Improving my drawing skills
I have a drawing related problem. Firstly, I don't seem to be improving in the past 3 months. I rarely ever draw, receive little appreciation for the drawings I do and generally hate most of the things I draw by erasing them. What should I do? How and how often should I practice? What should I do to get a little inspiration to keep drawing? Should I copy drawings and learn from them or read manga instead?(something I hardly ever did and do).
It's like you were writing about me
Basically, that's what I felt some time after beginning to learn drawing. I've totally lost will to learn drawing after I uploaded one skeetch on a certain forum, asking people to point out what should I improve, and totally got my butt mercilessly kicked. Maybe it wasn't appropriate forum, since people there even accused someone of plagiarism, until he PROVED his works were 100% original. Anyway, since then everything I drawn looked like garbage to me.
Do this: Copy-draw few anime/manga characters from the web to prove to yourself you can draw. Doodling a bit in free time won't hurt either, or simply try to draw random object you find somewhere (a cellphone? a TV remote?) to develop better hand control. One crucial thing you need to learn if you want to draw characters are PROPORTIONS. When you draw your own characters, keep the right proportions at all costs. I think we have a tutorial about proportions here on the site. You may as well use a ruler to build a skeleton on which you'll draw the silhouette.
As for how often you should practice - how often you want. At least once per day.
Wish you good luck.
Don't draw the same stuff repeatedly. I got sick of screwing up proportions on humans and doing the same boring poses, so I tried drawing a few imaginary creatures. They're impossible to do wrong because they are your own, and I still got to practice basic shapes, lines, etc.
Music also works wonders for inspiring creativity.
Yeah, too bad I read your thread after I posted. I really should practice everyday, right now I do it once about every 1 or 2 months. I already have pretty good hand control, but I never seem to get one thing in right: for example, I already know much about human anatomy, but I'm unable to put most of that into work. Hmmm....using a ruler you say......might just work.
Originally Posted by Sekator
Hey Fenn. Long time no see. Anyway, I do that same stuff all the time. Anything else I try just looks horrible. I've already done many imaginary creatures, but it barely helped. Might try it in a different light next time. And I already listen to music a lot and even while I draw.
Originally Posted by Fenn
Well, I just have to make time for drawing(I can't draw at school, even in free periods, because I always get disturbed and teased by others). Will be back after tons of doodling!
"Drawing on the right side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards is a great book to start to read about drawing. It's not a 'how to' book, it is a 'what is' book. There are few exercises that you will actually help you and improve your drawing skills a bit.
Yes, try to at least draw once a day. Anything random. Your bookcase, your art folder, your water bottle, your room, your hand and etc. Drawing from imagination is a very strong exercise.
Don't go on to pencil modeling, that will come later. Stick to contour-drawing at first.
At first, I left drawing, later the urge came cascading on me. So, I started to draw, yet again. Self-evaluation is a terrible thing - since it is destructive criticism "This looks bad, I am bad at drawing", "this look childish, drawing isn't my thing", instead of that use this "This looks bad, let me redraw that line", "this is not bad, let me draw it in a different angle", "the proportion are off... hey! it's called foreshortening :P"
I used to draw like a child, but after three years(now), my drawings have improved a lot. Also, don't delete mediocre looking piece of work. Once you have improved a bit, take a look back at the old works, you will have a serious boost of faith in your skills. Believe me, it works(well... sometimes). Also, when you doodle and sketch random stuff, don't throw them away - they might become big projects later on(once you have improved)!
Also, don't attempt drawing Manga. It didn't help me at all; rather, I started at attempting real-life like figures and faces, it helped me a lot more than Manga drawing.
Last edited by Electric_Nomad; 01-04-2011 at 12:54 PM.
What should you do? Ask yourself "Do I love drawing". If the answer is yes, Don't give up, EVER! Nothing should stop you: people, circumstances, whatever. I've have been in situations such as: criticism, teasing, and comparisons to others; it had lead me to not draw for more than ten years, a BIG mistake!
Originally Posted by Xano
As far as practice, you should do it as much as you can. Dedicate some time to it, even if it's only for half of an hour. There are many times when you yourself will not be so called "inspired". I face that every time. I do recommend using reference and reading anything that could help you improve your work. This site has valuable information, in fact almost half of it help me get back "In the groove".
Once again, what should you do? Have fun, period! Go in it with a new attitude and just have fun.
Your Friendly Ban Hammer-er
Sometimes you need a break from drawing but it would be wise not to take too long of a break or else you'll get rusty. Anyways, I've listed some suggestions if you've ever reached a road block here in this article. Check it out!
Oh Xano didn't even realize it was you. Hi!
Thanks for all the help and advice, but I still can't seem to squeeze in some drawing time everyday. Even when I do draw, my mind becomes a blank and I can't decide as to what I want to draw. anything I draw becomes erased immediately. Nothing ever lasts more that 5 minutes. Drawing out of real life doesn't seem to my forte. I can only draw when it's from my head, otherwise my drawing's pretty much done for.
Oh and Fenn, I understand. I wanted my name on that forum to be Xano as well, but activation problems prevented me from doing so.
I think I felt that way for a long time as well. The blank sheet of paper can be so intimidating. I know when I seem to feel uninspired I just go look at other artist's work. Just take a look at Deviantart sometime and you can see all sorts of artists in all stages. It can be really uplifting to see art by other people that have similar or worse skill levels than yourself. And it can be really helpful to look at that art and think - "what does this need to be better?" In addition to that, you should also be looking at the really amazing artists that are on DA such as Redjuice999, Artgerm, etc. Or if you're more into concept art, check out some of the sketch books at ConceptArt. I find myself looking at what other artists are producing all the time so I can see how they solve the same problems that I want to solve.
I also found that you have to make drawing a priority and in order to do that you need to make it a habit. If you can force yourself to draw something, even if you erase everything, at least once a day for a month straight I think you'll find that you'll have a good foundation for that habit. If drawing or art in general is important to you, something that you really want in your life, you will be able to find time for it. It is difficult at first but I can't think of much that is really worthwhile and easy to achieve. Make it a habit then watch yourself improve.