Any advice is appreciated on what I need to improve
Thank you for the very in depth reply I will take what you said to heart! =)This is a bit long but I think you have lots of potential to become a profession artist so I made it extensive.
Super cute! I think it’s very good work for a beginner artist and you are starting off well.
The first drawing could really benefit from a contrapposto pose. She looks a little stiff and is leaning a bit on a slant. Bring her figure more over to the right and have her leaning a bit on one leg to create a more relaxed posture as women tend to do that. I love her outfit (especially the long gloves!), it hugs the figure and I think that’s good to keep. Clothes usually have folds and all that jazz but what she is wearing and how it’s set works. Her body is a bit long, this was something I used to struggle with. It takes a bit of practice but I found that drawing nude and semi nude figures both from life and photograph helps immensely. It is also the fastest way to improve and understand anatomy. I find this website particularly helpful (warning: there are naked pictures if that is something that bothers you): Quickposes: pose library for figure & gesture drawing practice
I really like the second drawing, the colour palette is nice and I get a very stoic vibe. When drawing faces I like to use the cross technique. Don’t draw the cross down just anywhere on the circle. Draw it based on the angle you want the face to be in and it will help line up the proportions. What I find really helps is breaking everything up into planar shapes in the face during the sketch. This will tell you stuff like where the ears should be, dimension and where to place your values. For his eyes, since they are dark, if you want you can add little white dots to give it a bit of life. However, I do find the eyes he currently has does fit the mood so that bit would be more of an experimental thing.
For shading, I highly recommend using colours rather than black. Especially colours that are opposite to the ones being used. For example the first drawing of the fox will benefit more from blue shading and the second drawing will benefit from red shading. In digital art, I like to set my shading layer to multiply, lower the opacity and use 3-4 shade values to blend and build up dimension. You can do something similar with lighting too, using a colour like yellow (not set to multiply though). I personally prefer taking a light semi saturated yellow and creating thin lines on where the light source points. This paired up with the shading can really make the drawing pop and stand out.
Tips and Tricks
Good rules to start off with as a beginner artist is the rule of thirds, golden ratio and triangle (golden triangle I think?) when creating a composition. While working on the drawing, I like to flip the image. When you work on a drawing for a while your eye tends to get used to some mistakes, mirroring the image allows you to see them and fix them. For backgrounds, using perspective is usually the best way to go about it. I hear different things from professional illustrators: some say it’s necessary and some say it’s not. While I personally prefer a bit of a perspective, considering the different viewpoints on it, it’s entirely up to you. For colour theory, I like to make several palettes and test them out to see which ones compliment each other best/set the mood. You can definitely get a good idea of which ones tend to go better together using the colour wheel. Hope this helps your art is looking great so far can’t wait to see you develop into your own style! C: