Jane Russell and a few answers…

A graphite and Strathmore 500 Series portrait of Jane Russell.

Thanks so much for the replies.

No, I don't believe that you need an art teacher or instructor to teach you how to draw. However, if you feel like you do and it works for you, by all means.

I never took a drawing or painting lesson in my life. I learned to draw and to paint by practicing and practicing and more practicing. I trained my eye not just to see, but to understand what I was seen. I felt very strongly about being free of preconceived "how to" or step by step methods to experience my artistic journey without any crotches or recycled ideas that in the actual scheme of things, when it comes to you as an individual artist, won't amount to a stack of beans. By adopting someone else's vision, approach and methods, in my opinion, can actually be more negative than positive.

To have an instructor teach you techniques on drawing – that's another story.

Best advice I can give you is to draw and to paint anything and everything you see that motivates you and inspires you to create a work of art. Learning how to draw is a very personal lifelong process that will only get better with time as you grow and mature as an artist. By all means don't spend your hard earned money sitting for hours under someone's tutelage trying to learn how to draw. Instead, seek the guidance of a talented instructor to teach you his techniques and how to shade and blend and mix and be more realistic and professional.

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