The Most Difficult Thing to Draw, Ranked

Choose the thing you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 19, 2024 06:26
Artists often encounter challenges that push their skills to the limit, and the difficulty of capturing certain subjects on paper can be a particularly formidable hurdle. By ranking these challenges, both novice and experienced artists can gain insights into which areas might require more practice and patience. This shared knowledge aids in setting realistic learning goals and preparing for the complexity of certain subjects. This interactive ranking system relies heavily on the contributions of its users. By casting votes, artists of all backgrounds help paint a clearer picture of which subjects are universally recognized as the most challenging. Thus, every vote not only influences the ranking but also enriches the collective understanding, allowing others to benefit from a broad spectrum of experiences and perspectives.

What Is the Most Difficult Thing to Draw?

  1. 1
    Human Hands
    AnnyLeeFrezer · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Hands are one of the most challenging things to draw because of their complexity and the intricate details that need to be captured. The fingers, knuckles, and nails all require a great deal of skill to accurately represent.
  2. 2
    Faces are another difficult subject to draw because of the subtle nuances of expression and the importance of capturing the likeness of the person. Getting the proportions and features correct can take years of practice.
    Human faces are considered one of the most difficult things to draw due to their complex and intricate structure. Capturing the realistic proportions, features, and expressions of a human face requires careful observation and practice.
    • Proportions: The accurate portrayal of the size and placement of different facial features relative to each other.
    • Facial Features: The detailed representation of eyes, nose, lips, eyebrows, and ears, including their shapes, textures, and expressions.
    • Expressions: The ability to capture a wide range of emotions and facial expressions, such as happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, etc.
    • Shading and Lighting: The manipulation of light and shadow to create depth and dimension, giving the face a three-dimensional appearance.
    • Profiles: Drawing accurate profiles, as they involve distinct angles and proportions.
  3. 3
    Drawing animals can be difficult because of their unique shapes and movements. Each animal has its own distinctive features that require careful observation and study to accurately depict.
    Animals are diverse multicellular organisms that belong to the kingdom Animalia. They are characterized by their ability to move, consume organic material for energy, and have specialized sense organs. Animals inhabit various environments around the world, ranging from the oceans to deserts to forests and beyond. They play crucial roles in ecosystems, contributing to biodiversity and ecological balance. Animals can be found in all shapes, sizes, and colors, fascinating us with their beauty, agility, and unique adaptations.
    • Classification: Kingdom Animalia
    • Mobility: Ability to move
    • Nutrition: Consumption of organic material
    • Sense organs: Specialized organs for sensing the environment
    • Habitats: Wide range of environments
  4. 4
    Drawing in perspective can be challenging because it requires an understanding of how objects appear to recede into the distance. This can be particularly difficult when drawing complex scenes with multiple objects at different distances.
    Perspective is a technique used in drawing to create the illusion of depth and three-dimensionality on a flat surface. It involves representing the way objects appear to get smaller and closer together as they recede into the distance.
    • Type: Drawing technique
    • Purpose: Create the illusion of depth
    • Idea: Objects appear smaller and closer together as they recede
    • Based on: Geometry and mathematical principles
    • Importance: Essential in realistic and accurate drawings
  5. 5
    Drawing clothing and fabric can be difficult because of the way it drapes and folds. Capturing the texture and movement of fabric requires a great deal of skill and attention to detail.
    Clothing and Fabric is a complex subject in the world of art and drawing. It refers to the depiction of different types of clothing garments and the way fabrics drape, fold, and interact with light and shadows. Drawing clothing and fabric can be challenging due to its intricate details and the need to capture the texture and movement realistically.
    • 1: Understanding the basic anatomy and structure of human bodies
    • 2: Knowledge of different fabric types and their behaviors
    • 3: Ability to create convincing folds and wrinkles
    • 4: Mastery of light and shadow to portray the fabric's texture and depth
    • 5: Attention to small details such as patterns, prints, or creases
  6. 6
    Drawing vehicles can be challenging because of their complex shapes and mechanical details. Getting the proportions and angles correct is crucial for accurately representing cars, planes, and other forms of transportation.
    Vehicles are complex machines designed for transportation purposes. They come in various forms, from cars and motorcycles to trucks, airplanes, and ships. Drawing vehicles can be particularly challenging due to their intricate designs and details.
    • Size: Vehicles can vary greatly in size, ranging from small compact cars to massive cargo ships and airplanes.
    • Shape: Vehicles have diverse shapes, including curved bodies, angular edges, and aerodynamic profiles, depending on their type and purpose.
    • Components: Vehicles consist of numerous components, such as engines, wheels, wings, propellers, and navigation systems, each requiring precise representation.
    • Details: Drawing vehicles involves capturing intricate details, from headlights and windows to exhaust pipes and landing gears, which require attention to accuracy and proportions.
    • Perspectives: Vehicles can be depicted from various perspectives, including front, side, back, and three-quarter views, each presenting its own set of challenges.
  7. 7
    Drawing architecture can be difficult because of the precision required to accurately represent buildings and structures. The intricate details of windows, doors, and columns all require careful attention and skill.
    Architecture is the art and science of designing and constructing buildings and other physical structures. It involves the creative integration of form, function, and aesthetics to create structures that meet human needs while also enhancing the built environment. Architecture is a combination of artistic expression, engineering principles, and cultural influences.
    • Creativity: Architecture allows for innovative and imaginative designs.
    • Functionality: Buildings are designed to fulfill specific purposes and serve the needs of their occupants.
    • Sustainability: Ecological considerations are increasingly incorporated into architecture to minimize environmental impact.
    • Technology: Advances in materials and construction techniques continually shape architectural possibilities.
    • Cultural Expression: Architecture can reflect and embody cultural values, beliefs, and traditions.
  8. 8
    Capturing lighting and shadow can be challenging because it requires a good understanding of how light interacts with objects. This is particularly important when drawing realistic scenes and figures.
    Lighting and Shadow is a challenging aspect of drawing that involves capturing the effects of light and shadow on an object or a scene. It requires understanding how light interacts with different surfaces, the resulting shadows, highlights, and the overall tonal values. The mastery of lighting and shadow is essential for creating realistic and three-dimensional drawings.
    • Complexity: Requires advanced skills and knowledge
    • Knowledge: Understanding of light sources, form, and shading techniques
    • Observation: Ability to analyze and replicate complex lighting situations
    • Rendering: Accurate depiction of highlights, shadows, and gradients
    • Tonal Values: Creating a broad range of values to depict depth and dimension
  9. 9
    Drawing landscapes can be difficult because of the complexity of natural forms and the changing light and weather conditions. Capturing the textures and colors of trees, mountains, and water requires careful observation and skill.
    Landscapes are visual representations of natural scenery and outdoor environments, capturing the beauty and essence of the land. They often depict various elements such as mountains, forests, rivers, meadows, and the sky, showcasing the interaction between nature and human presence.
    • Color palette: Vibrant and diverse colors representing various natural elements.
    • Composition: Balanced arrangement of elements to create a harmonious image.
    • Lighting: Capturing the play of light and shadows to add depth and atmosphere.
    • Perspective: Inclusion of foreground, middle-ground, and background to create depth and a sense of distance.
    • Detailing: Attention to intricate details, such as foliage, texture, and water reflections.
  10. 10
    Abstract Art
    Hilma af Klint · Public domain

    Abstract Art

    Wassily Kandinsky
    Creating abstract art can be difficult because it requires breaking away from representational forms and exploring new ways of expressing ideas and emotions. This can be a challenging and rewarding process for artists.
    Abstract art is a form of visual expression that does not attempt to directly represent an accurate depiction of visual reality. Instead, it emphasizes on using shapes, colors, forms, and gestural marks to achieve its artistic expression. Abstract art encourages viewers to interpret and experience the artwork in their own subjective way, often evoking emotions and thoughts that are unique to each individual. It can be considered as a departure from traditional art styles and a celebration of creativity and imagination.
    • Date of creation: 1910
    • Style: Abstract Expressionism
    • Medium: Painting
    • Primary techniques: Color, shape, form, line
    • Subject matter: Non-representational; focuses on conveying emotions, ideas, or concepts
    Abstract Art in other rankings

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Ranking factors for difficult thing

  1. Complexity
    The level of detail, intricacy, and the number of elements that need to be drawn in the subject matter can impact the difficulty of drawing. Complex subjects, such as intricate patterns, detailed landscapes, or highly detailed animals, are more challenging to draw than simpler subjects.
  2. Proportion and perspective
    Accurately depicting the correct proportions and perspective of a subject can be challenging. Maintaining consistency in the size and shape of objects as they appear in relation to each other, as well as the viewpoint from which they are seen, can be difficult.
  3. Anatomy and structure
    Understanding the underlying structure and anatomy of a subject, such as the human body or an animal, is essential to rendering it accurately. This requires knowledge and practice in drawing specific parts, like bones, muscles, and the way they connect and move.
  4. Lighting and shading
    Creating a realistic sense of light and shadow in a drawing is often difficult to master. The way light interacts with the various shapes, forms, and textures of a subject, as well as the shadows cast, can be challenging to depict accurately.
  5. Texture and pattern
    Accurately replicating different textures and patterns, such as the fur of an animal, the bark of a tree, or the folds of fabric, can be difficult and time-consuming. This requires careful observation and attention to detail.
  6. Movement and expression
    Capturing the sense of motion and dynamic action, as well as conveying emotions or expressions on a subject, can be challenging. This aspect requires a good understanding of body language, facial expressions, and the ability to portray movement in a static image.
  7. Style and technique
    Different drawing styles and techniques can have varying levels of difficulty. Mastering a particular style, such as photorealism, may be more challenging for some artists than others.
  8. Personal experience and skill level
    The individual artist's skill level, experience, and familiarity with a subject play a significant role in the difficulty of drawing that subject. What may be difficult for one artist might be easier for another due to their prior practice and exposure to similar drawing challenges.
  9. Reference materials and tools
    The availability of reference materials or tools, such as photographs or 3D models, can impact the difficulty of drawing a subject. Having clear and accurate references can make complex subjects easier to visualize and draw.
  10. Time constraints
    The amount of time available to devote to a drawing can impact the difficulty of drawing a subject. Complex and detailed subjects require more time and attention to detail, which can be challenging when working under tight deadlines or other time constraints.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult thing to draw. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or thing is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 173 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each thing once every 24 hours. The rank of each thing is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

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More information on most difficult thing to draw

Drawing is a popular hobby for people of all ages, but it can also be a challenging skill to master. While some people have a natural talent for drawing, others may struggle with certain aspects of the craft. One of the most common challenges that artists face is drawing complex or intricate subjects. From detailed landscapes to realistic portraits, there are many things that can prove difficult to draw. In this article, we will explore some of the most difficult things to draw and provide tips for overcoming these challenges. Whether you're a seasoned artist or just starting out, this guide will help you improve your skills and tackle even the toughest drawing projects.

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