A while back I asked you guys to give me some general tips and tricks for aspiring artists, and you had some awesome advice! Thank you so much to all of you! Here's a compilation (I had to shorten some of them, my apologies!) ^^General Advice!
- Don't be afraid to take your time on a piece!
- Don't forget to practice!
- Knowing your capabilities or limitations is also good. If you mostly draw male figures but lack knowledge on how to draw female figures then you'll know where to focus most of your practice.
- Avoid Chris Hart and his books like the freaking bubonic plague. So much sexism, sizeism, racism...pretty much any -ism you can conjure up tbh along with horrible anatomy and even worse drawing advice.
- Comparison and competition with others will kill you... comparison and competition with yourself will grow you. As artists we cannot pit ourselves against other artists, ESPECIALLY as beginners. It's the hardest because when you are just starting out, comparison is pretty much what you're gonna naturally do... but you have to train yourself to only compare your work to your past work to see how much you've grown.
- No matter what medium you are using take some time to learn how to use the color wheel. When working with lighting and shadows it will be your best friend. www.sessions.edu/wp-content/th…
- Study the basics! No matter if you feel that learning about real life anatomy is pointless, please study it.
- Don't focus on finding your style early in your art journey - just enjoy drawing and improving!
- Make mistakes! And warm up before drawing!
- Don't be afraid to branch out to new mediums or materials. Someone who specializes in just digital art without having tried any other forms of art might grow as a digital artist, but will not grow as an artist as a whole.
- Going outside of your comfort zone might be intimidating because you're afraid of failure. But once you attempt something for the first time, it's never perfect. The second, third, fourth, and fifth attempts don't lead to a perfect piece of work either. What does lead to outstanding work is pushing past your limits and exploring what you can do with your art, in addition to constantly practicing the new skills you learn.
- Challenging yourself leads to having a larger skillset, and to an extent, a better understanding of the elements and principles of art (for instance, charcoal and graphite help with value, or using brush-tip pens helps with line control).
- It is absolutely imperative to learn the foundations of art: the elements and principles, anatomy, color theory, gesture drawing, and more. Many beginner artists nowadays want to jump straight into visual arts without wanting to first learn the foundations. Yes, it's time consuming to learn and practice. Yes, you don't get to jump straight in to everything you want to do. But lots of artists don't realize the importance of the foundations, and so tend to create art "because it looks good", when in reality, the color palette could appear messily-made, the lighting could be confused by forgetting light temperature or making light bounce off the wrong area, the composition could appear clumsy, and so on.
- Learning the basics is what allows artists to end up breaking the rules of art and create their own style. A friend of mine critiqued the artwork of a beginner artist here on deviantART, and one point my friend made was that the proportions of the artist's anatomy were inaccurate. The artist's very first response was, "Well, that's just my style," and asked my friend to leave a "real" critique. Based on her artwork and especially the response, she did not study the foundations of art before she began to create her art. You can't bend or break the rules without learning them first. Even professional artists who produce anime and manga and cartoons learned the foundations of art; it is a common misconception that they just draw anime and manga and cartoons all they like. Learning how to be patient with learning the building blocks of art is a crucial skill that pays off heavily.Painting - Digital and Traditional!
- Using different sized brushed for different parts of your line-art goes a long way!
- If you have a relatively small budget, Michael's (If you have a Michael's craft store near you) almost always has a good sale on staple-back canvases!
- Digital artists:
Check what layer you're on often; save even more often. Flip the canvas right and left always.
- Traditional artists:
the mirror and windows are your friends. Hold your work up to them so you can see what they look like flipped/reverse. This'll catch mistakes your eyes couldn't see before.
- Shadows always look better if you use the opposite of the base color on the color wheel. If you look at a shadow of an apple or a lemon on a white piece of paper you'll easily be able to tell that in real life shadows aren't just black.
- Try to limit the number of main colors you use in a piece to 3 - 5. You can always use different shades of the 3 - 5 selected colors to add 'pizazz' if you feel you need to.- Colored pencil artists:
if you are finding that you cannot seem to lay enough color on your paper, you may not be keeping your pencils sharp enough. The sharper the better to allow your pencil to grab the tooth of the paper, so sharpen often. To achieve smooth, even layering, try using a tight, scribbling motion on your paper instead of long even strokes.
-The website Paletton allows you to pick the color you want and assists you in selecting monochrome, 3-color complimentary, and a couple of other options. Once you find colors you like, select it and you will be given all the information needed to recreate the exact color in most art software, like sai and photoshop. paletton.com/
- This site speaks on color theory
in general. www.colormatters.com/color-and…
- References are very important! Both photos, and other people's art! Ask yourself, "What makes it good?" Maybe the detailing of the hair shows some stray strands. Maybe it has a gradient of light on it with a solid streak of light across it. Look at art that inspires you and learn their technique. Everybody's style is inspired by others, but if you give it unique touches, it will remain your own.
-When drawing animals, having a reference is useful to bring out the animal-ness in the character. For example, the wolf will look different from the dog because of the ears, snout, eyes and fur. Some artists have the 'same face syndrome' with animals, and their "otter" looks like an ordinary dog...
- Traditional artists:
A really fun and helpful thing to do with colored pencil art, that is often overlooked, is the blending of other materials with it. A personal favorite of mine has always been blending colored pencil and marker (the marker being the over-layer), as you can get some very unique effects this way that neither medium can do on its own. You can also blend colored pencils with pastels, paint, etc. and of course, all those materials can be blended with each other in any other combination as well. Nothing wrong in using what you have available, you'd be amazed what cool results you can get from just being resourceful.Creative Writing!
- Proper spacing of lines (particularly when using dialogue and description) greatly improves the clarity and overall look of a page!
- Try as hard as you can to keep different people talking on different lines, and always use a breaker in between them.
- Same thing for overly long paragraphs. Long paragraphs put off the reader, because it implies no break, no standstill, no time to think about what they just read.
- Repetition can be a problem. Unless it is deliberate, using the same word over and over again tends to give the impression of a limited vocabulary. Get yourself a thesaurus! It's a book that groups words with the same meaning so it can greatly improve the appearance of one's writing as well as expand one's own personal vocabulary.
- Like any other creative art you write your best work in the right mood. Don't force yourself to write all the time because you won't want to. Absolutely remove all distractions but anything that can inspire or at least help you write should be used when you do write as, again just like any other creative art, your muse can help you focus on your writing.
- Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. You are your own worst critic, nitpicking all the faults you see in your work. I grew as a writer by both exploring different ideas and putting them online on places like deviantART, and from there I got good advise and positive feedback. Nowadays it's much harder to find that same level of response but it should not discourage you or make you feel that you're a bad writer in any way. Like artists, photographers and painters, writers all start somewhere and from there we grow. Just keep going and trust me, in time you will become better with more practice.
- In recent years that a lot of the more informed, constructive criticism for writing seems to have migrated to the website AO3 (likely because writing is its sole focus).