pace: don’t pressure yourself to learn everything quickly. Remember the importance of having a good time and appreciating the creative process. 

    Learn from the available resources: from online tutorials and courses to books and artist groups, there are plenty of tools to aid your artistic development. 

    Start with the basics:  developing a good foundation in drawing requires beginning with simple and basic methods and topics before moving on to more complicated ones as your ability level rises.

    Set your goals: Goal-setting is an effective strategy for maintaining motivation and keeping tabs on your progress. Think about what you want to achieve regarding how frequently you would like to practice or what skills or knowledge you wish to acquire.

    How Long Does It Take to Teach Yourself to Draw

    The time it takes to teach oneself to draw is variable and hard to predict. It depends on factors such as your starting skill level and the amount of time and effort you have allocated to put into practice.

    However, it is feasible to improve your drawing abilities over a few years (possibly two to three years) if you practice constantly and seek out materials and advice when you need it. 

    As with any other skill, the amount of time and effort you put into practice will directly correlate to how quickly you progress. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is It Hard to Learn to Draw

    Learning to draw can be challenging and even frustrating at times. Still, with consistent practice, you’ll be blown away with how much your drawing has improved at three months, six months, and after a year of drawing.

    Do You Need Talent to Learn to Draw?

    Although natural talent may help the creative process, one need not be “talented” to learn how to draw. 

    You can improve at drawing just as you can get better at any other skill if you put in the time and effort.

    Therefore, if you want to learn to draw, you should worry about whether or not you have the skill. The only way to improve, again, is to get started practicing. Who knows, you’ll be impressed by your abilities.

    Can You Teach Yourself to Draw? – Conclusion

    If you’re wondering whether you can teach yourself to draw, the answer is a resounding yes! 

    In this blog post, we’ve provided a beginner’s guide on how to learn to draw, what materials you need, and debunked the myth that you can’t learn to draw as an adult. 

    Now that you know it IS possible to teach yourself to draw, why not give it a try? And if you find yourself struggling or just want some professional help and guidance, schedule a discovery call with us today. 

    We’d be more than happy chat with you about your drawing goals and how we can help you achieve them.

    Thanks for reading, and see you at the next one!

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