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4 Stages of the Art Mastery Path: The Exact Way to Get Better at Drawing

Apr 16, 2024

How long does it take to be good at drawing?”

It's a question I've heard countless times throughout my ten years of art career

…and it's always a tough one for me to answer…

Everyone seems to be dragged into the state of time, which I must admit is fair enough. Time is a finite resource, and you need to know how much time it will take to master skills like art.

The following is an example of a question that has been asked repeatedly on Reddit.

Last week on Instagram, I shared my personal artistic journey. And here's a snapshot of the Instagram stories I posted with my community.

If you ask me how long it takes, I'd say I started drawing my first piece of art when I was 3-5 years old, and it took over more than 10 years to get to where I am today.

It's helpful to know how much time I and others devote to improving our artistic abilities.

But does this answer truly help beginners focus on what matters most?

Many master artists start drawing in their teens, twenties, thirties, forties, and so on. It sometimes took them three months, six months, years, or even decades to grasp the fundamentals, discover their unique voice, and flourish as they do now.

Their journeys are unique and diverse, but all lovely in their own way.


I've been in your shoes before, and I understand how frustrating it is to not see any progress and wonder when I'll get better.

It's not always about the time! And there's always a way!

Since I've had the opportunity to partner with Coloso to produce a special art course on their platform. I had a chance to think on my own art experience.

Recently I finished reading Robert Greene's incredible book “MASTERY,” and it really struck a chord with me.

I realized that everything in the book mirrors how I've been refining my skills for the past ten years.

… Surprisingly, I didn't even realize I was following the same mastery method until I finished reading it.

Even though “Mastery” isn't specifically about art, it provides a framework that can help you progress on your artistic journey while staying guided.

It's like a secret tool to mastering anything!

Let's uncover some of those golden nuggets – insights that can accelerate your art growth and deepen your connection to your art practice and improvement.

4 Stages to Mastery

The the book Mastery, Robert Greene divides the phases of mastery into the following broad stages:

1. Finding Your Life's Task
2. The Apprenticeship Phase
3. The Creative-Active Phase
4. Mastery

However, Greene doesn't see these phases as strictly linear. There's fluidity, and you might cycle back to earlier stages throughout your journey as an artist.

After learning about these four stages, it's crucial to assess which stage of mastering art skills you're currently in.

Misunderstanding your stage can make it difficult and frustrating to improve.

For instance, if you haven't mastered the basics of art fundamentals yet, it will be challenging for you to discover your art style.

This is because you may need to progress through the second stage, “The Apprenticeship,” before reaching the third stage, “The Creative-Active,” where you can develop your unique artistic style.

Now, let's explore the golden path from Robert Greene's “Mastery”.

I summarize and tailored this for an aspiring artist just like you! Additionally it's almost the same strategies I've been using to mastering art skills to reach this level!

How to Become a Master in Art

Becoming a master artist isn't just about talent; it's about dedication and following a proven process.

This guide lays out the practical steps you need to take, from developing a strong foundation to finding your own artistic voice.

Step #1: Find Your Artistic Spark with Your Inner Child

Think back to when you were a kid. Did you love to draw, build things, or dream up stories? Those childhood passions can show you what your true calling is!

Step #2: Master the Basics First

Don't try to be different right away.

Learn the important stuff first – anatomy, how to draw bodies and faces, perspective drawing, composition, how to mix colors, and so on. This gives you the tools to share your own ideas.

Trying to find your own style when you haven't mastered the basics can frustrate and distract you from your progress.

A strong foundation paves the way to true originality!

Step #3: Find Your Mentor

Learn from the best! Look at art by artists you admire, from the past or today.

Try to analyze and imitate what they do. Immerse yourself in the work of those you admire. Analyze their techniques, color use, and how they create visual narratives.

You can also get the direct lesson by attaining art classes and learn from trust worthy art mentors.

Step #4: Deliberate Practice

Deliberate practice is the key to unlocking true potential.

This focused approach goes beyond merely enjoy making your art. It involves relentlessly targeting weaknesses, setting specific goals, seeking immediate feedback, stepping boldly outside your comfort zone, and maintaining intense mental focus.

This form of practice rewires your brain for skill mastery, helps you break through plateaus, and develops the mental stamina crucial for achieving breakthrough in your art improvement.

Step #5: Feedback Fuels Growth

Invite honest critique, even if it stings. An outside perspective reveals what you cannot see on your own. This feedback will help you refine your skills and break through plateaus.

Step #6: Rewrite the Rule

As you gain knowledge and skill, start experimenting and making work that reflects your own unique perspective.

It's time to venture into breaking the rules of those basics.

You may have noticed many master artists who excel in exaggerated anatomy, compelling character design, or stunning surreal lighting and scenery.

When you've honed your skills with the basics, you gain the ability to rewrite those rules and infuse them with your own unique style.

Step #7: Enter the Flow Stage

Artistic greatness comes from blending intuition and reason.

Reason means understanding the basics, studying others' work, and practicing with focus.

Intuition is about creative instincts, absorbing knowledge without realizing, and getting lost in the creative process.

At the mastery stage, it's hard to put into words. It's when you create effortlessly, like your hands, pen, or keyboard are part of you, and you can draw with precision as if your fingertips have a mind of their own.

 Step #8: Surpass Your Mentor

True mastery requires not just learning from your mentors, but eventually moving beyond them to forge your own unique path.

This doesn't mean disrespecting those who taught you, but recognizing that to make your own original contributions you must stand on your own.

Every master has weaknesses or blind spots. Analyze these to understand where you might innovate and improve.


If you're on the path to mastering art, it's essential to understand that this journey demands your motivation, time, effort, a supportive mentor, proven learning methods, and unwavering dedication.

Don't be discouraged if you see others starting their artistic journey after you and progressing faster. Everyone's path is unique!

The four-step mastery path we've discussed today will gradually guide you, providing an overview of the milestones you can expect to reach.

Simply assess your current stage and tailor your plans accordingly.

Now equipped with this roadmap and a mastery mindset, I hope this week's email has ignited your inspiration and motivation to pursue your own path to mastery!

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I share my anime art tips and experiences in my digital art career in a weekly email. You'll get the insight and behind the scene of the art career! Really recommend if you're a beginner anime style artist. 

Thank you so much for reading this post! I really appreciate your visiting and using your valuable time reading my content!

Much Love 💖

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