5 Reasons Why You Should Learn to Draw Before You Learn to Paint | Trekell Art Supply

5 Reasons Why You Should Learn to Draw Before You Learn to Paint

Like the age-old question “which came first--the chicken or the egg?” a similar question in the art world is whether you should first learn to draw, or paint. Spoiler: you should learn to draw first.

5 Reasons Why You Should Learn to Draw Before You Learn to Paint | Trekell Art Supply


What is drawing? Technically, it’s making dry marks on a surface. What is painting? Same thing, with a wet medium and a paint brush. When we think of drawing, many examples come to mind.

Sketching a still life, a live model, a random object or animal, perhaps. In a professional sense, people can be illustrators of children’s books, fashion designers who sketch their design concepts before actualizing the garment, architects drawing plans for a building, and even sketch artists helping investigators find criminals by drawing details from reports made by victims.

If any of that was done as painting without clear lines and proportions first, it would probably be tough for anyone to decipher. 

5 Reasons Why You Should Learn to Draw Before You Learn to Paint | Trekell Art Supply
(Artwork by: @glenn_arthur_art)

Drawing is beneficial in several ways:

  1.  Helps you identify your style 
  2.  Teaches you basic concepts such as shape, form, light, and  shadow 
  3.  Increases accuracy in painting rather than painting freehand —you end up coloring in the lines you’ve drawn
  4.  You can more easily control proportion as you can see the scale first when drawing before painting
  5.  Drawing loosens up your hands, helps you paint with a better and freer flow
5 Reasons Why You Should Learn to Draw Before You Learn to Paint | Trekell Art Supply
(Artwork by: @katezambrano)

Another huge benefit to drawing is that it’s faster than painting, period. You can see immediate results when you’re drawing a subject.

Whereas when you paint, it’s a multi step process and there’s drying time involved until you can evaluate what your next step will be, and so forth until your painting is complete.

Better to master drawing and then go on to learn painting so one doesn’t become frustrated with the slower speed of the painting processes. 

5 Reasons Why You Should Learn to Draw Before You Learn to Paint | Trekell Art Supply
(Artwork by: @katezambrano)

All this is not to say that one cannot paint without learning to draw; but the best approach to develop your skills as an artist is to learn to draw first and then build on your skills by learning how to paint.

Drawing makes your overall ability as a painter more technically correct and informed rather than just freehand painting something you want to replicate. You’ll develop your own style and your paintings will be unique expressions, which is what becoming an artist is all about. 

Check out the products we carry for drawing:

1 comment

BRAVO! I get a lot of emails from an inquiry website. Many questions being asked is always “DO I NEED TO DRAW?” or I can’t draw do I have to? or I have no imagination and don’t know what to draw. Well the list goes on and on, but the main question is not being able to draw and is it necessary?
You have answered this question truthfully. It also takes time. I happen to love to draw and have sketch books full of drawings from my travels. Thank you so very much.

Barbara Fracchia

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