Can you learn to draw

V_Man

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Nov 23, 2019
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I’ve always wished I could pick up a pencil and draw something other than a stick figure or similar. I’ve had friends that could draw amazing picture. Everything from random designs to figures to cars.

so is it possible to learn how to draw.
 

eattherich

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Jul 8, 2011
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I believe so, yeah. As the person above mentioned, why don't you try taking a (beginner) class and see how things go? It's typically not that people can't learn something that stops them being able to; it's that they put 10 minutes into it, see no progress, and say it's not for them. As with most things, it'll take time but I imagine it'd be a fun ride. Good luck! :)
 
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JayMysterio

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Apr 24, 2010
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I’ve always wished I could pick up a pencil and draw something other than a stick figure or similar. I’ve had friends that could draw amazing picture. Everything from random designs to figures to cars.

so is it possible to learn how to draw.
Yes you can. It like a lot of skills, is dependent on muscle memory, repetition.

If you are going by the broad definitions of art, right now however you draw is considered art. It's when you insert your own expectations of what art is, what you consider is good drawing, that the whole thing about art being a talent comes into play. Because you may not be able to draw as your favorite artists do, so it seems like a talent. What you may not realize is that however you draw now, may appeal to others.

It's that striving to get your drawing 'style' to where you want that the muscle memory/repetition comes into play. As you get your drawing to where you think you want it. It's whether or not it's easy for you, the argument about it being a talent also comes into play.

It's so much easier as a child, because you are offered a bit more opportunities to just doodle endlessly, before you begin honing your talent. As an adult you may find it more difficult based on your expectations.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
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As @SandboxGeneral suggests, find a local class (mixed ages can be great fun, but, for adults otherwise) and take it.

Drawing should be fun - even at school, art was a relaxed subject, conversation was allowed as long as you were working - and you should feel able to relax and find your way into the subject.

As a child, we were lucky, as my mother believed in encouraging creativity, and continually encouraged us to draw and paint, and also sending us to art classes (I daresay, partly to get us out for under her feet) during the summer holidays.

But, it is an interest and hobby that can be taken up at any age.
 
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scubachap

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Aug 30, 2016
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One of the reasons that it's good to take some sort of class / tuition is that it's really about learning to see. Most people tend to draw in terms of long held mental 'cartoons'. For example ask someone to draw a paint brush and they'll often draw a Disney one - even they're looking at one in front of them. You need to unlearn that habit which is tricky without some 'honest' feedback from someone else.

Just to add, once you've developed this ability (to observe what's in front of you rather than what you think you see) you'll be shocked by how bad the draughtsmanship is in many pictures, particularly those scenic water colours etc so loved by hoteliers - tiny people and animals in front of huge buildings, arms that bend in funny ways, dogs with huge heads and still life's whose perspectives play with your mind...

Go on - book some sort of class!
 
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Huntn

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May 5, 2008
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I’ve always wished I could pick up a pencil and draw something other than a stick figure or similar. I’ve had friends that could draw amazing picture. Everything from random designs to figures to cars.

so is it possible to learn how to draw.
The local book store will have a couple of books that teach/illustrate the basics of drawing I presume. Check them out. :)
 

V_Man

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Nov 23, 2019
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Thanks for the suggestions. Will start looking around for classes
 

chown33

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Aug 9, 2009
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Try a book first. There are countless books on learning to draw, and have been for many years.

Two that come immediately to mind:
Drawing for Dummies​
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain​

Both are available on Amazon. Many public libraries have them, or books like them, too.
 
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Scepticalscribe

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Try a book first. There are countless books on learning to draw, and have been for many years.

Two that come immediately to mind:
Drawing for Dummies​
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain​

Both are available on Amazon. Many public libraries have them, or books like them, too.
I actually think that the combination of a book, and a teacher (but this is the sort of subject where - if you connect well with the teacher, and feel safe when making a mess of things - it can make an enormous difference to you enjoyment of and appreciation for the subject) works best.

Art - drawing, sketching - is one of those subjects when you benefit most from having someone at your shoulder to point out how you may need to do things differently, how much of a difference one line in the right place can make, and watching closely how they may choose to correct lines on your page that aren't working - all of this is enormously instructive.
 
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JayMysterio

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Apr 24, 2010
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I actually think that the combination of a book, and a teacher (but this is the sort of subject where - if you connect well with the teacher, and feel safe when making a mess of things - it can make an enormous difference to you enjoyment of and appreciation for the subject) works best.

Art - drawing, sketching - is one of those subjects when you benefit most from having someone at your shoulder to point out how you may need to do things differently, how much of a difference one line in the right place can make, and watching closely how they may choose to correct lines on your page that aren't working - all of this is enormously instructive.
Try a book first. There are countless books on learning to draw, and have been for many years.

Two that come immediately to mind:
Drawing for Dummies​
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain​

Both are available on Amazon. Many public libraries have them, or books like them, too.
I'm not so much disagreeing, but I'd emphasize something else before any of that.

JUST DRAW!

Keep doing it when you can.

It's when you think you see what your shortcomings in your work, you start 'creating' your style. You may like a more angular look, softer, perhaps you prefer shapes, it's an endless list of options that may dictate for you how you draw.

The problem with books often is that they in a way teach you someone else's style.

Teachers will always recommend life drawing, because it's just your perception of things, put on paper. A model though is NEVER wrong, it's real life, and you try to get as close to that as you want to. Even then though, you will still be applying your own preferences, which is your style of drawing.

Ultimately though all the resources in the world don't mean a thing, if you aren't drawing constantly. It's then the willingness to correct anatomical shortcomings, bad habits in style, that you start to get better.

Just draw.

You literally can NOT, no matter what anyone tells you, do it wrong.

You are only drawing wrong, if you aren't at all.

When you start drawing, if you want to keep doing, that will motivate you to then look at books, maybe ( trust me, people do have a stigma about drawing models, especially nude ones ) live models, and then discover what type of you prefer... digital, pencil, watercolor, whatever.
 

kazmac

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Mar 24, 2010
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Any place but here or there....
My little G, she's 11, is working on this :)


View attachment 878855
Wow, she's amazing. Nice tribute to Mr. Lee.

Nice to see the grid method in use.

To the OP, yes, you can learn to draw.

I watched several YT folks (Proko and a few others). I most likely will sign up for Cornell Bird Labs' Bird Academy Nature Journaling and Drawing next weekend when it is 20% off.

I still need work with light and shadow and proportions, but I've found drawing on a gray background or in color, helps with these.

I am primarily digital, but I look forward to learning mechanical pencils, ink and water colors in that Nature Journaling class.

A1B8E648-48A4-4548-A844-8F5DEA2D1A97.jpeg 587F7D9A-78BE-4FB4-A967-24CCF6182D62.jpeg 0E0F91BB-329E-441F-BEA7-DE77C5FAD944.jpeg 60EE4017-4F62-4B3B-B541-669A33D78F99.jpeg 1DA19E51-1C47-48CB-8D6A-4B93B536B8A5.jpeg
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
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Light, shadow, highlights, proportions, - as @kazmac observes - they all matter in drawing (or painting, or art, generally, or photography).

@D.T.: That is a terrific image drawn by your daughter. Really, really good.

Actually, I studied art at school, (and loved it, but always received encouragement from my parents) and drew cartoons (political) for college magazines, but must admit that digital art is entirely unknown to me, although I find it fascinating.
 
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JayMysterio

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Apr 24, 2010
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Light, shadow, highlights, proportions, - as @kazmac observes - they all matter in drawing (or painting, or art, generally, or photography).

@D.T.: That is a terrific image drawn by your daughter. Really, really good.

Actually, I studied art at school, (and loved it, but always received encouragement from my parents) and drew cartoons (political) for college magazines, but must admit that digital art is entirely unknown to me, although I find it fascinating.
That's why I turned to the iPad. Since it's a consumption device I already use, with the addition of Procreate, it's a great way to step into digital art.
 

artfossil

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Oct 5, 2015
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Florida
I taught drawing and design for twenty years. I echo what others have said: drawing is seeing and anyone can see so anyone can draw BUT it requires the discipline of regular practice. I.e, you can learn to draw if you DRAW.

I encourage you to experiment with both physical media (paper plus pencil, charcoal AND ink pen as they are all different AND a digital app (Procreate is superb). That way, you can find out which you prefer.

Speaking for myself, as someone who knows that "I can draw; I'm a drawer" I have found that digital apps are so liberating because I can indulge my "erase" i.e. "undo" function as much as I want. Digital apps take away the stress you MIGHT have with "wasting" or "ruining" physical media and materials and allow you to easily push beyond what you're comfortable with (and that pushing is what moves you forward to excellence).

There are any number of excellent books that can help you AND I also recommend Skillshare classes. If you can take a class in real time, great, but if you can't don't let that discourage you as the important part is, simply, that you are willing to draw and to continue to draw until it becomes a habit.
- - Post merged: - -

I will add that I have required lots of students to draw, even if they are in STEM and other disciplines that don't reqard drawing as valuable. Here is part of what I used to convince them to tackle learning to draw:

"Randy Nelson, the dean of Pixar University at Pixar Animation Studios (now owned by Disney) has one answer. Pixar University offers more than a hundred courses—classes in painting, drawing, sculpting and creative writing, the equivalent of an undergraduate education in fine arts and filmmaking—to Pixar employees. All Pixar employees, not just the animators, but also the security guards and the marketing personnel, spend several hours a week, every week, at Pixar U.

Why does Pixar do this? As Nelson says:

“We're trying to create a culture of learning, filled with lifelong learners. It's no trick for talented people to be interesting, but it's a gift to be interested. We want an organization filled with interested people."

"The skills we develop are skills we need everywhere in the organization. Why teach drawing to accountants? Because drawing class doesn't just teach people to draw. It teaches them to be more observant. There's no company on earth that wouldn't benefit from having people become more observant.""
 
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