Is drawing a natural born talent or can it be learned?
I used to believe the former was the right answer. You see, I didn’t draw when I was a child. I’m a late bloomer in so many ways. During art classes back in primary school where we needed to submit art drawings , I always connived my brother to draw me my submissions (cheating, I know but I preferred it over submitting a stick man). Yep, I wasn’t really good with art or anything related. Or was I?
I started learning to draw sometime four years ago because I wanted to beautify my planner with pretty art. Back to present day, I now have a website related to art. How did that happen? Was I really born with the gift to draw and just didn’t tap on that skill, or did I just learn how to draw through constant practice?
I read several articles backed with research, and scientists have said that ‘although some are born with natural talent to draw, anyone can draw well’ They said, like all other skills, drawing needs 10,000 hours of practice to become really good at it.
That’s exactly what I did. I spent several hours watching different tutorials and practiced hard whenever I could. Through trial and error, I learned tips that I know people wanting to learn how to draw could use.
How to Draw when You’re not Born with Natural Talent
So let’s get started. Here are some tips that helped a lot in my learning progress as a beginner:
1.Watch tutorials on YouTube. One of my favorites is Art Ala Carte because her tutorials are easy to relate and she’s got amazing tutorials for complete amateurs, but I’m sure there are several other channels out there that will suit your style.
2.Use soft pressure when holding your pencil. When you’re a beginner, you tend to hold the pencil as if you’re writing words. Let go of the grip! Loosen that hand so when the tip of the pencil touches the paper, it will draw thin strokes.
3.Invest on a good quality rubber eraser. I used to get really frustrated that my mistakes and constant erasures made my drawing smudgy and just plain ugly. This is where most beginners give up, because the learning process involves a lot of mistakes and everytime you try to erase that mistake with a rubber eraser, it leaves smeared marks and thins out your paper. I have only just solved this issue very recently when I went to Japan and bought this Faber Castell Dust-Free Eraser
4.Good observation skills will help you learn to draw. It’s a good learning exercise to observe actual 3D objects because it allows you to practice on getting your proportions right. When you look at an actual object, you truly see the shadows, contours and the light source of your object which help make your drawing realistic.
5.Practice your circles. It’s important for any artist to know how to draw a circle, because anything your draw that is rounded (a human head for example) will start with a circle as its foundation. It’s one of the most difficult shapes to draw but one of the most important basic shapes in drawing.
6.Use quality drawing tools. I don’t advise buying them when you’re still starting because they cost a lot of money and at this stage, you’re still experimenting and it’s hard to gauge if you wanna stick to it for the long haul. But as soon as your basic skills have improved and you feel like this hobby is for you, then you should invest on high quality drawing tools. It really does make a difference!For pencil drawings, I have to say that the Faber Castell Polychromos line is top-notch quality. I have no issues with it so far and I have been using them for over a year now.
If you want to step up the game, then you should invest on Copic Markers. It’s just a total game-changer!
7. Practice on a digital drawing tablet. If you are really serious about drawing, get a graphics tablet. It’s less frustratingfor beginners because the undo feature erases your stroke in a second. I can’t stress it enough, but having my iPad Pro with its large display was what really pushed me to continue practicing. Had I not invested on a drawing tablet, I could have given up on drawing a long time ago.
8. Practice, practice practice. Again, I can’t stress enough how important this is. I’m not being cliché but only by repeatedly doing something over and over again can you become proficient at it. (Show before and after photo)
And lastly, just enjoy the process. Don’t be too hard on yourself! Relax and have fun.