Can you become good at 3D modeling without drawing skills?


First, sorry if my english is not perfect !

So, I’ve always been interested in art, especially graphical forms of art.

However, I never really liked drawing. It bores me for a reason that I can’t describe… At first, I thought it was simply because I was bad. But even when I produced things that I thought were good for my level, it didn’t amuse me. In fact, after a while, I just realized that I liked the results that drawing gives, but not all the work that leads to the result.

Now, for 3D it’s slightly different. I’ve always been a very logical, very technical person. I love computers. In that sense, doing 3D doesn’t bother me the way drawing would, and I feel that when I’m modeling.

However, without drawing skills, I have often been told and explained that I will never be able to have a correct level in 3D. Indeed, without the ability to do sketches, I can’t do concept art… And I undestand that. But that discourages me a lot.

So my question is: Is it really impossible to make original artwork (environment, characters) in 3D without a minimum of drawing skills? If not, do you have examples of 3D artists who can’t draw?

For the background, I’m not planning to do 3D as a job. It’s more like a hobby for me. I want to be able to do mainly characters, and environnement.

Thank you for your answers


Hi there.
On a personal level I don’t think that having good drawing skills is that important, I should know as I’m pretty bad at drawing. I can sculpt faces and full characters but wouldn’t be able to draw them to the same level and if I need to sketch a concept scene that has characters in it then I just settle for drawing stick men.
I have heard it said as well that you need to be a good drawer to work in 3D modeling, but as far as I’m concerned it’s not really true, and no one should be put off trying 3D because of it.
It’s a hobby so dive in and worry not what others think.


I don’t think you really need to know how to draw before doing 3d. This is because unlike drawing, 3d modeling is much easier for me. If you’re looking into creating an original art you’ll only need a pretty rough sketch of your idea then you just add any further detail while modeling.
So my point is that you can do this :sunglasses:.
Good luck

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The ability to draw is only an advantage IF it gets you to the final product FASTER and EASIER.

IF you are fast enough, who cares what other people say? Or think, for that matter.

But you will be surprised, appalled, and disappointed how many NON-artist types, like clients, can’t imagine how something will look without a drawing. If you can produce a 3d rough faster than you can draw, all is well. But a rough sketch, combined with your portfolio/reel, is a sales and communication tool. You certainly don’t have to draw WELL, but you should maybe cultivate a quick sketching style to communicate with your clients and colleagues.

Various books exist on “communicating with sketches”, you may want to look at them.


Well I can’t draw for toffee, but I enjoy doing a lot of 3D stuff, so I’d say no reason at all you can’t become a good modeller without drawing. Do I think you would be btter / more productive if you can draw? Absolutely, as you can give yourself good reference to work from and lay out your ideas before commiting to work.
Personally, being unable to visualise what I want with pencil and paper, I tend to block out ideas using primitives. I don’t try to create a nice object, just a block form of what I’m after, it may be messy as heck poly-flow wise, but so long as the shape is there, I can then use that to work from.

EDIT: Here’s an example, the right hand it a ‘bitsa’ made up of various cubes and cylinders with soem very basic editing. Mirrored, it gives me a rough outline for the object I want to work on.


What is sure is that you can’t be a good modeler without a trained eye.

Basically, sketching is the best practice to train it to recognize building, proportions, perspective, shadowing of your subject.
And it is done by using your hand. That is a practice that will help a lot to use a graphic tablet that is a 2D screen for digital sculpting of a 3D model.
Your muscle memory will modify your brain in a more effective way than using a mouse.

My suggestions is to continue to put effort in it if you want to become a great modeler.

Those things are not related that way.
Drawing is probably needed to make a living as a concept artist.
It is required to be efficient in terms of speed to create concept art.

But you can create concept arts by making collages for example.
Nowadays, AI is used to produce concept arts from texts.
Pro modelers often have to deal with ugly drawings made by their boss as references.

What is essential, here, is imagination.
Like Colkai said, you can sketch a concept by manipulating primitives or mixing imported meshes.
That is the goal of software offering libraries of models.

But it is true that when you learn to draw, you learn to recognize shapes, anywhere. Even, in errors, you can make in your drawing ( a pencil stroke not at correct place) . That is where serendipity plays a role.
You try to draw something and eventually, end up with something different than original idea but better.

That may be related to forcing you to draw subjects that annoys you or simply forcing you to represent something.
It is possible to have fin just by making strokes without purpose and then, discovering inspiring shapes in them.

You can try to practice drawing by using Grease Pencil.
Drawing is a technique that is related to several Blender tools.
Not mastering this technique means that you will not be able to use those tools, efficiently.
So, that is limiting your Blender Practice to tools without strokes.

To sum up, you can create 3D models without knowing how to draw things.
But , by practicing drawing, you would train your eyes and hand in a way, that would indubitably improve your modeling skills.
When your brain absorbed those skills ; you can do 3D modeling, during years, without doing any drawing.


This is a very simple statement and yet, is at the crux of everything. I often see people asking “how do I model xxx” and then go about it trying to make a fully enclosed single mesh. When you start to look at things, analyse how they are made and their proportions, you quickly start to understand certain relationships. That’s why I always say start small, chair, table, but really LOOK at what your building.
As with everything in life, the more you do it, the better you get at it, ther eis no substitute for repetition.


I think you need about the same skills for drawing you need for 3D modeling however the latter is more forgiving as for translating said skills into a good result. Being bad at drawing doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll suck at modeling.

The amount of drawing “skillz” that one need in order to do 3D is usually greatly exaggerated.

Usually this assumption comes about when one is trying to bring their own self drawn concept character(s) in 3D.

My latest video addressed this assumption, hope you will find it useful.
The second part which will be published (when it’s done) will talk about how to “auto” your drawings into 3D.

Heh … I can’t draw! (I also suck at “3D box problems,” which probably kept me out of various then-popular wars …)

But: “honestly, it no longer matters.” If you can visulize an arrangement of “to scale” 3D objects in any 3D space, Blender will allow you to put cameras anywhere in that space … and it will then show you precisely what those cameras would see.

So, the real goal becomes “effective and efficient pre-visualization.” Which you can easily do – if you can’t draw – if you can accept that a (to-scale(!)) square box is a car, or that a (to-scale) armature made up of (to-scale) cylinders is an actor.

I think traditional drawing can help with 3D as it helps develop your motor skills and control of using your hands. That can carry over to how easily you can transfer that control to a mouse or tablet. Being a great artist isn’t just about drawing though, you need to observe and understand a lot of the theory about what makes a picture look good, or how to frame a photograph .etc

If your aim is to just model a character or object then following reference images and understanding mesh topology will allow you to create a good model. If you want to build scenes and create appealing images from that model, then knowing some art theory will help a lot more than being super proficient with a traditional pencil or brush.


Others in the thread have already gone into great detail so I’ll try to be succinct.

  • Good drawing skills are not a prerequisite for good 3D modeling.
  • But it wouldn’t hurt to have them. There is overlap in training your brain to understand form, volume, lighting, etc. that will benefit both drawing and 3D modeling. So if you can already do it well in 2D it should give you a leg up on 3D.
  • You only need good drawing skills if drawing is going to be essential to what you are doing (e.g. working as a concept illustrator, or communicating/presenting drawn design ideas to a client or supervisor).

I almost never practice drawing (so I’m not good at it, at all) and here are examples of my 3D work:


Beautiful work Chris Kohl :slight_smile:

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If you can draw a line then you can draw. This goes for the whole lot of you here who claim you can’t. If you don’t enjoy the act of drawing then of course you won’t practice it so you might not be efficient at it. That certainly applies to me too. But you can draw if you choose to.

Here’s the thing, when someone says that you should study/practice drawing what they are really trying to imply is that you need to study the real world and objects(including people) in it. You can have all the drawing/sculpting/modeling ‘skills’(technique) in the world but if you don’t understand the structure of things inanimate or animate, you will never be able to draw or sculpt or model those things correctly. That’s all it comes down to.

Want to become a character artists? Study anatomy. Practice blocking out the proportions first, then detail later.

Want to become an animator? study the motion of things moving and get a sense for timing things right.

Riggers, similar to modelers need understand the structures of things, and the relationships between all the parts of the sum total that will be animatable.

etc. etc. etc.

If you study the structure of those things then you will be able to draw those things, the same as you will be able to model them. Doesn’t mean you have to draw them however. Just model away.


And realize: almost ANYTHING takes longer than you think.

There’s a model in the featured row that’s amazing, but the modeler stated he took 4 months to make it. If you just look at it, and you’re like me, you’d think “I’ll never…”, but, a quarter of a year? MAYBE.

Drawing and modeling is HARD. Best to just get going ASAP and start churning out stuff. There’s a lot to be said for making a lot of crappy work, fast. While stuff you’re interested in (spaceships, typically) may hold your interest, it’s also good to open up a random catalog, plunk down a finger, and vow “for the next forty minutes I will attempt to model THIS”. You’ll learn.

I find the IKEA catalog is good for this. :smiley:

Oh, and don’t be afraid to suck. Eventually, you won’t, or you’ll get it out of your system.


I am SO CLOSE to finishing up a video on a program that converts your drawing into 3D that would so much match this topic ! But I can’t rush it ! Arh ! The eagerness !

Once you know about this program you would FORCE yourself to draw ;p
And also @Felix_Kutt is right, if you can draw a line you can draw, stay away from people who tell you that drawing is a “talent”, what you need is people who tells you how to X, not how X is magic and beyond reach.

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Exactly. I really like what you said there.

In the old days, drawing was routinely taught to many, before it became tied to “art”, it was just a learnable skill. Heck, basic “mechanical drawing” was taught in shop class when I was a kid.

90% of all drawings are just temporary communication tools. It’s learnable.

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You definitely don’t need to be good at drawing.
I work with Environment artists and world builders who are not artistic at all when it comes to drawing.

You might want to start off with very simple tutorials and build up slowly.

I suggest following “Grant Abbitt” on youtube.
His teaching style is great for beginners.
Especially his series called “get good at blender” and “low poly game asset”.

Best of luck

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Are you secretly Grant Abbitt yourself ?

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Haha no mate.
I’m just learning blender myself. Thought those links might help.
I do have my own channel on YouTube under my username, but not teaching Blender.