I know that nobody has been giving systematic drawing instructions and drawing standardized tests to millions of people (the talented, the normal and the “draws like a hen with her paw” guys) for decades for us to get some hard data. Nevertheless, I was wondering if there is some anecdotal info or beliefs about this matter in the community of artists, school teachers of art etc.
Well, so suppose we make it our goal to teach people to draw basic portraits or nature scenes. This is the sort of stuff where it’s relatively easy to grade on pass-fail basis - no matter how ugly, a portrait is either recognizably a picture of a human or not.
Suppose further we design a systematic instruction course for beginners for one of these basic types of drawing. Maybe 20-50 hours of systematic instruction, or how ever long it is believed to typically take. And we will assign a decent financial reward for doing well to make sure that people do their best.
Ok, so I was wondering, what sort of results will we get when putting through randomly picked people through such a class. Will there be a big percent of people who will fail the class repeatedly, e.g. never mastering the basics even after 100 or whatever hours? What percentage will prove to be “naturally talented”, maybe mastering basics in 20 hours and being capable of being taught to improve their skill, essentially transitioning into a “professional in training” category? What percentage will master the basic skills and have the same sort of appreciation for the whole procedure as a typical not-too-bright kid browbeaten into finally barely memorizing algebra? Will there be other interesting, distinct categories of people that we are going to discover along the way?
Well, so again, I do realize that absent the studies I cannot expect any real scientifically-supported numeric percentages. So perhaps what I described above is closer to a description of a potential study that could answer some of these questions. Nevertheless, I am guessing that professionals in this field might have some hunches, personal observations, folk beliefs and evil / totally unsubstantiated prejudices about the situation that they could share.