Is Drawing Learned Skill or Natural Talent?
Real Examples!

We all know how good or terrible we can get at drawing. So can drawing be learnt or is it a natural skill?
Is Drawing Learned Skill or Natural Talent? Real Examples! Thumbnail
Is Drawing Learned Skill or Natural Talent? Real Examples! Thumbnail


Some of us are good at drawing, while some of us are not. For those who aren’t good at it naturally, it all depends on their capacity to learn. Is it possible to grasp the basic concepts of drawing and them improve on those skills? Or are people just good at it naturally?

Naturally talented artists typically possess more versatility. However, art is a skill that can be learnt at every stage and there is always room to enhance the level. For example, Vincent Van Gogh had to practice drawing for around 2 years to improve the proportions in his drawing, although he possessed natural talent.

Why are some people better at drawing than others?

Drawing requires keen observation skills.

The answer is fairly simple: Drawing is all about observation. While some people are good at observing the world around them, others are not that much up to the mark. 

In drawing, there are some basic concepts that come easily to naturally talented people, whereas learned artists work and build upon them gradually.

The Core Concepts of Drawing (Building Observation)

What makes the naturally talented artist different from the learnt one?

What are the core concepts of drawing that naturally talented people are good at and potential artists have to learn? Here is a list of a few.

  1. Anatomy: A very important subject to master if you want to create hyperrealistic drawings.
  2. Proportions: A very basic concept in drawing. Without getting the proportions right, it could be hard to infer 
  3. Perspective: The viewpoint should be very clear in the drawing: Is it from the top, bottom, right or left? 
  4. Shading: If you’re creating a shaded drawing, you must have an excellent command on light and shadow. In simple words, you need to observe the direction and effects of light.

Of the above, notice that not all drawing artists can be naturally good at anatomy. In fact, it’s one of those niches in drawing that requires dedicated study hours and plenty of practice.

If you wish to improve your drawing skills, we suggest you get your hands on this book .

Basics of Drawing: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

This book by Leonardo Pereznieto will help you build basic skills like proportions and perspective.

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Types of drawing

There are many styles of drawing - Are people good or bad at all of them?

There are many types of drawing styles. Here are a few you need to know:

  • Realistic: The most basic of drawing skills, it is important to see things as they are, rather than how you see them.
  • Hyperrealism: The most difficult style of them all, as it needs to be super realistic.
  • Comic/cartoon: A style that is associated with recognition of various shapes, it requires simplification of complex subjects and objects.
  • Abstract: Even in abstract style drawings, ideas need to be expressed accurately.

There are many more drawing styles, such as illustration, caricature, symbolic, and so on. And it’s not necessary for people to be naturally good at all of them. In fact, some artists may even find learning one style of drawing more difficult than the other ones.

Regardless of the drawing style, you would need a kit with superb drawing supplies and you’ll love this one .

Amazon Basics Sketch and Drawing Art Pencil Kit - 17-Piece Set

This set contains pencils, sharpener, eraser, a blending stump and even charcoal!

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Real examples: People who were naturally talented at drawing

They possess great versatility, but keep on observing more and more.

Some of the greatest artists of the world were naturally gifted at drawing. Here are three names that are amongst the top artists of all-time.

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci began to demonstrate exceptional art skills at a very young age. But what actually enabled his abilities? It’s simple - his refined observation skills and the eagerness to learn more. He would study everything around him in immense detail. Though it is essential to note that he was consistently working on his artistic skills and building them up, he had an innate ability to sense and judge things. And he was involved in multiple fields of art and science, so he was a natural genius for sure.

Four Heads caricature by Leonardo da Vinci proves his versatility

Pablo Picasso

The study of a torso by Picasso (early works)

Picasso saw the world in a rather strange way and it’s evident by the spontaneous shapes in his drawings and paintings! In the beginning, his style was realistic and by the age fo 13, he was practicing realistic style very well.

Not only were these people naturally talented at drawing, they were amazing painters too! However, do remember that they still used to practice and improve on their skill. 

Real examples: People who learned drawing

Not all artists who excel at painting are necessarily great at drawing!

There are many top artists who had to work on their drawing skills, although they were excellent at painting. 

Vincent Van Gogh

Are you surprised to see Van Gogh on the list? Well, don’t be! While he had a great knack for painting, he spent quite a lot of time learning drawing. If you see a few of his earlier works, you will notice how the proportions of some body parts are inconsistent and out of place.

Van Gogh did a lot of work on his drawing skills for 2 years before he could excel at observing and capturing proportions. You can see a bit of problem in the proportions in his painting ‘The Potato Eaters’.

The Potato Eaters by Vincent Van Gogh


Another of history’s greatest artists had a problem handling perspective and proportion in his artworks. One good example of such a painting is ‘Judith Beheading Holofernes’. In this painting, the right arm of Judith’s figure. The distortion proves a lack of observation and accuracy in drawing skills.

Judith Beheading Holofernes by Caravaggio


All in all, there is no straightforward answer. Being good at drawing can vary from one person to another. Some people have the ability naturally, while others learn it. It all comes down to the pace at which the artist learns, as there is always room for improvement. We must remember that many people stop drawing at a very young age. Either out of fear and low-self-esteem or due to the pressure of studies. So the possibility of being naturally talented as well as learning art - both is present.

Are you a beginner artist or interested in drawing as a hobby? Then don’t miss our cost break down on essential drawing supplies .

Is Drawing an Expensive Hobby? Exactly my cost break down

Is it really necessary to spend a lot on drawing materials? Here is my list of drawing supplies along with their cost!

Jimena & Iñigo Picture

By Jimena & Iñigo

The Navarro-Rubios

My husband and I are learning how to draw and paint. We wanted to share this learning process with the world and have fun! That's why we created this blog. We'll have drawing contests every week and you'll decide who won that week! Follow along and learn with us!

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Jimena & Iñigo Picture

Jimena & Iñigo

The Navarro-Rubios

My husband and I are learning how to draw and paint. We wanted to share this learning process with the world and have fun! That's why we created this blog. We'll have drawing contests every week and you'll decide who won that week! Follow along and learn with us!



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