Is It Skill or Talent?

In looking at what it takes to be an artist I have to tell you that yes, there is a certain amount of talent that is needed. It takes more than putting color on a support to create art. A certain degree of predisposition must be present to be artistic, even without training. But art is also a skill and like any skill, practice makes perfect. Or it brings you closer to it every time. Saying this I am telling you that with the right training you could become an artist yourself.

How long does it take? You have to realize that most artists may be born with certain skill level already in their DNA. That is a head start. Then there is the training that teaches you the technical nuances of art and what it takes to create art but the most important part of becoming an artist is practice. In order for art to become fluid and effortless, the artist must have many miles of drawing and burshwork under their belt.

Payal Pencil Drawing

Lilibeth André, "Payal", 18x12, colored pencil

Why is practice important? It lets you master your tools. It allows you to gain confidence and trust in your stroke. The line of communication between your head and your hand will be direct and effective. Your movement will be efficient and you will produce consistent and high quality work.

Look at the masters. Any master. Michaelangelo Buonarroti studied even in his advanced age to find satisfaction in his creations. Leonardo da Vinci had collections of drawings where he began his masterpieces and inventions. These masters put in countless hours of study and practice towards reaching their acquired level of mastery. And they didn’t stop there. Their life was an ongoing effort of study and practice to continue to reach a higher level of expertise each and every day.

As part of my practice I like to draw. I apply my technical training and strive to keep up the skill level to continue to produce work at no less than what I have done in the past and better each and everytime. As I learn more with the compounded time and practice I am able to see the result when I produce new work.

Recently I completed a portrait drawing of a toddler. Besides making a connection with the subject, I enjoy working with young models to gain their trust and learn their features in the brief pauses of movement. I am also working on the portrait of a young lady. We had fun finding a pose of her liking and that activity allowed me to get to know her better.

As the figure begins to materialize on the paper, I enjoy remembering the time we spent together and what I liked about them. I strive to bring that essence out and into the portrait drawing, or painting if that is the case.

Remember that samples of my most current works are posted on my Website:


About The Artist

Houston, Texas A classical artist and writer that delves in sustainability issues and natural health practices.
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