Tips on improving your art
Hi guys! As I receive many questions asking how you can improve your art, I thought it's time to share some of my personal tips! These have helped me throughout my progress of making my pieces so far.
Please be aware that these come from personal experience, some of you may disagree with some points, some of you might find them helpful. Anyway... enjoy! (These are in no particular order)
1. STUDY WORK BY DIFFERENT ARTISTS
One of the best ways to improve your drawing and understanding skills is by studying work of other artist's. Ask yourself questions such as:
• What makes their work stand out?
• What features of their work interest you?
• Which colour schemes work and which not so much?
• What mediums to they use?
• How do they combine their mediums and techniques?
• Is their technique costly? If so, could you simplify it?
• What features of their work could you implement into your work?
I'd recommend recreating few of your favourite pieces of their's, then using references such as photography while working in their style. This makes it easier to practice the techniques featured in the artist's work, which you can then use within your own work. Every artist learns from another!
2. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT (OR BETTER AT LEAST)
I don't think I will ever create a piece that I will like 100% and see no mistakes in. There's always something I see that I could have done differently or improved. Don't be scared to try something new or make mistakes within your work - that's how you learn! I have actually created two of my favorite pieces by accident.
"Hypnotic" was created when we were making handmade textures at college, I then placed the texture over my work, just out of curiosity. I've been using this technique within my work ever since!
"The Reflection" was created when we were making handmade textures at college, I then placed the texture over my work out of the blue. I've been using that technique within my work ever since!
3. INVEST IN MATERIALS
Over the last few years I've learnt that more costly materials do make a difference. For me, watercolor paper especially (I love Fabriano Artistico). I'm not too fussed about brushes (I usually use ones for £2 for a pack of 5). I also love the "Winsor & Newton Half pan watercolor set". I've had the same palette for over 3 years now - one of the best investments I've made for sure and it's not that expensive either! Before, I used cheap watercolor set for school students.
From time to time I like to purchase materials from brands I haven't used before. Sometimes they turn out to be terrible but at least I know what I'm using is doing it's job well! Another time I will find something that works better and I will switch to using it for my next works. Don't get me wrong, sometimes very cheap materials can be better than the costly ones, but in my experience - the more costly ones can speed up the process.
I usually buy my materials online - either through eBay or Amazon. I love Jackson's Art Supplies, the materials which I use tend to be the cheapest in their online stores.
4. ONE THING AT A TIME
I always found that studying one or few things at a time, I could focus on understanding them better and creating them by hand was easier as I continued practicing.
For example, begin practicing human anatomy: draw faces in different angles, then move onto facial features such as eyes and noses. After that move onto lips and carefully analyse how you can use shapes to draw them. If you find it difficult to draw noses, go back and practice drawing them more. It will get easier with time and after a certain point you'll feel a lot more comfortable!
I recommend watching some tutorials, there's a ton of videos on YouTube for almost everything. But remember - make sure what you learn from the video you put into practice, don't get into the habit of watching YouTube tutorials for longer than you spend time putting it into practice!
Sketching is the key do speed up your drawing skills and improving your flow of line. It also gets you to think quicker and allows you to have your ideas placed visually onto paper. I am guilty for not sketching enough, but I will definitely try to do this more as I continue creating!
6. WRITE DOWN YOUR IDEAS
As I am one of the most forgetful people on this planet, writing ideas down that sometimes pop into my head is essential. I often have weird dreams or have images in my head with fancy colour schemes which I then implement into my future pieces. What I also find helpful is drawing a small sketch of the idea which I have in mind, this makes it easier when you look back at it after few days as you have a rough visual representation of your idea.