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How To Draw #2: Do You Need Talent?

Ryan Dave Jimenez

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When I was 8 years old, I joined my school's art club. I loved drawing and was known as the "class artist." Classmates often admired my drawings. That made me confident enough to sign up. A week later I quit the club and didn't draw again for 23 years.

Being surrounded by other artists in an art class made me realize I wasn't as good as I thought. My drawings looked amateurish compared to them. I sucked. It made me feel inferior. It made me think, What am I even doing here? I'm not as talented as these guys.

My story is not unusual. Maybe you quit drawing too because you know you will never be good at it. Or you never even tried because you just don't have talent. Well that is a myth. You don't need talent to draw.

Now talent does exist. We cannot deny that. Some people do have a knack for drawing. But talent just gives you a head start over others. It doesn't automatically make you a master. You still have to put in work like everyone else.

A natural born artist just gets to start at Level 2 skipping Level 1. For most of us, we have to start at Level 1. So don't put too much weight on talent when it comes drawing. You can catch up as long as you work hard.

So if you don't need talent to draw, what do you need? Well two things. You need to observe and compare.

Look at an object in the room you're in. What's the first thing that came into your mind? (I look at my smartphone near me) You identify the object right? (smartphone). But that's not observing. Artists observe. Look at that object again and answer these questions:

1. How big is it?
2. What shape is it?
3. How do you think it feels like?
4. What color is it?
5. Where are the lights and shadows?

1. It's medium sized. Not too big not too small.
2. It's a rectangle.
3. It will probably feel a bit rough because of the leather case.
4. It's colored black.
5. The lights are on the left side the shadows on the right side.

With these observations in mind you can start drawing. The smartphone should be medium sized. It should be like a rectangle. It should look a bit rough. It should be colored black. The lights should be on the left side and the shadows on the right side.

As you draw, look at that object again to compare your drawing. The closer your drawing is to that object the better. That's how you can tell if your drawing is good. (A drawing of a dog should look like a dog and so on). The farther your drawing is to that object the more changes you need to make. Keep comparing and eventually you will get a good drawing. 

In a nutshell, that's what drawing is. You observe something beforehand and you draw it while comparing. It doesn't require talent. But it does require hard work.


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  • 3 years later...

It's really annoying when people ask "How are you so good at art? I wish I was talented like that." because it's not so much talent, it's more from practice, observing and stuff like that. You can't just instantly be great at art, you need to put in some time and commitment.

I just realised this is a kinda old post, but yeah

Edited by KaiyaSaysHaiya
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