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Can You Teach Yourself to Draw (How to Learn to Draw Step by Step)

A man drawing (Can You Teach Yourself to Draw? (How to Learn to Draw Step by Step))

Can I Teach Myself to Draw?

Wondering “can you teach yourself how to draw”? Maybe you used to draw in your younger years or maybe you’re ready to truly dedicate yourself to creating your own unique drawings…then this is the post for you.

Yes, you can teach yourself to draw. The best way to teach yourself to draw is to figure out the kind of drawings you’d like to create, create a plan for deliberate, daily drawing practice, and learn by drawing from reference images. 

“I started drawing seriously at the age of 28. I didn’t have any inborn talent, I didn’t take any art classes, and I didnt even know the basics of art, but I knew I liked art and knew I wanted to create my own art. After practicing daily, for about 3 years I was finally more pleased with my finished drawings and noticed improvement over time.”

Teaching yourself to draw involves discipline, and honestly, sometimes it will be more like hard work and less like a fun hobby. But as you continue to practice and see your drawings improve over time, I promise, it will all be worth it. 

We’ve provided some tips and a full guide on how to draw step by step in this post so you can discover what art can do and offer to you too! 

Table of Contents

    Can You Learn to Draw or Is It a Natural Talent?

    Have you ever looked at a beautiful piece of artwork and thought, “I could never do that”? 

    Maybe you’re under the impression that some individuals are born with the natural ability to draw while others aren’t. But the truth is, everyone can learn to draw!

    One of the biggest misconceptions about drawing is that it’s all about natural talent. Like any skill, drawing takes practice and patience. You can improve your skills and produce beautiful work with the proper techniques and tools.

    So don’t give up if you don’t believe you were born with a “natural talent” for art. Through time and effort, anybody can learn to draw. 

    How Can I Learn to Draw by Myself?

    A person drawing on a paper

    Learning to draw can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re worried you need someone to teach you. However, you can become a skilled artist in your own way with patience and perseverance.

    *First, gather the necessary tools for starters. You’ll need pencils of various hardness, erasers, and paper and practice drawing your basic shapes.

    *Next, move on to drawing from observation. Draw a thing you find interesting from a variety of angles and perspectives. 

    It’s essential to look for learning tools as you go so you can continuously improve. Many resources are available to help with everything from shading to composition, including online tutorials, books, and classes.

    And as you learn, always remember that learning to draw is a process. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see progress right away. 

    Learn to Draw Step by Step 

    1. Practice drawing simple objects and shapes and gesture drawing
    1. Learn about proportions and perspective. If a drawing of yours doesn’t look right it’s probably related to proportions and perspective (as in the size/shape of something doesn’t match the size/shape of something else)
    1. Practice daily. Setting aside a specific time of day and a specific location to draw each day even if it’s only 15 minutes will pay dividends over time. (For me, I would try to draw 2 hours a day after work and take 10-minute breaks every 45 minutes). 
    1. Utilize art books. While I wasn’t a big fan of classes and there’s no way I was dropping all that money on art school, working through art books on a specific topic was extremely helpful. 
    1. Practice shading and highlighting with the use of a blending stick and eraser (for highlights) 
    1. Study the work of other artists who you want to draw like and try to learn from their techniques and styles. Visit art museums and galleries to see a wide range of art and styles and to get inspired!

    Tips for Learning How to Draw at Any Age

    Drawing can be practiced at any age, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist. Here are some tips to help you get started on your drawing journey:

    • focus on why you want to learn to draw
    • consider what kind of drawings you want to create
    • create a realistic and manageable plan to draw daily
    • deliberately practice parts of drawing you struggle with
    • learn the fundamentals of art
    • don’t be afraid to erase a part of your drawing and do it again (or even start over entirely)

       It’s better to take time to fix something than end up with an unfixable finished drawing

    • practice portrait and figure drawing
    • use reference images
    • practice shading (and use a blending stick)
    • learn to use erasers to create highlights
    • don’t worry if your drawings don’t look good in the beginning (this is called the ugly duckling phase, and it will pass)

    What Materials Do You Need to Teach Yourself How to Draw?

    Drawing is a skill anybody can learn, and the good news is that you can get started without expensive tools or materials. 

    Honestly, with a pencil and paper, you are good to start. Of course, having a few more things can be helpful, so here are some drawing materials for beginners you may want to consider:

    Drawing MaterialsDescription
    PencilsGraphite pencils come in different grades, from hard (lighter) to soft (darker marks). A set of 2H to 6B pencils is an excellent place to start. But, if you want to start with one pencil, 2B pencils are the most common and versatile grade.
    EraserA plastic eraser works well for more extensive areas, while a kneaded eraser removes graphite well from the paper if you wish to learn detailed work.
    PaperChoose paper that is smooth and sturdy, such as Bristol board or drawing paper.
    SharpenerKeep a sharpener for your pencils to be sharp and ready to use.
    Blending StumpA blending stump or tortillon can blend and smooth out your pencil markings and create shading.
    RulerIt is best to have a transparent ruler to makes it easier to view the paper and your work below and achieve straight lines.
    SketchbookA sketchbook is a great place to practice and experiment with different techniques and mediums, as well as to keep track of your progress.

    How Long Does It Take to Teach Yourself to Draw?

     How long it will take to teach yourself to draw will depend on factors like how much time you invest in practice, your initial ability level, and your particular learning style.

    But with consistent effort over two to three years, you can see noticeable improvements in your drawing abilities and say you have learned how to draw. 

    Learn to draw for beginners 

    When just starting with drawing, focus on simple subjects and shapes to build your skills. Drawing simple geometric forms, still lifes- everyday items, or even your hand or foot are good starting points. 

    You may begin experimenting with more complicated subjects and scenarios as you develop. 

    Learn to draw for adults 

    If you’re an adult learner, you likely have a few preferred interests or subjects. Choosing subjects that interest you will have the most significant impact on your desire to learn and grow.

    Think about what you’re passionate about and try drawing things related to those topics. And sometimes, it’s also fun to push yourself to sketch something you’ve never drawn before.

    Some Other Options to Learn to Draw at Any Age

    Different ways of learning to draw


    The art of drawing is the subject of many books, ranging from how-to manuals for beginners to more advanced techniques.

    It would be best to look for books with understandable and straightforward directions, images of each step, and exercises to practice.

    Some books that may be helpful for beginners include “Drawing for the Absolute and Utter Beginner” by Claire Watson Garcia and “Keys to Drawing” by Bert Dodson.


    Private Classes

    Private classes are one-on-one sessions with a drawing instructor. Those individuals looking for specific attention and personalized education may find this an excellent choice and can be either online or in-person but will often come at a higher expense

    Group Classes

    Group classes typically consist of numerous students and are led by an instructor. These workshops may be an excellent opportunity to gain knowledge from other people’s experiences while also receiving teacher feedback in a classroom environment.

    Also, group courses can create a sense of camaraderie among students.

    Live Classes

    Live classes are conducted in actual time and enable interaction between the teacher and the students. Those who like to ask about their work and get instant comments on it may be an excellent choice. 

    Online Classes

    Learning to draw from the comfort of your home with online lessons may be a practical and cost-effective option. Classes like this may be pre-recorded or held live, often consisting of instructional videos, homework, and teacher comments.


    On their blogs, a wide variety of skilled artists provide helpful information, such as how-to guides, examples of their work, and sources of creative motivation.

    Look for blogs with a tone and subject matter that align with your creative interests and style and those that provide step-by-step tutorials and tips and tricks for improving your technique.

    Some popular drawing blogs include The Virtual Instructor, Art for Kids Hub, and the Late Night Portrait!


    What more can I say to Youtube besides that it is an excellent resource for free drawing tutorials and tips? You might subscribe to channels that feature artists and methods that interest you.

    Some popular drawing channels include Proko, Jazza, and Brad’s Art School.


    Tracing might be a great way to get the proportions and shapes right if you start with drawing. Gradually transition from tracing to freehand drawing as you develop your skills.

    But remember, tracing should be a learning aid, not an excuse to avoid effort.

    Online Courses

    Those who study best with a more organized program and regular teacher feedback may find online drawing classes a good fit. 

    When deciding on an online course, considering factors including price, skill level, and expected results is essential.

    Drawing Challenges

    Participating in drawing challenges or community can be fun to practice your drawing skills and connect with other artists.

    Some prevalent drawing challenges include Inktober and Draw This in Your Style.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Can you learn to draw at any age 

    Yes, you can learn to draw at any age.

    Your age should not prevent you from following your creative goals and aspirations. Everyone, regardless of age or experience, may learn to draw if they are dedicated to regular practice and study of the art.

    Can you learn to draw at 30 

    It’s never too late to start learning how to draw. You can learn at the age of 30. In fact, there are benefits to starting to learn it at this age.

    You likely have more life experience, can draw from broader perspectives, and have much self-discipline and concentration.

    Can You Teach Yourself to Draw (How to Learn to Draw Step by Step) – Conclusion

    Learning how to draw is a journey that requires patience, practice, and persistence. While some people may have a natural talent for drawing, anyone can learn how to draw with the proper techniques, tools, and mindset. 

    By following a step-by-step approach, practicing regularly, and seeking resources such as books, classes, and online tutorials, you can develop your drawing skills and express yourself through art.

    If you want to start your drawing journey, check out more on our blog or schedule a call with us for more tips and resources on drawing. 

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

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