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Talent vs Practice

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

My students all hear me say “practice beats talent if talent doesn’t practice”.

But what do I mean?

Drawing is a skill. As a species that needs to be taught everything, we should not expect to suddenly create a masterpiece one day. Sure, there are some who can paint with much more ease than others. However one could not expect to drive a car for the first time based on talent alone would they? All of us go through hours of practice until we can drive. Art is no different. It is a learned ability with determined results. Any skill can be mastered given determination and dedication.

Art is hard work. Did you know Picasso had a daily drawing routine. He was constantly aware that his talent required nurturing and daily practice. He was obsessive about this daily routine of observation and drawing. You don’t need to love his work to agree that he was a prolific artist. He created 13,500 paintings and 100,000 prints and engravings in a lifetime!

My advice?

Commit to drawing daily.

Or as often as you can, because sometimes life gets in the way. If you spend an hour on social media every night, consider whether it could be time spent drawing. Talent without discipline won’t get you as far as you think it will. Commit and stick with it, then watch your progress improve.

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