5 Ways to Learn How to Draw Without Going to Art School

Practice at your own pace, whenever you want, with no pretentious teachers breathing down your neck.
5 Ways to Learn How to Draw Without Going to Art School

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Life is about growth, right? When you stop learning new things, you might as well just stop leaving the house because nobody is going to be particularly interested in someone who doesn't have much to bring to a conversation beyond age 22. And if you have a creative streak, why not make something real out of that artsy impulse? We've got a few suggestions on how to do it without dropping a ton of dough on art school.

Take an Online Course

Depending on the style you're pursuing, you can probably find an online course to teach you how to make your hands do it. For instance, if you're traveling this summer and want to capture the vibes through illustration rather than your crappy phone camera, The 2022 Urban Sketching Course Bundle is an excellent resource. This extensive training will teach you the art of on-location sketching with more than 20 hours of tutorials with master urban sketcher and teacher, Ian Fennelly. Six professionally filmed on-location workshops plus four more comprehensive three-hour courses help you expand your skills. 

With a focus on the urbane, this course is for those who look at a pigeon and think, "I wonder what his story is." You'll learn how to sketch things like trucks, cityscapes, villages, historic buildings, and much more, no matter what your talent level is. You'll start with a blank canvas and learn everything about size and proportion, sketching shapes, choosing and applying colors, working with perspective, and how to add specific details without overwhelming your scene. Practice at your own pace, whenever you want, with no pretentious teachers breathing down your neck.

Lean Into a Passion

Closely studying and even copying specific artists and styles can help you learn to draw. Maybe you love manga and spend hours admiring the artistry in the library. Try checking something out and tracing to figure out the line work or just look at it closely. Anything you're already spending a lot of time on, even just mentally, can be a great starting point for launching life as an artist. Besides, you’re starting to creep out the librarians. They have a nickname for you.

Watch Online Videos

Bob Ross, anyone? The man literally made a career out of teaching art skills through the screen medium. If it was good enough for people in the '80s and '90s, why wouldn't it be good enough for you now? He’s such a chill guy, you can't help but just space out into a beautiful paradise, so kick back, spark up your corn cob pipe, and follow along with the sweet mellifluous vibes.

Obviously, there is more than just Bob Ross out there in the YouTube world, so if he’s not your bag (you monster), just start clicking around until you find a tutorial you like. Of course, it’s a bit of a risk when you don’t know the instructor’s credentials, the video’s quality, or how good the lessons will even be, which is why something curated by a pro could be a better option if you don't mind throwing down a few bucks.

Use Museum Resources

If you're the extraverted type, you might want to check out what's going on at your local art museum. Museums are great places to find inspiration for your drawing style and meet like-minded artists, and chances are they have classes that cost a whole lot less than art school filled with people who are just as self-conscious as you. 

Paint Nite, Baby!

You've probably heard of these things by now, but you can actually go to a place of business, drink a bunch of wine, and learn how to paint a picture. You might consider that a pretty low art form, but it's more artistic than binge watching Selling Sunset all night. The most important part of learning any skill is just getting motivated to practice, so if pounding vino with your buds will get you in the right headspace, then go forth and slurp your way to greatness.

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