Tips on being a better artist?

The tittle speaks itself :slight_smile:

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I am not an artist myself, but i can give you some suggestions:

  • When you “draw” for yourself make something that will be a challenge for you.
  • Watch tutorials.
  • Have a good inspiration source (i have actually noticed this on myself when i write, that i write much better when i have a good inspiration)
  • Also when you draw have a good atmosphere in the room you are in.

That’s really helpful thanks a lot!

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Everything TheGracefulCrow said, plus:

  • Learn anatomy and how to draw realistically, even if you prefer a semi-realistic or cartoony style. There are anatomy books to help you with that and also plenty of tutorials online.
  • Learn color theory.
  • Do studies of your favorite artists, especially when you get art block! I recommend starting with old masters, like da Vinci and Caravaggio. The point of studies is to learn from their technique and apply those lessons to your own art.
  • Use references! Even established artists use them all the time.
  • Take figure drawing classes if you can, or practice at home using references. The more you improve, the more you should challenge yourself to draw faster.
  • Finally, draw as much as you can, at least a couple times a week if possible.

That’s pretty helpful tysm!

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I’m just going to drop @ChaoticDeluge into this conversation! He’s my wonderful artist and he’s improved tenfold over the past year!

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On top of what everyone else has said, I agree with the figure drawing and realistic approach in order to get the basics down and practice is always the most important thing of course. I’d say do a sketch every day, doesn’t need to be a finished piece. Just a little sketch in a sketchbook with pen or pencil. Can be anything. An object, an animal, a building, a person. In my case its tattoo designs a lot of the time.

Colour theory isn’t easy to learn, trust me. I’m still learning things about colour and grading and I’ve been doing it for over six years. That’s something that comes with time, much like style. You don’t deliberately try to create a style. It comes as you work!

The thing that a lot of professional artists will tell you is to keep your line work confident, each line done in one stroke. I’m still working on this honestly, I’m too used to painstakingly roughing out each line until it’s perfect, lol


I’m an artist for a few years now (studied art in school for years, done comissions and zines) and I’m gonna disagree (slightly) with what others has said about having to learn anatomy especially if you only want to do stylized art. YES have a basic understanding of proportions (however even this differs from style to style) but do not get hung up on making things ‘realistic’ when you are starting out, especially if you are planning on ending up with an illustrative/cartoon style. You will hit a dead end where you feel frustrated and burnt out because 1) your art will feel unnatural, overworked and rigid 2) you feel like you keep practicing but you are going nowhere.

the most important things to learn when you are starting out are the understanding of these features of art and/or any visual form of content (photography, editing, designing) because they translate across any and every style:

  1. composition
  2. color theory
  3. contrast (or shading)
    and last but not least, the most important skill
  4. mastery of your medium
    like it’s basic logic but no one ever tells you this: if you want to draw with paints, you have to know how to use a brush, if you wanna draw digitally, you must know how your program AND your machine works (eg. resolution, brightness, color display accuracy)
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I HAVE MORE I WANNA SAY BUT im kinda out and about atm so ill come back later

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thanks very much! that helped a lot!


thanks alot!

I’m going to counter-disagree. As with any kind of art, being able to know what the “normal” is will help you to be more aware of what you’re doing when you’re abstracting. Otherwise it can seem a little unruly


to each their own then. i personally believes that you only need training in proper realistic anatomy and proportion only if you are doing art based on realism. if you’re doing cartoons, trying to go realistic then go cartoon will only add in a huge hurdle esp for beginers. having skills in realism drawing isn’t bad, but I just don’t think it is something that should be recommended to someone who’s just starting out. I have taken traditional fine art classes and they didn’t start life figure drawing until much (much) later for me. And my personal experience has been that despite me being able to draw realistic portraits/scenes based on real life models using watercolors and oils at age 14-15, I struggled with anime styled arts and couldn’t figure out a consistent illustrative style until I was 18ish. AND another hurdle I’ve been trying to overcome is that my skills in realism drawing does not transfer to digital art, so despite mastering my traditional mediums in that style, I still have to figure out the digital medium.

So what I’ve learnt from my personal journey is that these skills are not interchangeable. If you draw in a style and you get to level 5 of that style, once you switch to another you’ll be back to level 1. I think what people often mistake is that if you practice in one style, your medium control skills, shading skills, color theory and composition skills often increases and THOSE are transferable to other styles so they think “huh, so I MUST draw traditionally to help me improve then!” (it does, but it is not the most efficient). I can show you examples of my art progression later

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I mean yeah. Focusing that hard on style is gonna create hurdles for anyone. ‘realism’ is very different from ‘learning from life’. If you went to any kind of art school or have been involved in any kind of artist community you’d know that. Trying to dissuade people from gathering a good amount of prerequisite knowledge of anatomy, perspective, and proportion before experimenting with breaking these natural laws sounds to me like you just didn’t like teachers telling you not to draw anime characters.

Yes, if you try and master a ‘realistic style’ (what kind of realistic style by the way? You’re heavily over simplifying a giant swathe of artists and styles) you’ll find it difficult to get into cartooning. I mean, not illustration. Illustrators use realistic elements all the time, mangaka (anime artists) do too, since manga art is a lot closer to illustration than cartooning.

I didn’t want to comment at first but it does kind of come across as a ‘weird flex but okay’ deal to me. The tips and tricks you gave are not newcomer friendly. Composition? Colour theory? Mastery of your medium??? What? That’s advanced stuff, and saying those are more important than getting a base by drawing from life shows a pretty common disregard in the artistic learning process.

Your anecdotal evidence is important, sure, so is mine. I suck at realistic art, it doesn’t mean I didn’t learn from life,and it doesn’t mean my art didn’t heavily increase on quality by doing so. Most pro artists give this advice for a reason. Because it works


Like others said, definitely study anatomy as much as possible, doesn’t matter if you don’t wanna draw realistic art later, it gives you a wonderful ground to stand on that will help you w all kind of art. I’d recommend looking at “live model” videos on YouTube and draw quick poses. It’s a fantastic way to learn if you can’t afford a live model of your own. This is if you wanna draw characters at least.
Another thing is ofc to draw things you see n stuff. To study objects n perspective.
And then idk a lot of practice… that’s honestly the most important thing, you won’t get anywhere w out practicing. :woman_shrugging:t2:


YouTube is great, Google images is just as newbie friendly! It’s also really good for learning dynamic posing :grin:


Yes ofc! Google is fantastic for finding cool poses! Instagram too!


I’m not a brilliant artist, but I am going to give a piece of art advice that will help you so, so much: get thick skin. Take a deep breath, submit your art to some critique groups and deal with the criticism well. If it’s mean, other people will laugh the critic out of the room. Otherwise, you don’t have to accept every single bit of criticism you get to take it well. You just need to be able to think about what you want to do with your art and really consider if what they say will help. If you find that you’re accepting less than 1/10 fair critiques, you might need to open yourself up to criticism a little more.

The critics don’t have to be better than you! Sometimes you’ve spent so much time looking at your art that you can’t see the little mistakes. They can just be a fresh pair of eyes!


once again, to each their own. I figured out a process that works (for me) and is much more beginner friendly (in my opinion), and i dunno about you but in my art school we started out with shading, color theory and composition way before we even moved onto drawing people/anatomy :joy: but it’s stuff people often don’t remember from their art classes because it is boring. I have sketchbooks to prove it. It’s not even me flexing, I just don’t want folks to make the same mistakes I did.

(also bold of you to assume that I drew anime in class lmao, I only started that when I joined fandoms online and I keep fanart strictly separate from school work (because I didn’t want to fail.) I kept the styles intentionally vague because I don’t know what OP specifically wants and/or has already, so I was hoping to be applicable to any possible situation. If you want MY specific branch, I studied Rembrant as my model artist for portrature in school and was heavily influenced by surrealism (Salvador Dali, Picasso did some at some point, Rene Magritte). I also did technical drawings because I was into architecture and (now) I am in engineering So I Kinda Have To Do Those. SO THERE that’s me flexing, but no, saying I have gone through traditional training and thinking OP shouldn’t have to force themselves through the traditional route if they don’t need to isn’t. I was just trying to be very detailed and hopefully helpful because I am very passionate about art, but I guess that’s not how it’s taken.

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Thanks to all of you! I’m gonna try your tips