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November 14, 2012
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My digital drawing sucks.....

:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
And I really want to improve it. How do you guys do it?
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Devious Comments

:iconbadluckart:
BadLuckArt Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013
Wow lot's of advice and an old thread lol, haven't read them all so I might be repeating XD I have some advice based on art school techniques.

But it takes a lot of hard work to learn to draw. If you are just starting out, the medium doesn't matter because it is the technique and the feel of drawing that matters at first. Important thing to know that there is no ultimate end to drawing, even my friend's in the animation industry are still improving everyday. The time it takes will be different for everyone, however. For me, it is slow, but hard work pays off.

A good way to approach this chronologically would be learning the human form (based on your gallery, you seem to have an interest in drawing characters)
I would suggest life drawing (drawing of the human figure, there are drop-in sessions or anatomy books may help) but if you are new to it, start with quick gesture drawings, which is fast but abstract lines that represent the pose of the model.

After you are comfortable and wish to move on, there are longer poses with allow you to add structure on top of the gesture to give it form, these are basic shapes that give it a more clear form to the drawing. Anatomy can come after you are familiar with both techniques first otherwise the placement of any muscles or bones could be skewed. Designing characters is basically playing around with this kind of form.

It is easier to explain than done lol That is drawing characters in a nutshell and what is generally taught in art programs that involve illustration and/or animation. You can probably find plenty of tutorials online but a good way approach is gestures, structure, anatomy, then character design alongside each. Hope this points you to a good direction!
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:iconnimportant:
NImportant Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Tutorials: [link]
Just look how others do it! :) You can make it, just practice! :la:
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:icondoodlemancy:
doodlemancy Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I see that this thread is from November so I hope I'm not too late on this :lol: I see a lot of people are just saying "practice" and yeah, that's like 90% of it at least, but just practicing with no guidance isn't much help.

I could not draw digitally for the longest time! That disconnect between the tablet and the drawing on the screen just threw me for a loop, and it still does sometimes. What really helped me finally get it was watching my friends' livestreams while they drew. Not just livestreams, but any video (that isn't ridiculously sped up) of someone drawing digitally will do. That's how I picked up new techniques and learned to use tools in ways I hadn't thought of before.

Also make sure that you're using the tablet properly in a way that won't hurt your wrist: [link] I'm trying to change my habits now because I already have RSI and trust me, it's worth avoiding. =P
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
*i meant NOT too late.
I may not be good at digital art, but I'm an ace on typos...
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, no! It's. It too late XD

Thanks for the advice,and I know what you mean about the sped-up thing. I watched some speed paints, but they move so fast sometimes, I can't see what's happening DX
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:icongingerpony:
Gingerpony Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just mess about with everything and I don't compare myself to anyones work and gradually I improve. Don't compare and experiment and find your own styl. :)
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:iconcling17:
cling17 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Here's what I do, personally.

- Closely study shapes, forms, and lighting of real life objects, people, and environments (taking up photography is helpful).

- Look up general art tutorials (e.g. forms, perspectives, colouring, lighting, anatomy, etc.)

- Closely study other artist's work and personal style, preferably stick with artists not too too far ahead of your skill level, so it's easier to wrap your mind around the work and catch up with them. Also find a variety of artists so your work is more well-rounded and doesn't stagnate.

- Get to know your digital tools through experimentation, practice, and digital art tutorials.

- Practice a lot.

I'm personally missing the "a lot" part of the last step due to laziness and time constraints. It can take a lot of effort to muster up the nerve to do it but I do believe that practice is key, like others have stated.

Best of luck!
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:icongycinn:
Gycinn Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013   Digital Artist
This is the ultimate guide.
Nothing else to say more !

Try, study and work a lot...
You getting better in month not in days.
I'm on the same problem, never get the pose right, errors in the proportions.
But i guess in about an half year it would be learned, hope so :)
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:iconjumyll-gemory:
Jumyll-Gemory Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist
I watch A LOT of speedpaint videos on youtube.
It really helps, cause it is not only a tutorial, but you also can
see how the artist works, and that can be really helpful!
at least, for me. :dummy:
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok, cool! I'll look some more out :D
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:iconpichoochoo:
Pichoochoo Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Practice makes perfect. Nobody's perfect so keep on improving. More improvement means more awesomeness!
Also, When you are practicing first don't expect perfection at first; when you make a pallet of mistakes just work on those and think, "Why are they mistakes?" Then maybe try to change it. :)
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, good tip to actually think about why the mistakes, and not just get annoyed XD
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:iconfour-skulls:
Four-Skulls Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Here's my 2 cents. You're only what 18? Don't sweat that you're not "good" enough. You still have plenty of time to learn. I wouldn't expect any refined level of skill from *anyone* your age really.

As for digital/traditional, I'd say stick with traditional, unless you have some cheap means of getting a decent program and tablet. As for your techniques, I'd say learn gesture sketching, and forget about color at the moment. You need to work on your tonal build-up so your work doesn't look so flat. I'd say get away from drawing people/animals altogether, and just put together a still-life and draw it. Take a pencil and shade, and look at the light source and see how it effects the objects. No matter what people say, drawing people is one of the hardest things to do, it's better to start simple with a lamp and some fruit. Better yet do - [link] entirely in black and white. Don't say it's boring and you would rather draw kitties. Sometimes you gotta do what you got to do, not what you want to do. If you're serious about being an artist you need to learn the fundamentals.

Also, you might feel like some of the people in this thread are being overly critical of you, but you have to understand that the people who are telling you are good aren't doing you a favor. They're just telling you that to make you feel good. It's better for someone to tell you're doing bad so that you know you need to improve. You won't have any false expectations of greatness or anything.

Just my 2 cents, it's late and I'm getting drowsy, so hopefully that helped.
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:iconoperaghost:
operaghost Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional
By setting goals and re-doing, and re-doing and doing again, and keeping reading tips and tricks. I do not read much of full tutorials, but small tips and tricks that encourage you to experiment are the finest.

If you think your work sucks, then stop sucking and start working on the aspects you are not happy with. Step by step.
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok, thanks :) I'll search out some tips

(Soz late reply)
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:iconoliveandrews:
OliveAndrews Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
I think it helps to have a goal in mind when you are trying to improve yourself. Saying to yourself "I want to get better at drawing" is something you may desire, but as a goal it is so vague that it could overwhelm you. Try to focus on one thing. Say "I want to draw eyes better" and practice that.

Use some references or view some tutorials on your focused practice. Don't be discouraged if you are not satisfied with your practice drawings the first time around. Keep drawing and you will improve. Use your old drawings to improve. Look at them and see where they can improve.

Don't worry about it so much. If a piece is becoming frustrating, leave it and come back to it later. Don't expect too much from yourself. Professional artists were once newbies themselves; Skill takes time to build.
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:iconkiomaru1:
kiomaru1 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Student Artist
if you don t like something, try to change it or learn to live with it
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:iconinuko93:
inuko93 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Student General Artist
Well, the first thing you do is stop putting your artwork down because from personal experience I can tell you that it doesn't help you improve at all. You definately need to work on your basics. Get some art books and try to teach yourself (which can be pretty tough to do) or take an intro drawing class. If you have the right teacher they can actually teach you a lot.
However, practice is important also. If I didn't practice drawing as much as I do, I wouldn't get to where I am now in my art.
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I would love to try a drawing class, if I can find one I can get to :D
Thanks for the advice!
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:iconpaintingsaint:
PaintingSaint Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013   Digital Artist
I guess I'm repeating what others peeps said, which is practice, practice, practice. Definitely use refs; it's easier than just trying to pull an image out of your head. Now, one thing that I found to be helpful, is drawing negative space. Basically, you don't draw the object, but the space around it. For example, instead of drawing fingers, draw that V space between fingers. Practice on geometric things, first.

In terms of affordable digital software, I recommend Sketchbook Pro. It's really great, and one of the best you can afford outside of selling your arms and legs to get photoshop.

Definitely keep posting your stuff online. It's okay to be shy, but that's not going to help you get better. Constantly posting your stuff, and asking for constructive criticism, is what works best.

:D
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:iconimaginaricide:
Imaginaricide Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So you're drawing straight onto your tablet, yeah? If I were to give advice, I might suggest trying pencilwork, then scanning that into your computer and doing your lines based on that. Of course, that might not be entirely plausible, so practicing until your eyes bleed and using references (even tracing, if you're just starting out) should help.
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:iconjornas:
jornas Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I looked up tutorials on how to do it and i then i did it.
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Kk, I'll find a few good tutorials then :)
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:iconjornas:
jornas Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
They are all over DA. Good luck!
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks :D
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:iconageen:
Ageen Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Well, your digital art will improve just as your general skills do. Practice, study anathomy and color theory, take your time, try new things. I am not even near mastering art of any kind, but I must admit I have improved much within the last 2 years and all I took was spending most of my time on doing things mentioned above.
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
By study anatomy, does that just mean looking sat say -a human - and analysing the anatomical structure?
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:iconageen:
Ageen Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Well, that and much more. Observe others, notice how they look, how their arms and legs move. Every now and then sit down with a real, biology-ish anathomy book and just study the pictures. You don't have to know any names, but it's good to know there are bones somewhere in there when you're drawing a real human being. And, last but not least, draw and use references. That doesn't mean trace or copy 100% of a picture, just see how the given pose looks like in real life and adapt it to your needs.
As for me, a few months of this kind of practices brought a major improvement and there s still a lot to learn.

Happy new year! :squee:
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:iconthebestwes:
thebestwes Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Student General Artist
Draw people over and over again and copy pictures out of anatomy books.
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok, cool! I gotta get my paws on an anatomy book XD
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:icondanielgee:
DanielGee Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm far from being anything better than a rookie right now but how I try to improve myself is by drawing fanart or using photo reference to make it a little bit easier. This way you can focus on one thing at a time, either getting good lineart or getting good colors :)
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok, thanks! I draw a lot of fan art ATM, so I could have a go at that :D
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:iconwick-y:
wick-y Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Student General Artist
I'm still not an expert either, but all I can say is practice and be patient. I find it motivating to look back at old drawings and see how I improved, it's surprising how fast you get better when you try. :D
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thankyou ^_^ looking at old ones does help, I can see that a draw humans a lot better than I used to
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:icontanathiel:
Tanathiel Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Well a lof of great ideas floating around in here ^^ Havent read all the comments tho ;P

Personally, I've started with traditional, only drawing digital since... 3 years ago nearly ? Around that ^^ Was drawing traditionally before that =) (if you check my gallery you can actually follow how did I "evolved" to my current level from 2000 to this day ^^ Though I wasnt seriously drawing in the begginig, only took it serious a few years ago... 5-6 years ago ? around that ^^)
Really depends on what you want to pursuit... cartoon style ? Realistic ? Comic style ? Anime ? A more abstract perhaps... ? Whichever you chose there are some base principles you cant ignore =) But you should look up the style you want to draw in ^^ Helps a lot :D
Aside of the usual "practice-practice" comment, lets see the more practical solutions shall we ?:)

- Anatomy - get to know it, be best friends, the sooner the better ^^ It doesnt matter if you are drawing in traditional or digital actually :P This applies to animals if you find yourself drawing a particular animal a lot ^^; It doesn't matter what style you chose. If you're going to draw human figures this is a must and ASAP. Its quite hard to lose the bad habits and drawing mistakes you get used to when you want to improve later with a bad anatomy knowledge. Trust me on that, did that ^^;
- Colors - these work a bit different on digital then on traditional, but mostly because of the program (you need to get used to how to mix colors/use the pallet =D). Try to learn about color theory. Will make your drawings pretty if you use good color combinations that complement eachother ^^ Again, doesnt matter what style, all use colors. Even monocrome has its own rules =) Plus it can make a pic nice creating a great mood ^^
- Lights - Another good buddy, the earlier you get to know it, the happier you will be later, trust me on that ^^ Learn the different ligths and how it works on objects and you can set up your own little scene pretty quick on the canvas :) When you can play around with drop shadow, reflex light, own shadow, ect. then new possiblities open up. Oh... one thing right off: shadows are NEVER black xD Use dark brown, purple, green or whatever, but never pure black... same for light, never pure white ;P It makes your pic go flat if you use them. Ok, hard highlights can be (near) white =)

- Know your stuff - As others mentioned: get to know the program you use ^^ Be it PS, Sai, Corel Paint, ect. =) Just know it ^^ Try to use the quick commands, they will speed up the drawing process =) The beauty of it, that there are a lot of tutorials for each program ^^
- Knowledge is power :D - Look up tutorials on DA on the specific thing you'd want to get better in. There are a TON of good stuff floating around :) And not just on DA, you can look for tutorial vids on YouTube and other places ^^
Just off the bat, here is a basic drawing tutorial with quite useful tips and tricks:
[link]
Chech the tutorials, they let you learn step by step how to do things :)
Or... some more advanced stuff, so you can see how the pro's make stuff:
[link]
[link]
Ok, these are quite advanced stuff, but some have really nice basic ideas that can get you started :) Would've loved such links when I started out ^^;
Could say a lot of other advice, but making the basics work right now is more then enought for you I think ;)

However, it wont make you draw better if you dont work on it ^^; You get better only as much as you manage to get time to do it :) I'd use the time until you are in school to get better in drawing =) Actually school time is the only time you'll get when you dont need to fuss over with expanses on living and stuff ^^ Which makes you take your time and work on drawing if you like it. Personally I'm pissed on myself that I didnt used that time to its fullest on this regard :/ Dont make the same mistake ;)


Well... I know you are frustrated and want immediate results but... it wont be the next week when you get to the next level. As soon as you realise that and dont try to forcefully push yourself, your advancement will get more smooth. When you are not anxious about getting better, then you can finally focus on drawing. I know, I had/still have these motions now and then but it usually backfires and makes me get pissed off rather then work on it ^^;
Try to doodle and sketch stuff every day when you can. You can also try to draw from real life. Anything that you see. Butterfly, cars, people (especially people ^^), flowers, buildings, landscape, interior of buildings, fountains, ect. When you get the hang of it it will get better and better =)
Well... I think thats it for first =) I think I just wrote a wall of text ^^;
Sigh... I never change in this regard I think ? XD
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:iconmamal2:
Mamal2 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is an excellent reply. Very informative and on target.

I feel the same way about drawing while in school. I'm gonna be graduating soon and I feel like I didnt do enough drawing in school. Which is why i'm starting back up again before im out of school, because I know I'll have less time. So im just trying to build the habit back up so I can continue after school.
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:icontanathiel:
Tanathiel Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Well after I'm done with the moving (need to move to a different flat xD) I'll start up doing studies... a LOT. Mostly about color, contrast, value. But also anatomy studies.
That will most likely help me with composition and color use + background, which are my biggest nemesis at the moment xD

Eh, yea... shool is a nice period when you can dedicate your time to your chosen hobby or profession =) Too bad I totally focked up that time :/ Well, it seems I learn the hard way ;)
At least I try to warn others not to make this mistake. I still regret it. If I could help it, I would re-do the last 2-3 years x)
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:iconvvednesdays:
VVednesdays Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
you have to force yourself to be patient... find something that motivates you... Even a scribble will help you improve... try to give yourself a challenge to do everyday or look up tutorials randomly... then things will start to click ^-^
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thankyou! D
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:icondrawingponies:
DrawingPonies Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This^^^
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:iconspaniardwithknives:
SpaniardWithKnives Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Practice, is the only way. I just got a tablet and the thing is so addictive. At first I was frustrated because for me traditional drawing is really easy and I found myself trying to learn how to use the tablet pen...ugh.
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok! I must say, I'm quite impatient XD
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:iconwaywardgal:
waywardgal Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Student General Artist
watch other artists
learn from them. I spend hours watching youtube videos of speed paints
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok, cool! I don't know why i haven't watched those before. XD
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:iconwaywardgal:
waywardgal Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Student General Artist
[link] a really good one
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Whoahness! That's amazing
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:iconcosmic-doodle:
Cosmic-doodle Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Practice, practice, practice. :#1:
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
oky dokey
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:icondashing-tophat:
Dashing-Tophat Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
My personal opinion.

Your traditional art is adorable!

What I do is:

First I draw my art on paper.

Scan it on my computer.

Then trace it on SAI with my tablet c:
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:iconxxflamefrost101xx:
XxFlameFrost101xX Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
thankyou! :meow:

that is a good idea! i should buy a tablet...
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