Do I need to learn drawing before painting?

Hello everyone! My name is Minerva, I am a Canadian Asian nurse in her mid 40s and started painting with acrylics about a year ago after surgery! I have taken a couple of in-person beginners painting course and followed a lot of YouTube videos. I noticed that I needed to work on value in my paintings which led me to looking more into other art fundamentals which led me here :slight_smile:

I’d like anyone’s opinion of how to use my membership with the Virtual Instructor, what path is recommended? Should I start with the drawing courses or with other mediums like pastel or pencil crayon? I am really interested in hearing responses to the question:. Do I need to learn how to draw before painting?

Much encouragement to all the artists here and everywhere!

Here is my first self-portrait


Hi Minerva! Welcome aboard! I signed up nearly 3 years ago and, without a doubt, I would say learn the draw first. The Secrets to drawing and 25 days to better drawing should be your first step. Why? Because you will learn all the concepts you can then apply to other mediums such as Line, Shape, Form, Value, Space and Perspective as well as Composition. I came to VI never having drawn anything let alone paint. The drawing courses gave me confidence and a better understanding of what I was creating. You won’t regret it. I will admit that I did skip certain parts, but I have revisited these courses later on. I do like your painting, but I am certain that the drawing courses would make it shine even more. Good luck in your art adventure.


Taking on drawing is so much fun!


Depending on what you want to do with art I don’t think learning to draw is 100% necessary but I do believe it will drastically improve your painting. Also when drawing if you consider the shading you do with graphite and the hatching and crosshatching in ink…that it can be looked on as studying toning so you can learn many things.
I like your painting. Try one in strong lighting…it would make a fun comparison.

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Sterlingsiam -

Great idea. As soon as I can unpack the eBooks I printed out I will sit down and go through these steps. Maybe that is exactly what I need to do to get back into my drawing and then maybe I will feel more comfortable.

This picture is beautiful. Is that you or maybe a family member? I’ve only tried Acrylics a couple of times in art school and just could not do it. Dries too fast and I am accustomed to oil painting. The “25 Days of Drawing” is probably a good introduction. That will lead you to go to the acrylics lessons if you scroll down to any medium. Go to other lessons and you can go to the “25 of Drawing”. Uh, well ‘25’ and ‘Drawing’ are in the title. Matt has a lot of choices and there is a list of things in each lesson. It’s been quite a while since I worked with Acrylics. I am trying to work in all mediums and this a good place to go. They have a lot of courses you can find.

Lenora (“lilnora”)