"I'm not talented enough to do art..."

I hear this... All. The. Time.

I'm not going to claim talent doesn't exist. Of course, people are born with certain gifts but does that mean you're excluded and they get to have all the fun? Absolutely not!

What's true with most things is also true with drawing. Talent only makes up for a small amount of one's ability. Nobody, not even Da Vinci, Monet or Turner (or any other artist who's ever existed), came into this world being able to draw or paint. Everyone at one point was a toddler who couldn't control a pen enough to make marks beyond random scribbles.

What people often forget or overlook are the other factors which lead to being able to draw: study, practice and time.

When friends, strangers or even my eldest son say things like, "It's easy for you, you can draw!", they're not remembering I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. In fact, I can clearly remember being around 3 or 4, laying on my Nanna's floor drawing Superman, I distinctly recall Nanna trying to teach me to write 'S' the right way round, for some reason I did them backwards for a time, but I digress.

My point is, I've been drawing now for the better part of 40 years so of course certain things will appear to be easy for me. Just like a physicist can reel off equations with ease where my brain quickly turns to mush once you get beyond basic maths.

Drawing skills don't just happen. You have to be diligent in your study, intentional in your practice and accept that time and patience are your friend.

Everyone draws at some point in their lives, but for whatever reason, most people stop. But drawing is a bit like riding a bike, you don't really forget how to do it. It just feels daunting if you've not done it for a while, you might be a bit rusty and have a shaky start because most people stop trying to learn before they've even taken off the metaphorical stabilisers.

If you're someone who's always wanted to draw but have been held back by the idea of having a lack of talent, I hope I've convinced you enough that a small spark has been lit with a thought of "Maybe I can do this...". If not, find me over on Instagram and I'll do my best to get that spark lit. If you feel that spark and are ready to go, read on...

"So, what's my next step?"

Get yourself a sketchbook or a stack of paper and a pen. These don't have to be expensive art supplies. Printer paper and a biro are more than enough (I use these all the time!).

Once you've got your supplies sorted, next you need to commit to drawing at least once every day. I'm not talking about going out and drawing a landscape, start small. Choose something that will feel like a bit of a challenge but something you easily come across every day. A good start might be your coffee cup.

Draw that cup, try to get the shape and proportions right, don't worry about shadows or adding form (to make it look 3D). Just a simple line drawing at this point. Once you're done, cast a gentle but critical eye over it. Is the overall shape right? Is the handle in proportion with the cup? etc.

The next day, do the same thing only this time, try to answer the questions from the previous day. If your proportions weren't right, really try to observe how the handle relates to the mug. The follow the same critique then come back the next day and on it goes.

Do this for a month, 30 days drawing the same cup but each day intentionally trying to tweak how you put pen to paper and I'd be willing to bet if you put your day 1 drawing next to your day 30 drawing, you'll see a huge difference.

Start doing this with everything. Draw your fireplace over and over, draw that tree in your garden over and over.

Doing this exercise should at least get you started. Once you're over the initial hurdle of talking yourself out of drawing and you're comfortable putting pen to paper and just having a go at drawing something, you can then start branching out into the more nitty-gritty concepts, such as form, perspective, composition etc. But for now put those things aside for now.

Even after all I've said here, one thing I'm really trying to focus on at the moment is enjoying the process as much as I can, and worrying less about the result. So, I just want to finish off by saying I hope you decide to pick up a pen to do some drawing, regardless of the outcome and more importantly, I hope you enjoy the time you spend doing it.

Feel free to reach out to me over on Instagram, share any drawings you do and if you have any questions or want any further tips, I'm happy to have a chat.