Art: Danny Gregory

You want to learn how to draw. You know there are some important things you’ll need for this admirable goal. But we’re willing to bet they’re not what you think they are (one of them definitely isn’t). We made this handy list to show you what you’ll need to learn how to draw almost anything.

  1. A good pen. When we say good, we mean what feels good to you. No need to buy the most expensive fountain pen, unless you want to treat yourself. You can use anything from a fineliner marker to a humble ballpoint. It’s not about the pen as much as how it feels to you. So choose whatever kind of pen you like. The best way to find out? Go to an art supply or craft store and test-drive pens.
  2. A sketchpad. This can also be simple. People tend to run out and get fancy sketchpads with gorgeous leather covers and heavy, creamy paper… And then find they’re too intimidated to use them. We like basic sketchpads with paper that says “Go ahead, scribble on me.” These cost around $5 or $6. If you want to watercolor, look for one that says “mixed media.”
  3. Willingness. You already know you’re willing to learn, but are you willing to make mistakes? To mess up, look at a drawing and roll your eyes and still keep going? One of the most important things you’ll need to learn how to draw is to see the beauty in mistakes. These “mistakes” are part of learning. They'll also help form your own unique style.
  4. The basics. Sketchbook Skool co-founder Danny Gregory started drawing in his 30s. He’d had no formal lessons, didn’t go to art school, and over many self-taught years, he saw the basic building blocks of drawing. He put these into his kourse How to Draw Without Talent. It’s 26 fun lessons that teach you these basics so you can go on to draw anything. It's on demand, so you can dive in right now—and if you enroll the week of July 10, 2017 and you'll get a 20 percent discount!
  5. A little time. Not a lot; you can fit drawing into any schedule. One of our teachers, Jean-Christophe Defline, is the head of an internet company, a husband, and the father of five. He sketches for ten minutes a day, saying it’s his therapy. You can fit drawing into pockets of time that work for you. And those little sketching sessions really brighten your day.
  6. Something to draw. Join our #sbsadrawingaday challenge and you’ll get daily prompts for things to spark your imagination. It’s free, it’s fun, and it’ll get you drawing every day, improving your skills.

And now, the 1 thing you don’t need to learn how to draw:

  1. Talent. Thinking you need artistic talent to draw is like thinking you need driving talent to get in a car and go to the supermarket. Driving is a skill you learned with practice; drawing works the same way. For more on drawing without talent and driving metaphors, check out How to Draw Without Talent here.
Filed under categories: Art Supplies, Klasses