Figure drawing – samples by Canman done at with the guidance of Alex Grey.

Many think that tattooing is no different than drawing on skin, but that’s not true.

There are some important overlapping skills, but being a tattoo artist is not the same as being a sketch artist.

A good tattoo artist develops a strong eye for shape, color, and line work.

How Do Tattoo Artists Learn to Draw?

Of course, some artists are naturally gifted.

But it is recommended for most people to complete some form of schooling.

There are many courses to choose from.

There are also a variety of places to take these classes.

The practice is just as important as the course itself!

The most skilled person at their craft is the person who recognizes that repetition is the key to mastery.

What Art Courses Do Tattoo Artists Take?

When choosing courses, the more variety you have, the better.

Of course, learning how to draw is the main focus.

But good tattoo artists will look into expanding their horizons.

They’ll learn how to work with many different mediums like figure drawing, watercolors, acrylics, and oils.

Can You Still Be A Tattoo Artist If You Can’t Draw?

Yes, you can. But you probably won’t be a good one.


There are two main reasons:

  • You can’t make original handmade designs.
  • You won’t be able to modify tattoos per request.

Not being able to draw severely restricts the capacity at which you can perform.


Learning to draw is crucial for being a good, well-rounded tattoo artist.

It gives the artist more flexibility and can increase their clientele.

It eliminates awkward moments of not being able to perform a task that is asked of them.

Finding places to learn to draw is easier now than ever for tattoo artists!

They can attend many different online courses, attend a local college, a university, or even find a class at their community center.

Tattoo artists will benefit from not limiting themselves to just drawing classes.

They will enhance their overall skills by learning how to use different mediums.

Despite all this knowledge and training, being good at drawing doesn’t mean you will automatically be good at tattooing.

It is also a skill that needs to be mastered!

Drawing only enhances the ability to perform well as a tattoo artist.