Drawing definitely needs to be learned (studied and practiced), yes you do need understand quite a few skills and techniques. There are methods and art rules that you can use to help you draw better almost immediately if you apply them properly.
Drawing isn’t something that people are born to be able to do. Whether they practice on their own or study courses (the right one can really speed up your results ten-fold.) Realism drawing is a result of a combination of all four major areas of study
- Outline Drawing (contour of the shape itself and the shapes of all the shadows and highlights)
- Shading (with a full knowledge of the five major areas of where to draw the highlights and shadows as well as what level of tone to draw them.
- Proportion (perspective rules really help with this)
- Composition (where to position all the elements in your image