Hi! Idk if you remember me, but I was wondering if you have any tips for drawing more realistically? I practice a lot, and its tedious, but I don't know if I'm making any actual progress. :v Thank you!
Hi! Yes, I do remember meeting you at GMG camp, though unfortunately (because of my terrible memory) I don’t recall your name. I’m glad to hear you’ve been practicing a bunch!
Probably the two most basic tips for drawing realistically (after drawing every day, which it sounds like you have down) is to a) draw from life, and b) start with simple shapes (circles, squares, tubes) before refining it down to details. For the former, if you don’t have access to live models, sources like Pixelovely are super-helpful, as is just Google images. I also sometimes take a sketchbook out to a cafe or a park and just draw whatever I see there.
I wouldn’t worry too much about tracking progress right now; it can be helpful sometimes to look back at older stuff and see how you’ve gotten better, but it’s not something I do as a conscious step, more just a “wow, it’s been a year since I did this?” thing.
Additionally, here are some resources that are really great:
Ctrl+Paint - good for learning Photoshop and other digital tools, but also has a lot of great videos on basic principles and foundational matters
ProkoTV - a fantastic channel with tons of anatomy videos
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain - aimed at breaking down our conceptions of how we ‘should’ draw things and getting one to just draw what one actually sees. Really, really good for getting the most out of your reference images/studies. I would actually recommend this first for the beginner.
How Pictures Work - The simplest, most effective explanation of compositional basics I’ve seen.
Perspective Made Easy (PDF) - Er, I actually haven’t read this one yet (perspective is my bugbear, so I really need to) but I’ve heard good recommendations for it. (FWIW Loomis also goes into perspective some in his books.)
And maybe most of all: take time occasionally to draw what you like to draw without necessarily thinking about studies or practice. :3 It’s important to just do it for fun sometimes, to remind yourself what you liked about art.