Skip to Content

Is It Worth It Learning to Draw When You Can Just Use AI?

Yes, it is worth it to learn to draw even though AI can easily create art. AI can never truly mimic your own art style. Developing your own art style is unique to you and you only. Plus learning to draw also comes with an abundance of benefitsThe feeling of getting lost but still somehow being present while drawing is something everyone should experience!

Key Takeaways

  • Learning to draw is used to enhance your skills, broaden your mind, and better yourself (these are things that AI cannot provide).
  • Drawing is a form of human expression – AI cannot mimic the emotion and imperfections in human drawn art.
  • However, if you’re learning to draw to make it big in a specific industry you may be limited since businesses and corporations are now already adopting AI artwork instead of paying a human artist.
  • We recommend focusing on art fundamental and principles to gain a better understanding of art.
  • Lastly, if you do know how to draw, you can more easily fix mistakes and enhance your AI art.

Benefits of Learning to Draw

While AI offers alternatives to manual drawing, the process of learning to draw enhances cognitive development and enables profound emotional expression.

Cognitive Development

Drawing is closely linked to the expansion of cognitive abilities. It enhances visual analysis, requiring one to perceive and interpret details of the visual world. Engaging in drawing also stimulates the visual cortex, strengthening one’s capacity to process images, comprehension, and even memory. Learning to draw contributes to improved spatial reasoning—the ability to understand and remember the spatial relations among objects.

  • Visual Analysis
    • Detail perception
    • Interpretation
  • Visual Cortex Activation
    • Image processing improvement
  • Spatial Reasoning
    • Enhanced object relation comprehension

Emotional Expression

Drawing serves as a powerful medium for emotional expression. Artists often channel their feelings into their artwork, which can be a cathartic and therapeutic process.

It provides a non-verbal outlet for emotions, making it particularly beneficial for those who find verbal expression challenging. The act of drawing can also lead to a reduction in stress and anxiety, promoting a sense of emotional well-being.

  • Non-verbal Outlet
    • Emotional catharsis
    • Therapeutic benefits
  • Stress and Anxiety Reduction
    • Emotional well-being support

Communication Skills

Drawing transcends language barriers and can communicate ideas across different cultures and demographics. It aids in the development of visual communication skills, allowing one to represent concepts graphically. In addition, drawing can help refine one’s ability to interpret visual cues, an essential skill in a highly visual society, whether interpreting data visualizations, user interfaces, or body language.

  • Visual Communication Skills
    • Concept representation
    • Ideation clarity
  • Interpretation of Visual Cues
    • Strengthened understanding of societal visual elements

The Value of Human Touch in Art

The hand of the artist imparts unique qualities to artwork that AI cannot replicate, such as emotional resonance and cultural relevance. This human touch adds layers of depth and connectivity that are still highly valued in the art world.

Authenticity in Art

Art created by human hands carries an authenticity that stems from the artist’s experiences, emotions, and imperfections. Each brushstroke or pencil line is imbued with a sense of identity and self-expression that AI-generated art struggles to emulate. This authenticity makes human-created art a genuine reflection of the creator, warranting appreciation for its originality.

Appreciation of the Creative Process

The creative process is as important as the final piece. It encompasses the artist’s decision-making, problem-solving, and adaptations. Whether it’s during the initial sketch or the final touches, human artists bring a purposeful intention to their work that engages observers in a narrative of creation, thus enhancing the artwork’s value beyond the visual.

Cultural and Historical Significance

Human art captures the essence of its time and the artist’s cultural context. This can be seen in works that reflect societal values, historical events, or personal anecdotes. The human touch here provides a connection to the past and a record for the future, something that AI, which lacks cultural grounding and an understanding of historical context, cannot achieve. Through this lens, human art is more than aesthetic—it’s a cultural artifact.

AI in Art Creation

Overview of AI Art Tools

AI art tools have evolved to offer a diverse range of functionalities, from generating visual content using algorithms like GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks) to refining and altering existing images. Tools like Bing Image Creator, DALL-E 2, DeepDream, and Artbreeder provide artists with platforms to experiment with AI-generated visuals, offering interfaces that can turn text prompts into complex images.

The Rise of Generative AI

Generative AI refers to algorithms that can create new content by learning from a data set of existing works. These AI systems, including those mentioned above, are not just tools but collaborators that augment the artistic process. They harness machine learning to produce novel artworks that can sometimes be indistinguishable from those created by human hands. The advancements in this field are rapidly transforming how art is conceptualized and produced.

Comparing AI Art to Human-Created Art

AI-generated art and human-created art are distinct in their creation.

While AI relies on programmed algorithms and data input to create visuals, human art is rooted in cognition, emotion, and physical skill. AI art tools excel in speed and the ability to iterate rapidly, offering an infinite canvas for experimentation.

However, art connoisseurs still hold a preference for the unique touch and context that human artists bring to their creations.

Economic and Professional Considerations

When assessing the value of learning to draw in an age dominated by AI, one must examine the evolving job market for artists, the potential for monetization, and the influence AI wields on the art industry.

The Job Market for Artists

The market for artists remains dynamic, with employers seeking a range of creative skills. Traditional drawing talents are often required in areas such as illustration, storyboarding, and concept art.

However, digital proficiency is increasingly valuable as industries embrace technology in their creative processes.

  • Illustration: Employers often seek candidates with a blend of traditional and digital illustration skills for books, magazines, and advertising.
  • Concept Art: The gaming and film sector prioritize artists who can visualize ideas with hand-drawn and digital techniques.
  • Storyboarding: In media production, the ability to create visual narratives continues to be vital.

Monetizing Art Skills

Artists possess the potential to monetize their skills through various channels, regardless of the medium they choose. Traditional art offers the appeal of tangibility which many collectors and clients value.

  • Commissions: Custom artwork continues to be a mainstay for income.
  • Licensing: Obtaining royalties for artwork usage can provide a consistent revenue stream.
  • Merchandising: Selling prints, apparel, or other goods with one’s art can be profitable.

Impact of AI on the Art Industry

Artificial intelligence is altering the art landscape, from automating certain design processes to creating new art forms. AI-generated art is become more and more common among different industries potentially leading to a loss of jobs for human artists.

  • Automation: Tasks such as inking or coloring can be expedited using AI, affecting job roles and required skills.
  • AI Art: This emergent field can serve as a tool for artists, but also raises concerns about the devaluation of traditional techniques.

The Fundamentals of Drawing

Mastering the fundamentals of drawing provides a strong foundation for any artistic endeavor, whether for personal satisfaction or professional pursuit with or without the use of AI.

Understanding the Basics

Line Quality: A line’s weight, direction, and character are crucial. Beginners often start with simple line exercises to gain control.

Shape and Form: Artists distinguish between flat shapes (2D) and forms (3D). Learning to turn basic shapes into forms is essential for representing real-world objects.

Perspective: Understanding perspective principles allows artists to create the illusion of depth. Techniques involve one-point, two-point, and three-point perspective.

Shading and Texture: Shading adds dimension by showing light and shadow, while textures simulate surface qualities, from smooth to rough.

Composition: This involves arranging elements pleasingly within the artwork. Artists must consider balance, contrast, emphasis, and harmony.

Materials and Tools

  • Pencils: Graphite pencils come in different hardness levels, from hard (H) to soft (B). Hard pencils produce light, fine lines, while soft pencils are darker and bolder.
  • Paper: Quality varies from rough textures suitable for charcoal to smooth surfaces for detailed pencil work.
  • Erasers: Options include kneaded, plastic, and gum erasers, each with unique properties for correcting and refining.
  • Charcoal, Ink, and Other Media: Additional materials allow for varied expression and techniques.

Hand-Eye Coordination and Technique

Hand Control: Regular practice develops steady hand movements, essential for consistent lines and strokes.

Observation: Artists train their eyes to translate three-dimensional scenes onto a two-dimensional medium accurately.

Repetitive Practice: Exercises like contour drawing and gesture sketches improve fluidity and confidence in one’s strokes.

Critiquing and Adjusting: Reflecting on one’s work, seeking feedback, and making adjustments are critical for growth.

Integrating AI with Traditional Drawing

AI can significantly augment the traditional drawing process, offering artists new avenues to enhance their craftsmanship and creative expression.

Using AI for Concept Development

Artists can use AI tools to quickly generate and refine ideas, ensuring an efficient concept development phase. Applications like Dall-E 2 provide immediate visual outputs based on text prompts, which can serve as a source of inspiration for artists to further develop and refine manually.

AI as a Learning Tool

AI’s capacity for instant feedback can be pivotal in the learning curve for new artists. Tools equipped with machine learning can analyze an artist’s work and provide constructive critiques or suggest style adaptations, thus facilitating rapid skill improvement.

Enhancing Creativity with AI

AI algorithms also enable artists to experiment with different styles and techniques. Through the use of style transfer, artists can merge their hand-drawn artwork with the signature styles of historical art movements or other artists, effectively broadening their creative palette.

Strategies for Learning to Draw

In learning to draw, one should focus on methodical approaches, consistent practice, and setting clear objectives. These key strategies enhance skill development and help maintain momentum in the learning process.

Setting Achievable Goals

  • Short-term Objectives: Break the learning process into smaller, manageable goals such as mastering basic shapes or understanding perspective, ensuring progress can be quantified.
  • Long-term Aspirations: Envision where you want your drawing abilities to be in a year or more to maintain direction and motivation.

Creating a Learning Plan

  1. Skill Breakdown: Isolate specific drawing skills to focus on one at a time, such as line quality or shading techniques.
  2. Resource Allocation: Utilize various learning tools, including books, online tutorials, or local classes, to cater to different aspects of drawing.

Practice and Persistence

  • Regular Practice: Dedicate time to draw regularly, even if it’s brief sessions, to build muscle memory and improve technique.
  • Reflective Persistence: Regularly review progress to identify areas of improvement and celebrate growth in skills, which can prevent burnout and uphold enthusiasm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Still Worth Learning to Draw When You Can Just Use AI?

Yes, it’s still worth learning to draw even with the rising popularity of AI art. Drawing is a highly sought after skill (if not requirement) for any industry involving art. Plus learning art and drawing itself has many benefits that are completely missed when using AI to generate art.

How does the rise of AI art generation impact the value of traditional art skills?

Traditional art skills remain valuable as they provide a foundational understanding of artistic principles that AI cannot replicate. Human perception, emotion, and hand-eye coordination are intrinsic to traditional artwork and maintain its unique value.

What are the potential benefits of artists learning to draw despite advancements in AI?

Artists who learn to draw can cultivate a deeply personal and expressive connection to their work. They develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are valuable beyond the creation of visual art and allow for a tangible intimacy with their craft that AI cannot achieve.

How might AI tools contribute to the learning process for beginner artists?

AI tools can act as a supplement in art education, offering beginner artists the opportunity to explore various styles and techniques quickly. This immediate feedback can help accelerate learning and help beginners understand complex concepts in a more accessible way.


Drawing’s Effect on Memory

Fernandes, M. A., Wammes, J. D., & Meade, M. E. (2018). The Surprisingly Powerful Influence of Drawing on Memory. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(5), 302-308.

Wammes, J. D., Meade, M. E., & Fernandes, M. A. (2016). The drawing effect: Evidence for reliable and robust memory benefits in free recall. Quarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006)69(9), 1752–1776.

Drawing and Comprehension

Center for Science, Mathematics & Computer Education. (n.d.). The science of drawing and memory. University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Retrieved March 16, 2024, from

Quillin, K., & Thomas, S. (2015). Drawing-to-learn: a framework for using drawings to promote model-based reasoning in biology. CBE life sciences education14(1), es2.

Drawing and Stress Reduction

Law, M., Karulkar, N., & Broadbent, E. (2021). Evidence for the effects of viewing visual artworks on stress outcomes: a scoping review. BMJ open11(6), e043549.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs. You can read our complete legal information for more details.