Can one learn

Our Muddys and Azure’s art have prompted me to start this thread.

I am hopeless at drawing or painting and would love to be able to create such nice pieces.

My question is, can you learn to draw and get good if initially you are rubbish or is it just you need a natural talent and flair?

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I would like to know the answer to that question too Lion Queen. I have plenty of ideas in my head but they won’t transfer down my arm and onto paper - well not in the way that I see them in my head anyway!

I often think you need to have an artist’ eye Lion Queen, but I could be wrong!

One thing you do need though is confidence, as Muddy would have probably abandoned this lovely work of art, without our encouragement, yet I would happily pay money to hang it on my wall!

Why not try, if you want to draw or paint… OFF may become a centre of good artists. If you put some on here, more experienced artist may give advice.
Try copying a few simple paintings, like some that Van Goch did, as I am sure your confidence will grow if you can dedicate the time to doing them.:slight_smile:

There’s a few TED talks on YouTube on this very subject. I used to be good at drawing when I was younger and that talent resurfaced around twenty odd years ago when I started drawing Simpson’s characters from the TV screen for the grandkids. Sadly, I haven’t got the motivation now but it might be something to look into again.

A full page of TED talks here for you to peruse.

You don’t have to draw! You can paint, print, do collage, embroider, use any materials you like.
Drawing is difficult unless you have a natural flair, I think, and can put you off creating something if you find it difficult.

Yes you can learn to draw BUT, like others have said, why go there when there are so many other free forms of art to try like painting, pen & ink, wood burning or pyrography. There are so many things you could try without needing to be considered good at drawing.

Thanks for the replies peeps.

Bratts what is wood burning and pyrography, never heard of them as crafts

This video explains it. I think you’d like it. You can trace picture outlines with carbon paper or something similar. This outline you copy you can use as the base for either pen and ink or pyrography.

For wood, you can get these plained plaques for a buck or two @ the $ store.

It’s fun and they make great gifts.

Many people say they can’t draw, and they think they have to be perfect so they get disillusioned. but if you can write, that is a form of drawing.
Many famous painting sold for £millions are not correctly drawn but colour brings them to life. and you must have enthusiasm as this shows in your painting
What they have is soul, and that is the appeal
Most famous Artist, Leonardo and Michael Angelo learned by copying their masters
In Art Schools, artists spent hours looking at sculpture and copying them.

The modern way is to splash paint on canvas and call it art and sell it for £thousands.

A good way to start with Watercolour or coloured pencils is to draw shapes, circles or squares on paper and fill them in with colour these can look beautiful and you can frame them or make cards with them.

Rothko in particular painted canvases with one or two colours and no subject and are now in the TATE UK.

My first drawings were laughable with figures that had arms down to there knees, and faces with hugh eyes…that did not put me off, and… Houses all crooked looking like The House that Jack Built.

We are all creative so just ‘Have a Go’ and draw or paint something unique.


I can draw a pint of beer, but that is about it. Anything to do with the arts is beyond me, absolutely useless. Can’t even draw a straight line with a ruler as a guide.

You should see my first Life Drawings…

… or perhaps you shouldn’t! :shock:

(Poor man had three legs! :twisted:)

Did he have a beard at least? :wink:

That is one of the best questions I have seen here LQ. And the one that can have so many answers. So sorry if this is a saga. The question do you need “talent” or can you learn. All I can say is I think you can learn to paint and draw well. And then really well if you make it a goal. Same as you can learn to play a guitar or violin really well with little or no talent if you work hard enough and have the right teacher. But to make people feel your art. To make people draw their breath/ find it hard to look away or stop listening, I think that takes strong talent…whatever that is. But “art”…what a term!?..who can really define it?..I think many people can legitimately judge what is a good work of art in a technical sense. But I have heard from others who have some skin in the game that really great art has qualities that are hard to define. I see a portrait for instance. If it just really accurately “Looks” like a person, I think yeah good but it may as well be a photo. Then again sometimes I can look at a brilliant photograph and it has more depth and power than a painting. A painting might be bordering on abstract or a really bent depiction of a person but you can tell both who it is and it strikes you powerfully. You can’t look away. A portrait that really tells you what’s inside that person. That’s great art. And I can’t do it!:mrgreen: But I would like to contribute a piece that was done by a friend of mine in San Francisco. It is a photo of an abstract impressionistic ( I guess that is the term - happy to be corrected) depiction of her neighbourhood. It is called “Noe Valley Sunday” For me it nails the feel of that place 100%. Because I know the area and I have had some great times there. For others it maybe just lines and colours…or just “rubbish” But If you have never been there but it still gathers up what feelings and thoughts you have about that city - If you can say “Yes!..that’s San Francisco”…Then maybe it’s a truly great piece of art. Just an example of what I’m saying. If you think what you create is “rubbish” Is that because somebody else has told you it is? Or is it really your own evaluation. People told Vincent Van Gogh his work was rubbish. I’m sure there are people who still think that. It is worth almost billions now I think. But I stood in front of Starry Night at MOMA in New York and my heart was nearly bursting out of my chest. Was that because of the painting itself?..or was it because of the legend of the man himself?..Last words. It is what it is. Whatever it is it’s right there in front of you. Whether it’s an abstract or a realistic portrait…can of soup, bowl of fruit or a pink dummy. If you like it, keep looking/ listening, buy it, love it. If you don’t like it…walk away.

I read your post with interest Keezoy …have to admit though I do not have the artists eye because truly to me that picture is just squares and boxes of colour…pleasing but nothing more. I’m obviously a lost cause :slight_smile:

The art teacher at Grammar school gave up on me when it came to drawing - but she recognized I have an eye for colour and patterns - introduced me to lino cuts, mosaics, collage etc., Art, like beauty, is very much in the eye of the beholder - from unmade beds and piles of bricks to Monet, Waterhouse and Bosch.

Yes exactly. That is my point and thank you for your comment. It is all in the eye of the beholder and what buttons it presses. I am no painter. My art is music. But for me, I see the steep streets, the little multi coloured wooden Victorian houses all bunched up. The Catholic Cathedral, the little green spaces and the Pacific Ocean horizon. As I said, you see what you see. It’s a personal thing.

I learned to draw:


Vector diagrams anybody?
I can draw those too.

Practice makes perfect LQ
And it’s a lot of fun discovering along the way

Wonder if they still teach this stuff in schools? At my Secondary Modern we were taught technical drawing and orthographic projection (depicting 3D objects in 2D), presumably to help us get a job if these skills were needed.