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How to become a better artist?

Beginner just started drawing artist art drawing

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Kim’s Answer

Hi Zile, Such a great and very important question! For artists, improving our skills is a lifelong practice that involves commitment and the will to keep learning and exploring. You're on the right track with drawing, because it's the foundation for visual art. Keeping sketchbooks and filling them up is an essential part of improvement, and drawing from life should be your goal. When we draw from images, it stunts our growth and our ability to see things in three dimensional form. Drawing is seeing, and seeing things in three dimensional reality is key to training your eye. It's good to draw a variety of objects, including rounded and geometrical forms to start. Drawing the human figure, along with animals, plants and living things and landscapes will all improve your skills. It's helpful to break down each drawing session into a warm-up (5 min), which means loosening up and getting ready to focus, followed by 10 minutes of quick studies of people and animals in motion, called "Gesture Drawing". After that you will be ready to start drawing your chosen subject. You can set up a "Still Life" comprised of every day objects, draw portraits of people and animals, or isolate a portion of landscape. Experimenting with many different drawing mediums is essential to finding out what you like: charcoal, various pencil hardnesses, pen and inks, markers, brush and wash, and types of paper. After you become more comfortable with these, it will be time to think about color, and what you'd like to try out. Read books and watch videos by the artists you admire. Look at drawings and paintings by the masters of art history. Learn about light and shadow. The most important thing you can possibly do is draw, draw, draw, draw and draw some more! Best wishes to you on your journey to become an Artist! If you love drawing, you will be amazed at your own progress and feel fulfilled in increasing your abilities.
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Chanyce’s Answer

Hey Zile! I would say the biggest factor in building drawing skills is having patience, giving yourself grace, and lots of practice! There are so many great resources out there to help you build your drawing skills. There are some helpful tutorials on TikTok, Pinterest, and Instagram for exercises you can practice at home, and you can check out your local community education centers, art museums and community colleges for in-person drawing classes. I haven't taken one yet, but I've seen lots of ads for Domestika courses (below!) that cover a ton of helpful art topics. I hope that's helpful!

https://www.domestika.org/en/courses/area/2-illustration?gclid=CjwKCAjwndCKBhAkEiwAgSDKQRlCenLsJVPKmmBMqv4_amxQ9wfTw_z0Bk-ZUtJuaZc0pO5tzLhcgRoCuqcQAvD_BwE
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Aaron’s Answer

a good starting point is sketching themes that you enjoy to keep you engaged. If your art will involve people, animals, ect. learning about "lines of action" is helpful to make your art look more natural and implied movement will be more noticeable.
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Ellen’s Answer

Hi Zile
Good question, one that many artists think about every day....how do I get better at my art? It is how we grow as artists, and the minute you think you've improved all you can, there is still room to improve even more. This is why making art can be a lifelong pursuit, even if you don't go into it professionally.

I worked with middle school art students, and they all wanted to draw like experienced professional animators, even though they were just barely teenagers. Many of them would copy Anime drawings or other cartoon drawings and get pretty good at it. However, I often had to remind them that, what they were copying was someone else's style, not theirs. It's fine to draw a really good Mickey Mouse or an Anime figure, but the question is, what do you want to say with YOUR artwork?

Along with improving your art skills, becoming better at your art means developing your art style and what you want to express with your art. So, practice, practice, and more practice. Keep a small sketchbook with you, and draw things you see that you like, draw or doodle ideas from your imagination, even draw from other artwork you like (but knowing it is someone else's style). Don't be discouraged if your art does not look "professional", or even as good as a classmate's. Don't compare yourself to other artists who have been drawing for decades, be happy with your work at this point in time. Many art techniques are skills, and the more artwork you do, the better you'll get at it.

What I found also sometimes helps young artists get better is not just practicing their art, but thinking about art materials they enjoy, and what they want to express with their art. Do you like to draw objects or places in front of you? Do you like to paint things from your imagination? Do you like to tell stories in your artwork? Do you enjoy painting or drawing people? Do you like drawing better than painting? Or do you like to make 3-D art? Do you love color, and so on. If you are taking art classes, think about the assignments you liked best. Knowing how you want to express yourself, and what you want to express with your artwork often gives you a purpose in making your art.

Also, look at other artists' work. If you live near a museum, and it is open, go there and see what attracts you. Most museums have online websites, that showcase their artwork. Google the National Gallery Washington DC, the Metropolitan Museum, New York, or the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. You can also look in art books at the library. If you are taking art classes, you could ask your art teacher for some suggestions of artists you might like.

Finally, a good way to get better is to listen to what your art teachers say about your artwork. Don't be afraid to show your art teacher artwork you do at home. I loved it when students showed me their artwork, since it allowed me to get to know them better and what they wanted to accomplish with their art. Your art teacher is a trained professional in not just teaching art, but in making art. So, listen to what your art teachers say and follow their suggestions; even if you might not always like what they say, try to understand that they are trying to help you to improve.

Best wishes! I hope this helps.


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