- are you a perfectionist? at all? if so, buy a notebook/sketchpad and call it “imperfect art notebook”. Let yourself make as many mistakes as you want on every page. After all, the whole point of that notebook is to be imperfect. Certain things in it should be wrong. This will help you get over the fear of “ruining” your notebook with bad art.
- draw simple straight lines, curvy lines, circles and squares. Then trace over them as many times as you can. This should help you gain control over your lines + learn to steady your hands.
- when practicing, give yourself a challenge. If you paint with a brush too big, it’s going to be even easier when you paint with one the right size. Try making color schemes with limited palettes. Try making landscapes only with basic shapes. Give yourself restrictions. Then see how much better you do without them.
- try doing a 30 day drawing challenge. a lot of them are super fun.
- you can make a blog to keep track of your progress + share your work with others more easily. The art community on tumblr is really welcoming (in my experience).
- drawing with your friends is super fun. You can go get coffee together and doodle the coffee shop around you as you talk. You can make a game of it where you draw one panel of a comic, your friend draws the next one, you draw the next one, and so on. You can make silly caricatures of each other to practice.
- take inspiration from other people. Look at art online. Look at the techniques and tools used by your favorite artists. Read art history books. Maybe even take a class if you can. If you see a style that you like, play around with it. If you see an idea that you like, try to make your own twist on it.
- Study light! Study the difference between artificial and natural light. Study shades. A simple and easy place to start: look out your window on a bright day, and write/draw down what you see. Do it again on a gloomy rainy day, and compare.
- Other helpful things to study: composition, proportions, color theory, character/environment design (pro tip: if you study the way lines + basic shapes interact in nature and have been used in history, it will help you understand design much more easily).
- Okay so I know I just said a lot of stuff which can seem really overwhelming when you’re just starting, but here’s the thing: do it one step at a time. Start by putting your pencil on paper (or stylus on tablet or whatever it is you use). Make lines. See what happens. Keep drawing. Bring a notebook and a pen with you when you go out in case inspiration strikes. If you get a cool idea and think “I’ll draw that when I’m better!” or “I wish I was good enough to draw that”, ignore that voice and draw it now. Of course it won’t be as good as you want it to be. That’s okay. Nobody makes a masterpiece their first try, but nobody makes a masterpiece without that first try either. Read an art book or check an artist’s website every now and then. Study the things I told you or ignore what I said and do your own thing. Do this whatever way is funnest for you, but keep doing it. Draw as often as possible. You’ll do great.
- bonus resources:
free andrew loomis art books
color scheme designer
figure & gesture drawing tool
help you draw tumblr (a collection of art tutorials and tips)
eatsleepdraw (good art inspiration)
fire alpaca (good free digital painting software)
blambot (comic fonts and lettering)
user created color palettes
50 art journal prompts