Why 3D artists want to learn to draw/paint?


You should post your work here at cgtalk (in the WIP section, or start a sketchbook thread and post all your studies/practices in it). There are some members who give excellent critiques in that area of the forum, and I also regularly provide critiques there too.

Once you are settled down after relocating, you might want to take a look at the workshop I’m teaching (called “Becoming A Better Artist”–linked below in my signature). I teach it roughly every 2 to 3 months, so it is repeated about 4 to 5 times a year.


I was trying to do 3d stuff for 3 years I think but I dont really think I improved a lot.I was busy with other stuff cuz I wanted to learn how to rig,animate or texture stuff better.
I am not sure about my skills in drawing.I could redraw something by watching it but to actually draw something to look good as on some pro work images I couldnt do.
At first I did 3d stuff like robots,cars and similar metal stuff and I didnt have much trouble but now I want to make some cool looking character,texture it and animate.I can do whole body at decent quality but when I need to make a head it just ends up too low poly,high poly,too boxy…I tried using blueprints but I must lot of times wonder where should go what,mostly for mouth and eyes.By practicing I kinda always get the back of the head nice low poly and nice aligning to the jaw.I tried to do some anime hair,but fail at that point too.
Also when you say drawing do you mean I need to have lot of tools like pencil and similar.Using photoshop isnt really handy cuz I use mouse.If I could draw with my hand on the screen with that magic pen I could improve my skills.
Anyway I am just blabing nonsence :slight_smile:
I would probably need some profesional help from the teacher up here or anyone who knows something that might help me.
I think this is my first post here.


Start reading the sticky threads in this forum–you will learn a ton from them.


Hi all, I’m trying to focus on being able to draw right now so I can model later in the future. Let just say that my drawing level is probably close to a 3rd grader. What resources are there to guide me in the proper technique to draw. My goal right now is to be able to draw what I see so wherever I am I can doodle and practice more.


Read the sticky threads–they contain learning resources that will teach you what you need to know.


I started getting into 3D after the fact in drawing- interesting enough I found the practice in a 3D environment helped me visualize my objects in a 2D environment where my perspective was very weak- and my studies in a 2D environment helped me stylize my 3D work. I’m still a beginner, but these were unexpected niceties :slight_smile:

Excellent post, I referred a a few other friends to it thank you!


Hey Lunatique, can you help me with the name of a good book for starting drawin again, I have some experience but because I’m a 3d artist i think I left the drawing path aside, I want to return to it and begin with it and really improve it, I have read that drawing with the rigth side of the brain is a good book but what do you think about it, or have a better advice to do until i take the next class with you.

thank you


I highly recommend Jack Hamm’s Drawing the Head and Figures book. It was an important book in my formative years.

Harley Brown’s eternal truths for every artist is also a really good book that covers the basic foundations.

Drawing People by Barbara Bradley is also a really good book.

The legendary Andrew Loomis books are also excellent–every single one of them.

There are other recommendations in this sticky thread: http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=166&t=226083


Out of curiousity, is there a online course giving for techniques on drawing?


Do you specifically want to just learn how to draw, as in how to draw animals or people or buildings–that type of learning, or do you want to learn drawing as in you want to learn all the critical foundations of visual art (composition, perspective, values, lighting, color theory, anatomy/figure, stylization, expressiveness, drawing, painting, etc)?



I would like to learn the critical foundations first!


In that case, you should take a look at the workshop I teach (linked below in my signature).


Thank you Lunatique so much for your posts! I finnished art school and i learn only to draw becouse the teachers are forced so much on drawing,modeling,painting etc. but i need to learn values,color theory,lighting etc…I have experience with 3d, i learn maya, and still i missing that part…so thank you for this thread!!

I think about animation for 2 years and im in love with maya, i have wish to learn every single part of it…I tried different kind of art like oil painting, gouache painting,drawing,calligraphy,modeling,woodcut etc…but really i find my self in cg… im really happy becouse i know so much artist that didnt decide which path they will go. You inspired me, now i have even more wish to learn! Thank you…

And as you say i will read all sticky threads! Thank you for that advice.


As a child I spent most of my time drawing and sketching things from my favorite comic books, tv shows. I know most 2d artists can agree with me that Dragonball Z played a role in your wanting to become an artist :). If not, then it may just be me. But somewhere along the way I lost my drive to draw. I spent more time reading and socializing and just forgot to pick up a pencil now and then. Women also played a key role. And once you stop picking up that pencil and drawing, you lose what skill you had worked up. It is not gone completely but it doesn’t just come back to you.

In high school I began to teach myself 3D. And yes. I did struggle. I was trying to concept complex projects in the free 3D Program Blender and then polish them to completed projects. This was just creating a giant heap of mistakes. I eventually realized that I needed to practice my 2D art. And so I started keeping a sketchbook.

I’m going to put it bluntly. When I started drawing again. It was the single most discouraging thing that I have ever done. They were horrific and terrifyingly awful drawings. I was so disappointed in myself. I then went off to Art School where I learned the basics and foundations of art and I have been getting better and better at 2D art and it has been showing in my 3D art. I improve with both every day. Don’t get me wrong. I still have a long way to go before I can stand up to a lot of you here. But it is worth it to learn the foundations.

I’m sorry for the long post. I just really wanted to augment the OP’s original statement that Foundations in Traditional Art are, in fact, important in the 3D world. Even in Photography, and Cinematography. Any artistic field really. Whether you are an artist, an intellectual, a construction worker, a chef. Drawing is the best way to convey ideas. Especially ideas that words cannot explain.

So my fellow artists. Draw. Love the way your pencil dances across the paper. Love the lines you make. Love the feeling. Love the outcome. No matter what. The next thing will always be better.


sounds much like my education, and with the latter being me trying to teach myself because i’m now too skeptical of the education quality to want to drop lots of money for another college course.


To be honest this specific OP paragraph underpins the compelling argument for learning the foundational tenets’ that pertain to the traditional 2D Visual Arts medium as a whole irrespective of CG skill set the digital artist is conversant.

In that one such aspect in my opinion is entirely essential other than generating for example the primary subject matter in accordance with or very near too the envisioned artistic premise, whether 3D model, digital painting, and/or full figure - bust sculpt, so on and so forth.

Is lighting through both theory and practical application refined in particular for me via personal landscape gouache ‘en plein air’ [French expression - “In the Open Air”] studies when the mood took hold.

The theory initially formally attained in the classroom, is pretty much IMHO a defining factor in depicting an enhanced outcome worthy of the physical let alone mental effort in capturing “that scene”, plus forthwith I’ll humbly submit without which would not be possible.

So yes to reiterate, when transitioning across into CGI, prior foundational knowledge I’d gained is indeed an invaluable toolset to have in one’s bag if the intent is to further excel, in whatever proposed goals are set in place too achieve.

Cheers :wink:


Someone in another thread asked questions about how 2D can specifically help his 3D work (including animation) in terms of practical applications, and I gave him plenty of in-depth answers. Here’s the link to the thread: http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=8051177


It’s a hard truth but you’re absolutely right, I’m currently stuck on something that I wouldn’t be stuck on if I hadn’t given up on drawing. :-/


Ah, what a breath of fresh air to see this on my first day here. I’ve being working on both the 3D and 2D mediums, but previous communities looked down on it. It’s good to finally find a community that understands the importance of learning both. Thank you. :beer:


An updated version of the original post has been published as an article on CGSociety: