If you have been drawing for a while, you probably have a sketchbook and other drawings that you are very proud of, which showcase your drawing skills. Now it is time for you to rise to the challenge and find some harder things to draw, which can help you to build on those drawing skills. Let us now delve into this subject and consider some hard drawing ideas!
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is the Hardest Thing to Draw?
- 2 Hard Drawings of Human Anatomy
- 3 Hard Animal Drawings
- 4 More Hard Things to Draw
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Hardest Thing to Draw?
As an artist, you might be wondering what is the hardest thing to draw, and as you have exhausted the avenue of simple drawings, it is time to explore the challenge of hard things to draw. It may be that some drawings appear to be difficult for some artists, but very easy for others. So, in this article, we will be sharing with you, drawings, and ideas that may prove challenging to you as a developing artist.
When you start with difficult things to draw, try to draw the things you love to draw, things that make you happy, and things that are fun to draw.
However, sometimes it is good for you to come out of your comfort zone and draw some more advanced, challenging, and hard draws. So, for you as an artist, what is the hardest thing to draw? Maybe, something that has many fine details and seemingly impossible positions? Many artists might agree that the human hand is the hardest thing to draw, while others agree that hard draws are facial expressions, movement, gestures, drapery folds, and drawings based only on ideas. Do not worry though, we have plenty of hard drawing ideas that we will be sharing with you.
Hard Drawings of Human Anatomy
Drawing parts of the human body is very difficult, even for the more advanced artist, as you must capture expressive movements and accurate proportions. This is why many art schools and art classes will dedicate a large section of the curriculum to drawing the human figure. However, the solution to this problem lies mainly in the lack of knowledge of human anatomy, which means we as artists need to learn more about the human body.
Hands are without a doubt the hardest thing to draw from human anatomy. Many artists can draw amazing drawings of human figures, but the hands look stiff and block-like, so they often draw the figure with hands behind their backs to cover things up. What is it that makes the hands so difficult to draw? There are so many different hand gestures, which makes it very difficult to familiarize yourself with the general shape of the hands and learn to draw them perfectly.
If you are a beginner in this field, let us share some tips that will help you make your hand sketches more realistic.
Because hands are such hard drawings, you need to spend time and practice working hard at drawing the hands in different poses. You will find it becomes easier and better the more you draw. To make things easier for you, we have included a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw hands.
- You must understand the mechanics of the hand. How the bones are structured, how the joints and fingers function, and general movements.
- It is simpler to draw hands with a few fingers close together, allowing you to draw them as a single basic shape.
- Try to draw guidelines and draw the palm shape a little smaller than you think it should be.
- You can use your hand as a reference and draw one pose at a time.
- Try not to focus too much on the silhouette of the fingers and hand, but start by drawing simple shapes, and get the angles and relationships of the basic shapes right.
Drawing the eyes is also very tricky to master, as there are plenty of challenges you will face, such as different shapes, scale or size, reflection, and all the technical details involved. However, the most challenging part is trying to manage the technical details of drawing the eye and still be able to retain the personality and expressions. To help, here is a guide on how to draw eyes.
It is not easy to draw a face with a neutral expression, but even more so if you are trying to draw a face with more expression. After drawing portraits for a long time, many artists can draw a face that is expressionless like a robot, but drawing a face with more subtle expressions is a lot more complex.
To be able to draw a face with different expressions requires a sound understanding of human anatomy, including the proportions of the face, as well as observing what different parts of the face change with each facial expression.
In other words, what parts of the face will stretch, squeeze, or change their position, in some way or another, and how is this relative to one another? When drawing a face, try to focus on certain landmarks that will not change with any facial expression, for example, a smile might change the position of the eyebrows, but the brow ridge will not change relative to the rest of the face. To get you started, here is a tutorial on how to draw a face.
To draw human hair is very hard because, in real life, hair is regarded as a whole thing and not individual strands. However, when drawing hair, it is different, especially in two dimensions, it works out to be a point and a line. You cannot just draw all hair in the form of lines, because that is not what our eyes see when we look at hair, it needs to be lines and shading to make it look realistic.
There are also different types of hair, from long hair and short hair to wavy hair, and afro-textured hair.
To help we have provided an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to draw hair. The same applies to animal fur, you need to understand that it is the texture that refers to the way an object can feel when you touch it, and in drawing, the artist creates an illusion of that texture. In the same way, when drawing human hair, animal fur needs to have shades and light to make it look realistic. There is also soft and fluffy fur and coarse hair, so you need to have a different approach to each type to create the right texture.
The human figure is not easy to draw, but it can be a very exciting challenge. It is safe to say that the human figure is the cornerstone of art with all its many different poses, allowing you to draw the figures from all angles. One of the most significant things to remember when drawing a human figure is to understand the positions and stances of the body. You need to zero in on all the minute body positions, gestures, and overarching shapes of the human figure.
When sketching human figures, the artist never seems to run out of inspiration as the human figure seems to hold a world of inspiration in the legs, arms, torso, and all the gestures of the body whether standing upright, sitting, or arms outstretched.
The inspiration is that there always seems to be a fresh way of experiencing the human figure in your art. Do not fall into the trap of trying to fit the entire figure onto one page of the canvas, and no rule states that you need to draw the whole figure. Try to mark the paper top, middle, and bottom of your figure. To make things easier for you we have included a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw the human figure. There are many difficult things to draw when it comes to the human body that we did not cover in this article, but you may want to try them out, such as feet, noses, mouths, and ears. Find the tutorial for these below.
Hard Animal Drawings
Drawing animals can be hard as they tend to move around a great deal of the time, so try to draw animals that are asleep or lying down. Capturing the shapes, colors, lines, and textures is a great way of practicing drawing animals. You can practice drawing animals by taking a trip to the zoo with your sketchbook, where you can not only focus on their lines and shading but on their environment as well. Capturing accurate proportions of the animal’s anatomy can be challenging, even for the experienced artist. Not to mention the whiskers, texture of the fur, and hair that can be rather difficult.
For this reason, it is a good idea to take a good selection of reference materials like high-quality photographs before you start your drawing. Let us now consider a few animals that are hard to draw.
Horses are beautiful and majestic animals, but they can be very hard to draw. This is mainly due to the complex body and all those muscles. Trying to get them in the right proportion is a challenge. We have all seen horses many times before, but have you looked at them long enough? You should pay close attention to the details, which allows you to draw them more accurately. First, the horse has a thin head that seems to look differently from every angle, then every part of the horse’s body works independently, making it very hard to draw. Their muscular bodies seem to shift and change when they are in motion, and you need to try and capture that motion.
However, the most difficult and important part is the legs. A horse’s legs appear to be thinner and longer than you imagine, and there are so many curves and joints.
So, you must pay attention to where the legs bend and how they move when the horse runs or walks. The horse’s thin legs seem to be out of proportion to its torso, which is enormous. This makes it extremely difficult to draw in the right proportions. Before you start to draw a horse, get some good reference photos, and study them to familiarize yourself with how they look. To make things easier for you, we have included a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw a horse.
The giraffe is hard to draw because of all the exaggerated proportions of their bodies and legs, making it complex to draw. The neck is long and seems to slope backward, and the front legs are taller and longer than the hind legs. Each species of giraffe has different and distinctive spots, which seem to wrap around their bodies and make them difficult to capture. They are all various shapes and sizes and begin to alter in size and shape and fade as they go down the legs, so you need to pay special attention to the spots. To make things easier for you we have included a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw a giraffe.
The eagle is a very majestic bird, but it is hard to draw. When drawing an eagle, you need to consider its shape, as the body of the eagle is very large and the wings need to relate to the body, making it hard to get everything in the right proportion. The head needs to be right with the eyes, in the perfect position with some of the feathers slightly covering the eye. The beak needs to be curved at the correct degree, with the nostril positioned just before the beak and facing forward. Remember, that when the bird is in flight, the wing that is on the other side of the body needs to be drawn slightly smaller than the other wing, which helps to show perspective.
When drawing the feathers, you need to understand how they react in movement when the eagle is in flight. The feathers on the wings also need to have jagged edges, and when they come near the end of the wings, they should begin to look like bumps.
The talons need to be drawn in the right proportion, making sure that the back talon faces backward when all the others face forward. All these elements need to be captured perfectly, giving the overall realistic appearance of your eagle. We have included a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw an eagle. There are many hard drawing ideas of animals that we did not cover in this article, but you may want to try some of the others for yourself, like wolves, elephants, sloths, chickens, and much more. See below for a few of these step-by-step tutorials.
More Hard Things to Draw
Besides human anatomy and animals, there are many more things that are hard to draw, and we are going to share some of them with you. Even if you are an experienced artist there are still some things that are hard to draw, and we want to share this with you so you can take up the challenge and see if you can improve on your drawing skills.
Gestures of a Body in Motion
The gestures of a moving body are all about trying to capture the feeling, energy, movement, and balance of the body that you are drawing or sketching. The most challenging part of drawing gestures or a body in motion is to try and communicate all the information by using a minimal number of marks. You need to try not to capture all the gestures you see in the pose of the subject, but only the very bare essence, which can take many years to master.
This is why you need to study the works of old masters like Leonardo Da Vinci to learn how to capture movement in sketches and drawings.
Something that you can see through, or is transparent, poses a challenge and is tricky to draw as it is clear, so you need to show some substance in your drawing. You also need to contend with highlights, reflections, and shadows that are evident in the glass itself.
Instead of looking at drawing a glass as too challenging, start by breaking it down into smaller and easier steps.
First, focus on the shape of the glass or container, you can then begin to add highlights and shadows. You can then draw the light and reflection at various intensities. Soon your drawing will take shape, however, never forget to include a background that can be visible through the glass.
Water, like glass, is one of the most difficult realistic things to draw for many of the same reasons, being translucent it also has reflections and highlights to contend with. However, with water, there is also sometimes the element of movement, which can be difficult to capture.
Another aspect to consider when drawing water is distortion.
Depending if the water has been disturbed or not, the reflections on the water are going to appear slightly distorted, and this is not easy to capture, and shading also needs to be considered. Have a look at our guide on how to draw a waterfall.
Referring to cars the mechanical precision, shiny highlights, and plenty of different angles and curves produce quite a challenge for an artist. You need to capture the car’s unique shape and be able to master all the fine details to make your drawing perfect.
Firstly, you need to focus on the main parts, the basic shape of the body, the doors, tires, lights, and wheels.
Then, you can begin to refine your drawing by adding more details. The same principle will apply to drawing an airplane, which is easier to draw when breaking it down into smaller sections first. Here is our guide on how to draw a car.
Drapery folds can be hard to draw as it requires that you capture all the variations efficiently, such as folds, tension, swirls, and patterns. However, most important of all, you should capture the underlying form without taking the attention away from the main focus, which is the person wearing the garment. You need to focus on tonal shapes, aiming to add the minimum amount of shading.
You need to add just enough to indicate the stretching and tension of the cloth, without attempting to draw every fold and wrinkle, which will also help in making your drawing a lot easier.
Perspective drawing is not easy to do but will improve your drawing skills. Learning to draw objects that are closer together or further apart and trying to position them within a drawing in relation to other objects, is not easy to master. Hard things to draw in this category can include human hands in front of you, pointing straight at you, or it can be standing at the base of a statue or sculpture and looking up, or just looking at the corner of a room. Learn to draw perspective art with this tutorial.
Light and Shadow
Trying to master the art of drawing shadow and light is very difficult. By just looking around you, try to take note of how the light reflects from objects, then look at the way the shadows form. Millions of graduations of shadow and light will prove very difficult to draw, sometimes the breaks appear obvious and are easy to draw, but at other times, it becomes much more grated and subtle, making it one of the difficult things to draw. Take a look at how to draw three-dimensional shapes, which use highlights and shadows to create the effect.
In our article above, we have listed a few of the hard and realistic things to draw, and we are aware that every artist struggles with something that for them is hard to draw. We hope that we have given you some help regarding this subject, but it will be very interesting to hear what you think is the hardest thing to draw, as everyone’s answer is different. Who knows, you might even be able to improve on our list above!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Hardest Thing to Draw?
Even the most experienced artist with solid knowledge finds that drawing human anatomy is difficult, especially the hands and the feet. Many artists can draw natural figures, but the hands and feet are difficult to draw, having a block-like and stiff appearance.
Is Drawing a Hard Talent?
Drawing is more like a skill, and you can only improve with a lot of practice. Many people regard drawing as something that certain people can do, but others cannot. However, this is not true as anyone can draw if they are prepared to spend time practicing.
What Is the Hardest Drawing Style?
As far as technical difficulty goes, Realism is the most difficult, but Impressionism has the added difficulty of being able to catch the essence of a scene without under or overdoing it. Both styles aim to render exactly what you see.
In 2005, Charlene completed her Wellness Diplomas in Therapeutic Aromatherapy and Reflexology from the International School of Reflexology and Meridian Therapy. She worked for a company offering corporate wellness programs for a couple of years, before opening up her own therapy practice. It was in 2015 that a friend, who was a digital marketer, asked her to join her company as a content creator, and this is where she found her excitement for writing.
Since joining the content writing world, she has gained a lot of experience over the years writing on a diverse selection of topics, from beauty, health, wellness, travel, and more. Due to various circumstances, she had to close her therapy practice and is now a full-time freelance writer. Being a creative person, she could not pass up the opportunity to contribute to the Art in Context team, where is was in her element, writing about a variety of art and craft topics. Contributing articles for over three years now, her knowledge in this area has grown, and she has gotten to explore her creativity and improve her research and writing skills.
Charlene Lewis has been working for artincontext.org since the relaunch in 2020. She is an experienced writer and mainly focuses on the topics of color theory, painting and drawing.