I created a thread asking what frustrations you all had related to art and answered them to the best of my ability. I hope you find some of these solutions helpful!
Problem: Just starting out and do not know where to begin
For those looking how to paint or draw, I wrote a beginner’s guide to digital art and traditional art. If you are looking to get into photography, I’ve written beginner’s guide to photography as well!
Problem: Issues with foreshortening and creating form
Drawing Quick Tip: The Coil
Sketching in coils helps you keep form in mind actively. It also helps you think about how different forms fit together and makes shading much easier because this technique forces you to understand the composition of your subject.
Perspective is also important here
Problem: Art Block / Have no idea what to draw
And three generators that randomize and come up with ideas for you!
Problem: Distraction and lack of focus when drawing
Here are some tricks I’ve learned that have helped me focus:
- Get your favorite beverage on hand, and eat a snack if you need it before you start. If you start thinking about food in the middle of your task, you’re likely to stray away, at least if you’re like me lol.
- A Put your phone in another room and block distracting sites either with will power or a self control app.
- Try Podoromo timing
This is a great method to ease yourself into work or any other activity that requires focus and no distractions. You do not even need an app, just a timer for 25 minutes (or whatever interval you choose). Once that’s over, take a 5 min break, and start again. If you are lucky, eventually, you won’t need the timer because you settle into a good flow.You can even extend the intervals gradually in a work session. Like, try 25/5 to start because it will be easier for you to stick to the system. Then do 35/5 or 45/5. And then you probably will get into things and be annoyed by timers and just work. 4. Reward yourself for focusing on an intermittent basis. That means take eat a snack, go exercise, pet your dog, etc. Be sure that your breaks turn into hours though lol. 5. Use background noise. Maybe that means heading to a coffee shop or library. Maybe it means some music! At times, I think music is kinda distracting. At that point, I switch over to pink noise/ nature sounds(https://mynoise.net)
Problem: Stuck on creating a character
I would first recommend drawing random af shapes & colors and seeing what pops up. Honestly this is a great way to generate ideas, think of it as looking into clouds that you made yourself. I often start with random scribbles and then think things through from there. Look around you, try to draw a character based on an inanimate object. A random initial brain storm can help things start turning if you get stuck. If you are in need of a generator for some ideas, try this.
Now find a pattern, be it a shape, specific color, or symbol. Try incorporating that into your sketch in as many unique aspects of your character as possible. Or think of two symbol or analogy and try to mesh two ideas together.
Flower creature - incorporated both floral colors and patterns throughout
This works for human characters too:
Space - this character has grayish shiny hair, and the textures and colors match the atmosphere.
Now once you have an idea, start drawing more and more of your character, finding little tweaks that make the character more unique and fleshed out.
This is a time where you can think of a backstory or think about features in more detail. Like piercings, scars, hair texture, fashion decisions, etc.
Honestly, try to close your eyes and really imagine. This is where my best characters have come from.
Articles & inspiration on this topic:
- Pinterest is amazing for this kind of thing
- @characterdesigninspiration tumblr fam!
- 20 top character design tips
- Character design - Autodesk Design Academy
Problem: I lack a style and do not know what direction I want to take my art in
I wrote a guide on how to find and develop artistic style. First things first, I don’t think forcing a style is really that productive. The process of drawing more lends itself t identifying the styles and techniques you like.
Problem: Can’t draw accurately/ what is really there/ looking to make my art more realistic
Sometimes it’s pretty hard to develop your eye for seeing, or drawing more accurately from life/reference. Here’s a few tips and an exercise to help you out!
Here’s a preview of the article:
My general tips as of now are:
- look at negative space, those shapes are surprisingly helpful
- look back and forth from reference and try to spot your errors
- flip reference upside down if it’s a pic you can turn over.
- first establish big shapes, then break it down into more simple forms. Helps avoid huge errors in perspective and form,
- Have an idea of the proportions of the subject you’re drawing to make life easier so you know what you need to double check when you measure something.
- Try to guess first, then measure if needed. This helps you train your intuition and not mindlessly copy.
Problem: How do I improve my social media presence/market my art?
First of all, draw for yourself before drawing for others.
Art as a business means that numbers matter, but do not let the numbers define you. You are more than likes/followers. Sometimes, you might benefit from taking a social media break, especially if you just do art as a hobby.
Anyways, when you are trying to do art for a living, social media is often a really important component of business.
Problem: Lack of artist networking
Problem: shaky and messy lines
Check out Quick Tips: How to draw smoother lines
Problem: Can’t find time to create
This list will grow as I curate more articles and read your responses.
Hope you found something useful here! Please consider sharing this article with your friends!