My Own Personal Methods to Improve Drawing Skills —Steady efforts will sparkle your illustrations—
Today, I want to show you my own personal methods to improve my drawing skills.
There are many people with the inherent outstanding sense or talent. However, even if you don’t have something special like these, you can improve your drawing skills through steady efforts.
Take a look at these pictures. One is what I completed 5 years ago, and the other last month.
I’ve been doing a motivated drawing practice for just one or two years. Before that, I always drew what I liked.
This way of drawing didn’t lead to improvement, and I felt like quitting drawings multiple times.
In this article, there will be no explanation pertaining to technical things: tips or techniques intertwined with the direct improvement.
What I like to write is about mindset.
Of course, it is instrumental to develop techniques, but in order to keep striving, you definitely need a strong mind.
Even if you are not satisfied with your current works, your drawing skills will improve by proper efforts. I will show you 3 ways in order to have such a belief.
Imitate the Style of Your Favorite Illustrator
This is the fundamental yet the most important thing.
Progress of drawing pictures starts with imitation.
When I get questions from beginners like “how can I improve my drawing skills?”, I always recommend doing imitation.
Reproduction or trace are crucial especially for those who haven’t gained the basic drawing skills.
By imitating works of others, you can learn many things from the way of drawing lines to the selection of colors.
Just keep tracing the lines and soon you will realize that you’ve got out of the habit and attained the proper way of drawing lines.
Even if you use the eyedropper tool to take colors from works by others, with nothing in particular in mind, and incorporate them into your paintings, you will spontaneously attain the knowledge of reasons of why this color has been chosen, or why this color works effectively, etc.
What I want to emphasize is that imitating others is never something to be ashamed of, nor to be criticized.
There are several artists that I adore and I used to imitate their works a lot, after the enlargement and the meticulous examinations.
Nevertheless, creating traced paintings or reproductions never means that you can possess the copyright of the works.
Still less, you must not show them in public pretending that these are your own original works.
Even so, I bet that you, who are reading this article thankfully, are now in the phase of practice for improving skills.
Why don’t you accept this method of imitation as a decent practice procedure?
In the works of others, there must be something useful and you can learn from, since these are the works which are so lovely that you thought you wanted to imitate them.
※Please be aware that reproductions and traced works must be for personal uses as practice measures only.
You should never publish reproductions or traced works in public pretending that these are your own original works. Such acts will cause a great inconvenience to original artists and also the loss of your credibility as a creator.
Have a Courage to Take on New Challenges
If there are any image compositions or character poses that you have been avoiding because you have never drawn them before and therefore would not be able to draw them well, you should try drawing them once.
For instance, no matter how much effort you put in practicing drawing the upper body, you will never be able to draw the whole body well.
The techniques of drawing pictures are constantly changing, and so is the trend. That’s why you cannot stay where you are forever.
Nonetheless, you probably don’t know what to do to try on new things, I can see that.
As I mentioned before, you may imitate works by others, and also in this convenient age, you can find various kinds of tutorials in video websites or online services (including MediBang Paint) which are for free.
Obtain knowledge and experiences of professionals or superior artists, and utilize them to increase the variety of your own works. That will definitely lead to the progress of your illustrations.
Next, I want you to imagine the exact opposite situation.
Let’s say there’s a person who considers himself as a rather good artist, and is satisfied with the status quo of being pampered by others, and not trying to learn more.
Such a person doesn’t have any attitude to embrace further knowledge or techniques, so he will not grow as an artist any more.
All superb artists have an insatiable appetite for knowledge.
They will never be satisfied, and they spare no effort making their works even more attractive. That’s what makes them professionals.
Therefore, “taking on new challenges” can be paraphrased as “not being satisfied with your current abilities”.
Publish Your Paintings on the Internet
“I just don’t feel confident in my paintings, I’m just an amateur so I don’t want to publish my works on the internet.”
I know that not a few people feel that way.
To tell you the truth, I once got a harsh comment on my posted work from someone I didn’t even know, which was one of the hardest experiences that I’ve ever had.
I was scared of publishing my works, and there was a time after being so determined to make the one that would be critically acclaimed, spending too much time on a single painting, I ended up not being able to release it.
Yet, you must publish the works you created.
This is because it is difficult to keep creating alone, without any appreciation by others.
Fulfilling the desire to be approved leads to the enhancement of motivation.
With high motivation, you can mutate any emotion, such as happiness when you are appreciated or frustration when you are criticized, into a driving force for the next drawing.
Even if you didn’t receive any feedback, you don’t have to worry, it’s totally natural.
Because there are countless people in the world who like to draw pictures besides you.
In the middle of this crowd of artists, what matters is to use your brain so that your works get noticed.
There should be numerous procedures possible, like taking effort to enhance the quality of your works or creating works based on something currently popular.
And of course, it is effective enough to imitate the styles of your favorite artists.
It is vital to have an enthusiasm of “I’m going to make them do a double take”.
There is no definitive answer to how painting can be improved.
What I can say, however, is that what is needed to improve is hard work, and that talent and education are not prerequisites.
What I have discussed in this article is what I keep in mind in order to keep trying. I hope it will help you in your creative endeavors.
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