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How do I make my art more compelling?

icedesre

Member
Just asking for advice here because this has been bothering me for a while and I needed to talk about it with someone. I feel like I have a decent grasp at art, but I still have this sensation that I lack something. Would anyone be willing to help me out? You can be brutaly honest, I want to grow to be a good artist, and I need the feedback.
 

Vinfang

Indie Game Artist / Telegram: vinfang
issues :

troubled anatomy /
flatness & too much airbrush /
floating character & balancing issues

solutions :

life studies / draw from reference
check your light source / use a harder brush with pressure fade-off tip
plant character 's feet on horizon or grid / utilize line weight
 

icedesre

Member
issues :

troubled anatomy /
flatness & too much airbrush /
floating character & balancing issues

solutions :

life studies / draw from reference
check your light source / use a harder brush with pressure fade-off tip
plant character 's feet on horizon or grid / utilize line weight
Thank you so much for responding, and extra thanks for the advice.
Any extra general advices you'd be willing to share?
 
Do you have a tablet? Are you using a mouse to paint and draw? Because I remember back in the day when I used my mouse to draw and oh my God... I can suggest to draw your sketch as clean as possible on paper and then scan and do just the painting on digital, because drawing with a mouse is a pain in the place here the sun never shines. Or even try and do your lineart with ink, there are a few tutorials out there to separate the lineart from the background once you scan it. Even if you have a tablet, usually, when I can't get what the heck do I have to do to pull off a certain pose, for some reason, it's easier for me to understand everything if I first draw the picture in paper. Maybe it's just a pet peeve of mine, though. And as everyone said before me, study, draw from reference, and overall, gain some understanding of anatomy works. I don't mean just to know what is something, but how does it work and why is it placed like that. I'm still studying anatomy, but starting to understand the theory on how muscles or bones work and why things are placed that way has helped me to improve a little bit. There are a few books around that are pretty interesting in that regard, but if you can't find one that you like, I think I can suggest you some.
 

icedesre

Member
Do you have a tablet? Are you using a mouse to paint and draw? Because I remember back in the day when I used my mouse to draw and oh my God... I can suggest to draw your sketch as clean as possible on paper and then scan and do just the painting on digital, because drawing with a mouse is a pain in the place here the sun never shines. Or even try and do your lineart with ink, there are a few tutorials out there to separate the lineart from the background once you scan it. Even if you have a tablet, usually, when I can't get what the heck do I have to do to pull off a certain pose, for some reason, it's easier for me to understand everything if I first draw the picture in paper. Maybe it's just a pet peeve of mine, though. And as everyone said before me, study, draw from reference, and overall, gain some understanding of anatomy works. I don't mean just to know what is something, but how does it work and why is it placed like that. I'm still studying anatomy, but starting to understand the theory on how muscles or bones work and why things are placed that way has helped me to improve a little bit. There are a few books around that are pretty interesting in that regard, but if you can't find one that you like, I think I can suggest you some.
Actually, thats how I do most of my art. I do the sketch on paper, scan it and do the rest on tablet. I still can't do a purely digital drawing because I always end up having several limbs with different sizes.
About the books, I think I have some books about human anatomy, but I would like to hear your recomendations about other sources for study.
 
Most of the theory books that I have are discontinued, and I have them in spanish, so I can't provide you right now the titles to them (maybe some of then can be found somewhere :rolleyes:), but I'll see if by tomorrow in the afternoon I can find the titles in english and the authors.

As for the reference ones, I'm in love with this one:
41T+sQLq+KL._SY346_.jpg

There are at least for more books of the same collection, or at least, for now there are four edited in spanish, but I think there are several more in english that cover more specific areas. I have this one, which is the basic one, other for bones and other for drawing simplified anatomy. I find them very useful, even if I don't reference from them as much as I should.

And then, there are the books from Giovanni Civardi. These aren't too fancy, but they are interesting nonetheless, for they usually provide plenty of diferent poses to take inspiration from. and he covers not only anatomy, but perspective or animals too. Just these books aren't too heavy on the theory, more like plain references.
513bvPKyF+L._SX360_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
 

Sir Thaikard

GOTTA WRITE FAST.
Everything else about fundamentals has been said so I'm not going to continue beating a dead horse.

Personally I think your art doesn't really stand out and could easily be swapped out with any number of DeviantArt submissions. Once you have your fundamentals fixed, focus on a style, genre, anything that would allow you to become distinct and notable.
 

icedesre

Member
Most of the theory books that I have are discontinued, and I have them in spanish, so I can't provide you right now the titles to them (maybe some of then can be found somewhere :rolleyes:), but I'll see if by tomorrow in the afternoon I can find the titles in english and the authors.

As for the reference ones, I'm in love with this one:
41T+sQLq+KL._SY346_.jpg

There are at least for more books of the same collection, or at least, for now there are four edited in spanish, but I think there are several more in english that cover more specific areas. I have this one, which is the basic one, other for bones and other for drawing simplified anatomy. I find them very useful, even if I don't reference from them as much as I should.

And then, there are the books from Giovanni Civardi. These aren't too fancy, but they are interesting nonetheless, for they usually provide plenty of diferent poses to take inspiration from. and he covers not only anatomy, but perspective or animals too. Just these books aren't too heavy on the theory, more like plain references.
513bvPKyF+L._SX360_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Thanks for the recommendations! I'll see if I can grab any of these, any help counts.
 

icedesre

Member
Everything else about fundamentals has been said so I'm not going to continue beating a dead horse.

Personally I think your art doesn't really stand out and could easily be swapped out with any number of DeviantArt submissions. Once you have your fundamentals fixed, focus on a style, genre, anything that would allow you to become distinct and notable.
Yeah, honestly, I was having that same thought recently. Guess I just didn't want to admit it.
 

zentt

Dragon Puncher
I always end up having several limbs with different sizes.
Oof, that sounds to me like you’re too hasty to move forward from the sketch phase. I struggle with anatomy too, but I usually get it right in the end because I will sketch it, figure out what looks out of proportion and I will squish and stretch and resize and redraw chunks of the sketch until it’s just right. When I’m really having a hard time I will photograph myself in the pose I want and use it as a guide.
 

Punkedsolar

Never say never
Flip your image, if you can - really points out any inaccuracies.

Currently my biggest issue is lack of drama in lighting - a lot of my art is actually quite flat. I try to draw from reality when I can, but that has a big drawback - our eyes are the most amazing things at adjusting for light references. So resources on making lighting more dramatic, precise or even just interesting can really work with you. Try using different colours of lighting for fun.
 

icedesre

Member
Oof, that sounds to me like you’re too hasty to move forward from the sketch phase. I struggle with anatomy too, but I usually get it right in the end because I will sketch it, figure out what looks out of proportion and I will squish and stretch and resize and redraw chunks of the sketch until it’s just right. When I’m really having a hard time I will photograph myself in the pose I want and use it as a guide.
I'll admit, I get impatient when I know what I want to draw but just can't get it right, so sometimes I just end up either giving up or just accept the mistakes. I should practice more to avoid this to be fair.
 

icedesre

Member
Flip your image, if you can - really points out any inaccuracies.

Currently my biggest issue is lack of drama in lighting - a lot of my art is actually quite flat. I try to draw from reality when I can, but that has a big drawback - our eyes are the most amazing things at adjusting for light references. So resources on making lighting more dramatic, precise or even just interesting can really work with you. Try using different colours of lighting for fun.
Huh, I should try to do that next time I draw, thanks.
I also share your problem with light. I can't get it quite right without looking really weird or just straight up bad.
 

PercyD

Lover of Beasty Baes
I'll try ti add what people haven't said-

Perhaps practice some aspects of drawing. Its a really long and drawn out process, and getting good requires practicing each part.

For you, I suggest practicing at the sketch phase. Its okay if you can't use tablets. It can be difficult for some to orientate themselves on digital medium. You'll just have to practice making good scans too.

The first thing to start is figure sketching. Practice drawing different body parts and nothing else. Actual animal anatomy might be useful for you as a furry artist.
Serious artists, you see pages of different [inconplete] things. It's okay to practice!

When you practice, do a sketch and time yourself:
  1. Grab a reference, photographs are best
  2. Decide on the figurr you want to draw- can be a whole body or just one part
  3. Spend 10 to 30 seconds capturing that figure and see how much you get done. Label them.
This practice will help you with your skill and make your work more compelling.

I hope this helps!
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
I'll admit, I get impatient when I know what I want to draw but just can't get it right, so sometimes I just end up either giving up or just accept the mistakes. I should practice more to avoid this to be fair.

Sometimes that's all you can do! Post it, reflect on it, and try to remember your mistake for next time!
I would recommend just dedicating 5-10 minutes every day drawing bodies or just different parts of the human body. No outlines, no colouring. Just quick, time-limited sketches to help you deduce key shapes (circles for joints, building blocks, etc) and improve drawing pace altogether.
 
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