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What are some art exercises to improve your artistic skills?

Narri

Will fly you around for hugs and pats
What are some tips, tricks, advice, and exercises you can recommend to anyone wanting to get better at art and improve their skills?
 

Hopei

Active Member
Can I just plug proko (he's a little dry, but highlights lots of topics to address/practice) 'cause there's not much I can suggest other than learn how 3d objects translate to 2d n' how light interacts with them. Also I must say there're no quick fixes so glean what you can from other artists, find your own pace and enjoy the ride.


Also a vid from a day ago with a bunch of pro artist advice for beginners
 

MissNook

Well-Known Member
Yep I think youtube channels are great to help learning.

Proko is good because he is doing a lot of themes. But you'll want to check other video on each subject that interests you to have other points of view and new highlights.

For motivation and entertainment I like to look at www.youtube.com: Draw with Jazza , he was doing more tuto and less entertainment before so you might want to check old videos and also he's specialized in chara-design.

There's also www.youtube.com: Sycra who is good for anatomy and foreshortening in my view but the rhythm of his videos is quite slow so I have difficulties to follow them if I'm not at 100% of my attention on it, so I can't draw next to him but it's just me and my brain :D

And then whenever I feel like working on something specific I usually use different techniques. Here are some if that can help:
  • steadying my line and going back to the basics: drawabox.com: Lección 1: Líneas, Elipses y Cajas
  • anatomy and gesture: SketchDaily Gesture/Figure Drawing (there are a lot of sites like this one, I usually use more than one)
  • learning to observe: going to critiques forums (like the Tutorial and critiques here, and trying to find the strong points and weak points in the art of those who ask)
  • specific poses: doing search in my browser and also a free software (designDoll) to create the pose with a 3D doll (careful in its free version, this software doesn't allow you to save your work, so I just export images of a few angles I think I need - but there may have other softwares like this one with more options)
  • joining challenges: that helps trying new things and if you look at the others entries and try to observe them and see what you like and don't like in them, you'll find what you wanna work on, and improve your observation skills.
  • using a random generator for character/poses and so on (I have one in French, but I'm sure there are some in English)
  • trying things and mediums: trying things I don't have the habits to do, trying new mediums (or even re-trying old ones), it helps bringing new ideas, new techniques and new possibilities
Hope that helps :)
 

MissNook

Well-Known Member
In my view it's because it's difficult to understand the theory of color by just eye dropping. You can eye drop all your life without really understanding the meaning of why complementary colors act like that, why it looks good to bring contrasts and so on.
Though eye dropping is a good method for learning how lights and shadows works. If you eye dropping from photographs especially. You can understand how the tones are set in the skin and so on. Useful for realism and for learning.

I think a tool is only a tool. You decide how you're using it.
 
Can I ask why no eye dropper? I've seen the notion being tossed around before but no real explanation, so if you're up to it I'd like to learn the theory behind it!

Its a fast way to become a slave to your reference, becoming completely inflexible and misrepresent your artistic skills.
You wont have a photo to copy from and it'll look like a grade schooler drew it instead.

Instead if you're doing a study or working from reference you should use the same process you do for original art.
Otherwise you wont actually learn anything or progress artistically, instead getting a false positive.
Working without the eyedropper can feel slower but it's your actual skill level showing through and will improve with practice.
 

Nadiafur

Sleek!
In my view it's because it's difficult to understand the theory of color by just eye dropping. You can eye drop all your life without really understanding the meaning of why complementary colors act like that, why it looks good to bring contrasts and so on....

I think a tool is only a tool. You decide how you're using it.
Its a fast way to become a slave to your reference, becoming completely inflexible and misrepresent your artistic skills.
You wont have a photo to copy from and it'll look like a grade schooler drew it instead.

Ok, that makes sense! I didn’t really think about it from the perspective of doing studies and working from photographs. It’s definitely a better idea to learn colors from scratch, even if things look a little wonky to begin with.
I abuse the eyedropper a lot when I’m doing painting work and trying to hash out a smooth gradient, so I thought there was some kind of secret I was missing out on. Thanks you two!
 

Deathless

ĎĴĔVĔĹĔŃ
Draw eyes! The human eye is very entertaining to draw (at least to me) and it really does help improve shading and realism art in the long run!
Also, drawing either shapes or objects (including people) in different perspectives. I started with letters and went onto more and more as I got the hang of it!
 

Skychickens

Late Healer Ferret
I pick something I want to improve on (eyes, hair, shading, paws, etc) and I do some studies. Then I usually take a short break and let it soak. When I come back I seem to do pretty well.

I also like watching videos about it or practicing a new skill or something. Like going and working on my sculpts instead of drawing for a day.
 

PimpNuttz

Member
Whenever I need to sharpen or resharpen my gesture drawing skills after a break, I sketch with a pen and paper. Pen sketches are in my opinion the best exercise to building confidence in your drawing overall. It teaches you to stop worrying about your flaws or needing an eraser 24/7. Your aim is to mentally take a snapshot of something and then try to lay it down with the least amount of lines possible. That means not lifting your pen back up and just trying to sketch with (maybe) just one continuous line. You can achieve really good looking results with just one line. Will it be messy? Yes, because like I said, it's about building confidence, not getting a finished drawing. Because sure enough that confidence will lead to finish drawings.
 
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