Drawing is a hobby that can quickly turn into a lucrative profession once the artist hones their skills.
Besides providing an income, drawing can be a great way to get your thoughts onto paper.
Drawing can also be a fun hobby that provides an escape.
However, when first starting, you’ll find that drawing can be quite difficult.
Here are 10 reasons why drawing is so hard, including learning the tricky parts of perspective to coming up with your own creative ideas.
Why Is Drawing So Hard? (10 Reasons)
1. Requires Patience
Drawing skills don’t always develop quickly.
When you start, unless you have a rare talent, you’re probably going to struggle.
It takes some time to get better.
Not everyone has great reserves of patience.
The fact that learning to draw can take a long time might make it hard for some people.
They might get discouraged early on and stop learning.
They find drawing too hard because they are unable to catch onto it as fast as they might like.
The actual practice of drawing takes some time, too.
You could put a sketch together in a few minutes, but it won’t be the greatest drawing.
Most skilled artists spend a good amount of time drawing.
They might take a few breaks during one effort and return to it the next day.
Not everyone has that sort of stamina and patience.
They might choose to rush through the drawing.
When they have eventually created a drawing that isn’t good or doesn’t look much better than their earlier attempts, then they might think that drawing is hard and give up on it.
By increasing your threshold of patience, you can practice for a longer time.
The more you practice, the better your drawing becomes.
Drawing is hard because not everyone has the patience to learn how to draw or to actually draw once they have developed the skills.
2. Builds On Itself
Another aspect of drawing that makes it hard is the fact that it builds on itself.
When you start drawing, one of the first things you practice is line control.
Unless it’s your particular style, in most cases, people don’t want drawings with wavy lines.
Wavy lines should be intentional design elements and not occur because you’re unable to draw a straight line.
From there, you can start to practice more aspects of drawing.
You might start learning perspective, then shading, and then form.
There’s always more to learn when it comes to drawing.
It also doesn’t help that there are different ways to draw.
You might find that your preferred style of drawing requires you to learn in a different way than you have been.
That adds further complexity to learning how to draw.
It also means that if you don’t have a firm foundation of understanding, then you’re going to struggle with anything more advanced.
Drawing isn’t so simple that you can simply learn line control and then jump right into photorealistic portraits.
There are many steps that you need to learn and hone.
You may find that one step is easier to learn than others.
Since there are so many steps, there’s a high risk that you’re eventually going to come across one that you struggle with.
Because you can’t move past that step until you’ve mastered it, it makes drawing difficult.
Drawing is hard because it continues to build on itself, and you need to master each step before moving forward.
3. Complex Technology
Drawing on its own isn’t easy, but you can inadvertently make it even more difficult when you try to use technology to draw.
For example, if you’re trying to learn how to draw using some sort of advanced software, it can make learning a lot harder than it needs to be.
While certain types of software can be more convenient, they tend to be more for advanced and expert drawers.
They may market themselves for beginners, too, but most tools are best used by those with experience.
That’s because the software often expects that you already know the basics of drawing.
It has a selection of brushes and pens and pencils that you can use.
It also usually comes with some filters or effects that you can add to the drawing.
These are all things best left to use down the road when you have a firm foundation.
The best way to get that foundation down is to start simply with paper and a pen or pencil.
When you understand how pressure and control work, then you can start using software to draw.
Otherwise, you’re just skipping the basics and going right to more advanced concepts.
Since drawing builds on itself, if you skip any steps, then you’re going to find yourself struggling.
Technology can be a great way to make drawing more convenient.
However, for beginners, all the options available and the interface, itself, can make drawing a lot more complicated than it needs to be.
4. Requires Technical Knowledge
If you want to get into art forms like realism, then you’re going to find drawing complicated because of how technical they are.
It’s difficult to draw anything if you don’t know what it looks like from the inside.
At the very least, you usually need to study something for a long period of time to ensure you don’t miss any details.
Drawing is very technical.
If you’re using paper, then you need a steady hand to draw your lines.
Even on software, while you can simply erase mistakes, the goal is not to make mistakes in the first place.
As such, it requires some technical practice to get everything right.
If you’re interested in the genres of realism or photorealism, then drawing becomes even more technical.
You need to know specifics, like where the bones are located in the subject, if you’re drawing a person or an animal.
Then you need to understand where its muscles are and how they work.
This helps you gauge where wrinkles might be or how the face might look if your subject is smiling.
Finally, you need to know how the skin looks and behaves.
It’s important to remember that skin has blemishes, too.
There are many different imperfections that skin can have.
To capture someone accurately, knowing anatomy is useful.
That said, studying anatomy is complex.
Drawing is hard because it’s very technical and requires you to do research on subjects depending on how realistically you want to draw.
5. Different Styles To Master
If drawing is challenging in itself, then figuring out which style of drawing to focus on makes it harder.
There are several different styles of drawing.
You might start off with one style, then switch to another to further enhance your skills.
However, because there isn’t one simple style, it means you may have to try them all to determine which you like the most.
One of the most common types of drawing is doodling.
Doodling is a stream-of-consciousness style.
You just draw without much of a method or thought.
However, expert drawers can even make their doodles look amazing.
Another popular style of drawing is pointillism.
With this style, the artist uses several different dots to form a picture.
The more condensed the dots are, the deeper the shadows.
Pointillism can be a tough style to master since it requires you to have a vision of the type of drawing that you want to complete.
It isn’t as simple as drawing lines or curves.
You have to keep adding dots which can become quite tedious.
The hard part of drawing is choosing which style you want to pursue.
You may even end up creating your own style.
Otherwise, it may take you some time before you master a particular style and adopt it as your own.
Drawing is hard because there are so many different styles that you can try.
6. Requires Imagination
Like with creating any type of art, you need to have some imagination to draw.
If imagination isn’t your strong suit, then you might struggle with drawing.
That’s because those who draw need to be able to see what they want to put on the paper before they start drawing.
Some artists might go with the flow.
When you’re learning, however, it’s important to already have an idea in mind.
This ensures that you’re able to copy it from your imagination as closely as possible.
This also separates you from the other artists.
Some artists are technically good, but they don’t have much imagination.
They’re good at tracing, for example, or can simply copy someone’s face and draw it.
Great drawers have vast imaginations and the technical skill to bring their dreams into reality through their drawings.
If all you do is practice tracing without being at all imaginative and creative, then you’re never going to become a great drawer.
Your art will lack soul since all that’s there is just accurate line work.
It also means you likely won’t be able to create anything new.
You’ll only be able to copy and draw exactly what you see.
While that’s okay for certain professions and commissions, it isn’t ideal for someone who wants to be a great artist who features their original work.
Drawing is hard because it requires you to use your imagination which can be difficult for adults.
7. Observational Analysis
To become great at drawing, it isn’t enough to simply look at something and then draw it.
The problem with the human mind is it can sometimes be difficult to memorize details unless you’re hyper-focused on the subject.
People also struggle to take what they see in their mind’s eye and make it a reality by drawing it.
It’s very difficult to draw exactly what you’re imagining.
An artist’s goal is to increase their skill to the point that they’re able to almost replicate exactly what they’re seeing with their mind’s eye on paper.
The way that they do that is by being an observational analyst.
This means that they don’t just observe something.
They’re also analyzing.
When studying someone’s face, for example, they’ll observe the details of the subject’s face.
Then they’ll also analyze deeper.
They might see wrinkles and sunspots and know that this individual may have spent time outdoors often in the past.
That can then help them replicate the subject in the drawing.
Because that isn’t something everyone can inherently do, it takes time to pick up the skill.
Drawing is hard because it requires you to observe and analyze your subject to draw it accurately.
8. Perspective Challenges
One of the toughest parts of learning to draw is perspective.
If your perspective is off, then your drawing isn’t going to look great.
There are different aspects of perspective to keep in mind.
The first is the angle at which the viewer is observing the subject.
If you’re drawing a portrait, then you typically need to look at the subject head-on.
As such, you need to include the front of the face and both ears if they’re not hidden behind hair.
If the perspective is a profile, then you only need to show half of the subject’s face.
If you get your perspective wrong, then it might make the portrait look strange and like some features are out of place.
It might make a cat or dog look like it has more than four legs.
Another part of perspective is shading.
Depending on the angle from which the viewer is looking, parts of the subject might be in shadow.
Knowing which parts are in shadow and how dark the shadows are can bring a drawing to life.
Finally, it can also impact proportions.
If you’re looking at a person head-on, then their proportions should be based on the subject’s distance from the viewer.
If you’re not careful, then you might end up drawing one eye that’s larger than the other.
Drawing is hard because honing perspective is hard.
9. Line Control
When you begin learning to draw, one of the skills that you first start to hone is line control.
This means you’re able to draw straight lines.
It also means you’re able to draw curves correctly.
You’ll study other things like practicing your line drawing, too.
Pressure and angle are two important concepts that line drawing can teach.
The problem with line drawing is that it can become tedious.
You may not see improvement quickly which can be discouraging.
Since all you’re doing is just drawing lines, it can quickly become boring.
When something is boring, you tend not to enjoy yourself.
Because you’re not enjoying yourself, you no longer feel the desire to draw.
It becomes a chore.
It feels too hard.
Drawing is hard because line control can be a difficult first step to master.
10. Lots Of Practice
A final reason drawing is hard is because it requires lots of practice.
It isn’t something you get better at in the course of a day.
While you might see improvement in a day, it takes several days, if not years, of work to become a great artist.
If you have a busy life or if drawing isn’t a strong passion of yours, then you might find all the practice boring.
Since it’s boring, your brain doesn’t want to pursue the activity any longer.
You have to overcome your own boredom and stick with it until you reach a level where you don’t need to practice as often.
Practice never truly stops, regardless.
Even great artists will practice before starting on a real piece.
Drawing is hard because it requires lots of practice and not everyone has the patience for it.
Drawing is a fun hobby that some people turn into a successful career.
However, mastering drawing isn’t easy.
You need to understand the technical parts as well as be able to unleash your imagination to master drawing.