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I have a huge problem drawing legs/feet. So I made it a point to draw nothing but legs and feet. For 3 months of so, that's all I did. I filled up a 100 leaf A4 drawing pad with nothing but feet. I can't say it was awesome. It was tedious and repetitive and many times I felt horribly inadequate. Drawing something you are not good at does that to you. I tried tutorials, videos, drawing from reference and drawing from imagination in cycle. Finally, after what seemed like a long time, something in my head just clicked. I swear. It felt like a switch being flicked open and I actually got it somewhat. My feet drawings improved drastically.
It happened again when I was learning the front torso. I drew nothing but torsos for so long. And again, something switched. I'm not saying I became a genius at it.. But I did grasp the gist. It happened again with faces.
You said you want to improve in a short amount of time.. And I can't say this is guaranteed to work. After all, I'm pretty sure learning curves vary from person to person. But maybe you can give it a whirl. Who knows if you're one of the lucky few who pick things up fast!
So yeah.. I'm trying this method with landscape now.. And I'm stuck in the "i am a talentless hack. kill me please" stage. I'd love some company since I'm miserable! Haha kidding! I hope this helped
P.S. Sycra has been a very big part of my art journey so I'm only somewhat extended the advice I've heard from one of his vids
these are some amazing sites for references. it has been helping me a lot.
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I think I improved when I started forcing myself to draw with a pen and be sure the anatomy at some point. Eventually, I went back to using the pencil because of the mistakes I make with the pen but it helped me draw faster and draw (a little) more neatly.
It could take about a day, you know if you see all the issues the first time. For me its a super strict processes, I keep trying until it nearly makes me want to kill myself because I see no improvement the fist day, mystery.
But because I spent so much time on one thing, or many things, I find that the next time I muster up the will to try again its a lot better, because I know all my frustrations much better.
It may be different for you.
Understand your mistakes, know your weak points, then go on google or tumblr and look for tutorials that work on those specific weak points. 'getting better at drawing' altogether is too broad. Pick at the worst parts of your work and build up from that ladder.
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Try doing it in greyscale and then colouring if you have problems with your shadows not going dark enough (i.e. things looking flat).
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The only other formula I can think of for improving a lot in a short amount of time is a good drawing teacher who emphasizes sight-drawing and/or a figure drawing course with an emphasis on constructive anatomy. Community colleges often have good technical drawing courses.
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In conjunction with drawing everyday, you might want to slowly increase your practice time. Something that was very encouraging for me was when I first started seriously drawing, I couldn't really draw for more than 2 hours before getting tired but after practicing a whole lot for a couple of months I decided to see how long I could go and was surprised that I could go a little over 6 hours!
I think having a vague schedule helps too. I mainly like to go on the pixel lovely site(GREAT website which allows you to practice gestures of people, animals, hands and feet, and expressions) and choose student session for a certain amount of time so I get my daily dose of anatomy studies. I love gestures bc they're quick and really help with your ability to deconstruct in your head and reconstruct on paper(lol those words make me feel like im talking about fma)
there's lot of exercises you can do to like for warmups curve target practice, ellipses, straight lines and then you can move on to doing something like working in greyscale for better values or palette or master studies. I also like to do this thing where i try to draw something with as few lines as possible bc I think it really helps with form and flow. Something else that you should do is don't use eraser/use only pen at times. i think it helps with your accuracy and getting things right the first time!
If you want to learn better how to draw from memory then don't use reference but once you begin to notice something like all the people you drew are in the same poses or have similar hair or something it means it's time for you to broaden your artist box by looking and retaining the memory of different forms, shapes, textures, etc from real life and reference photos. Real life drawing can aid you in ways that photos lack so you should bring your sketchbooks to the cafe or zoo(really keep a small sketchbk with you everywhere you go- you never know when inspiration strikes) and sit down and draw.
Some book work is needed too for things like anatomy and perspective stuff
I suggest you should divide your 'curriculum' between the category of art you want to get better at and the fundamentals of art
the best piece of advice I can give is experiment. Try out new coloring methods, new styles, drawing things out of your comfort zone. Not only does it stimulate creativity and creates improvement, it also helps you see what things you are capable of.
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