“I can’t draw – I don’t have any talent!” sarcasm “Oh yes, of course….”

Familiar with this conversation? Unfortunately, it’s the perfect excuse to never begin at all. We automatically limit ourselves out of fear of failure or ridicule. Thus we never know if we could, in fact, draw anything we’d like. It’s tragic!


The myth of “innate talent”

Yet, we all begin to draw even before we learn to write. As tiny kids, our colored pencils in hand, we drew the things we loved: our families, our houses, the sun…. We were warmly complimented on our “budding talents”, even if we still held our pencils pretty awkwardly.
We can express more things through drawing than through our own words, especially at that age where we were limited by a child’s vocabulary.

In reality, there are always existing talents within us that remain unused.

At school we learned to write and count, working hard and learning discipline. Meanwhile, the “art class” was considered recreational; a hobby and nothing more. There, we made beautiful scribbles, and we enjoyed ourselves, but we never truly learned to draw.
Schools tend to see art as a low priority. We’re immersed in an education system where literary and scientific knowledge always come first, and where our education has little in the way of creative or artistic goals.*
It is this way of thinking that birthed the myth of “innate talent”.

*I don’t mean to say that literature and the sciences are not creative. On the contrary, they can be treasure troves of creativity! Still, we learn to summarize novels and memorize poems. But actually writing books or poems? Not much more likely than really being taught to draw.

Without you, the pencil is inert.

To begin with we’re mostly left to our own devices. It is completely normal to lose confidence in yourself. We make blunders, we make attempts, and we just don’t know where to begin. We copy; we draw without knowing where we’re going. Lost, we sometimes buy very expensive and high quality pencils, paper, or drawing tablets. In these cases, always remember that the pencil is no more than a tool, plain and simple. Whether or not it cost you a lot of money won’t change much when you’re just starting out.

Nourish your brain with the basics of drawing

Think of the pencil as an extension of your hand. It’s up to you to decide what it does. Your brain is what gives life both to this tool and to your creations.  

Learn to Observe

Your favorite artists may throw together drawings at a breakneck speed, but this is simply thanks to regular training of their capacity for observation and memorization. Those skills are even more important than learning to master the pencil.

Deconstruct complex objects into lots of small, simple parts.

Damián Ortega-Cosmic Thing-2002
Damian Ortega – Cosmic thing, 2002

To do this you don’t need to copy exactly what you see, but instead analyze and understand what you’re looking at. We can observe forms in this way in both 2D and 3D: instead of the entire object, observe the contours, the light and shadows; the materials and the textures.  

Learn the “Drawing Alphabet”

The letters of the alphabet (A, B, C, etc.) find their artistic equivalents in circles, triangles, squares, and rectangles. If, as a child, you successfully mastered the careful shaping of the curves and lines that make up each of the 26 letters of the alphabet, the much simpler shapes of circles or squares shouldn’t pose much of a problem, should they?

Assembling letters into words is the same as forming new , more complex shapes out of these simple ones. They will come to represent an idea or an object; maybe a person. What does it look like if you place a triangle on top of a square? A simple house – and I’ll let you fill in the chimney and window for yourself. You see, you already know how to draw. It’s child’s play!

Knowledge is nothing without practice. Vice Versa.

Practice, practice, practice! Your brain and hand will memorize lots of shapes, from the simple ones to the more complex. You will quickly learn to combine and modify them in order to create!



20% of methods will give you 80% of the results.

Most important right now are the essential drawing methods which will help you to improve in leaps and bounds. These 20% are simple methods which, when put together, allow your drawing to become ever more interesting and/or complex.

Gain confidence and speed in your drawing

On this blog you will find some theory, but it will always appear alongside concrete examples that you can immediately put into practice. Expect to be challenged with training exercises of various types and difficulty levels.

The fundamental basics of drawing remain the same for fashion, product design, architecture, animation and many other fields. Firstly I’ll share the standard theories of drawing, then follow that up with exercises designed to sharpen your analytical and observational skills.

And additionally become capable not only of copying what you see, but also of creating in your own right. If you have an unquenchable desire for it, you will draw anything you want.
Learn the drawing magic. Whatever it is, it’s both your passion and the source of your creativity. Are you with me?


the little things make all the difference

Throughout these articles I’ll be giving you basic tips to help you gain artistic confidence. Sometimes you may be surprised by the simplicity of some of these tips and exercises, but don’t underestimate them. Apply yourself seriously, because they’ll have a major role in your future progress.  


  • You’ll be glued to your chair for hours without noticing the time pass.
  • Pocket your pencil and bring it everywhere. It will be your new best friend. You’ll draw everywhere; what you find to draw on won’t be important.
  • You’ll truly enjoy both learning and having a go at your projects.
  • You’ll constantly exceed your own limits and expectations.

Be passionate about what you do, and you will reach mountaintops!

So, to begin with, what do you need?

No eraser, no pencil, no ruler.

Bryan Evans-pendoubleA-paper

  • 500-page pack of laser paper in either size A4 or A3
  • 1 BIC pen
    That’s all!

The only rule of the game is that if you make a mistake, you cannot erase to correct it. Either fix your line somehow, or begin again. With this in mind, you are now in the very best condition to begin.


  • pesotiger

    Reply Reply October 4, 2016

    I’ve been trying to get your ebook, but regardless of many attempts nothing works.

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply October 4, 2016

      Hello Pesotiger,

      I have just answer you on your email 🙂

  • Luciano

    Reply Reply August 26, 2016

    I´ve suscribed but I can´t get the book… please help.


    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply August 26, 2016

      Just sent in your email with the Spanish version as well 🙂

  • Frankie Lawson

    Reply Reply August 24, 2016

    Hi Chou-Tac Chung. I’ve been trying to get your ebook, but regardless of many attempts nothing works. Please could you help me out. Thanks.

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply August 25, 2016

      Hello Frankie,

      I have just sent an email to you 🙂

  • Mukul Sharma

    Reply Reply April 19, 2016

    I am starting your blog on now, i really like your thoughts on the “innate talent”.

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply April 19, 2016

      Hello Mukul,

      Welcome at the Design Sketchbook ! 😀

      • david kik

        Reply Reply August 23, 2016

        Dear Mr Chou,

        i want to thank you for the starter kit, it is really helpful.

        how can i get better? any tutorials you offer?

        Thank you.

        • Chou-Tac

          Reply Reply August 23, 2016

          Hello David,

          My pleasure. I hope the Designer Starter Kit was helpful.

          I am actually preparing the launch of my online Design Sketching course. If you want to, I can update you as soon as things get more confirmed. 🙂

          Take care.


  • jesus lopez

    Reply Reply March 17, 2016

    this is a incredible method to learn of course but i have been doing my 4 first sketch and the results had been horrible!! i am a little bit upsed with me… i will do this every day and i hope they will be better… thank you so much for this blog and your time!!!

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply March 17, 2016

      Keep going Jesus ! 🙂

      • Alina

        Reply Reply October 4, 2016

        Can you please send me also on the email the ebook , it also doesnt work for me. Thnak you


    Reply Reply February 25, 2016


    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply March 16, 2016

      My pleasure Edson. How things going ? 🙂

  • Constantin

    Reply Reply February 22, 2016

    Hi, i just discovered your blog and its awesome! I am an architect but i have always been mediocre in my freehand drawing skills. A few months ago i started to practice almost daily because i really want to improve my skills.
    I am particularly interested in product design and cardesign. It is a real challenge because most of them are organic shapes drawn in perspective. Architects usually simplify everything with boxes and just mark overall proportions of masses. When we draw something organic its usually more abstract and conceptual. (see sketches of Frank Gehry for example).

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply March 16, 2016

      Wish you all the best Constantin.

      A tip about organic shape is to try to draw them symmetrical. So your sketch won’t look so abstract and it will be more balance.

  • Mike

    Reply Reply January 31, 2016

    sorry for my mistakes)))

  • Mike

    Reply Reply January 31, 2016

    Chou-Tac, hi! Thank you for the guide 1. There is easy language to study and understanding. Very helpful material. Dounlouding the second)))

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply January 31, 2016

      Glad you enjoy and that it is helpful Mike ! 🙂

  • Claudia Neira

    Reply Reply December 14, 2015

    Very nice starting guide. I loved that not everything was delivered at once but each two days. That kept me intrigued about the next chapter. I loved the way you explained the concepts, very easy, but I miss it already!! I think 4 chapters was to little… I still have more than 3/4 of the paper bought for this… will love to see more!!

  • Vasyl Pavlyuchok

    Reply Reply November 15, 2015

    Hello Chou-Tac Chung,
    thank you for share it with us. I am a product designer here in Milan and it was great to find out this site. Gonna start with your tips and take it seriously. Hope your method will be easier to help me to improve my drawings. There are so many books but all the time I find them difficult because they don’t explain some basic methods.
    Thank you again.


  • ayuki

    Reply Reply July 26, 2015

    hi i have a question regarding the book umm when i signed up the link was sent but when i download it it stopped at 7mb so incase the link is fixed can you please resent thank you :3

  • Krithika Subpoo

    Reply Reply March 25, 2015

    Hi Chou Tac
    I am Krithika. I wish to become an aircraft designer. I hold a bachelors degree in aeronautical engineering. Is it necessary to have industrial design background to become an aircraft designer?

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply March 28, 2015

      Hello Krithika, (I paste here the answer I have sent to you by mail to share with all).

      The domain you are asking for is super niche. And I have no clue about this domain.

      What I could share with you is that basically a designer doesn’t have to be an expert into technologies. He designs for people taking care of there social and ergonomics needs. He creates the shapes and will develop the product with a team of engineers according to his specifications. Sometime what the designers want may be difficult to create. So both design and engineer team work hand on hand to discuss to find solutions. eg: Transport designers doesn’t to know much about how to build a motor. In few words, the engineer team “doesn’t create” even if he’s essential for the project to become reality.

      Working that way (the designer is the center of the project), avoid to be “slave” of existing technologies. We rather look for what we want, and make our best to make it possible. This is mostly why the world constantly get more innovation. 🙂

      In my opinion, there is chance that studying product design is suitable. But I can’t be firm. The best you can do is simply asking to the company (HR Department or even better if you can get a contact from the Design department) you would like to work for as internship or career in future. I am pretty sure they will glad to answer you. If you are a bit more daring, why not going to there office knock the door and ask to meet for a designer. (I remember when I was intern for a product design company, a young student knocked the door of the agency to ask for info. The senior designers who welcomed him really appreciate his unusual initiative and answered his question on the spot).

      A TIP to grab there attention: Instead of saying that you are looking for help and make them feel that they may waste there time, tell them you ask for advice. They will be honoured, as an expert to answer your question.

      I hope I could help you more.
      Please let me know about your discoveries and your choice.


  • les images 2 Renata

    Reply Reply January 29, 2015

    Hi Chou Tac
    long time ago we had this discussion!
    YES, I, ME am back!
    ha ha ha
    I heard an interview about Vincent van Gogh… haaa if he could, he would say that Malcom Gladwel is right!
    I have to find his story to be able to say the reality of things…
    because van Gogh did a lot of drawings in his life, he started because he didn’t know how to draw, so he draw, draw and draw… and vouli voilàààààà

    je te trouver le pot cast de cette émission pro te l’envoyer et on en discute…
    haaaa j’adore ce thème!
    bye byehasta la vista

    • Chou-Tac Chung

      Reply Reply January 31, 2015

      Merci Renata. Hasta la vista 🙂

  • brucechuckchuck

    Reply Reply January 14, 2015

    Hi man, the design kit is amazing 🙂 simple and easy, so after that I look for what I need on this website is that correct? or is there an advanced kit?

    • Chou-Tac Chung

      Reply Reply January 14, 2015

      Hello Bruce, I am starting creating some Sketching video tutorials for beginners.
      Later maybe I could create more kit. Time will tell.

  • Loic

    Reply Reply November 13, 2014

    Génial ! Je viens de commencer mon bachelor en Design, et j’ai déjà l’impression de faire des trucs géniaux grâce à ces conseils ! Merci encore ! 😀

    • Chou-Tac Chung

      Reply Reply November 13, 2014

      Ca fait plaisir Loic ! Un bachelor, tu étudies ou ?

      • Loic

        Reply Reply November 14, 2014

        J’étudie en Suisse, à la Haute-Ecole ARC à Neuchatel. Je suis dans le cursus Industrial Design Engineering, option Conception ergonomique et Design. Et je trouve ça juste passionant ! 😀 Et ton blog est vraiment très sympa, je viens voir chaque jour ce que tu as fait de nouveau, c’est super !

      • Rohit Pal

        Reply Reply November 23, 2014

        hello Mr. Chou-Tac,
        i’m unable to get your ebook regardless of many failure attempts. Can you please look in to it and send me the ebook.
        Thanking You,
        Rohit Pal

        • Chou-Tac Chung

          Reply Reply November 24, 2014

          Hi Rohit, sure.

          Alright I got your email. Please check it out in a minute. 🙂


  • Chou-Tac Chung

    Reply Reply August 10, 2014

    Merci Renata, ça fait grand plaisir.

    Je n’ai pas encore mis en place l’abonnement par mail. Pour le moment, le mieux est de passer par le réseau social qui te convient. Facebook ou Twitter.

    A bientôt.

  • Renata Lahalle Goeggel

    Reply Reply August 10, 2014

    Hello CHou
    c’est super comment ton blog est now!
    j’aimerais m’abonner, mais where??

  • Renata Lahalle Goeggel

    Reply Reply August 2, 2014

    Yes Chou-Tac, it’s in spanish for my latin america readers & friends!

    I see you like also the 20/80 and you apply it very well!

    have a nice evening!
    PS/ Here in Bretagne is very sunny,

  • Chou-Tac Chung

    Reply Reply August 2, 2014

    Thank you for sharing your article Renata. I started to read in Spanish, but lucky I saw the french translation below. Smoother for me. 🙂

  • Renata Lahalle Goeggel

    Reply Reply July 31, 2014

    I agree with THE MYTH OF “INNATE TALENT”
    I wrote about this in my article : http://lesimages2renata.com/como-aprender-a-dibujar/
    But you wrote it very nicely!

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