How to learn to draw for beginners?

Learn to draw is not intuitive. We often believe drawing skills are innate, so it creates some mental roadblocks.

This article is inspired from Marc, a student of my course [Sketch like the Pros].

Even though he choose the VIP feedback course, he didn’t dare to show his drawings to me waiting to be “good enough” for it. He felt pretty shy and didn’t want to disappoint me.

It’s a common reaction
when we do sketches with beginner level as adults.

We don’t have this shyness feeling as a kid.
But we somehow build up fear the older we get.


Is there a best time to start learning how to draw?

No age to start learning creativity

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
– Henry Ford

When we are a kid or a teen, we have the alibi of the youth to make “bad drawings”. No matter what they draw is cute anyway.

Then after growing up as an adult, we do not dare to learn how to draw in public, We feel the fear of facing our potential mistakes.

We prefer to give up and talk about innate talent which is a common and easy excuse to stop drawing.

Sometimes some of my friends tell me:
“Yeah, you have talent but I don’t have it.”

If only they saw all the paper balls put in the bin from trials and errors!

Remember that: Talent can be acquired at any age.
We all start drawing from the beginner level.

Basically, adults or young people face the same issues. Just one of these 2 categories has more difficulties to admit “weakness” with no complex.


Do young people are more talented?

No age to start learning creativity

My youngest student Lucas is 15 years old and do great progress!

If we have the impression that young people are more talented, it’s is because their passion is not limited by any inhibition.

So they live their passion fully.

They also have no much ideas of the word “limitation”.
They are more driven by dreams.
So they take action and grow much faster.

Learn to draw has a lot about following blindly your passion.

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”

– Henry Ford


Beginners who are ok to be beginners progress faster. (Because they know it’s temporary)

Permanent to temporary Puzzle

“We don’t show anything as long as we don’t feel ready”.

Marc said he didn’t want to upload his sketches as he felt you are not ready yet. It’s a very common reaction when we are a beginner.

However, from my experience,
people who show their clumsy sketches start to improve much faster.

I recommend you to do not hide or keep your sketches for yourself hidden somewhere in your drawer.

Show your beginner drawings! Make them visible.
What matters more than the result, is the progress you do daily.

Do not feel uncomfortable or “shamed” when people see them.

Feel totally ok that people look at your beginner sketches.
They won’t judge you but appreciate how you become better than yesterday. And especially how it makes YOU happy.


Step-by-step drawing techniques evolution. 

Kasra learn to draw sneaker and made big progress

Kasra learn to draw sneaker and made big progress

Remember, what matters most are not the end result, but your progression. Today sketches are just an instant picture of the specific timing of your progression.

With practice and drawing courses, you will improve and you will make greater pictures along your journey. That’s why it is interesting to keep track of our old sketches.


The most difficult step is the first one?

Make your first step

Why?

Because when we start, as a beginner, we are often too demanding to ourselves.

For no tangible reason, we have a crazy high expectation that we need to do a Da Vinci piece of art to validate yes I have talent, and Yes I am able to learn. Doesn’t make sense right?

Again, it is linked to our false belief in innate talent.

“Every artist was first an amateur”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


“No crocodile is going to eat you.”

Crocodile logo Lacoste Drawing

I am sure you have ever face someone who said: 
“No, No I can’t draw! I don’t want to draw !”.

Even when it is about drawing a simple map.
There is no harm to try.

My friend artist Renata likes to say: “It is just a drawing on paper.”
Nobody is going to laugh at you, scold you. It is just ink on paper.

It’s all in your head.
Get rid of your inhibition, you will learn in a safe environment and a positive mindset.

So you will dare to start sketching, and even practice daily! Smile


We tend to have binary thinking.
1 = Good , 0 = Bad

binary thinking

“1” represent the top sketches you see on the internet and “0” our clumsy doodles. It’s such a huge gap!

With this mindset, most beginners remain at 0 for very long feeling desperate! So a good number will give up.

If we draw like 1, we can be happy.
If we draw like 0, we feel miserable.

But as a beginner, of course, you will be closer to 0!
So this self-high expectation doesn’t make any sense.

Instead, look at your daily progression.

You will see all the gradation and subtleties in between 1 and 0.
So you will start to appreciate and see your 0,1 then 0,2 of rising skills … and so on!

It may be insignificant for most people.
But for yourself, you will be proud of them and be excited about sketching.

People around you will enjoy your enthusiasm and dedication.
Your motivation will rise, and gain momentum so you will naturally grow faster!

As you grow, you will get even more motivation to carry on.
You’ll get into the loop of success!


Motivation is your best ally to learn how to draw

Motivation is your best ally to learn to draw

With that motivation gained and confidence, you will every day get closer to your goal, you won’t give up (like most beginners do within the first bad doodle!).

Your motivation is your best ally, an ally you can trust and will boost you whenever you face obstacles.


All start from a decision.

Decision Making - Light bulb icons

Remember,
that having deciding to start, you are already above the majority who never dare to do the first step.

If you decide to learn, then take the challenge fully.
Make your sketches visible and don’t hide behind your mistakes.

With more experience, you will enjoy facing your mistakes, as solving them will become your personal challenge.

Nobody is gonna judge you.
Haters will forget about all your past drawings when you succeed.

They will be the first one to ask you: How did you do?
You will simply say “Climb the stairs one by one, and believing in yourself” :).

Thank you Marc, so we could share this article with all. A new year is coming, and it is a great time to reset our mindset and start fresh.

How about you? Are you also afraid to start?
Let us know in the comments about your experience.

Cheers,
Chou-Tac


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About The Author

Chou-Tac

Hello! My name is Chou-Tac. I am a Product Designer from France. If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my industrial design career, I believe that they can also help you reach your design goal as a student or professional. My aim to help you all along with your design projects and journey. Anytime, feel free to leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at choutac@thedesignsketchbook.com : )

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