Drawing is an ancient art form that has been with us since before we had the written word. Some cultures languages are in fact stylized representations of artwork that have been given specific meaning.
In some respects, drawing is the precursor to many other styles of art. Skills like sculpting and painting have an obvious correlation and of course the more modern graphic design and cartooning.
Over the years, the tools used have changed dramatically from simple finger painting on cave walls to computer-aided design. However, while the medium might be different, the message is still the same - that of communication.
Why Should You Learn To Draw?
Drawing is an enjoyable hobby and one that you can share. It's actually an activity that you can do with your whole family and many of the drawing academies actually offer instruction for kids and teens in addition to adults.
Drawing helps bring people together. Learning how to draw can also lead to gainful employment though. There is a significant demand for skilled artists in many regions of the country and it's a skill that can pay dividends.
Many other forms of artwork depend on artists skills to bring them to life. Often other forms of art are conceptualized in a drawing before they are actualized in reality. By using a paper and pencil, artists have an opportunity to bring their imagination to the real world.
Benefits of Learning How to Draw
Fun and potential employment are not the only reasons to learn how to draw though. Drawing pays dividends in other ways.
- Relaxation - often drawing classes are held in studios or even the great outdoors. Having an opportunity to learn a new skill with others, with no judgment helps to relax and take you away from your day to day responsibilities and concerns. Studies have shown that drawing and doodling stimulate blood flow to the front of the brain. This is not something that only skilled artists benefit from!
- Concentration Skills - drawing also helps with your cognitive skills like concentration and memory. The focus required on your subject and what you are trying to show on paper or canvas requires that you have a good visual image in your own head first. Once you've firmly established what it is you are trying to portray in your own head, then you can translate this to the medium you are using.
- Improved Coordination - while drawing is relaxing at the same time it requires focus and dedication. Drawing helps to improve coordination, dexterity, and mobility. Keeping your coloring "within the lines" is one part of this but even erasing mistakes can help with eye and hand coordination. For obvious reasons, this benefit is extremely important for younger children.
So now that we agree on the reasons for learning how to draw, let's discuss where you can find the best instruction in the USA.
Drawing Lessons in New York
If you happen to live in the "city that never sleeps" or its close environs, you're in luck! New York is home to some of the best art instruction in the world along with its famous museums, art studios, and theatres.
It has many different workshops and exhibitions available for you to evaluate your instructors prior to selecting a specific art school. In addition with schools scattered across all of the boroughs, you are guaranteed to find a suitable choice.
The Art Studio New York is one of the preeminent schools for students living in Manhattan. With close proximity to the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you can learn from histories masters as well as partake of some of the best art instruction in New York. After your art class, Central Park is in close proximity if you want to practice what you have learned in a tranquil setting.
If you don't live on the west side and are closer to Chinatown, Spring Studio New York might be a better option for you. With a focus on life drawing, Spring Studio offers weekly figure drawing classes for students wishing to pursue this style of art.
If you live outside of Manhattan, you might be interested in the Bridgeview School of Fine Arts in Long Island. Offering adult and kids instruction, they teach both beginners and established artists. Instruction is not just restricted to paper and pencil as charcoal and paint are also explored in their classes.
Find a Drawing Lesson in Los Angeles
Let's go from the east coast all the way to west now. LA is the second largest city in the USA and has one of the most vibrant art communities anywhere in the world. Many of the artists from the LA art schools can go onto successful art careers after graduation.
In fact, one of the best options for students looking to break into a career through art is The Animation Academy. Located steps away from some of the biggest studio's they are also in close proximity to the Animation Guild and some of their alumni are at Pixar and Disney.
Students living in downtown Los Angeles have options also with Ann Bridges Art Studio in the heart of Koreatown. Launched by Ann in 2008, the classes are held in studios instead of more traditional classrooms as Ann believes that students benefit from a studio environment.
Learning How to Draw in Philadelphia
Back to the east coast again, let's see what options you have in the city of brotherly love. Philly is the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania and it boasts some of the best universities and colleges in the USA.
Established in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is located in a historic Victorian museum. As the oldest art school and museum in the United States, it's famous for its art collection dating from the 19th and 20th centuries.
The academy offers a degree program of art instruction and is a leader in arts education in the area.
Of course, you're not just restricted to the downtown core when it comes to learning how to draw in Philadelphia. Art in the Pod is located in neighboring Churchville and was established in 2013. Classes are available for all ages although the emphasis is on a younger audience.
Drawing Classes in Chicago
Do not worry if you do not live on the east or west coast. There are art classes and schools available throughout the US and Chicago is our next destination.
Easel Art Studio is focused on instruction for kids. With classes from Mondays to Saturdays, the studio hosts birthday parties on Sundays. Classes are available for children as young as 11 months old and instruction goes all the way up to early teen.
Another studio focused on child education in the arts is the Color Wheel Art Studio. The Chicago location of this studio offers two programs for budding artists. The first is an after-school program helping them develop and grow their skills and the second is focused on summer and school breaks.
For artists interested in exhibiting their work, the Hyde Park Art Center is an excellent choice. With over 200 studio classes and 20 exhibitions annually, artists will be able to showcase their work in one of Chicago's oldest exhibition spaces.
Learning How to Draw in Houston
Houston is the largest city in Texas and is where we're taking you next. Texas is massive - it's the second largest state behind Alaska - so finding the right instruction can be difficult. Fortunately for you, we've got the information you need to help you make that decision.
Another art studio associated with a museum, the Glassell School of Arts is linked with Houston, Museum of Fine Arts. Drawing is just one of the disciplines that are taught here with classes in sculpture, jewelry, printmaking, photography, and painting being only some of the others.
Located on the west end of the city, City ArtWorks was established in 1982 as a non-profit to help children learn through the power of art. Offering many different drawing and art classes it also offers cartooning and painting to its students.
As you can see, regardless of where you live in the USA, you have options available to you when it comes to learning how to draw. Whether you are a beginner just getting started, or someone wanting to enhance and grow their skills, you can easily find a suitable school to meet your requirements.