Hi, I saw your 19 days comic and I just want to say it is illegal to be that amazing at art I thought there was a new chapter ((also got any tips because I hate most things I draw and I'm kinda losing motivation I guess?))
Thank you so much! I’m not amazing at art at all so I guess I’m far from being illegal! :9 I don’t know if I’m in the right position to give any advice in drawing since I’m also an artist-in-training myself. But here are few advice I have during my ongoing quest to become a true artist! The answers here would be based on my personal experiences if you don’t mind. Here goes!
1. Keep practicing.
There is a saying ‘practice makes
perfect improvements’ after all. Do iterative drawing everyday for at least an hour. Iterative drawing is a process where you draw the same thing over and over again but you have to tweak each one of them to look better than the last one. I’ve been doing this a lot lately. This is also how I’ve found the eyes that I desire to draw. Practice helps you find out more about what you wanna draw. It also improves your muscle memories~ both hands and brain! It’s the best way to improve.
2. Be mindful of details.
I tend to be very critical of details. My OCD at work. I’ve got this habit of staring intently at artworks. I don’t know if that’s bad or not but being attentive about details is good I think. If you’re doing fanart, the best way to make them look like the characters you wanna draw (regardless of your art style) is to take a closer look at their features. If their eyes are pointy then try to make your drawing pointy. If they have thick brows, then try your best to thicken their brows. If the brows have an arc then don’t forget that too!
I remember reading somewhere that Rei (from Free!) has a long face. Ever since then it stuck to my mind that he has a long face. KyoAni didn’t say that for any other characters either so it just stuck to me. Since then, I have to remember that Rei has to have that long face whenever I draw lol I guess it’s because of my mindfulness of details, my drawings look almost (if not exactly) like canon. The same goes for the official comment I’ve read about Rin having a nice eyebrow shape and Makoto having a big mouth (literally).
3. Do not overthink.
I did say to be mindful but also do not overthink. This happens a lot when you don’t know what to draw. When you over think, you end up procrastinating. It’s better to just randomly doodle! It’s weird but everytime I doodle randomly, the chances that I’d finish something is much higher lol Just like that fancomic for 19 Days, it all started with a doodle. I didn’t even have a story. I just wanted to see a scene where Guan Shan cries with a bloody mouth lol XD and thus, a comic was born. It was even colored. I’m very bad with colors especially since I’m color blind. I can’t differentiate most colors lol and I can’t do backgrounds to save my life either! And this has led me to another tip.
4. Do not be afraid to experiment!
It was 8am and I haven’t slept coz I was in the mood okay? I was like, to color or not to color? When I decided to color it, I thought, it needs to have a background otherwise it would look like it’s all happening in heaven. So I tried tweaking my Photoshop brushes to create a good texture for the leaves. When it looked pretty good, I was so happy. The fact that I didn’t chicken out on experimenting with the backgrounds felt great! No regrets! I learned new things because of it. And for some reason, I’m looking forward to experimenting with colors and brushes once again!
5. Set your standards.
An example is your desired style. Mine is one that captures the feel of the anime/manga/show I am drawing for. And a free-flowing body dynamics, please!
I have lots of artists I idolize! I’m sure you have your own art goals too! It’s not bad to get inspired and influenced by one or many artists. I know a few people, including myself, who started out by mimicking art styles. I learned how to draw by mimicking. I wasn’t trained. Now that I’ve got pretty much the basics down, I hope to deviate from mimicking official art styles. But of course, the influences they have on my works still show. I don’t think that’s bad in itself. Everyone is influenced by at least one thing or person.
Before, the biggest influence in my style is obviously Free! But recently, I feel like I’m seeing the influence of Kuroshitsuji, Kuroko no Basket, Shingeki no Kyojin (anime), One Piece, Bleach and CLAMP in my work. This is probably why my drawings look very similar to the style of all these anime/manga because the influences are from there! I’ve only drawn Japanese anime since I was young, so the only style I know is Japanese anime (aside from realism, I can’t draw cartoons to save my life!!!). Back in the days, where internet’s barely available, all I had was cable TV. I had to draw my favorite anime characters while watching just so I can keep them on paper lol this is probably why I’ve become quite flexible. If you wanna be flexible, you can do that! XD
Lots of people thought my fancomic was official but look at the difference~ the feel has fooled everyone. Which is what I am striving for. Not fooling the people but making the people feel the feel!
6. Keep your old drawings. Compare.
Don’t crumple them and throw them in the trash bin and burn them!! No matter how shitty or deformed they look, just DON’T! One day, when you’ve become an awesome artist, compare your recent and old drawing. You’d be proud of the progress you’ve made! It would end up becoming a hilarious remembrance instead.
7. Look at references and tutorials.
I still use some myself. I’m very bad at hands and pretty much the rest of the body. I try to rely on how I remember the human body a lot and my memory ain’t that good tbh In my mind, I have a good grasp on how the hands look like but when I draw it on canvas, it looks so weird (if you take a closer look at my drawings, you’ll see a lot of anatomical mistakes lol). So it’s good to use some references. If it’s from an existing photo/art just make sure to credit them. Oh and. I wouldn’t recommend tracing and uploading your traced drawing and claiming it yours lol. Try to avoid that please. I’ve seen people do it… o_o; You can trace for practice and compare it to your freehand drawing. It helps you with accuracy by comparing your traced and freehand drawing. Sometimes you can even memorize the entire thing haha (I do sometimes, coz muscle/brain memory)
If there’s a pose I can’t do, I make my brother pose for me or take a photo of myself and use that as my guide (I break them down into basic shapes). Also, try some live drawing! Like, go to the park and quick draw the people/animals you see!
In regards to the tutorials, there are a lot on the web! Like thousands of them for free!! I have this habit of saving tutorials but never using them. That beats the purpose of saving them, doesn’t it? So, when you do end up being in the mood to save art tutorials, keep them in one folder and make sure you try them out like ASAP. I don’t get most of them the first try but when I take a break and do it again after a few days, I end up nailing the thing! :D
8. Take a break.
Yes just like what I mentioned in #7! Sometimes you gotta take a break. After some heavy duty drawing practice, you need to refresh. I keep forgetting to take a break and I end up getting depressed whenever I see little to no improvement. Stop and do other things for a while, when you do come back, do a bit of sketching/doodling to get your jive back. When I do this, I end up liking what I draw. XD
9. Don’t rush………………………….. period.
There’s no magic spell that would make you draw professionally instantly. So don’t rush. It took me a lot of years to be able to draw how I draw now and it’s not even that good yet. So yeah. Don’t rush. Rushing will make you impatient and frustrated. I’ve been there so believe me. It won’t help.
10. Show your work and have people comment on it.
This is the scariest part I think. Like, who wants to be criticized, right? When I made this Tumblr blog, I didn’t have any intention of posting drawings because I was really depressed about my art. I used to mod ask-blogs until I realized I really sucked at drawing LOL I can see all my mistakes and I don’t want people to point them out because it friggin’ hurts. But there was one time my little cousin asked me to draw a Hetalia DJ for her birthday and I had nowhere to post it. I was embarrassed to post it on FB//// So I posted it here where almost no one followed me. I got some good reviews from people I don’t know and it became a motivation for me to come out of my shell once again and try.
11. Love your work.
Last year, I got really depressed about my art. Then a friend of mine (who’s an amazing artist!!!) talked to me about it. I confessed to her how I never really cared much about my art at all. I didn’t like it to the point I’ve almost hated it. I wanted to stop drawing. The only reason I started drawing was so I’d have a way to tell my stories. I can’t write novels/fanfics at all. I’m honestly bad with expressing in words.
Regardless, I’ve gained lots of followers within the 2 years I’ve been using this blog. I thank everyone who has supported me until this point. I used to not like my work because of all the imperfections. But, there is always beauty in imperfection. (Yeah that’s my blog tagline XD) I’ve learned to love my art along the way. And it’s all thanks to you guys!
I still have people who criticize my art (esp about my style) but I don’t mind it that much anymore. I have a love and hate relationship with drawing but I don’t want to divorce it because I’ve been married to it for so long. Why should I stop just because a couple of people criticizes my art when there are thousands of you who appreciates my art AND stories?
Despite what everyone in the world says, I know that I have worked hard. I’d choose to skip dinner or sleep just so I could finish a piece of my comic for everyone to enjoy. It’s tiring but worth the effort. I receive lovely comments/messages that strengthens my resolve to draw more and improve more. That said, I’m sure that if we keep practicing, we’ll be able to art the way we like to someday!
For motivation, this varies from people to people. But here’s what I do to motivate myself!
1. Listen to music.
Put your most favorite music on your playlist. The ones where you’ll end up singing along with and loop it all. Since I work during the day/afternoon, night time is my only time to draw. I end up working all through the night til early morning so I end up getting sleepy (coz tired yeah). But when I hear my favorite music, I end up singing along with it and for some reason, I start feeling alive again haha
I like music that has this angsty feels to work so I listen to Hiroyuki Sawano’s music a lot. Songs sung by Aimer, Annabel, Maki Chang, Mika Kobayashi are A+++
2. Draw what you like to draw.
Draw anything you like. As much as possible, draw a scene you wanna see the most with your characters or smth. Not just a person standing without doing anything. For example, A is hugging B from behind. Sketch it. Even the basic form is ok. Don’t worry about it not turning out the way you want them to. This happens a lot to me and it’s frustrating to the MAX!! Like the drawing tip I mentioned before, do iterative drawing! It will come to you when it does!
3. List down things.
Get a cork board or whiteboard or even just a simple paper, write down the stuff you wanna get done ASAP. Write them big. No matter how simple the tasks are write them. And when you’re done with like “washing dishes” cross them out with a red marker/pen! The more things crossed out in your list, the more motivation you have to finish the rest. I think it’s how the mind works. Or at least, that’s how my mind works lol Just don’t write too much stuff tho, you’ll get overwhelmed! XD
4. Write down your ideas.
Similar to #3. Your ideas fuels your motivation! Especially if the idea is fun and original~ you just can’t help but want to work faster so you’d be the first one to post it! An original idea is always (if not usually) appreciated.
5. Rewatch your favorite show (like an episode or a clip).
You’ll get plenty of ideas you’d wanna draw from this. I like rewatching certain episodes because it fuels my drive!!!
Sometimes we get depressed because we can’t achieve what we want. Thus, the lack of motivation. Let’s just accept how we are today. But never give up! Keep arting. If you give up now, you’ll never be able to show them how awesome you are and awesome-r you could have been! :3
WOW gosh. This turned out so long and I feel like I just ranted. Sorry about that, I have lots of feelings. The quest to improvement as an artist is a long, taxing and neverending journey! I don’t know if this would actually help but I hope it does. It helps me~ except when my depression is deep deep deep down in the gutters lol Goodluck with your drawing endeavors!
OH. There is also something called Peak Hour. This is the hour where our body, brain and motivation is at its peak! Try to find out yours and start working around those hours. Mine is around 2am-4am lol
Edit: I remembered another advice (it’s an advice my friend gave actually). For linearting, try holding your breath when you draw your lines. It works. For real. (･ω･)bｸﾞｯ
Another edit: Try going back to the basics. Never think that going back to basics is a waste of time. I sometimes figure out new things like positioning et.al whenever I do this. That’s why I regularly go back to it.