Any advice for young and/or new artists?
I know it’s going to sound cliche, but practice practice practice. Aim for a few drawings a week to get it in without getting burned out. Find an interest, something that’s fun for you and draw that subject. References are your friend. It’s better to learn the correct structure of things early on than develop bad/incorrect habits and try to fix them later. The better you know the rules of structure and anatomy, the better you can break them to create a style that’s both unique and looks right. Without having a good solid base for anatomy if you’re drawing animals or people, it’s going to look a little off no matter what you stylize. Look at magazines, look at dancers (who I find are the best subject for studying movement and how muscles work) look at animals, animals running, how people stand or how they carry themselves when they walk.
Even a failed drawing is something learned, a little extra muscle memory. Also, know that every now and then, you’re going to hate whatever you produce, and I mean hate it. When you hit this stage of your artwork, it isn’t ‘oh I’m horrible, it looks bad, I’m no good’. Not in the slightest! This is your level up stage, it means you’ve improved mentally, you’re seeing the mistakes and what can be done better, you hand just hasn’t learned it quite yet. Usually when I hit these stages, I’ll be in a huge art rut for weeks, sometimes a month struggling, but still drawing, that’s the important part. After that, you’ll hit an ‘oh!’ stage and all the sudden you’ll be on a roll and you’ll have improved a lot.
Also, unless it’s under specific circumstances, don’t shade with white or black! While it works, it makes the colors look muted, muddy and a little boring. Instead, blue and purple are your friend in shading and makes the picture look more colorful and interesting to look at.
Here’s something I shaded with black and gray. While it does a passable job and puts the shading down, it’s a little dull.
Instead, try experimenting with other colors. Here’s blue shadows.
Orange shadows (my favorite color to use)
Or red/purple shadows.
These shadows can also go in the hair as well to make it even more dynamic (I just didn’t want to re-shade it lol). The same goes for lighting. Bright orange/yellow or a pale, more saturated color of your base makes much more interesting and vibrant lighting than white or gray if you’re not using a specifically colored light source.
I hope this helps and if you have any other specific questions, don’t be afraid to ask! Good luck on your art journey! It’s a rough one, but very, very rewarding.