Whether you are new in creating art or a veteran art warrior you still might want to polish your art skills. You already know that working on your art regularly is a good way to get better but what else can you do to improve your art drastically this year? Lets find out!
Know where you are right now
If you want to improve your art first of all you should know what you can do right now and on what level. You can find this out by taking a judgment-free, honest look at your own recent artworks. This step is important in order to know what areas you should or want improve.
To get good results out of this step it is crucial that you are very honest with yourself here. You do this for yourself and no one else will know about it, so be really honest and ask these questions from yourself:
- What do I think about this artwork?
- What do I like about it and what not?
- What can I improve on my next art?
Be very honest here but don’t judge yourself because your artwork is not perfect or because you are not drawing like your favourite artist yet. Learning to draw and paint is a never ending process. It is something that you should enjoy. Enjoyment starts with accepting and liking your own artwork. See clearly and know where you can improve.
Work a bit more on every new art you create
The easiest thing you can do to improve your art is if you put a bit more work into each new art you create. This will come naturally to you as you progress if you are open enough for challenges.
Leave your comfort zone!
Try adding a simple background, or add more detail to the clothes of the character. Change to a bigger canvas size, or show an easy story in your artwork. Add a bit more to your painting each time and you will feel the improvement. Exepriment with new things may it be something small or sometimes a bigger change. With each piece your willpower and patience grows bigger and you will be able to handle more detailed, more complex and more exciting artworks. Have fun with it!
If you don’t like something change it
This is the most powerful step you can do just be sure you don’t overdo it and end up never finishing your artwork. Perfection is not needed, just focus on the big picture. If something really doesn’t look good, go ahead and change it!
Be brave and follow your intuition. If you don’t like the arm of the character, change it. If there is an element that makes your artwork feel crowdy – remove it!
This is a very spectacular step. You will enjoy looking at the before and after pictures.
Marc Brunet has created some overpainting videos of other artists work. I highly recommend you watch them because it is motivating to see how some small changes can give such a big result. You can also learn a lot from these videos that you can apply to your own works.
Mirror your artwork
To spot anatomy and perspective problems on your artwork, mirror it frequently. This will give you a fresh look of your drawing and it will be easier to see if something is off. A little trick that can save your artwork. :)
Look at other artists artwork closely
If you are determined in improving your artskills then learn from others as well. First of all if you look at many artworks you like (those kind that you also want to create) they will sink in your unconscious mind and they will work on your skills behind the scenes without you knowing it. This is the passive way of learning. If you know how to use PhotoReading you can use that as well to bring in the knowledge by looking at many artworks. (You can use it to scan artbooks and tutorial books as well.)
The active way of doing things is to look at an artwork and really examine it!
- What colors have the artist used on each part of the painting and what effect does that give?
- What does really catch the eye of the viewer on this painting?
- Why is this painting so good?
Check out the details too!
- Where are the focal points?
- What is not in focus?
- How did he put something in focus?
- Is everything detailed on the painting or are there some illusions that make your eyes believe everything is fully detailed?
- What else can you learn from this painting?
If you see an impressive artwork, take a moment and look at it closely. You might just learn something important from it!
Learn more about art
Read art books, watch tutorials, go to art museums. Learn about the basics and the advanced stuff as well: lights and shadows, forms, perspective, human anatomy, composition etc. Choose one you are interested in and dive deep! Try out what you have just learned so that it can stick in your mind.
Practice and create more
Lastly, the most important step in improving your art is making art itself. Just reading and looking at other artists work is not enough and not as satisfying either. The biggest enjoyment lies in what you yourself do.
If you enjoy making art and want to follow this path a daily drawing habit can take you far. By working regularly on your skills while staying open and always reflecting back on your finished artworks you can really improve your art drastically.
I have noticed that by saying the word “habit” some resistance might come up in you – that is what has happened with me at least. Don’t let resistance to stand in your way, here is how you can eliminate it:
Just think about the enjoyment you get by creating art. How does it feel when you sit down and draw what you like to draw or paint what you like to paint? Relieve these feelings, remember them!
What artwork are you working on right now? What can you do today to progress with that artwork? Ask this from yourself each day and grab your pencil and start drawing!
A helpful tool:
There is a good app (and website) called Coach.me that I am using to record my progress so I can see what days I have sat down to draw. The app is good to keep you motivated and focused on your goal, working on your art regularly. It can help remind you and bring you back when you would otherwise do something less important.
If this is not enough you can also get help from a coach who can keep you accountable doing your daily art practice and with who you can talk about all the challenges that keep you from creating and enjoying your art. I am a coach on Coach.me if you need help, take a look at what I offer in the coaching. Digital coaching is cool because it is affordable and chat based, so we can talk even if we are on separate sides of the world.
- Take a look at your recent artworks and see where your art skills are right now
- Check your new artwok: what is one thing you can improve right now? Do it!
- Learn more about art creation and look at other artists work
- Have fun! Enjoy drawing!
Have you enjoyed this article? Get on my newsletter to be notified about new ones. You will also get a motivational desktop calendar!