The problem, I believe, isn’t lack of creativity, but faltering motivation because as we grow up, we lose persistence, we forget that once we were kids who dived into the unknown without expecting perfection.
We give up on our art when we don’t see it going anywhere. Most likely, it’s because we want to get things done almost instantaneously, without actually exploring and enjoying the process.
Aim for improvement, not for perfection because from what I understand, if perfection is the end goal, then there won’t be anywhere else to go further down the line.
Go beyond, always. Here are some tips for art which work for both, traditional artwork and digital illustrations.
Draw What You See
This is one of the most heard and undoubtedly the most important tips for art improvement.
You might think this doesn’t work, but remember, we’re talking about improvement here and not experimentation.
The problem with majority of us is that we put too much pressure when practicing art, trying to master everything at once and eventually, failing at everything as well.
We try to draw from our memory because we think we know how things work without seeing them as they are.
Our memory is influenced by a number of things apart from how the subject is visually. Most probably, other senses are involved in our memory too along with our own ideas, perception and abstractions.
The reason why improvement should involve the act of seeing things as they are and not from memory is to focus on the idea of observation and to participate in the moment.
Simplify Using Shapes
Recently, I’ve been going through a lot of studies done by other artists and it’s pretty interesting to see how artists with distinct art styles use the same method.
It’s simplification, deconstructing complex subjects through the most basic geometrical shapes.
And I think I have found the goldmine, a lesson by lesson guide to draw through simplication of art using shapes:
You start with drawing a box. One at a time.
Nope, it isn’t a stupid approach. Blocks and shapes make it easier for you to see the object and help to understand forms and values properly.
If you are serious about growing as an artist, then going through the lessons by Drawabox and learning from their tips for art is going to be a massive game changer for you.
Shapes will help you in accurate construction and also when you begin with stylization, you can play with proportion without making the final result look distorted.
Move Your Hand
Nope, not just the wrist, but your entire hand.
It’s a common practice to restrict hand movement to just the wrist while drawing because people don’t understand it’s limiting.
This is one of those tips for art improvement which I didn’t give much thought before. And honestly, now that I have started making use of my hand beyond the wrist, it has made an actual difference.
It’ll feel awkward at first when you try it, but practicing this regularly when you sit down to try will help you naturally extend your hand movement.
Make it a Habit
That’s what you should aim at – to build a powerful habit of drawing everyday, even if that means only 15-30 minutes of drawing.
It could be anything, such as gesture drawing or timed activities.
The goal here isn’t to capture all details, but getting your subject down on the paper and also speeding up your process while you’re at it.
A good practice is to be selective about what you want to improve and then work on a priority list for the same.
Pick up everyday challenges, drawing and coloring practices for what you want to improve first. For instance, if it’s portraits for you, then focus on the facial anatomy or how to color the nose. It could also be face stylization or maybe some coloring techniques to experiment with.
A focused approach is the best thing you can ever try, it’s also one of the best tips for art which I have received from other artists.
So gear up. Take one thing at a time, get involved and practice!