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…
Best grass brush ever:
WUBWUBWUB these for shading/ landscape painting:
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:
More can be found here: 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.
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!
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.
Take every opportunity you can get to learn. Read books. Watch and/or read tutorials. Study real life. Learn, learn, learn.
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.
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/