Do you have any advice for someone who wants to learn to draw?
Sure! I won’t give advice to “take classes” because 1. I am sure people know that, and 2. that’s not fair advice as I realize not everyone is in a position to be able to, whether they can’t afford it, or go to a school that does not offer art classes.
So, art advice that does NOT include classes:
The three most important are
- Use reference!
- Draw from real life!
- Draw things you’re afraid to draw because you think they’re too hard to draw!
Seriously, those are the 2 most important things to do to improve your art. Real-life reference helps even more than photographic reference since you’re dealing with distortion caused by a camera. Even if you have no real people willing to sit down and model for you, you can still sketch people while your chilling with them. (Trust me your friends will probably think it’s cool if you draw them while you’re sitting there, and they will be too flattered to think you suck.) Even if you have no people around, you can draw objects in your bedroom or yard, or go out somewhere and sit down and draw the things around you.
The better you learn to draw with photographic, 3D modeled, and real-life reference, the better you will learn to draw without reference. And reference will help improve your art skills in all areas.
Also drawing things that really intimidate you because they are out of your skill range (for most beginners, they are hands and feet), will greatly improve your skill once you tackle them, even if you suck the first time. Struggling to draw a difficult thing will improve your art more than breezing through drawing an easy thing that doesn’t scare you.
Also hands and feet because they’re hard to draw and you can just sit there and look at your own and draw them. And you can practice so many skills with just drawing hands and feet: anatomy, structure, angles/perspective, shading, and skin texture.
Here’s a website called Photos Public Domain, you can use stuff here for reference. Public domain means there are no rules or copyright laws attached to the photos here and they have a bunch of miscellaneous stuff.
Here’s a website called Posemaniacs which has 3D modeled people, and also 3D models of just hands, feet, and heads, in tons of angles and poses that you can use for reference.
Here is a website called Pixelovely which has photos of real animals and people you can practice from. Go to their tab “Practice Tools” and pick people, animals, hands & feet, or faces & expressions, and you can select things like whether you want nude or clothes models, or how long you want the images to stay up for (quick gesture drawings are a good way to learn how human bodies flow -you worry about gesture over perfect anatomy and try to draw a whole person in 10-60 seconds, tops.) Of course you can always screenshot the references too. They also free articles about learning anatomy.
If you have money and can buy some books, I recommend (and I got many of these due to professor recommendations when I was in college):
- “Anatomy for the Artist” by Sarah Simblet
- “Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist” by Stephen Rogers Peck (this is extremely good, it was required text for my very hardcore anatomy class in college where we had to learn how to perfectly draw and name every bone and muscle in exact “average” proportion by memory and do a minimum of 200 drawings for the class)
- “Figure Drawing Design and Invention” by Michael Hampton (holy grail, shows you structure and how to draw proper anatomy even if you have literally no real human or photo reference at all)
- “Bridgman’s Life Drawing” by George B. Bridgman
- “Perspective! For Comic Book Artists” by David Chelsea (I had to learn drawing perspective in a very mathematical way for class -this will teach you without having to do nearly as much math. Wish I discovered it sooner lmao)
- “Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter” -James Gurney
- Also, concept art books (like for your fave movies and stuff) and art compilation books, and art magazines, just so you can keep up with what professionals do and get inspiration for things like themes, color, lighting, and where you want your style to go
- Scott Robertson has a lot of good concept art books in collaboration with other artists -I have “The Skillful Hunstman” and “In the Future…” concept books
- I also have the concept/storyboard/process/etc books for things like The Chronicles of Narnia, Howl’s Moving Castle, etc. Looking at the concept art books for your fave shows, movies, and games helps because you can see things like process and how ideas are generated.
- Also, any volume of Spectrum, but of course, the later volumes are more relevant.
Also, if you go to my tags page and scroll all the way down to Things to Help You, there are links to my tags for various art resources that could help you.
This answer was probably way longer than you expected lmao I’m sorry. But I hope this helps!