Guest Writer: Toast#9350

Typically, people get into art by doodling on the side of their notebooks while waiting or not being able to focus. If you want to get into art, find a style that is appealing to you and that you want to draw in. It doesn’t have to be from just one style. There are a lot of different styles for you to try. Some you will like, some you will dislike, but you should try as many as possible to find what matches you and what you want to achieve.

Starting Traditionally

Traditional art is done with a pencil, a pen, markers, oil pastels, etc. To get a good workflow for your art, starting with traditional art is the way to go. With a pencil and paper, you can quickly, easily, and cheaply sketch out designs in various styles! It’s important to sketch lightly at first so that any mistakes can be quickly and easily corrected. Once the penciled sketch is finished, you can use a pen to outline the lines that you want to stand out. Inktober is a great event for practice and experience that happens every year during October. You can practice your inking skills by making a new piece every day of the month and take inspiration from other people’s designs. To participate, you simply use the hashtag #inktober on Instagram or Twitter!

Traditional Art is a great starting point for beginner artists

Traditionally coloring

Most people who start out don’t think that a regular pack of Crayola colored pencils is a good tool to use. Although Crayola colored pencils aren’t the best option out there, they are a great starting point for any artists since they’re cheap and easy to use. Crayola colored pencils come in vibrant colors for an affordable price compared to Prismacolor or Faber Castell colored pencils. Once you begin coloring, there are many references and coloring tutorials that you can use. It gives you something to work with that can help you learn and achieve the style you want!

Another tip for drawing traditionally is shading. Before you start shading, put down your base colors––the lightest colors you will want to use. Then to shade, you build up on top of your base color with more vibrant shades that create shadows. You can also use a lighter-colored ink pen to make highlights in places you want to pop out such as the eyes or where the light hits the hair!

Starting Digitally

You can find a great starting tablet for around $50 USD that is about 9.5 inches by 6 inches. A popular brand that produces affordable tablets with great quality is Huion and I personally love them as I’ve never had any issues with their tablets. If you’re worried about the comfort of drawing on a tablet and looking up at a monitor, don’t be! You will find that adjusting to a tablet isn’t as difficult as it may seem. In the future, once you’ve had a great amount of experience, you may want to upgrade to a screen tablet. Screen tablets are very expensive so I suggest you have at least 2 years of experience in digital art before you buy one!

Digital Art

Switching from traditional to digital will be hard at first. You’ll notice that you aren’t able to draw as well digitally as you do traditionally. But don’t worry! You will soon adapt to the new medium over time. The great thing about digital art is that you can easily undo your mistakes, unlike with traditional mediums where you must either cover up mistakes, work with them, or try to ignore them if possible. Compared to how tedious traditional art can be, digital art is much more forgiving and less of a burden on your hands. When coloring digitally, you will want to apply a base color––a mid-tone between the lighter and darker hues you plan on using. You usually start by shading the art piece and then adding highlights to the places that you want to glow. Clipping masks are very helpful when coloring because they allow you to color on another layer, but stay within the base color!

Overall, while it may be hard to make the initial switch to digital art, you will find yourself having a lot less stress when it comes to making mistakes and you may find that your art is much more vibrant than it was before.

Color Theory

A common misconception that people have when shading is that you have to add black to make the shade darker. Although this does create a darker hue, it doesn’t give off the same vibrant effect compared to having a light blue shade being moved to a more intense blue. Having a more intense hue of your base color is a good way to make vibrant shading and the same goes for highlights! However, don’t use white as a highlight unless your character has very light hair! When applying base colors as well, do not straight up use white or black as your base color, because you cannot go any lighter than pure white, or any darker than pure black!

Misc. Art Tips

While you might be against using references, it is the best way to improve your art. It helps you study anatomy, wrinkles, hands, hair, etc. Another way to improve is by tracing someone else’s art, although this method should only be used to learn and grow as an artist. You should never display your art using someone else’s designs or photography without giving credit. If you do decide to post it to social media (don’t), make sure you give credit to the original artist.  If you’re looking for more information on references, check out our article on them here! One final way to improve your art is by analyzing different pictures in various styles and pinpoint what you like in each one. This way, you can incorporate a mixture of each and make a completely different style that is all your own!

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