Art tips and tutorials abound on social media these days. The online art community, in particular, is flourishing, given that many aspiring artists of all ages now have access to resources that the great artists of the past could only dream of. If you are interested in improving your artistic skills, the following five art tips will be of great help to you.
1. Learn the fundamentals
Just like how a house should be built from the bottom up, if you want to create incredible pieces with little difficulty, you need to acquire a solid grasp of the basics first. Values, composition, perspective, shape, color theory and anatomy are some of the first things you should practice and learn at the beginning of your art journey. All of this can sound daunting if you’re a beginner, but there are plenty of great tutorials available on the Internet that can help you understand and master the fundamentals of art. Personally, I have found these videos very helpful.
2. Keep a sketchbook
A sketchbook can be just the right tool not only for daily practice, but also for tracking your progress. Ideally, you want to buy a cheap and simple one, so that you won’t worry about “ruining” it with sketches that didn’t come out as beautiful as you’d hoped they would. Don’t strive to make your sketchbook look perfect, like the ones you see on Instagram or Pinterest, just make a habit of using it as often as you can. If possible, try to carry it with you everywhere you go – inspiration can come to you in the most unpredictable moments, and in such moments you’ll be very grateful if you have a sketchbook and a pencil on hand!
3. Use references
Never let someone tell you that a real artist only draws from imagination – even seasoned professionals need to work with references, and for beginners they are crucial. You can’t draw things well if you don’t know what they look like. A great way to exercise your drawing skills and build muscle memory is to make photo studies – find pictures of people, buildings, landscapes, animals, objects etc. to draw and try to recreate them with your own tools. If you are committed to learning something from every study you make, and you make them on a regular basis, you will find yourself making incredible improvements!
4. “Steal” from better artists
Figuratively, of course! Analyze the works that you find great – what kind of art are you usually drawn to? What exactly draws you to it? Maybe your favorite artist uses color palettes that are very aesthetically pleasing, or maybe they have a unique way of stylizing portraits. Or maybe it’s something else entirely that makes their art great. Implementing techniques you’ve picked up from more skilled artists into your own works can teach you a lot about art and will certainly shape you as an artist in the long run.
5. Have fun!
Last but not least, you have to love what you’re doing. Of all the art tips I have mentioned, this is probably the most important. No one wants to invest time and energy into something that doesn’t spark joy, so make sure you enjoy your art journey to the fullest. Draw things that make you happy, use your favorite colors, have some pleasant music playing in the background while you draw, share your works with your loved ones. Forget about the myth of the tortured artist – your best works will be the ones you’ve put your heart and soul into, so do so as often as you can!