How Do You Draw Like That?

Myra Naito
6 min readAug 4, 2022

The Question I Get Asked Most Often

“How do you draw like that?” It’s the question I get asked most often in regards to my animal portraits. Most of the time I just smile and try not to blush. Honestly, I never really know what to say. I never really thought about HOW I do it. It’s just something I’ve always done and that naturally progressed as I got older.

So I was asked again recently and this time, I really thought about the question. How do you draw like that?

How do you draw like that? (Photo credit: Image ID: 140419678 Copyright: koldunovaaa)

First of all, it’s not a super power. I started drawing at the same time that we all do. I didn’t always draw very well. But I always drew, nonetheless. Trust me. My mom has some drawings I did back in elementary school. The cat I drew had a tongue as big as its body and ears that looked like a giant horn. Seriously. But as time went on and my coordination improved, my drawings also improved.

Some would say I have natural talent. I’ll admit that it comes pretty easy for me. I had a knack almost from the beginning for seeing like an artist. This topic is covered in my Skillshare class, How to Draw: The Very Basics. Basically, when I look at something, my mind breaks the total object up into much simpler shapes and analyzes how they relate to each other. It’s natural for me to see perspective, color, shade, etc. and translate all of that onto paper.

How though?

I remember a long, long time ago, back when people actually bought TV Guides. There was an ad for a drawing contest in the back. Some of you Gen Xers may recognize it. I think I drew Tiny and Tippy, but I don’t recall ever sending it in. I believe it was this same ad that had at one time been published with a grid drawing lesson. This is probably the biggest part of the answer to the how do you draw like that question. Generally, I can just eyeball it. But grid drawing is a method that I still use today if I want something to be ultra-precise.

So, what’s a grid drawing?

In a nutshell, you draw a grid over your original reference. Then you very lightly draw a grid on your drawing paper. It can be the same size as the one on your reference, or bigger if you plan to enlarge it. The beauty of this method is, instead of focusing on the entire…

Myra Naito

Freelance copywriter who is passionate about art and fitness. Check out my art blog at or follow me @mnaito_fineart .