Are Step by Step Drawing Lessons Dead?

Are Step by Step Drawing Lessons Dead?


I’m going to go out on a limb here and say some things that are contrary to what I’ve said in the past…

Step by Step Drawing Lessons are not the Best Way
to Learn How to Draw. And Here’s Why…

I’ve taken some heat over the years for using step by step to teach drawing, and the reason why they aren’t that good is because they teach you how to copy but they don’t really teach you how to draw. The reality of the situation is that actually drawing, and just copying are completely different. There’s a lot of thought that goes into a good drawing – even the most simplistic ones; while when you copy something, the thought process and understanding just isn’t there.

Anyone can tell the difference between a good drawing and a bad one, but being able to see the difference and knowing why the drawing is good are two worlds apart, and it’s not until you can really draw, and develop yourself as an artist that you’ll be able to know exactly why one drawing is more appealing than another.

Here are the Good Things About Step by Step Drawings:

  • Easy to get started
  • You learn how to handle the pencil
  • You know exactly what the finished drawing will look like
  • Suitable for all skill levels

Now Let’s Look at the Bad Things About Step by Step Drawing Lessons:

  • You never know why lines were placed in the specific locations
  • You don’t consider the weight and movement of what you are drawing
  • There is no consideration for feeling of the subject matter

In short – you will never understand the how and why behind a drawing when you simply follow the steps.

But Why is this So Bad?

This is bad for a couple of reasons. First, you are going to learn how to draw at a VERY SLOW pace because while you are training your hand for pencil control, you aren’t training your mind at the same pace.

Experts say that it takes thousands of hours of practice to become really good or even great at something, but that takes a long, long time. Even if you took on learning how to draw, and did it as a full time job for 40 hours a week, each and every week, it would take you 25 days of doing nothing but drawing to reach your first 1000 hour mark – and who has time to focus on their drawing for that many hours a day?

So, What’s the Answer?

The answer is getting the proper training that’s going to let your mind fill in those gaps that usually you can only get with thousands of hours of practice. It’s going to turn a 1000 hour skill into 10 hours by giving you a system that you can follow along with and exposing you to the material on an ongoing basis so that you keep learning and moving forward day by day.

What’s even cooler is that even while you aren’t physically working on your drawing, your subconscious brain will keep learning and figuring things out for you so that the next time you sit down to draw you’ll be making even more of the right movements with your pencil.

So while I wouldn’t say that step by step lessons are totally dead in the water, what I would say is that you really need to look at what you are actually learning – and this applies to everything you want to learn in your life.

So Here’s the Big Question: Are step by step drawing lessons really giving you what you need to reach your goals?