Fourteen years ago, I watched someone advance from beginner artist to full-blown professional. The process took around three years. That’s the fastest I’ve ever seen anyone improve their art and use it to make a living. The average student can expect to accomplish this in 5-10 years. If you go by the 10,000 hours standard, that would still be 3 hours a day, every day, for just over 9 years. Do you really have time for that? Do you really want to spend years being frustratingly bad at a skill you’re passionate about? There’s a faster way to mastery.
I want to help you learn to draw faster. When I say it like that it sounds like I want to help you draw in 60 seconds versus an hour – when really, I want to help you learn faster.
Most of the time, if you look for tips on learning to draw, or improving your art, you’ll hear advice like this:
Some of these feel helpful at first. You start to carry a sketchbook with you everywhere you go, you work up the courage to stop, sit down, and draw the beautiful world in front of you, and become overwhelmed by all the detail soaring into your senses. Maybe you’re brave enough to try it again, but you aren’t seeing any improvement. In fact, you could act on all this advice and still find yourself struggling to improve.
With the internet at your fingertips, you can search for a tutorial that will literally teach you how to draw anything. If you need to know how to draw hair or paint trees, you can find a video on it. Fewer videos show you how to study these concepts and fewer still show you the most effective way. There’s a reason why everyone who wants to study how to draw isn’t a master and it’s not lack of information – it’s how you learn.
There is a way to get good at drawing quickly – to improve your drawing skills faster than most people will teach you. And it’s backed by science!
Proven techniques like recall and spaced learning help you learn faster and remember more. Recall alone created a 50% improvement in retention among students vs restudying the same material. In just one week! When one simple change creates such substantial benefits, you have to ask yourself – why has no one taught me this?
Few teachers or institutions implement these strategies, and no one is adapting them to learning how to draw. I’m here to rectify that and help you reap the rewards. You can improve your drawing skills faster. You just need to be shown how.
Learning to draw can be a daunting task and just thinking about it can be overwhelming. If you want to draw a character you have to learn anatomy. As you struggle with that, you have to pose them properly and place them in a scene – the composition – and if you decide to add value or paint, you have to understand lighting and color. If you put that character in a costume, you then break down those concepts even further, into shape language and texture.
Drawing is complicated because you have to know a million things at once, but to do it properly means you have to commit most of those skills to memory – you have to rely on instinct. To do that, we rely on our memory.
Techniques like recall and spaced learning will help you retain what you learn and deepen your learning, allowing you to learn faster. You won’t feel overwhelmed. You’ll be focused, agile, and engaged. The next time you decide to take a sketchbook with you everywhere you go, you’ll start to feel the improvement.
The only bad news? You might find this new way to learn uncomfortable at first. We learn best with what’s called desirable difficulty, meaning if it’s too easy you’ll get bored and if it’s too hard, you’ll get frustrated. And just like recall, it leads to deeper learning and retention.
Discomfort is a catalyst for growth. Part of learning how to improve your art is not the skill itself but cultivating a strong habit to continue drawing; another strategy that few teachers seem to focus on. Together, we can create good habits that keep you focused so fiercely, you’ll hardly notice the discomfort. Before you know it, you’ll improve your drawing skills, and that loud uncomfortable feeling will be a whisper.
The people before you learned the hard way – where everything was difficult, slow, and tedious – but you can learn the smart way.
If you feel like there’s untapped potential in you, you’re in the right place. When you want to improve your drawing skills or just improve your art overall, and it’s just not happening; the frustration can be disheartening. If you can be comfortable with being uncomfortable for just a moment, you might discover just how quickly you can learn to draw. In a few years when someone asks you for tips on how to improve your art, you’ll have a better answer.
If you’re excited, or your interest has been piqued, I invite you to stay tuned to this blog for weekly updates. I’ll be delivering new content that you can use to improve your art skills quickly, ranging from effective study techniques, to maintaining the right mindset, to the development of good habits. I can't wait to join you on this journey to mastery.