I've been trying really hard to improve lately, and I've learned many new things that have helped me a lot. I thought I would share just a few main points with my fellow artists out there if y'all are interested!
Here are some things that I wish I had been told when I first started drawing. Understanding how something works completely changes how you draw said thing.
When it comes to anatomy, hair, muscles, etc., understanding why you're drawing certain lines and features makes drawing that feature from different perspectives and without a reference ten times easier. For me, nostrils on horses is a good example. I used to just draw a hole-like shape at the end of the horses muzzle, wherever I thought looked best. It took me a while to figure out that a horses nostril is a tunnel, leading up into the skull sort of underneath the eye. That probably sounds really weird, but that's the only way I can figure out how to describe it xD Anyway, when I learned this, I went and studied some images of horse skulls with my new knowledge, and it made a lot more sense to me. I don't struggle with muzzles nearly as much now! So whatever you draw, horses, humans, wolves, find the things that are most difficult for you, like hands
, and look up some references! Find some skeleton hands and muscles and all that gross stuff! Look at your own hand and wiggle your fingers, watch your knuckles rotate, examine those funny little tendons. It's quite fascinating, and extremely helpful! Also, I find it makes drawing all the more fun, because I'm interested in what I'm drawing.Be bold and adventurous, draw EVERYTHING!
Don't stick to your own little corner of the art universe. Go explore! Create little colonies on every planet and continent of this wonderful solar system. Even though I mostly only share my horse drawings, as that is what I consider myself best at, I try and draw a little bit of everything! Humans, kitties, pups, cacti, you name it! I find that the more things I try to draw, the more I recognize the differences in anatomy, and the easier it is to improve and pick up on new things. Keep in mind that it is
difficult to go from drawings pones to puppies, and it takes a bit of practice before your dogs start to actually look like dogs. (Unless you're super talented and can do anything, in which case why are you reading this take your talent elsewhere.) I really enjoy picking a random animal or object, like a cheetah, or a certain kind of tree, and look up a bunch of references on google. From there, pick like, six difference pictures, and draw super quick sketches from them. Try and pay attention the basic shapes and angles. It's very entertaining, and very satisfying once you get good at it! (I am not good at it.) It also stretches your comfort zone and helps you grow as a little artist pioneer Remember what your mother said, go make some friends!
It didn't take me too long to make two, very good and helpful friends on DA! They know who they are. (Technically I didn't make friends, they took pity on me and scooped me up from my tiny little talentless nest.) These two really helped me by pointing out how I could improve, while at the same time, encouraging me in my strong areas and giving me helpful tips and tutorials. I am so very grateful for them
That being said, if you aren't lucky enough to be adopted by two talented artists, then go be social and make friends for yourself! The wonderful thing about DA is that we are a community, and we're there for each other. Most people on this site are welcoming, helpful, and just all around dandy people. Now be mindful that some artists are very busy doing professional grown up things and won't have time to be neighborly. That's okay! I'd suggest finding someone who likes to draw the same thing you do, and has a tendency to be friendly. You can usually tell who the nice people are. If you approach this person for help and advice, do not, I repeat, DO NOT:
badger or pester them, take advantage of them, be rude or insistent, or otherwise abuse their kindness. If a talented artist has gone out of their way to help you along, the least you can do is be courteous and appreciative. Be helpful in return! I also suggest that if someone takes you under their wing and nurtures you like a little chick, use the talent they've helped you to grow and do something nice for them! Draw them some gift art, write a story about their character, (with permission of course) whatever you feel like doing to show that you're grateful to have them as a friend! This is a give and take community, and I guarantee that even the smallest gesture will mean the world to them. Be nice to everyone you meet guys, we're all on the same team!
That's all I really have for now, I hope you guys found this helpful to some degree! Ciao! Also, feel free to share this or add your own advice in the comments!