10 Top Tips To Become A Better Artist

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    Post 10 Top Tips To Become A Better Artist

    10 Top Tips To Become a Better Artist

    To become a better artist takes years of dedication, passion, energy and time. There are no short cuts but here are some art tips to send you in the right direction. I hope you enjoy what I have wrote here and look forward to the community's response.

    Tip 1: Learn the Importance of the Sketch

    Sketching is one of those things that every artist MUST do and do often. Sketches don't have to be perfect, nor do you have to show them to anyone. They can be as rough or as scratchy as you like but the thing to keep in mind is it's readability. The purpose of a sketch is to quickly illustrate or develop an idea you have, to capture or study some form of reference so that it can be worked on at a latter date. Because of this, the sketch only needs to convey the right information to you and you alone (unless you are drawing an idea out for a client then the message needs to be crystal clear).

    Tip 2: Draw, Draw and Draw Some More!

    This is a similar tip to the first but what I mean by this is draw anything that comes to mind or visually interests you. Sketch on the bus, train, in bed and even on the toilet. Seriously! The more you draw from your mind and from reference, the better you will become and the quicker your skills will develop. Take the time to doodle lots of different subjects and in lots of different environments as this will all help build up a mental cataloge of images to draw upon latter when you may become stuck for ideas or inspiration.

    Tip 3: Build a Reference Library

    This is a great tip that I learned from years back. As you begin to fill sketch books with illustrations of ideas and reference material, you should build up that stack of books with more books. By this I mean buying art books, books on clothing, guns, tanks, other cultures, animals etc. The list of what you should look into is endless and should extend beyond your general interests. But it mustn't stop there. You should also collect images off of the internet and save them to your computer and organize them correctly. Take photos of things you see if you don't have time to sketch them. The purpose is to have a nice big collection of images that inspire you, inflame your imagination and, more specifically, if you need to draw something right, having the material there to draw from will add realism and clarity to your work.

    Tip 4: Explore Different Mediums

    This is when you take an idea from sketch to final painting. Exploring other methods of creating that end piece can really yield some unexpected results and challenge you to push yourself further into new situations. Playing with different types of paints such as oil, acrylic, water colour or gouache are the options most people would suggest trying, but there is more than experimenting with these. You could try air brushing, pastels, using charcoal or taking the leap into the digital realm. All these different mediums have their strengths that you can harness but you will never know them unless you try them out.

    Tip 5: Learn Some Colour Theory (At Least)

    This is a big one. Colour theory is a massive, massive subject and I can't do it justice here. What I would strongly suggest is investing time and money in a good colour theory book and learn from that. Even learning only a little bit, will help your work massivley. The more you push yourself to learn, the better and better you will become.

    Tip 6: Play With Perspective

    Now, by this I don't mean completely bend the fabric of reality or attempt to mimic the works of M C Esher (but looking at his work couldn't hurt). No! What I mean is take the time to learn about vanishing points, 2 point and 3 point perspectives and how to create objects in three dimensions correctly. As this is just a tip, I'm not going to go into the details here but there are numerous books and places on the web that cover this important area. Learning the rules of perception will open up the possibilities of what you can draw and will broaden your artistic horizons greatly.

    Tip 7: Hunt Down Your Artistic Weaknesses & Destroy Them!

    I was told this by an incredibly exceptional artist called Chet Zar. This tip is something you should approach regularly and be really tough and honest with your self. By knowing what your not good at artistically and making a conscious effort to attack it (them, could be lots of things), will enable you to systematically grow. For instance, if you draw a lot of humans but avoid drawing feet because you know your not that good at it, set aside time to draw lots of feet, over and over again until they look right (just be sure not to get a foot fetish). This links to a previous tip I did of Draw, Draw and Draw Some More! Drawing things that you don't draw often or at all will increase your repertoire and will enable you to paint and illustrate more complex pictures.

    Tip 8: Ask For Help & Critiques

    I heard this one from numerous sources and I have to say that this is something you don't have to do all the time. Joining online art communities and forums will give you access to professionals who do know their stuff and can really help you improve, but having thick skin is advised. At one point or another, you will get some harsh and unfair comments but that is the risk of being an artist who puts art out for viewer consumption. Never be afraid to ask for help.

    Tip 9: Develop an Original Style

    Ah, a real tough one this as developing your own style takes time and experimentation. By exploring lots of little different mediums and genres, you'll soon get to know what you like and how you like to do things. Over time, by doing things the way you want and in the subconscious way you approach a painting, a style will emerge that will be recognizable and more importantly, it will be your style.

    Tip 10: Learn to Accept Failure as a Positive Thing.

    Possibly one of the most important lessons an artist (or almost any professional) can learn. Not every picture you create will come out looking the way you wanted it too and the same goes with any experiment to try out. There is no such thing as a bad result... there are just results. Learning to take something positive out of everything you do will change the way you look at you next piece and how you approach it. If something doesn't work or you don't like it, don't do it again or use it as a bench mark to launch yourself from in your next piece.

    So, I hope that that is enough information to digest and apply into practice.

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  4. #2
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    dude i know all that but I need guidance any advice to a complñete noob

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    Quote Originally Posted by legendarysonofgod View Post
    dude i know all that but I need guidance any advice to a complñete noob
    Get some paper, get a pencil, and start drawing everything you see.

    But seriously, it depends on what you want to do. I'd suggest reading from Loomis and Bridgeman if you're interested in figure drawing (or even if you're not).

    There are literally thousands of decent tutorials on the interwebs at your disposal. I suggest you do a little reading, and do alot of drawing.

    Shrunken: Thank you very much for this post. ^_^

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    Wow, thank you for taking the time to post this for us all here it has definately helped me, and will help many others! Asking for help is something I definately need to improve on!

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    Nice guidelines to live by, thanks.

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    thanks for this one, really motivational

    MY SKETCHBOOK IN BIG LETTERS: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=116474
    COMPLETE LIST OF THE FORGOTTEN SKETCHBOOKS: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...=1#post1992378
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    awesome list ^-^

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    The one about seeking out weak areas and attacking them is tremendous advice and one I'll have to put into immediate practice.... I've at least attempted all the others on the list (but still need to set aside more time for good old sketching and drawing)...

    Feet and hands are probably top of my weak list.... it's a common psychological thing I think with many artists.... we are people too and spend the majority of the time we talk to people observing either their whole form... or their faces... peripheral things like feet and hands tend to just not get observed so much day to day.

    Maybe I'll combine the feet and hand stuff with the more drawing and sketching stuff

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    Yes I agree with the OP, thanks you

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    Thumbs up For anyone who is interested...

    I posted this same set of 10 tips in a thread in the CGSociety forums and oe member left their own top 10.

    Go and read them here:

    http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthre...44#post5914344

    Wow! A truly amazing list!

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    This is great advice and tips.

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    Hello, great tips! Thanks a lot. I would like to know, though, what books you would recommend on colour theroy, that I can buy on amazon or something like that. I am absolutely fascinated by colour theroy, but the information I get on the net is beginning to not be enough for me, so I would appreciate any advise on some books that are available in europe.

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    This is a great list. I completely agree. In fact I liked it so much I passed this link onto my buds over at DA (who knows if any of them listen though...)

    I need help with color theory. I've just got out of college (for illustration) and we never really covered color theory (I know crazy huh?) so do you happen to know of any really great color theory books out there?

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    Extremely helpful! Thank you!

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    Awesome list, thank you for taking the time to write this up for us. The hunting weakness one in particular is extremely motivational. Better skills and more fun, rawr!

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    Great tips ! I hope this tips are very useful for me become a better artist.
    Thanks for share with us.

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    Hey man thanks for the post, both informative and inspiring Found it a great help, awesome!

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    All good tips but I think #9 should be rewritten. Don't force a style and it will develop on its own. Give yourself time and your style will come to you. By working on the other 9 tips your style will come through.

    I think people may misread 9 as to you need to develop ...ie forcing it, instead of realizing working on the other (even though the body explains it further) tips will cause it to develop.

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    Very useful tips, thank you for sharing, although I already had a vague idea of many of them, the way you summed it up is very helpful, now im off to drawing ^^, thank you very much.

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    Thank you for the tips! Your advice made me realize I am on the right track, gave me some direction on where to head next.
    Truly appreciated.

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    Wonderful tips! I think I knew these subconsciously all along, since I'm aiming at least four of these at once (color theory, perspective, critiques and finding my own style). It's such a great help! I wish it didn't take up so much time, though.

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    cheers, great stuff!

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    Red face

    thanks for the tips!!!!

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    Spot on advice. the impact of line quality can not be understated either. I would also suggest adding step 6. Perspective to every one of these steps. Understanding perspective is crucial and using it effectively is the hard(and fun) part, but it will definitely improve any artists work dramatically. I read somewhere that Loomis also suggested this skill should be a priority for all artist to get under their belt as early on in their education as possible.

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    Hi Shrunken,

    Thanks for the helpful tips. I'm doing pencil sketching, and yes, I'll have to draw and draw... more and more.

    To become an artist, I need a great deal of patience.

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    Wow these are really awesome tips and very useful and I like the last tip, Learn to Accept Failure as a Positive Thing It’s really amazing!!

    Last edited by Oram; April 12th, 2011 at 03:36 AM.
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    I've been having some trouble sketching/drawing lately - just being feeling a bit, well, "bleh" about my art and all. Thanks for posting these tips - however long ago you did so. A much needed booster to get back into art and all.

    Sketchbook of the Now|Visual Lovemaking|Abominables
    I do that thing where you scalp cars-salesmen and call it art.
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    Thank you very much for the tip that you pointed out (even though some of them I knew already). It's good to remember the purposes of drawing even if you know some things like me haha x3.

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    This is generally a great list, and Arshes Nei already said this, but I can't resist seconding her comment. I violently disagree with #9 (develop an original style). At one point in time I was obsessed with developing my own style and it was a complete waste of time. You do not need to "develop" a style. We're all different, no one else draws and paints the way you do, you can't help but have your own 'style' and it is much more original than anything you could develop. The only thing you should Not do is make a conscious, long-term effort to copy someone else's style.

    Copy the masters, try different methods, learn whatever way you can.
    Don't worry about style, just work on being good.

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