The importance of drawing skills in 3d modelling


Could one ever become a succesfull 3d modeller without massive talent in 2d work ?
This though keeps haunting me for about a year now and haven’t really looked up into it because I am slightly affraid of the answer :))

There’s nothing in this world that I’d like to do more than 3d art as a job … but will a company actually hire someone (me) as a modeller without 2d skills ?

Thanks for reading,


They’ll hire you if you can model.

Knowing how to draw tends to make you a better modeller though.


This question have been asked tons of times on this forum, do a search mate :slight_smile:

But basically yes, what the above poster said its true afaik. Everytime i read a thread like this the general consensus its that if you can model well enough, it doesnt matter that you can´t draw stick figures… BUT… having some experience and knowledge in drawing and anatomy apparently helps a lot.


yes you are totally right … I forgot about searching …
my apologies for not searching …

as for drawing … I’m not completely anti-drawing-talent but there’s no way I could draw a side view and a front view of a thing … even though after my exams I might start drawing a bit …

As for anatomy … could you point me towards a right direction ? with what should I start … any particular website/book or any anatomy studies will work ?

thank you so much once more,


I have a cool book bought it not so long ago… ISBN 1-40542-109-6 It’s in dutch but I don’t think about reading it anyway(I don’t like to read)… just look and reproduce :slight_smile: but any book or picture will do. that’s my idea.

Cockx D.


What drawing will do for you is basically train you to work in an order. I like going through things in a progressive manner , especially with modeling. You don’t really need to know how to draw to model.

So, how does that make you better? Well, what I tend to do a lot prior to modelling is opening up a sketch pad and looking at my concept art, probubly given by your concept artist, and plan out what this will look like.

I like to draw or sketch out a basemesh and such. I also like putting a glossy piece of sketchable paper over the art and sketch in what my edge flow would look like. This is pretty important in my mind.

Drawing, and don’t feel like you need too but if you’re modelling something and you’re trying to figure out how you’re going to do a shape, feel free to draw it. Drawing is so unrestrictive.

Personally, unless you’re looking to draw some good pieces of reference I think that’s much as drawing skills can do for you.


You might not need drawing skills to get a 3d job, but if you want to study it, the entrance exams will probably include drawing or even painting. I found this out the hard way when I started looking for possible schools last Spring. All three places I wanted to go to had drawing-related entrance exams, and two even had me drawing some pre-exam work to see if I was good enough to be called to the actual exams. Drawing, water-color works, writing essays - it was quite a shock.

I didn’t pass, because I haven’t drawn. I started 3d because I thought that it would be nice way to create art without having to learn to draw, which I thought was impossible. I had played around with free programs (mostly Blender 3d) for more than a year before I realized that if I wanted to become good at it, I had to learn the same sub-skills needed for drawing: I had to learn how human body looks like and how the joints work, what various silhouettes look like, how to simplify complex shapes into something easily recognisable, composition, etc etc. :eek: As you can imagine, it was quite a shock!

It’s easier to carry paper and a pencil than a laptop, and thus it’s easier to practice if you can draw. Sculpting clay is another skill that trains the skills you need in 3d-modeling. Taking up some kind of a side-hobby will only improve your work. I’m much better at drawing now: sometimes the faces are good enough for you to recognize the people I drew, and the objects I draw are looking more like what they should, although there are still lots of minor mistakes with perspective, shading and such. My modeling work has also improved.

If you want to learn drawing, I suggest that you read “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”. It explains drawing in a fun way: imagine that you’re looking through a glass window. You take a marker, and draw the outlines of a car on the glass. Because you copied exactly what you saw, the lines are perfectly in perspective, just as long as they should, and aligned just as they should. If you remove the glass and put it next to a paper, it’s easy to copy the car into a paper. It goes further than that, but the book really helped me to realize some simple facts that I had overlooked, and I learned a lot in quite a short time.


Thank you so much for the advise … it’s clear that I need to work a lot on anatomy and a bit on drawing … I might get some drawing lessons after my college exams are finished.

Thanks once more for sharing the experience !

Best regards and God bless,


You don’t need drawing skills to model, but to become a 3d artist then yes! if you can’t put your ideads down on paper and create concepts to work from then It will be hard indeed, easy to draw and change designs rather than re-model

As a modeler you will be provided with art to work from




It’s easy to see the best modellers have a great command of traditional art. Apart from a few geniuses the rest of us have to arm ourselves with knowledge and practice. When you excersise your craft do it consiously with skill and passion. I am still practicing both:)

Get hold of these books, in real form or e form it doesn’t matter but get them and READ them!
Harold Speed: The practice and science of drawing. (not a how to manual but an intelectual compass , read this baby many times).
Andrew Loomis: Creative illustration (Loads of imperative advice about colour, light, mass, composition, line and of course tapping into the collective nerve through effective communication).
Andrew Loomis: The eye of the painter
Andrew Loomis: Drawing heads and hands
Andrew Loomis: Fun with a pencil (something we quickly forget:) and you can substitute this for wacom )
Andrew Loomis: Sucessful drawing
Andrew Loomis: Figure drawing for all it’s worth
George B. Brigman: Constructive anatomy
George B. Brigman: The human machine
George B. Brigman: Complete guide to drawing from life

Practice with wisdom (and there is so much) is a joyous experience because you WILL see imediate improvement. This even more than money or fame delivers the deepest satisfaction.

Cheerio Chris


Definately what Kanga said. Also “Artistic Anatomy” by Paul Richer I can’t recommend highly enough for anatomy studies.

I always enjoy discussing this subject, even though as stated it’s been done to death and it doesn’t matter if you can model.

What interests me is if someone could model really well but couldn’t draw, WHY couldn’t they draw? If we are talking about modelling talent as the ability to create 3d objects accurately (accuracy being the key), then if you have a sharp enough eye to see a line or angle or whatever in three dimensions and recreate that, why couldn’t you see the same thing infront of you and put it down as a drawn line? I’m not asking rhetorically, I’d be interested to know what people think. Of course if you’ve got image planes or working from 3d scans that’s a slightly different kettle of fish.

My personal opinion is that if you can model really well but say you can’t draw, then you’ll probably surprise yourself when you put pencil to paper. If you can’t draw but you say you can model really well then you’re probably wrong. And I think it works the other way around too, I’ve seen some incredible sculptures done by people who have never sculpted before but have a strong drawing/painting background.

And by and large I don’t buy “some people see better in 3 dimensions than 2” or whatever, it’s probably true to an extent but generally I find it an excuse made by people who think they can model but can’t draw (and generally can’t do either).


I’d also strongly recommend the books by Burne Hogarth, who approaches anatomy in terms of form rather than phisiology- very visual books that really help you understand the complex shapes the body can make in 3D space.


thank you so much guys for all the help and books … all I need to do now is finish with my exams and start studing anatomy and draw a little bit !

thanks agian so so so much for taking time to answer my retarded questions !

thank you very very much !


My view is that if you can draw really really well (in this context I mean you can draw anything to make it look real), then it’s very likely you will at least be able to become a good texture painter and good modeler. Because by having the ability and skill to draw really well, it means that you have very good eyes to tell what looks right and what looks wrong, what’s not good enough, and are be very self critical to your work. And you will not stop until it looks good.

You’ll know when a piece of work is done or not and you will not likely show a mediocre work of yours to other people and ask for their critiques, because you are fully aware that it needs lot of work, and you know just what you need to do to it to make it shine. And when you are at a stage where you feel like this is as far as your talent goes and you can’t see what else you can do to it, you post it on cgtalk and many people will pool in to tell you what a great piece it is, and of course you might get some other good comments and improve it even more. 1 year later, you return to look at this piece, and you wonder why didn’t you see this and that problem before.

I agree with Lord McGoat, if you can model really really well, you can most likely draw well if you try and learn the techniques.


Well please do look into it, because this subject has already been discussed to death. Please, no more.