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Tips and tricks for better arting

Wed Jan 4, 2012, 10:33 AM


Decided to edit and update this for my new watchers, hopefully this will inspire you guys somewhat <3

This is something I've wanted to do for a while... just a compilation of everything I've learned in the past year that I've been arting. Dunno if it'll help anyone else, but here's some organized rambling for you.

Finding Inspiration and Resources



This is a huge thing that so many artists struggle with. Inspiration comes and goes all the time and it can be so frustrating when you feel like you have all these ideas in your head, but you can't get them out. It may be because you don't think you're a good enough artist to pull your vision out of your mind and share it with everyone else. Or maybe you're just so stressed by life things that you've artblocked yourself. If you're feeling down about your artistic ability, keep in mind that everyone starts somewhere. YOU CAN'T GIVE UP! I remember a while back, I was doing some studying on Terryl Whitlatch's art (you may have seen her art around, you can find her by Googling her name) and stumbled upon some of her childhood scrawlings. I don't remember where I found it, but if I find it again I'll link you all. But did her childhood art look any different or better than the next kid? Nope. There was nothing special about it. Just your typical kid art. She's gotten to where she is now through hard work. Sure she probably had her ups and downs, but she didn't give up and now look at how accomplished she is. The playing field is even, guys. As Bobby Chiu (concept artist for Alice in Wonderland among other things) frequently says, there's no such thing as talent! It all comes down to how much work you're willing to put in to your art. For example, look at where I started out in May 2011:



And this is one of my most recent pieces:




Set small goals for yourself and practice, practice, practice. There is no ultimate level of art to achieve, the possibilities are endless. No one ever stops learning, so don't feel bad about your current skill level. Also, if you start late don't let that stop you either! I myself am 21 years old. I see a bunch of artists that are better than me and much younger (take Kieraux for example). Do I feel jealous because they're younger and better? Do I let it get me down? No! Instead, I appreciate how much time they've put in to their skill and how dedicated they must be. And I make it my goal to catch up. What good will it do if you just sit there and whine and feel bad for yourself? Use that time to practice instead! Set aside some free time every day, whether it be fifteen minutes or a few hours. Pick one thing you want to work on during that time. Backgrounds, anatomy, thumbnail sketching, whatever you feel like. Chances are, you're going to learn something. Even something tiny like figuring out a better way to hold your pencil is one more step toward your goal. I can't stress this enough. Practice. Every. Freaking. Day. If you're artblocked for one reason or another, don't complain about your art coming out like shit. You're only going to freak yourself out and make it worse. Just take a break! Even if you don't feel like drawing, you can still learn by reading tutorials and watching how-to videos on Youtube. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the biggest trick to better art is to NOT let yourself feel bad about what you're doing. Just think, 'What can I do better next time?'

Here are some resources I use frequently that both inspire me and help me learn:

Bobby Chiu's Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/digitalbo… guy has a LOT of inspirational tips. Go to the 'popular videos' thing on his playlist)
Idrawgirls' Youtube (I don't know his real name but don't worry it isn't what it looks like LOL): www.youtube.com/user/idrawgirl…
Feng Zhu's Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/FZDSCHOOL

Also, you can find tons of anatomy tips on Youtube. Just search it and you will find it!

For pose references, my main hoe is Google images. Superstock www.superstock.co.uk/ also has some really neato shiz for humans and animals. Also PoseManiacs is amazing: www.posemaniacs.com/ &nbs… as well: www.gettyimages.com/

These are the brushes I use:

Mostly for BG work: tyleredlinart.com/Site/resourc…

My Brush Pack by DanLuVisiArt Essential Illustration Brushes V3 Extended by fox-orian

Best grass brush ever: Lush Grass Brush by Imaliea

WUBWUBWUB these for shading/ landscape painting:

:thumb141672498:

I've recently been using this palette to pull SHADING colors from. Meaning, I put a layer over whatever I want to shade, set it to multiply, and paint over it with these: color wheel shading chart by Nishi06

Tutorials:
Drawing realistic wolves II by Yellow-eyes Canine v Feline Face Anat Tut. by Daesiy Various elements - tutorial by MinnaSundberg Giant Shading Tutorial by TamberElla Scarypet's 'ROCK'ing tutorial+ by scarypet

More can be found here: :iconanimal-anatomy: allphotoshop.deviantart.com/ga…

Networking, exposing your art, and making friends



Yeah, yeah, everyone wants their stuff noticed whether they admit or not. You aren't going to get there by being a hermit and staying in your own little corner of dA all the time. It takes work. The first thing I'm going to cover are groups here on dA. Groups are actually the best way to expose your work. Not only will people see what you're doing, but you'll also get feedback and critique. If you look at most of the deviations in my gallery, you'll notice they're submitted to at least one group. Groups are a great way to network and find others who share your interests. Redlining groups are a VERY useful resource and are usually manned by kind people who will give you helpful critique. Honestly, I think groups are the easiest way to get your work noticed because you can reach so many people that way. Its like having a bunch of watchers, pretty much. Another way to expose your stuff and make friends is through Livestream (or join.me or ustream or whatever else). Attending streams, first and foremost, is a wonderful learning tool. Most artists don't mind you asking questions about their technique, how they learned, etc. You get to see the work being done and ask question in real time, so its like going to a classroom. And its FREE. You also get to chat with your peers, ask them questions as well, and when the time is appropriate you can share your art. When sharing your art in a livestream, keep in mind that you MUST be respectful. Some people find it rude if you're advertising and pimping yourself out constantly. Usually there's one point in a stream where people will begin randomly sharing their dA usernames. WAIT FOR THAT MOMENT. Don't make an ass out of yourself! Be courteous, especially toward the artist who is hosting the stream. No one likes a jerk. Streams are actually how I've met most of my dA friends (let me take a moment to say that I love each and every one of you guys, you make art and dA a joy. You all know who you are <3 ).

I think this is the right place to put a little note on critiquing the work of others. RULE NUMBER ONE. If they don't want critique, don't give it! Whether you like it or not, critique is not for everyone! Please be respectful of other people's wishes. Some people love critique, some don't. Personally, I only like it when I ask for it. Usually I know what I've done wrong and don't need someone else to tell me, but there are times where I will ask someone what I can do better. Do not be rude when giving critique. That is not acceptable. Ever. People do not want to feel like they're being attacked personally when you critique them. While you shouldn't kiss their butts either, don't be mean. Chances are if you attack them, they'll retaliate and everyone loses.

Misc Stuff



:bulletblue: Do not let popularity control what you draw. You draw what YOU want. Whether it be one subject, or a whole plethora of subjects. Your art is your escape, your hobby, your passion. YOURS. Don't let anyone take that away!

:bulletblue: This may sound weird, but don't spend your time drawing for other people all the time (unless you really enjoy it). That's a quick way to get blocked. Taking a breather and drawing your own characters can bring back inspiration. Drawing for yourself is a key element to keeping your morale up.

:bulletblue: Take every opportunity you can get to learn. Read books. Watch and/or read tutorials. Study real life. Learn, learn, learn.

:bulletblue: If you're one of those people that looks at others' art and says, "I wish I could draw like that!" challenge yourself to stop wishing and start working. What Disney has taught us is false. Wishes don't come true. Wishing will get you nowhere. It takes ACTION.

More resources:
Collection of professional Photoshop brushes and tutorials: theroundtablet.com/2011/06/27/…
Animal skeletons: www.archeozoo.org/en-article13…
Animal anatomy references (warning, these are real pictures of real dead animals) : arsanatomica.tumblr.com/
My personal collection of brushes, textures, and tutorials: marboreal.deviantart.com/favou…
Veterinary anatomical images: uwdc.library.wisc.edu/collecti…
Prehistoric fauna references: eng.prehistoric-fauna.com/

Well, I might add to this later but that's all for now! If you guys have anything you want me to cover or throw up here, fire away!






:iconakage-karui::iconkieraux::iconhardlyundead::iconredthegamr::iconcrimsondragoon12::icontiniest-peach-dragon::iconremayre::iconmirgy::iconferretsketch:

Add a Comment:
 
:iconremmiee:
Remmiee Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This actually helped me out so much, thank you soooooo much!
Reply
:iconthestringoffate:
TheStringofFate Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is sooo helpful! Thank you so much! :heart:
Reply
:iconmandi5000:
mandi5000 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012  Student General Artist
I keep re-reading this because I have been trying to find inspiration and the will to keep drawing even though I draw for crap. but thanks to this i will keep practicing thanks so much Marboreal :) now I have a summer goal. :)
Reply
:iconshadowfiredragon7:
shadowfiredragon7 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
i think i will find this very helpful :)
Reply
:iconeriray076:
Eriray076 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Thank you for sharing!~ Those brush packs were very useful!~ :)
Reply
:iconeriray076:
Eriray076 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Oh, and the tutorials! :D
Reply
:iconversafarm:
VersaFarm Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't have time to read through it, but I did manage to download all of the brushses and fave the tuturials for futrure refrence! Thanks a million for making this up!
Reply
:iconfaustuga:
faustuga Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2012
This is amazing, thanks! :D
Reply
:icondoviecaba:
DovieCaba Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing :)
Reply
:iconalexandergreat20:
alexandergreat20 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
just so I don't read all this in vain: is this all for drawing furry creatures, scailies, in general, what?
Reply
:iconumbrafen:
Umbrafen Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
In general :)
Reply
:iconalexandergreat20:
alexandergreat20 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
k
Reply
:iconneko-mancer:
neko-mancer Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2012
yes i think that way to. must admit that some times i do get down and feel as if my art is not goo enough. its just that i don't practice quite as much as i should be><.

i also think thats as i am on D.A longer and have uploaded more, and hopefully better art, i will not delete the olds ones just so that people (if any) how admire my art will se what it took for me to get good. also so that I can see for my self how much i have improved.
i know that must have sounded arrogant, and I did not intend it to be so.

but anyway, thank you for inspiring me to start working hard on art again! and i hope that many years from now i can look back and see just how far i have come.
Reply
:icontriple-fish:
triple-fish Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the helpful links! C:
Reply
:iconmimidan:
mimidan Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2012  Student Digital Artist
:icontearplz: this is sooo true........

;w;;
Reply
:iconsyphellium:
Syphellium Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2012  Student General Artist
Just. This. <3
I see so many artists my own age (eg. =Kieraux ) and just go "Good god... look how amazing they are ;_; " Then feel like climbing into a box and dying. But after reading this, you've really inspired me to get off my butt, toss my homework in the bin and get arting! (Which I will do.. after this many page long essay!)

Oh yes, there's a really lovely artist on youtube who makes lots of really good tutorials on all sorts of things. If I remember their account is called Sycra, I hope you enjoy his videos as much as I do! :)
Reply
:iconwhisperingfeathers:
WhisperingFeathers Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012
So many tutorials :eager: I really need to find the time to read tutorials >.>
Reply
:iconowlfury:
Owlfury Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, this is cool and very helpful. Thanks for posting it!
Reply
:iconakapanuka:
AkaPanuka Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
sdfghjkl; this be useful .o.
Reply
:iconkhamisu:
Khamisu Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What does "multiply" do? I do nothing special when I shade, I just.. put another layer on and start shading. But I want my shading to look better, I just dunno how.
Reply
:iconumbrafen:
Umbrafen Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Basically, it allows you to shade in colors while still being able to "see through" to your base layer. It makes the shading more even. This tutorial explains it really well: [link]
Reply
:iconkhamisu:
Khamisu Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cool, thanks!
Reply
:iconkieraux:
Kieraux Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Funny thing.
This morning I got all angry about my art and myself. I haven’t been doing much of anything to improve my art recently and it rives me crazy. A year ago, I was doing everything in my capacity to improve, but I’ve just gotten comfortable with my art enough to quit and watch the feedback messages accumulate.
You’ve inspired me so much as far as improvement goes, because it is truly mind bowing how far you’ve come in under a year, and it really makes me want to work more.
Ironically, my inspiration to improve come from wanting to be as good as someone, especially if they’re younger than me. xD I get so angry. I’ll hate everything I draw and sometimes cry because I wish I was better. But it’s that shitty state of mind that pushes me. When I’m not like that (and I haven’t been lately) my art just runs into a rut and goes nowhere. So I’m going to try to make myself miserable. Even if it don’t seem to be the best method, it works for me.

tl:dr
You inspired me.
Reply
:iconumbrafen:
Umbrafen Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Kieeeee <3333

I'm so glad I could inspire you QUQ

But y'know, there's two sides to every coin. Sometimes its good to sit back and take a breather and just enjoy the progress you've made. And you're right, beating yourself up over your art in order to improve isn't the best way, but if it works for you then that's okay too xDD As long as you're not in that mindset all the time, of course, because that could get tiring. But if you ever need to vent, I'm here <3
Reply
:iconremayre:
Remayre Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Student Digital Artist
What's even funnier, the same thing was going on with me this morning. Then I just happened to get on dA and see this.
Reply
:iconkieraux:
Kieraux Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Too weird. O:
Today is just a day for improvement.
Reply
:iconremayre:
Remayre Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Alas, my tablet won't work.
Reply
:iconkieraux:
Kieraux Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Alas, I got on tumblr.
Reply
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