Improving in a short amount of time?

Questions, skill improvement, and respectful critique involving art assets.
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Rozume
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Improving in a short amount of time?

#1 Post by Rozume » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:05 pm

I was going to post this in my personal thread, but I figured this could help out other artists too.

Are there any ways or resources for someone (like myself) to improve in a short amount of time?

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Re: Improving in a short amount of time?

#2 Post by Rinima » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:44 pm

Yea, practice a bucket.
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Re: Improving in a short amount of time?

#3 Post by Rozume » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:52 pm

Haha, I guess I should've been more specific. Are there any resources to help someone who is more at a somewhat intermediate level get to advanced in a short amount of time? (Or even novice level) By "short" I mean a few months, say 3-4 months or such.

I know that art, and any other skill, takes a lot of time to master. But it also takes a lot of studying too.

I was looking at a digital painting course offered by Chris Oatley, it takes 18 months and it's $18 per month. I thought it might help me with my DPs. While 18 months is not short, it's a lot of time to improve.

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Re: Improving in a short amount of time?

#4 Post by noeinan » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:10 pm

While improving does take practice, I've always been of the opinion that it's not just steady, upward improvement. An artist does improve steadily as they get better at hand-eye coordination, visualizing what they want in their head, and transferring that into their medium-- but people also improve in jumps when they learn new techniques.

It sounds like it's the techniques that you're after here-- so I guess that depends on what specifically you want to improve on? Anatomy, design, lineart, color, etc.?

If it's anatomy, I highly recommend taking a look at Sycra's youtube channel. There are some really great tips there. Also, there's a sticky thread here with a bunch of resources and tutorials, so you might want to check that out as well?
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Re: Improving in a short amount of time?

#5 Post by Rozume » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:30 pm

@daikiraikimi

That is true! And I love Sycra! I follow his tutorials on Pencil Kings as well. ^^;

There's a lot of art resources in the art sticky, so I don't know where to start lol. There's... a lot I could use improvement on. ;_____;

Another question: What are some good resources to invest in art-wise that'll help with one's skill?

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Re: Improving in a short amount of time?

#6 Post by noeinan » Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:47 pm

On resources, honestly I've found most art books are useless. Classes are good, but usually don't teach you what you want to learn-- they'll teach you whatever is on the course. (aka. you can't just say 'I want to learn this, let's do that next.')

I recommend scouring free tutorials on deviantart. I find the stuff there tons more useful than anything I've seen in stores. Here's a link to some tutorials I've collected over the years. http://daikiraikimi.deviantart.com/favourites/56067441
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Re: Improving in a short amount of time?

#7 Post by Sharm » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:39 am

Well, the best thing I've found is to find a place with great artists who are willing to do some really serious critique and then have them rip to shreds everything you make for a while and implement the things they suggest within a very short time frame. It's hard on the ego, you'll be redrawing the same thing over and over again and it's going to take some serious time investment, but it does work.
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Re: Improving in a short amount of time?

#8 Post by Rozume » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:53 am

@daikiraikimi

Thank you for the resources! I have a tumblr where I collect art resources too, but going through 2000+ likes is a hassle haha. xD

@Sharm

I'm really intimidated by places like CGHub and Concept Art because the artwork is 1000000000x better than mine and if I show my art I'm scared I'll get laughed at ;_____; (I know this won't actually happen, but still)

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Re: Improving in a short amount of time?

#9 Post by sendo » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:31 am

Wonderful resources daikiraikimi! Thanks!

As for the topic, you already answered it yourself ;)
Rinima wrote:I know that art, and any other skill, takes a lot of time to master. But it also takes a lot of studying too.
Anyways, these are the fastest ways I've found that works for me. It may or may not work for you.

Copy-study the work of artists who inspire me
I copy, a lot. But I don't just mindlessly copy, I study how they draw the eyes, the ears, how they shade, the colors they use, everything. Of course, my drawings always end up looking crap compared to the original, but the learning process is more important than the end result. And you can always 'Self-Critique' yourself by comparing your work with the original.
I guess this process works for me because I often succumb to the white canvas syndrome. I've learned pretty fast doing this, especially on coloring. Obviously, there are downsides to this one, but hey it works :)

Andrew Loomis' books and drawing from life
As much as I love anime/manga, I would not have truly improved if I ignored drawing from life. You must have heard the "anime/manga/cartoons is just a stylized form of drawing people" and that is very true.
But how did it help me speed up my improvement? Simple, I don't erase as often/ use reference as often because I know where parts of the body go (well only the major ones anyway). So I can focus on other issues such as design, clothing, coloring, etc.

Thinking in 3D
This is one skill that I wish I started learning earlier. It's far easier to remember the human body (or other objects) as simple shapes like cylinder, sphere, etc and not complex bones and muscle groups. It's kind of hard to explain, but it's like training your brain to become a 3D software. Basically, once you know the form of the subject (human body, car, building, spaceship, dragon, anything) you can pose it any way you want, in any angle, in any perspective, etc etc.
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Re: Improving in a short amount of time?

#10 Post by kelsaki » Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:05 pm

I could never agree more than I do with crestforge. Drawing from real life was key for my development. Even when you are drawing something that is not necessarily 'real' (unicorns, dragons) there is something in nature to reference it to (horses, lizards). Don't use real life objects just for reference though; there's a vital skill you will learn from just trying to draw your desk or a tree.

You learn how to look at things.

Ex: Looking at where your pen is in relation to say the edge of your desk can be tedious work, but then you grow to see just how the pen recedes from the desk's edge and bam: perspective is right before you. You will begin to see areas of negative space and just how unique each space is. In other words, I highly recommend drawing the mundane stuff around you :)

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Re: Improving in a short amount of time?

#11 Post by Sharm » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:29 am

You don't have to go someplace scary. You could do it here, it's been done before.
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Re: Improving in a short amount of time?

#12 Post by arachni42 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:08 am

Definitely practice a lot, and get feedback to make sure you're progressing effectively. I agree with looking on Deviantart for tutorials.

I also think it's important to step back sometimes; there will probably be times when you're trying over and over to get something right, but it's not happening. At that point I'd suggest stepping away, doing something else, and coming back to it the next day. Your brain does some memory processing during sleep, so a good night's rest can help the learning process.

Good luck!
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Re: Improving in a short amount of time?

#13 Post by Green Glasses Girl » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:46 am

Draw everyday for those 3-4 months. Every. Single. Day.

A few years ago, I did the February Challenge - do one drawing a day. Set a goal for yourself. Mine was to be able to draw older men and women (before, all the characters I drew never exceeded the age of 20).

I devoted my weekdays to getting a minimum of four sketches done each day and weekends to just studying and sketching anatomy books (Andrew Loomis books, Burne Hogarth books, and a ton of others are available online!) It got mad exhausting to sketch all the time, but I looked at my drawings from the beginning of the month to the end and there was improvement. Not gigantic, but I was finally able to draw more. The pace of improvement varies from one person to the next, but practice, practice, practice!
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Re: Improving in a short amount of time?

#14 Post by Kensela » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:28 am

Do this exercise for at least a month'
Get a new sketchbook.
It does not have to be expensive.
For 1 month at least, do NOT draw in your style. Instead everyday for that month draw from what you see. It does not matter if it's nature or a piece of trash just draw something that you see everyday, and don't try to cheat and just do an outline actually try to shade in the shadows and add as much detail as possible. Once you filled the sketchbook go back to drawing in your style. You will see that you have improved.

It is an exercise recommended to me by a professional artist, and it has helped greatly.

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Re: Improving in a short amount of time?

#15 Post by nyaatrap » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:06 am

Amount is just a requirement, not sufficient condition.
Draw massive amount with highest concentration and with deep knowledge, and with strong logic.
Don't draw with no thinking. It's just you're spending your time meaninglessly.
Skill is composed of many elements, and you have to learn all of them. Just doing one thing is same to negligent.
There's nothing to improve in a short time, but there're many thing to stagnate your improvement.

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