Anyone Can Draw – #5 Take Classes

First things first: I don’t think there is anything wrong with being a self-taught artist. And especially as a beginner, you might think taking a class (be it live or online) is a waste of money; or you’re not even sure if you want to keep going with this whole drawing and painting thing. But you will – sooner or later – almost certainly hit a point where you get frustrated because what you do make doesn’t quite look like what you want to make. Your ability of translating your taste into an actual piece reached its limit. Now what? Easiest way: Giving up, it was just a fling with art anyways. Hardest way: Pushing through all on your own – maybe with books and tutorials and lots of crumpled paper and broken pencils. Middle path: Take the damn class! Here’s why, from my personal experience:

  • You’re on a schedule – no excuses anymore, you get an assignment, you have to deliver. Or in a live class, if you are anything like me: You paid good money, you are going to show up in the classroom.
  • You’ll meet like-minded people. You are going to meet people who are interested in art, especially in the kind of art that you’ve signed up for. New friendships may arise, and for all I’ve experienced, criticism from people who follow the same activity is very constructive and lighthearted.
  • You’ll get feedback from (a) professional(s).
  • You’ll get better, like, a lot better, real fast – your style will develop, your skills will get sharpened. Sometimes it’s little things like using a different pen or switching to a different size of paper; but you don’t think of them yourself because you are too caught up in the ‘I’ll never get better’-Circle. Sometimes it’s bigger things like completely changing your technique. But you will definitely get better, if you listen to your tutor and practice, of course. Always practice.

Still not convinced? Okay, I’ll give an example:


before taking class


after taking class

There are loads of classes to choose from. You’ll have to find out which ones you might like, which ones allow you working in the medium you prefer, which ones are not too expensive, if money is an issue. I started out with Sketchbook Skool because it has a variety of teachers in one term, so I could see various styles, media and techniques; plus, it didn’t require me to go out shopping for new art supplies, I could use what I already had at home.

But there are other classes of course, like this one, which enables you to manipulate handdrawn sketches with Photoshop. Or this one for beginners, by the Ko-Founder of Sketchbook Skool Koosje Koene. Google a bit and you’ll find the perfect one for you! Have fun and always remember: You too can do Art!