It takes a lot of commitment and passion to improve your painting and drawing skills. It doesn't matter if you want to be a professional painter or just want to shine in your new hobby, you can create a masterpiece. But for that it takes a lot of practice and a little patience. You need to establish a daily practice routine and be open to learning new skills. At the same time, you need to be prepared to put your old skills to good use. You should practice seeing the world through the eyes of a painter or designer, as this will help you create realistic works. In addition, you can work with light, shadow and composition in a creative and original way. Art should be unique, so have fun and don't be afraid to break the rules!
Method 1 of 3: Learn new techniques
Step 1. Check out free online tutorials
Indeed, it's a great way to learn techniques like mixing colors or shading. If you want to learn how to create a specific color or how to draw realistic shading or shadows, check out the free tutorials online. Prepare your sketchbook and tools so that you can pause the video when the technique steps are explained in detail.
- Also scroll down the comments column below the video, as it is very likely that other painters have written a comment giving suggestions and advice.
- Look for tutorials for each specific technique you want to learn. For example, you can find very good explanations of the composition. Other subjects could be for example: how to work with light, how to use the technique of cubism or surrealism or even create 3D effects. Whatever your interest, you'll probably find something online!
Step 2. Take private lessons or sign up for an art class
Make sure this course focuses on learning a particular skill. If you're a beginner, see if the centers and libraries in your area have classes that interest you. If you are already at an advanced level, consider studying art in college.
- Classes provide you with excellent opportunities to build relationships with other painters and receive constructive feedback.
- Search online to find suitable courses in your area.
Step 3. Use learning manuals
These books are a great way to learn basic techniques if you are a beginner or want to learn a specific skill like academic drawing or caricature. This method is also suitable if your schedule is very busy, because you can follow each lesson when you have time.
- You can get learning books on the Internet or at large bookstores.
- If you borrow a textbook from the library, don't draw in it! Instead, you can photocopy the relevant page and then make your drawing.
- If you're a beginner, opt for textbooks with easy-to-find worksheets. So you can familiarize yourself with the technique before you start drawing on canvas or in a sketchbook.
- Pay attention to the format of painting or drawing by numbers: if you are new to art, it can help you, but also remove your personal style. Great artists are unique!
Step 4. Make contact with other painters online
Ask them for advice on tools, styles and techniques. If you want to learn to paint or draw something specific (people, landscapes, animals) or if you want to work with specific tools (like oil paint, watercolor or charcoal), you must join of a community of artists on the Internet. Browse the forums for ideas and don't be afraid to ask a question if you need advice.
- Flickr, Hebus and Mangadraft are great communities where you can connect with and learn from thousands of painters and designers.
- For example, visit a new discussion thread and post this: “I'm trying to learn how to mix oil paints by different techniques. I'm also not sure which brushes are best suited for my geometric style. Does anyone have any tips or advice for me? "
Step 5. Be aware of your weaknesses and work on them
Take some time to think about which techniques you really master and which ones you should improve. Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 in the following areas: realism, nude drawing, portraits, fantasy and memory drawings, proportions, human anatomy, composition, color mixing (color theory) and shadows. Then make an effort to improve the techniques with the lowest score.
- For example, if you are very good at drawing geometric figures, but have trouble with shadows, take extra time to learn different shading techniques.
- Set realistic goals for improving a weak skill. For example, you can say, “I'm going to spend at least 40 minutes of a drawing session practicing drawing shadows on faces. "
Method 2 of 3: Refine your skills
Step 1. Practice every day and set goals
Set aside time every day to practice, even if you only have 20 minutes available! It is very important to train daily to learn and master a new technique. If you are a beginner, try to work out for at least 30 minutes a day. Gradually increase your workout until you can work out for at least an hour.
- The perfect time to work out may be after dinner or before bedtime, as you could unwind from your daily life.
- Mark each training day with an "X" in your calendar. Try to get as many marked days in a row as possible to develop good habits.
- Set daily or weekly goals for your workouts. For example, you can say, “I will finish one charcoal drawing per week. "
Step 2. Use a wooden mannequin to draw the anatomy
Position the mannequin as desired to practice drawing the human body. This technique allows you to learn how to draw proportions correctly.
You can buy such a mannequin model on the Internet or at any art supply store
Step 3. Use a photo as a reference for practicing realistic art
Use a photograph you took or a photo you cut from a magazine. Place it next to your countertop and try to reproduce it as realistically as possible. You can also include only certain elements of the photograph in your own creative process such as color arrangement or composition.
Step 4. Create your still life scene to paint or draw
Search your home for interesting objects that you would like to draw or paint. Then arrange the objects on a background you like. For example, you could place a candle, a bowl of fruit, and a vase on a table in front of a checkerboard wall.
- When setting up a scene, play around with the composition a bit by moving individual objects before you start drawing.
- Consider creating interesting shadows by rearranging larger objects in relation to the light source. For example, create an interesting shadow by placing a large candle between a bowl and your light source.
Step 5. Ask a friend or relative if they would like to be a model
If you want to practice portraiture or something similar, consider having someone you know sit down while you draw them. Just make sure she can sit still until you've finished your art!
When using a live model, think about the light. For example, you can create interesting shadow effects on the face using a small desk lamp
Step 6. Invest in high quality supplies
Good quality paints, tools and materials often last longer. You can also work better with such supplies. If you invest money in your hobby, you are more likely to take it seriously and keep practicing. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't buy cheap tools, just find better quality materials that are suitable for your job.
- Try different brands that make the same media at different prices.
- Individual tools (such as paints, markers, or pencils) are often less expensive than ready-made kits.
- Don't buy materials that have been made for children. Usually, these brands do not have the same characteristics as supplies intended for professionals.
Step 7. Leave your comfort zone with new styles and supports
By working with different mediums and styles, you can improve your general artistic skills. If you usually use pencil and colored pencils to paint a classic picture, try pastel to bring a new perspective to your painting. If you are good at drawing anime characters, try a surreal or cubist style.
- If you have some cash on hand, you can also buy a graphics tablet to try yourself as a digital artist.
- By practicing using different media, you will also be able to create unique pieces of mixed media.
Step 8. Get inspired by your favorite painter
View the work of one of your favorite designers and painters and learn the techniques of applied art. For example, if you want to learn how to work with shapes in an interesting way, study Picasso's Guernica painting and try to give your work a similar sense of urgency through geometry.
- If you want to get better at mixing colors, it can be helpful to imitate a certain part of one of Van Gogh's works. You can then apply this new skill to your own work.
- Visit galleries and museums near you. Also read the explanations of the works to see what the artist thought and to know the materials he used. If the painter is present, do not hesitate to learn more about his techniques.
Step 9. Don't be afraid to experiment and break the rules
Some of the greatest painters have unique views and opinions, so don't be afraid to rebel against artistic standards. Think of Picasso, who rebelled against traditional modes of perspective, or of Edgar Degas who rejected classical techniques of composition. As Picasso said: “Learn the rules like a professional so you can break them like an artist."
Art is all about making mistakes and exploiting them. Therefore, if you experience something and don't like the result, strive to do something new with it
Method 3 of 3: Train your eye
Step 1. Take the time to explore your surroundings with curiosity
Study the colors, shapes, texture and size of the different objects you see throughout the day. Look at the other person's face. Observe how the light affects the shadow and shape of the other person's features. Pay particular attention to the luminous appearance of certain textures, such as skin and clothing.
- If you pay attention to your surroundings, you will better understand what real objects look like when illuminated by different light sources.
- A fun exercise is to try to describe an object without naming it. It can help you visualize and grasp the shapes of the object. For example, if you are looking at a tree, describe the trunk as an upturned cylinder and the leaves as objects in the shape of a small lemon.
Step 2. Identify the different color variations to reproduce them well
When looking at something, pay attention to variations in color and how your eye wants to focus on certain combinations and ignore others. Focus on the subtle undertones of a color like all the different shades of red an apple can have.
When looking at a brightly colored tulip, observe the contrast between the hot pink petals and the soft green hue of the stem as well as how your eyes are drawn to the lighter tips of the petals
Step 3. Focus on an object by squinting
This will help you see the composition of its shapes and colors. Take some time when staring at a particular object, landscape, or scene. By squinting the eyes, the eye can see less color and detail, but on the contrary the differences between the objects are blurred. This technique is especially useful if you want to paint many individual things that are far away from you, such as a landscape or a forest full of trees.
By squinting your eyes, you can also better distinguish the shadow of the light
Step 4. Use negative space to create tension or balance
When looking at an object or scene, pay attention to the setting (such as a table, wall, or backdrop). When you use negative space in your paintings, you can add tension or balance to it, depending on the scene you are painting and the overall aesthetic of your painting.
For example, pay attention to the shadows, colors, and texture of anything behind the actual object to be painted. For illustration, a dark orange wall with a diagonal shadow can help bring out the flowers and candles in the foreground
Step 5. Study the composition of certain objects or scenes
Notice how some grouped objects produce shapes and lines. The geometry of a collection of objects or a scene can attract the viewer.
For example, imagine a still scene in a bookstore. The hallway on the left side of the room allows the viewer to look vertically, twinkling lights placed in a line on the ceiling can make them look up, and a bookshelf can encourage them to look up and down. This vertical movement of the eyes, which takes place on each side of the painting, could serve as a frame for the still life
- Meet other painters and designers near you to exchange advice and provide constructive feedback on each other's work. You can also train together.
- Ask your friends and family to give you feedback on your work. If one of them is a painter, so much the better!
- Everyone has an opinion about art, so you need to learn to accept criticism. Also be open to different interpretations of your work.
- Don't worry about having to paint or draw quickly. Just let the time flow and focus on when you are creative.