Can You Teach Yourself How To Draw? Find Out How Here!

Not only can drawing be self-taught, but there are also several benefits to learning how to draw on your own!

So if you want to start your journey today and learn how to draw by yourself, then scroll down below as you will find some useful information to get you started.

What Does It Mean To “Teach Yourself”?

In the age of the internet, people around the world are accessing a ridiculous amount of information and learning new things at an increasingly faster rate.

It almost seems that as long as you have a stable internet connection, and enough time and perseverance, you could learn almost anything by yourself.

Perhaps it makes you wonder what teaching yourself really means, and if there really is such a thing as being self-taught anymore now when we can find out anything by using Google.

The internet and search engines (Google) have now become such an integral part of our daily lives, that it is safe to say that almost nothing that needs figuring out happens without consulting the information available on the internet. Often we are no more than a just few seconds of typing away from receiving both written and video instructions on how to do anything.

But being self-taught doesn’t mean that you cannot guidance or instructions from others or use any learning resources. It simply means you are learning whatever skill you choose without a formal teacher or formal teaching program. In this case, it could be to learn drawing without going to art school.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of Self-taught is:

  1. Having knowledge or skills acquired by one’s own efforts without formal instruction. A self-taught musician.
  2. Learned by oneself. Self-taught knowledge.

Being self-taught then also means you that decide what your goals are, e.g. the level of skill you want to acquire. You have to find and choose the resources and material you want to use, e.g. books, online courses, or workshops.

Luckily, you can find a massive amount of information that will help you learn to draw on the internet, so it is definitely possible to be self-taught.

Having so much available information also has its disadvantages. It is easy to get lost and not knowing where to begin when there is much to cover.

That is why I would strongly recommend beginners start out with an online drawing course. This way you will be presented with different topics and concepts in a logical sequence which will help you learn and improve at a much faster rate than if you had to piece everything together by yourself.

The Benefits of Teaching Yourself

I spent most of my life in different formal education programs. While I enjoy the school environment and I consider myself a good student, it is not until after graduation that I realized how great it is to learn something by yourself.

I also feel that learning something on your own comes with many benefits, which I will summarize below.

  • The process of gathering the pieces of knowledge yourself helps you understand the subject at a level that is beyond what you would normally learn from a teacher.
  • It takes great perseverance to learn something by yourself, it is a great skill that translates well into achieving anything in life that really matters.
  • Taking responsibility for your own learning and doing something about it yourself makes you independent and active rather than dependant and passive. Not only do you learn faster, but these are also great traits to have and will help you in your life.
  • There will be many situations where you won’t be able to find a teacher, but that won’t matter if you have mastered the skill of teaching yourself 🙂

Teaching Yourself To Draw

Now that we have established what it means to be self-taught, here are some recommendations on how you can go about it.

Practice the basics deliberately

Lines, shapes, composition, perspective, anatomy, etc. all of these are what you can consider the “basics” of drawing, and they are the skills that you depend on to create any drawing that looks great.

Practice these often and on a consistent basis and be deliberate about it, and you will be setting yourself up for success!

The difference between doing mindless repetitions and giving your practice full attention while having a specific purpose is night and day. This is what deliberate practice means, and it is how you should go about learning any new skill in my opinion.

Get some volume on your belt

There is no sugar-coating it, you need to draw a lot in order to improve. Quality is great, but when it comes to practice you should be aiming for quantity.

Don’t get stuck trying to make things “perfect”. Finish the drawing and go to the next one. Not only will you get more practice this way, but you also get to practice your “workflow” which is the process you go through when practicing your drawing skills. How you go about practicing is also something that you can improve.

Find good reference materials

Whatever you want to practice, I am sure you can find some reference material on the internet that you can use.

It might not be a perfect match, but there might be some important details that will reveal some insight regarding specific shapes or compositions.

If you are following a course, then the reference material might be included. However, it never hurts to take a glance at more reference material.

Set Goals (the more quantifiable the better)

I could write a whole post on the importance of goal setting, but let me keep it short.

You should set specific goals for the drawing skills you want to obtain, and the more quantifiable they are, the easier it will be for you to keep track of your progress. It also helps if the goals excite you 🙂

One example could be to choose a specific type of artwork or the “drawing style” of your favorite artist as your overall goal. Then you would pick out specific elements in the drawings, and work on improving each bit by bit.

Honest self-reflection and getting critique from others

You will be drawing a lot, and some of the things you draw will probably not look very good. Maybe it will even look like shit…

Be honest with yourself about it, and try as best as you can to figure out what the problem is and then work on improving it.

But don’t identify with the fact that your drawing is bad. You are not shit because your drawing is shit 🙂

Sharing some of your drawings with others to give critique can be very useful, especially if the people you receive critique from know what they are talking about. There are Facebook groups that let you share your drawings, and if you ask kindly you should be able to get useful feedback.

Stay Positive and Embrace the journey

Learning how to draw and becoming good at it is a very long process. This is no different from learning most things.

While you are focusing on improving your drawing, it is easy to become frustrated when things turn out differently than you expected. What you need to realize is that you are in the middle of a very long process and with every drawing, you are becoming a little bit better and moving further along the journey.

About the author: My name is Marcus, I am a lawyer (LL.M.) and the founder of this website. Besides sometimes doing lawyer stuff, I like to draw and improve my skills as a “digital artist”, and I write about what I learn on this website. If you want to know more about me or reach out, then you can click here.

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