Improving art takes a lots of practice and can often be helped by some educational resources. I am very much still on my journey and decided to share some resources that help me. I will go on in the order that I used it.
- The Controversial One (Tracing) – I feel like everyone has done it at some point however it stills has a negative connotation for a kind of good reason. On one side tracing is blatantly ripping off someone else’s work and if you directly copy it can prove useless for improving. However, under certain conditions it can be beneficial and ethical. First, a major curtsy is to never pass someone else’s work off as your own. If you trace then it should be for practice and should not be considered apart of your real artwork. If you are tracing then you should mention that and if online link to the original. In most cases it is also respectful to ask permission especially if you are sharing the work online. Second, it is not trace the lines directly the same in order to improve. Below is a process I would recommend to actually learn something.
- Website: Dragoart – I found this website once I started to use the internet regularly. I mostly used it for more cartoon-like or fan art related works. Though I would not recommend it for very young artists as it has some risque images. The website has a place to even request tutorials which can really help when attempting complex characters. I used it mainly to improve my cartoon drawing skills in addition to understanding other artists’s process of drawing. It can also be used to simply get inspiration for what to draw.
- Website: Deviantart – If you are an artist or writer or are aspiring to be one this site can really help you expand your horizons. I used to have one but it died away when I had less and less time and effort to devote toward it. It allows you to connect to other artists. I feel the community has of kind of diminished but is still useful. Be warned that it will take a while to build your profile and community.
- Books – Recently I checked out some concept art books from Pixar and Disney in addition to purchase some individual artist’s book such as —-. It is very helpful for tutorials and learning through other art styles. It also allows one more respect and insight into artwork of a film or character.
- Website: Figure & Gesture Drawing – A lovely technical resource that allows you to focus on sketching realistically. It allows you to create a custom session to meet your needs and has variety of poses from animal to facial expressions. A sure way to improve techiniqually.
- Exercises – There are endless creative exercises to make you think by stretching your imagination or more technical ones to improve your skill. One of my favorites is drawing random shapes and then trying to draw something from it. Many silly scribbles come alive from it. Another is to try contour drawing which is sketching without your eyes leaving the subject.
- Real Life – The good old standby that I am trying to get more into is drawing from my surroundings. It can be difficult as if you attempt something complex the lighting may change before you are done. It might be easier to take a picture and draw on a grid.
It’s a bit short but it is so you can get started as soon as possible.