Why is drawing hard? And what to do about it to draw better??

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Let’s See why is drawing hard

You always wanted to draw well, and you probably tried to get better multiple of times, sometimes without much results. You wondered why that was happening, and whether drawing is for certain people only, or if you were simply not suited for drawing, or whether you were just doing it wrong. You asked yourself too many questions there, but with no definitive answers. This is what I will answer you here in this post.

This post is not aimed at giving you generic tips, but to actually guide you to improve your drawing if you already trying to get better, or to start your journey at it in case you want to draw but are hesitant about it. The key point here is to understand what do you need in order to do it well, starting from the right way of thinking about it to the right way of doing it.

Drawing Involves More Than One Thing

Drawing is not just about producing some lines on paper, it may seem like that at first, but there are many concepts you need to learn in order to draw. These concepts includes, lights, shadows, perspective, anatomy, proportions, composition, techniques, eye & hand coordination, and more importantly, developing your observing ability.
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Depending on what you draw, you may not need every single one of these aspects to draw well. At least not now, but you will need to know at least some of them.

The amount of things you need to know may overwhelm you at first, but don’t worry about it. You can achieve good results in the short term without knowing all these aspects, and gradually learn about them one by one. It’s not knowing about these aspect of drawing is what makes drawing hard for many people.

There’s a chance you already read about drawing, and probably attending some drawing courses, so you already know about these concepts. In that cases, what could be that’s blocking you from drawing well? Or at least the way you want to. To answer that, here’s the next reason of why drawing is hard:-

To Become Really Good At It, You Need To Practice It Correctly

To add on what I said just now. One common believe is that practicing your drawing over & over will get you to become better in a matter of time. This is true to an extent, but not entirely.

If all you want to learn is to be able to block in lines correctly, then doing that over & over may help you there, especially if you are mindful about the different kinds of lines you are drawing, but then you won’t really improve on the other aspects of drawing, that’s why there are artists who are good at copying other artists’ drawings, but are unable to draw much on their own: They lack the abilities they need to make their own creations.

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Even if you keep at drawing the same thing, taking note of where your struggle and focusing on your weaknesses can help you more than mindlessly drawing for the sake of it.

Another issue with aimless practicing is that it may prevent you from trying to draw new things you never did (new poses, for example), something that can easily help you progress a lot.

You Compare Yourself With Other Artists

This is one area people fall down to often, you compare yourself to better artists, who spent years improving & enhancing their art. and realizing that you can’t draw like them, and so belittle your own art. It’s very important to realize that with the right steps, you could rise to their league. And use others’ artwork to motivate yourself or even try to imitate some of their techniques. Just take your time, draw regularly, and you will find yourself improving in a matter of time.

I myself have an artist I wish I could draw like. She has been motivating me, and I don’t plan on stopping drawing at least until I become like her, and maybe better. :>

Sometimes even good artists see themselves worse than others with different style, possibly for the lack of the techniques they used to create similar artworks. This is a chance to learn something new here, all without discounting what you already achieved so far in your journey to become a great artist.

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I have wrote about Comparing yourself to other artists in my post in more details here, feel free to check it out :>

It Takes Time To Draw Well

lolita_caramel_by_sweetmonia-d5rdshoHere are two drawings of my original character, Lolita de Calémia. I drew the first one in 2012, while the second one in 2016, when I made Lolita Caramel into a visual novel. See how my coloring has improved? How the proportions are better too. I still have a long way to go, but I still can’t help feel good about what I achieved. :)

Improving your drawing, and artistic skills overall, takes time, and it’s sometimes a slow process, depending how much time you put at it, and how fast you catch details, and what you do to improve. Since it’s slow, you often miss the fact you already improved, something other people do easily. Keeping old artworks or getting feedback from people who look at your artworks can make it easier to see how you actually improved.

 

lolita_caramel_mock_up_design_by_sweetmonia-da4xe79

Here are two drawings of my original character, Lolita de Calémia. I drew the first one in 2012, while the second one in 2016, when I made Lolita Caramel into a visual novel. See how my coloring has improved? How the proportions are better too. I still have a long way to go, but I still can’t help feel good about what I achieved. :)Another good way to see how you improved is to redraw an old drawing you made before. I saw artists do that in Deviant Art often, and the improvement in the art quality is obvious. :>

To Draw Well, You Need Observation Skills

One of the many ways to approach drawing is “Drawing Is Seeing”. In my opinion, this is the pillar of drawing, as observing can help you understand what you’re drawing, and so depict it on paper on any medium of your choice the way you want.

Usually when people look at objects, they tend to simply classify them, but don’t look at them in detail, which’s what you need in order to draw them. This is something you acquire by doing it, it may seem awkward or even silly at first, but once you get into it & see the benefits this does to your drawings, you will appreciate doing it.

Frustration Is Part Of The Learning Process

As I said earlier, improving drawing can be slow, especially if the way you do it is not optimal. Trying to draw something over & over without much results can be frustrating too, this is part of the learning process. If you kept trying to draw a certain thing without success, try it another way, observe it carefully, try drawing it using guidelines, practice drawing the shapes the thing you’re drawing is made of (which’s the right way to think about the things you draw).

Is Drawing Really Hard? It Is Tricky, If I Say So.

Drawing can be tricky, but it’s not exactly hard, it just requires certain way of ways of thinking than most of our day-to-day tasks. It also requires skills & train to reach the level you aspire to get

I tend to think about drawing the same as learning languages, as both require you utilize multiple skills together, both also require you to know a lot of small details (vocabulary in languages, all sorts of different details in case of drawing). I may write a post comparing the two in the future. Learning few vocabulary can help you speak any language a little, learning more will allow you to speak even more. But you could become way better at that language by learning the grammars, idioms & different ways to use each words……. Etc. Both require you to dedicate some time to learn them, as well as consistency.

Drawing something new can be awkward at first, but it becomes easier once you get into it. I still feel awkward every time I draw something for the first time, but I get over it after that, just like the first time I drew a parrot for the second time in my life, it was for my Lolita Caramel visual novel. I have confidence that I will draw parrots, and birds in general, way easier the next time I do it. :3

What About Talent?

I almost sure you thought about talent multiple of times while reading this post. One of the misconceptions about drawing is that it requires talent to do well, which can’t be more far from the truth. This is something I have a strong opinion against. The main reason many people don’t draw well is because they do it wrong. To makes things worse, the myth of talent has always prevented from even trying. Which is sad honestly.

Even if we said that talent is important to reach extremely high level of skills, normal people can still reach a really satisfying level of skills if they really want to, the more you aspire for that, the more you will be able to work hard for it (again, the correct way).

Yes, people start at different level of skill, but we all can get to where we want by keeping at it.

I am aware that I may sound harsh here, but it’s important to let you know that you & many others how capable you really are. :)

To know more about my opinion about talent, read the two posts I wrote about the topic:-

Drawing Requires You Use The Right Side Of The Brain, Not The Left One

If you’re wondering why is drawing hard, one important thing to know about drawing is that it requires involvement of the right side of the brain, a side people are not used to use that much. It can be very tricky to change the way you draw with your brain at first, but that needs to happen in order to draw well. In that aspect, drawing will change your brain forever, and so the way you think & solve problems will change forever. That’s one more reason to go forward & become good at it (it’s also one more reason some people do it easier than others, like left-handed people tend to have it easier to draw often than right-handed people).

In her book, Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain, Betty Edwards talks demonstrates in great details how the left-side of the brain tends to dominates over the right-hand, the who could allow you to drawing well, but it tends to fade away because we are too used to resorting to the left-side without knowing it (some of the information I mentioned in this post about brain functionality came from her book).

Remember what I said earlier in this post that drawing involves more than one thing? It’s the right side of the brain that’s capable of processing these multiple things all together.

The good thing is, the author showed some drawings of people who drew well, despite the fact they barely practiced. I can imagine how good those people can become if they set their minds on becoming really great artists.

I totally recommend you to read Betty’s book if you really care about getting good at drawing, it will change the way you think about it. I am glad I did, it confirmed my long-held views that anyone can draw if they went about it the right way. It also gave me good ideas on how to draw better in the future. :)

You can get Drawing With The Right Side Of The Brain from the following Amazon links:-

Kindly read my Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Review here.

And Finally:- Why is drawing hard?

Drawing is a skill many people wish they could do well. Many are hesitant about it, thinking it’s hard, when in fact, it’s not. Although it requires some investment in your time, develop some habits, and more importantly, change the unconscious way you draw using the left-side of your brain. After all, people who can draw get respected for a reason.

I may overwhelmed you with many things all at once here, but you can take your time with each of them if you want. I hope I helped you understand the way drawing work, even by little, and that you think better at it now. :)

I hope I made it clear why is drawing hard for some people, while not for others. See you in another article

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SweetMonia
SweetMonia
I am an anime artist, and huge fan of digital art. I love drawing with pencils too. But I rarely do that anymore nowadays. Since some aspects of digital art can be tricky, I try my best to explain the concepts as easily as possible. View all posts by SweetMonia →

2 Comments

  1. thanks for the advice, I really wanted to draw but i felt like i was too late to draw and getting old. but this blog really is helpful. i’ll spend some time on practice on what im aiming for

    1. Hello Steven,

      Glad you found my blog useful, I will try to make it even better! I also wish you luck in your drawing. ^^

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