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Art advice?

4 emeralds14 replies156 views
created 07/16/2019 2:15 pm by partyweevil
last reply 07/24/2019 4:54 pm
So I am awful at art and, I need some help from people who know what they're doing. Should I draw by hand, or on a computer with a mouse (dont tell me its up to preference) I want to draw more cartoon-ish characters, like anime, not realistic art. So should I draw by hand, or if not what should I use?
If you have any other advice it would be appreciated.
thanks, partyweevil
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Level 8 : Apprentice Engineer

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14 replies

07/24/2019 4:54 pm
Level 55 : Grandmaster Dinosaur
I think drawing traditionally will help you get a sense of proportions faster than going through the learning curve of using a mouse or tablet. Besides, a mouse *can* be used but it is surely not ideal because you have nowhere near the amount of control over your brushes than you do with a tablet + pen.

Good luck practicing! :D
07/20/2019 11:54 am
Level 1 : New Explorer
As a self-taught budding cartoonist, I have only really been drawing for a few years now, but before that, as a kid I would use a lightbox to trace drawings of my favourite cartoon characters. By tracing, it helped me to get a feel for how different artists draw their characters. I'd say this is one of the most important building blocks in beginning to draw in a cartoon-like or anime style. Find some reference pictures of the type of style you're aiming for, and try tracing, either IRL on paper (easiest) or digitally, drawing over top a low-opacity version of your reference photo. As you get the hang of the type of style you want, you'll eventually find you'll no longer need to trace, and you'll likely start developing your own twists and turns to begin creating your own unique style.

Hope you find this useful, but remember not to claim anything you may trace as your own! Happy drawing!! :D
07/24/2019 4:28 pm
Level 8 : Apprentice Engineer
good idea, thanks!
07/16/2019 2:57 pmhistory
Level 41 : Master Unicorn
I'd recommend starting drawing by hand. You can do it anywhere, so you're not limiting yourself to whenever you're at a computer. Even if you have a job or school, it's really easy to doodle in the margins or bring a small cheap sketchbook wherever you go. Then later, once you're comfortable with drawing traditionally, start to look into digital art.

I'd recommend against drawing with a mouse (from experience) unless you're doing vector graphics style illustration in something like Adobe Illustrator, which is usually more what graphic designers do. Instead, once you start doing digital, buy a cheap Wacom pen tablet (the Intuos is an excellent choice and not terribly expensive) and try out a free program like Krita. It's a bit of a learning curve going from being able to see your hand and pencil on paper to having to watch a cursor on a screen, but it only took me a little bit to get used to it. Don't waste your money on an expensive display tablet like a Huion Kamvas or Wacom Cintiq until you really know what you're doing. It's not worth it unless you're comfortable with spending $600-$2000 on a hobby. Clip Studio Paint is a great program if you want something a little more professional, but Krita can do most of the same things for free. I want to restate my earlier point though. Learn to draw traditionally first, then and only then look into digital.

To improve your skills, try to take a dedicated drawing class. It'll seem irrelevant at first because they are usually more realistic or "draw-from-life" style, but the fundamentals of drawing for realistic and cartoon styles are the same. Perspective, anatomy, and proportions are able to be warped in cartoons, but it's almost always deliberate. Knowing the basics of realistic drawing will only help you in cartoons. You don't need to be a master pencil artist who can draw photorealistically, but by knowing basic anatomy and proportions as well as things like shading and the rules of perspective, you can make your anime characters look more consistent and natural in any pose or angle even if they're a cartoony style. When I did my art class, I followed the instructions and drew pears and cubes during class, then doodled my own cartoons during lunch and at home. At the end of it, I had a much better grasp of 3D objects, perspective, shading, construction (starting with basic shapes and making them more detailed), and composition, which are all important elements of both realistic and cartoony drawing. Again, you don't have to be an amazing artist who can craft masterpieces that look like photographs, but having a basic grasp of how real things look and how to draw them (a Basic Drawing 1 level class will do this nicely), you'll have a much easier time drawing your cartoon characters and scenery because the fundamentals are the same.

Draw what you love. It's not worth the effort if you're not having fun. I'm really interested in guns, spacecraft and tactical gear, so my drawings often tend to include those subjects. During my art class, I'd doodle little plate carriers or starships on the sides of my larger papers and sketched a model spaceship for my final project. By drawing what you are interested in, you'll be able to keep up your motivation to get better. If you have OCs, draw those a lot. It can be hard drawing lots of cubes and spheres and plants if you're not interested in them, so while you might have to draw those in order to learn the basics of drawing, making your own pictures on the side can help showcase the improvement you will be making. I love going back to my old drawings and comparing them to my new ones. Even over the span of a couple months, the improvements are visible.

That's another thing. It'll take time. If you're just starting out now, be prepared to spend several years getting "better." It'll take that long to learn the fundamentals, practice applying them, and finally be comfortable with using them. That's something all of us have had to push through, and you definitely can. Keep yourself motivated by looking at your drawings from the start of your efforts and seeing how things are improving. It won't seem like a lot initially, but one to two months in, you'll start to see changes that are noticeable. That "better" in the beginning is in quotes because you shouldn't think of yourself as a "bad artist" or "awful at art." Literally everyone is until they start to improve. You're a "beginner," and your skills will grow as you learn and practice. "Improvement" is less about an artwork being "high quality" and more that it can reflect the artist's vision more accurately. That word salad means the thing you draw looks like what your mind sees. The most difficult part of drawing for me was figuring out how to translate the image in my mind's eye into pencil scratches on a page.

Search around for resources. Proko, Mark Crilley, and MikeyMegaMega are solid, and there are tons of other artists on YouTube who do great tutorials on specific things you might be interested in. I learned a lot from Mark Crilley's Mastering Manga book series, and would highly recommend it. Also use a lot of references. Pick your favorite anime and look at what you liked about the designs. Then see if you can incorporate that element into your own art. It'll probably end up as a mix of several styles, but that's a good thing. References are your best friend for pretty much everything. There's no shame in pulling up a picture of something or studying it in real life in order to get it accurately.

Source: I've been hobby-level drawing for around 6 years now. Primarily traditional, especially when I was initially learning, although I've also gotten into digital. When I'm not using some department store brand sketchbook and cheap pencils, I use Clip Studio Paint on a Huion Kamvas Pro 22 tablet display (although I used a Wacom Intuos small for around 4 years first, so I didn't fly against my own advice)

Good luck and happy drawing!

EDIT: Added a couple example drawings because the others did. Picture of two OCs from my Art Blog on PMC compared to from this year's Inktober, with them on the far left and right. A couple more from Inktober because traditional art is fun. Lastly, one of my most recent digital drawings done on my Huion and Clip Studio Paint. It was primarily an experiment with perspective.
07/16/2019 5:46 pm
Level 8 : Apprentice Engineer
Wow, thanks for writing all that, it's all really helpful. really appreciate it.
07/16/2019 2:54 pm
Level 30 : Artisan Vampire
I tend to use hand drawn, with that I find it easier to make things, easier to give them the desired shape. Computers I find to be not so good for shaping, unless you have some drawing tablet. But with all things it requires practice, also help books and how to videos can help out a lot to get things going, I've personally found Mark Crilley to be a good instructor, he specializes in manga

And other materials to help with shaping than just a pencil are also helpful, like a cup, you can use to draw circles, or geometric rulers.

These can be used to create a little help line to get the shapes you want, so always either use a blue pencil (as they tend to be barely noticeable to see) to start with or start out very lightly with your drawing pencil, then after you got the shapes you want a whole lot of erasing is going to happen to reveal your desired shape
07/16/2019 5:38 pm
Level 8 : Apprentice Engineer
Good advice, thanks!
07/16/2019 5:31 pm
Level 40 : Master Pixel Puncher
No modern art, please.
07/16/2019 5:35 pm
Level 8 : Apprentice Engineer
wow this tip really helped! thanks so much! :D
07/16/2019 4:26 pm
Level 5 : Apprentice Artist
ive been a self taught artist for 12 years so heres my advice.

test wit things. you can start, by drawing something on paper. and replicate it with different art mediums ( using mouse, painting etc.) when i did digital art ( i only do traditional now) i recommend getting a cheap drawing tablet. and a free drawing program, ( Fire Alpaca is exceptional. ) i used a wacom intuos for a while. i recommend practicing quite a lot. draw something, even a doodle once a day. take inspiration from EVERYTHING, Lampshades, houses, socks, textures of brick, cardboard. If you prefer traditional art ( pencil and paper) you may want to invest in a sketch book, and some colored pencils ( i personally prefer sharpies ) if you do use markers though, and you plan on drawing using a piece of paper from a sketch book. DONT. take the paper out, place something under it just incase the marker bleeds, and then you can place it back in later, or store is away in a folder.

if there is a traditional piece you REALLY LIKE, or want to even SELL, i suggest laminating it first, this often makes the drawing, water proof, and unable to bend easily.

its perfectly okay to not have a developed style or have inconsistent styles. i draw in so many different ways. art is about what you make of it. but i can guarantee, art is amazing, you just have to believe in yourself, and art that you think is bad, may be loved by others!

here's to the best of luck, Cheers!
07/16/2019 5:47 pm
Level 8 : Apprentice Engineer
So just draw constantly? will do! thanks
07/16/2019 4:14 pm
Level 5 : Apprentice Miner
07/16/2019 2:37 pm
Level 7 : Apprentice Llama
Use what you want! Actually drawing with a mouse makes absolytely awful things but if you're experienced with it well that's good. For cartoon characters there's no best, use what you think is better. I use a graphic pad AND hand-drawing, and it's globally the same thing...
Example : this one was done on computer and this one on paper, a you can see it's pretty similar. Take what you think being better...

Take into account that doing shadow effets is easier with paper, but numeric allows you to try random things until you like without having to leave black eraser marks on your sheet. Also, you can use almost 17 millions of different colors with a computer, but with paper you're limited to your number of pencils...

If you want to do the best things, I recommend you using a graphic pad (I'm using the XP-Pen Artist 12 and it's perfect) but traditional drawing on paper can be more satisfying (I don't understand why).
07/16/2019 5:39 pm
Level 8 : Apprentice Engineer

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