I suppose it does although I haven't been drawing long enough to make a claim on how I completely changed in my artwork. You do get better at drawing no matter what as long as you do it at least every now and again. One thing to make sure is that you are having fun while you create your art. If your not having fun or even liking what your doing, then it's not worth it.
I think practice AND trying new things, new techniques, other mediums or a different method, help your art improve. Also regular drawing, if you want to improve: draw as much as you can. If you use your art materials every day, you will get better at using them, it will become easier. This in turn will give you more confidence to try new things.
Look at tutorials, walkthroughs (written and video) to see how other artists work. See how they use their materials, what papers they use, how they start a drawing, what routines they have, etc. You might pick up something new which will help your own art. Learn about anatomy, proportion, perspective.
References; use them. Don't try to invent how light would hit a person's face or how a dog's fur looks when it's running. You don't have to copy references, instead use them as a guide to capture reality.
And, it has been mentioned below, be serious about it. If art is just a way to unwind, to relax (which is fine btw) instead of something you want to be good at, improvement might come slower or not at all. If you want to improve, you will have a different mindset and a different approach to art.
If you want to be great - draw from life. Every day. Learn your art history - all of it. All stylization comes from reality. Aping a style will only make you a weak copy of whatever style you're copying. Style develops over time, don't sweat it or rush it.
Practice is all well and good, but 'practice' is boring.
I prefer just to make the best I can make every time I work, and I analyse every piece and decide where to do better next time. Then I'm always making real work, not practicing at making real work.
What does make perfect is a fire in your gut that will let you stop at nothing to become the best you can be. If you just draw the same thing over and over with no personal drive to learn and improve you'll improve but slower and not as widely.
My art started to improve when started to be more serious about it. Before I wanted to improve, yes, but I wasn't really trying, I suppose... It was just doodling during courses when I was bored. (And I was bored a lot). It was practicing a bit, but it wasn't as serious as it is now, and I didn't improved muc, becauseI avoided what I couldn't do.
Then I started to look at tutorials, to really look around me wondering how I could draw it, etc. And I try different styles and techniques, too. And in almost a year of drawing more seriously, I really made progress. I sometimes wish I did all this before, actually.
I'm the same as loudsire, I find my progress jumps every now and then. I do find that trying new techniques helps me to improve, or focusing and practising again and again on one area (like drawing a specific feature of an object or person).
Like, for example, when I was practising drawing noses, eventually something kind of clicked, and I thought "Oh, I can do this after all!" and it became clear as day how I can avoid mistake A, the route to a Voldemort nose, or Mistake B, the route to a cave nose . After something like this happens, I feel my mind kind of opens up and I can really see things better, and then start improving. And then it slows down again.
It's all the little things that seem to help me to improve. I just keep drawing anything and everything, and at the same time, if I feel I need to improve on a specific area, I practice it over and over again.
I think that's the hard part. It's hard to draw things over and over when they aren't turning out well, but I know I drew eyes a thousand times before learning how to make them more dynamic and lifelike, rather than just looking like the "eye symbol". Haha.
But I have been drawing things I don't necessarily love, like chairs and my erasers, just to practice perspective and getting things to look 'correct' instead of 'lumpy'. It's helping a lot! Though I see I am much better at drawing certain angles compared to others, haha.
Yes, it definitely is difficult when what you're drawing just isn't turning out as you'd like. That's why I often practice using photo references and, like you, I find it really helps to improve my perspectives to draw household objects.
I always feel that my progress jumps every now and then so, I'll be as good as I was 5 months ago, but then randomly I'll just go through this progressive stage and everything will slow down. But yeah I'd say to get better is to draw things you wouldn't usually draw, experiment and draw with motivation.
What also helps (apart from practice) is trying to draw things differently. Different styles, different angles, different motives etc. . Don't just draw one motive in one style over and over again until you've perfected it.
I was born with some talent but was never particularly great at drawing. A few years ago I started drawing again for the first time since I was kid but I got more serious about it. I bought a few books, some tools of the trade and taught myself dynamic figure drawing,perspective, shading etc. I went from drawing relatively static and uninteresting two-dimensional characters to more dynamic ones.
On another note, anyone know how to insert a thumbnail image into a comment thread? I have seen people do it but I can't figure out how. Thanks.
Sorry, wrong phrasing. I meant that I always had some natural, not learned, skill. Whereas a lot of kids could draw only stick men, I was at least able to draw somewhat proportioned faces, full bodies etc. Granted, my drawings in and of themselves were not great, but at least they did show an aptitude for drawing.
It was as I got older and started learning technique that I got even better at it. So in that case I think it can be a combination of both natural and learned skill, but I don't think you need natural skill to become a great artist. I firmly believe it can be taught. Of course whose to say what "natural skill" is anyway.
Practise is the key to improve, of course, but also it's necessary to learn, have some references and get information. You can spend centuries practicing but if you don't have any reference... Something you can compare with your work. A guide or a book. Propose yourself a goal.
For me, deciding to study human anatomy was really important. I took as reference many books from others artists as Andrew Loomis (they're great books, by the way). But, here in deviantART, there are many wonderful tutorials to learn. Once you have that base, that basic knowledge... Yes: practise, practise, practise. Get you sketchbook, use refences: photographys from magazines, stock... Enjoy improving yourself and share it with others!
Yeah! I have been stocking up on books that cover anatomy and perspective, as well as other aspects of drawing. I've been trying to drawing from life and pictures rather than other people's art as much. I realize I'll have a much better chance of developing my own style if I build up from the basics.
I'm studying anatomy an actually, for the first time ever, I was able to sketch some feet that weren't a total loss!
I looked at an Andrew Loomis book the other day but I settled on a book covering anatomy for artists that has a lot of pictures. I'm a little disappointed in it because it shows a lot of realistic stuff and explains everything, but doesn't really bridge the gap between seeing human anatomy as bones, muscles, veins and flesh into art. Perhaps my brain is missing something though.
Maybe you can try with 'Anatomy fort he artist', a Sarah Simblet's book. It contains explanations and sketchets of the human body "inside": muscles, bones ... You also can find beautiful model references on it.
I also have it and yeah, it's expensive but it's worth! When you have the information, it's all about practise. Personally, sometimes for me it's like 'I'm so tired of doing anatomical sketches' but when I look into past sketchbooks and I see the improvement... I feel happy. But yeah, sometimes it's sooo tired learning anatomy.
What helps me is every now and then trying to pull off a piece just a little more difficult than my comfort zone. I'll do a tough one and then take a break and do a few easy ones. Also taking classes helps if I get a good teacher.
Don't be afraid to try something new. New drawing style, new mediums... Even when you're not sure its even a good idea give it a shot. Sometimes you can surprise yourself. If it doesn't work out as well as you'd hope, no biggie. Call it a learning experience and move on to the next piece. Hell, my gallery is full of crap that didn't turn out near as well as I'd hoped, but for all that, I've got a few gems I'm actually kinda prould of. And have fun with it!
Really great advice! Sometimes it's a pleasant surprise, other times it's a big fail, or at least not a real success.
I had forsaken graphite as a teen, thinking the only way to go were the usual mediums used for cartooning, anime and comics because that was the style I wanted ultimately. Now I'm playing with watercolor and graphite, two things I had no interest in as a teen! It's been exciting.
You can take alot of sides to practice. In the first place, drawing in your sketchbook is important. Its as simular as a guitarist practicing everyday. But most of the time, your going to find drawing meaningful when its actually improving visually what you want to draw.
Yes, the part we mostly do, is drawing to get inspirations at least. But what if we want to draw something the first time and get it there. That takes a long time. Its pretty much a simular feel as a draftsmen, planning out your drawing enough, so that its easily finished enough. But of course, to plan out, you also have to get loose, which is the fun and being loose, or getting ideas.
I don't know if I can agree with drawing something over and over again does not constitute as practice. It sometimes does, especially if your learning your own character, drawing an icon, your signature, or trying to remember designs, or just getting ideas down. Thats basically your sketchbook. Its design for you, and its supposed to be the messiest thing ever.
How ever, the practice that make it more imporatant that alot of people are talking about that should be practice over and over again is the fundementals. Doing those over and over again is imporatant, because its in every single art thing, and that material is pretty consistent, where as if you look at style only (like a rubber hose vs anime) it is not a consistent material.
And most importantly, just artist have to find their optism and drive. I feel alot has change since I started art, but my optimism for art is getting low a bit. Still I have a hankering for pieces I want to do, and stuff I need to that keeps that optimistic and inspiration alive. Its mostly what seperates the professional artist, and the ones who wish to never do art again or feel they never will touch art. So in a way, some artist have these insecurities, and the only way is to either keep drawing and ignoring it, finding your muse, take a break and come back, etc.
Well, for me at least, 10 full sketchbooks and 500+ sketches has certainly helped. Haha
One tip: WORK ON ANATOMY UNTIL YOU ARE SICK OF IT. Then work on it more! Draw from life WHENEVER you can. Carry a little sketchbook with you where ever you go. (These are all tips I got when applying to art colleges.)
Try different stuff! Try doing something daring and different. Work with pen. Work with colored pencils. Invest in some markers or digital work if you can. This honestly helps SO MUCH. I've been drawing for 7 years and learned a few hard lessons, but they were good ones. Just keep at it and try to draw something different everyday!
The 2 things that really helped me were learning proper anatomy (by using reference pictures, instead of just making shit up) and just drawing things I failed at. I see a lot of people drawing characters with their hands behind their back, because they just can't draw hands. I used to the same, until I realized: "Im never gonna learn how to draw hands this way". The first few drawings looked horrible, but after that it slowly got better.
Yeah! I was a hands-behind-the-back artist until I took an art class and all we drew were our hands! I was also sehr schlecht at drawing symmetrical eyes as well, so guess who was always drawing bangs over one eye? ME.
One day I said, 'damn it I need to draw a bunch of symmetrical eyes until I get it right.'
I guess I need to follow the 'draw it 'til you can't get it wrong' advice, because I got a lot of things right a few times, but didn't keep practicing and now it's a shot in the dark. Also, I only really learned how to draw symmetrical eyes in a straight on view, not in a 3/4s and now I can't do that either.
But I'm working on it there's a spot saved for me next semester in Beginning Drawing so I'm hoping a semester of that will help me out. Anyways, all the advice on here really backed up my initial feelings. I was starting to feel like all the passion I had for art was going to go nowhere since I don't have 'natural talent'. But I realize most people have to learn. I think some people assume drawing is innate. Perhaps the urge to draw is innate, and then talent comes from varying abilities to grasp the concepts, much like math or language.
There's no such thing as natural talent. It's true that some people are more creative than others, and some people learn more easy, but in the end art is just a skill and anybody will be able to pick it up when they practice long enough. Why some people seem to be naturally better than others, is just because they (unconsciously) practiced more than others.
I've always been envied by friends and classmates for my ability to think up plot lines and write them don't, and people always told me "You're lucky because you're talented". But thinking back, I was never that talented. Writing just interested me, and I've been doing so since the age of 6, thinking up storylines every single day. Although I was, at that age, far too young to realize that something like that was practice, I really practiced a lot. I think the same goes for drawing. People that seem to be good at drawing, just drew a lot, and probably doodled on every page they could find. They unconsciously practiced a lot, and that's why they're good.
I'm really new to drawing too. I love it but I suck at it. I have had a couple WOW! moments but they're few and far between. Oh well, I'm not drawing for anyone except myself. I find it relaxing and a great diversion from my digitally dominated job. I just keep practicing and learning how my tools work. Hopefully later on down the line I'll look back at my first efforts and realize how far I've come.
Well I guess you could say that I obviously failed when I first started drawing, but I guess I was just too oblivious to see. But apparently that's a good thing because I would have quit otherwise. But I've only been drawing for like 3 years? One of the things that really helped me was just finding ways to inspire my self again and again. Losing inspiration is really one of my biggest issues. But when I look back at my old artwork from when I first started and then draw it again it makes me want to keep going because it makes me feel really good about myself. ^^' I try not to dwell on extremely fantastic art for too long, it simply causes me to doubt myself again. (I sound like a rollercoaster ride!) Don't take this wrong, I'm a happy person, it's just hard to love every piece of my own artwork.
I also am constanly playing with other styles, it keeps me entertained while still improving. Of course drawing from real life will help with anything you can think of in one way or another.
I lost my train of though, let's hope I managed to throw SOMETHING worth reading in there.
Do you guys knof of any books that cover things like anatomy, perspective, color theory and whatnot that you'd recommend looking at?
I am going to take art classes during my time in college but until then I'd like to get back into some constructive practice, rather than doodles and anime-style.
Or are there any super helpful exercises you've learned a lot from? I actually learned a lot in highschool when my teacher had us sketch our hand, and then had us sketch our hand without looking at our paper, and then sketch our hand while looking at the paper again.
Get "Anatomy for the Artist" by Sarah Simblet and "Sketchbook for the Artist" by Sarah Simblet. There is also an Andrew Loomis PDF file floating around google. It's free and all you do is type "Andrew Loomis PDF" and it's the very first link. Start with "Drawing for Fun".
George Bridgman has some great books too, but his books are geared more towards the advanced artists since his sketches are looser and have more on how the mechanics of how the body works and many of his sketches are already broken down to the bare basic shapes.
I would also subscribe to ImagineFX if you're thinking about transferring to digital. They have excellent tips and tricks on anything digital.
Don't just practice aimlessly. Practice and find what your weakness is and push it. Practice your weakness along with your strengths. "Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong." When you're studying anatomy, don't just draw what the book shows you. Play with it, experiment with it and put the bone and muscles in different perspective and view points.
Lastly, you have a model just outside your house door. The outside world is full of people, animals, plants and buildings just waiting to be drawn. They just don't know it. I usually stake out at the park, cafe and mall.
I don't really use posemanics that much since their anatomy tends to be a bit wrong and too stiff. Ther is a figure and gesture drawing tool out there. [link] [link]
Thanks for all the info! I bought a big book about drawing, actually called 'The Big Book of Drawing' that covers a bit of anatomy, perspective and other aspects all in one. I am beginning college classes on drawing in January so I am just trying to gear up for that and hopefully I'll leave that with some basics to build from. I am also following the helpful exercises in the book 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain', although I feel that course is for people who genuinely believe drawing to be an innate talent, rather than a learnable skill. I suppose it's as the saying goes "anything worth having is worth working for".
Also an advice from me: Practice every single day. If you don't practice regularly, you will don't have the courage to carry on. Even if you don't have somekind of inspiration, just draw anything from something completely random or even a fanart of a character you like. And of course read tutorials from books and from Internet.