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Every Artist Should Learn to Draw. Here’s Why.

drawing in the classical style

I’ve always loved to draw. When I got older, I took drawing classes and learned that I didn’t really know as much about drawing as I thought. Taking drawing classes was an eye opener for me. One of the things I learned is that drawing skills are useful for mastering any type of artistic media. Every artist should learn to draw, and draw well. Here’s why.

I Want to Be a Painter. Why Should I Learn to Draw?

cartoon of painter at easel
Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Budding artists, anxious to jump right into their media of choice, sometimes skip the drawing stage. This is especially true with painters. After all, one may ask ‘Why should I learn to draw? I want to be a painter.’ Skipping the drawing stage is a mistake because drawing is a basic foundational skill of art education. I’ve seen oil and watercolor artwork that have beautiful color and brushstrokes, but something is lacking. Sometimes I can identify what isn’t right, and sometimes ‘It just doesn’t look right.’

The Benefits of Learning to Draw

The Trekell Art Supplies Blog article 5 Reasons Why Learning To Draw Before Painting Is Essential eloquently explains why drawing is so important:

‘Drawing establishes the fundamental skills, techniques, and concepts necessary for artistic growth. It refines your abilities, improves accuracy, and empowers you to develop a unique artistic style.’

Let’s delve deeper into the advantages of learning to draw.

Creating From Any Perspective

With a good foundation in drawing, an artist can draw anything from any perspective and angle. It opens up creative opportunities to view things in a unique and different way.

Adding Depth To Art

Adding depth, a three dimensional appearance, is all about value. Value in art is how light or dark a color is. Value creates contrast, and contrast creates a 3D, realistic effect. Artists who don’t want three dimensional realism in their art usually have a good reason.

Unfortunately, in most cases where an artwork looks flat is because the artist never acquired drawing skills. In a scene lacking contrast, it’s difficult to determine the location of the light source and the focal point. It’s also challenging distinguishing between visual elements in the scene. A good drawing curriculum makes sure artists understand the concepts of grayscale and color value.

Understanding Composition and Using it Effectively

A good composition, the arrangement of elements in an artwork, is key to an esthetically pleasing and meaningful work of art. A work of art with expressive brushwork and vibrant colors is ruined in an instant without proper attention to composition. Understanding composition and using it effectively is part of a good foundation in drawing.

Bonding With the Subject

For me, the biggest benefit of drawing skills is bonding with the subject. My drawing instructor described the drawing process as four fifths observation and one fifth drawing. When I prepare to draw, I spend a lot of time just looking at my subject. I look at its shape, form, how it reflects light, and how it casts shadows. I’m intimately connected with my subject, and when observe it well, I can even draw it from memory.


Mastering the art of drawing lays a solid foundation of skills and techniques, aiding in artistic growth and maturity. It plays a crucial role in the educational journey of an artist.

woman artist holding a sketchbook

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1 thought on “Every Artist Should Learn to Draw. Here’s Why.”

  1. Beautifully written. I agree 100% percent. What I would like to emphasize. Any artist or designer should follow these tips. Especially designers, since most of them don’t know how to draw. I know this because I design cardboard and paper packaging and often meet different designers. Your teacher is 100 percent right when he says observation is very important. Looking at an object, we develop, we notice every small detail and remember it, so that we can later remember and recreate it. Thank you for the article.

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