How to Become a Better Artist

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:09
Being an artist includes continuously evolving your skills, improving your technique and pushing yourself beyond the next boundary. It's part of your growth as an artist and can even see you changing your artistic techniques completely...
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Being an artist includes continuously evolving your skills, improving your technique and pushing yourself beyond the next boundary. It's part of your growth as an artist and can even see you changing your artistic techniques completely several times during a lifetime. Becoming a better artist is a journey and will bring greater satisfaction to you as you continue to build on what you already know.

Part 1
Part 1 of 4:

Stocking Up

  1. Step 1 Buy all of the necessary supplies.
    Drawing pencils, erasers, sketchbook, pastels, paint, an easel... whatever you think you will need for your area of expertise. New supplies and mediums can be encouraging. Try beginner sets of artist grade supplies, because they are often easier to use than the cheaper, student grade supplies.[1]
    • Begin with an inexpensive sketchbook with lots of pages, and a sketching set that includes kneaded putty eraser and different grades of graphite pencils. It may also include charcoal pencils, charcoal sticks, graphite sticks and brown, gray, or reddish sketching sticks. All these tools are useful, and the supplies are cheaper in bundled sets than bought individually.
    • "H" and 2H, 4H, etc are "hard" pencils that sharpen to a fine point, and give a very light mark, easily covered by paint or inking. They're for design. "F" is a "fine" pencil, a little harder than an HB, which is a normal No. 2 pencil, and middle hardness. "B" means black, and each successive degree of B pencil is softer, blacker, and smudgier. 2B is a good sketch pencil, 4B is a great one that gives good shading, and 6B or higher is almost like using charcoal, for ease of smudging and shading.[2]
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Part 2
Part 2 of 4:

Progressing with Your Art Skills

  1. Step 3 Sketch and draw anything you see!
    It could be the homeless dude begging for change, or the little girl skipping around with a balloon in her hand. Whatever you see that looks interesting, draw or sketch it![4]
    • Still, life is one of the easiest subjects for beginners to draw. Literally, the objects don't move. Choose simple ones at first, a vase without too many curlicues, a few pebbles, a flower without too many petals, a clear bottle with an interesting shape, etc. Draw each of the objects separately as a study, then start arranging them together in different ways to see how they go together. The big advantage to still life is that your models don't move, and if you do it indoors, the light from your lamps doesn't change with the time of day, either.
    • Animal drawing may be your passion. Start with your pets. Start when they're sleeping, even if that doesn't seem like an exciting pose - it's when the animal's more likely to hold still long enough to be drawn. Use photos of your pets. Visit zoos with a camera, and snap photos of every animal you see and like, then work from your own photos.
      • Look for open source photos like Wikipedia Commons and other photos where the photographer gives permission to draw from them. You can also contact photographers who take good animal photos and post them on Flickr or Facebook, asking permission to draw from their photos. Many will be happy to give permission, and most will want to see your drawings. When you're used to drawing animals fast from life, try drawing at the zoo, or wildlife like the birds at your feeder. Life drawing of animals is a good way to learn to do quick gestures and detail them later!
    • Buildings and architecture. Study perspective, as it's important in buildings more than anything else to make them look real. Find a good book on perspective, and do all the exercises. Be careful about working from photos, because they will sometimes distort vertical lines and alter perspective. You may have to correct the photo once you understand what you're doing. This is another popular fine art subject that never loses its appeal. Like still life, you can go out and draw buildings in person, without your model getting up to walk away.[5]
    • Landscapes are a traditional fine art subject. Sketch your own yard from life often, sometimes a small beautiful area, sometimes trying for the big panoramic view. Go out on camping trips, or visit local parks with your sketchbook in hand. Do several quick, five minute or less gesture sketches, to get the main elements of your landscape design down, just rough outlines, then pick the best small thumbnail and draw that view larger. This saves a host of troubles over starting with the details of a leaf, and only finishing one branch of that tree in an hour. Details are actually easier than doing the big shapes of things. Landscape drawing is about textures, shapes, and light that changes quickly, so learn to draw fast! Get the shapes of shadows down first thing, because the angle of the light will change in half an hour, and so will the shape of the shadows.
    • People are a popular subject for drawing. Start with the friends and family members you can convince to sit still for a half hour or more to let you draw them. Paint the ones you love. Sketch anyone who interests you. Again, practice quick small "gesture" drawings in public, so that you can get the gist of a figure or a face within a few minutes before the person wanders off or does something else. Sketching in public is also a great ice-breaker, a good way to meet people, because someone often wanders up to see what you're drawing. You have a topic to talk about right away - art - one that most people like and one that isn't controversial.
    • Get down low in your garden or local park for some deep inspiration among the flowers and beetles. Imagine yourself as one of the little critters hopping or flying about. How does the world look for this creature? Take photos of the leaves, petals, special textures to use later as reference guides for your artwork.
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Part 3
Part 3 of 4:

Getting Lessons and Expert Advice

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Part 4
Part 4 of 4:

Working in an Art-Related Field

  1. Step 1 Get a job (if you are old enough).
    It could be at a craft store like Joanne's or Michael's, or you could be an intern at some sort of design studio. Get to know a gallery owner and volunteer to help with setting up shows, and you may eventually be hired to work at the gallery. Alternately, sell your art online at eBay or Etsy, sell portraits or pet portraits or landscapes in person off the easel, bring your portfolio to galleries, sell at art fairs, or science fiction or media conventions.[8]
    • What type of art you do will affect where it sells best, and whether you're ready to make a living at art yet. The point at which good art supplies pay for themselves comes very fast, whenever you master at least one popular subject that non-artists like your work. This can be cartoon cats, dragons, cute manga animals or cute manga kids as easily as a fine art subject. Someone will offer to buy something. Sell it, give them that joy, even if you know you could have done it better. The connection they have with your drawing is real and emotional. Your technical criticism has more to do with your growth as an artist and less to do with the external value of your art. You're often its poorest judge, don't undersell yourself.
    • To make a living in art, learn how to become self employed. There are many aspects to self employment that have nothing to do with how well you draw and paint, everything to do with how well you manage your money and time. If you prefer to set your own schedule, make all your own business and financial decisions, work well without supervision, plan, schedule, and complete major projects without any outside authority, the life of a full time self employed artist may be right for you. If it's not, then enjoy having a side income, and look for a related job where you have an employer, a steady check, benefits, and someone else responsible for all the business stuff. How much you need to earn to be happy in life is a lifestyle choice. If you have your health, you may not need a high income to be happy as a full time artist. If you have dependents or health issues, it may not be practical to go full time until you can earn a professional level income, pursue your career part time till it matches your job income.[9]


  • Do not draw from photographs you didn't take without permission from the photographer. Look for photos the photographer has already given permission by using a Creative Commons license, or ask the photographer directly whether you can use it. Respect the terms of the license, always attribute your source image if they ask (and it's courteous if they didn't), and if they tell you not to sell the drawing, then don't. You're better off using your own photos, and learning to take good reference photos. That's a different type of photography, than taking pictures to be good pictures in their own right. It's an advanced skill to be able to change and combine photos, so much that you don't violate copyright, because it's not recognizable. Do not use magazine photos like National Geographic until you've mastered using references without violating copyright.
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Things You'll Need

  • Art supplies
  • Art lessons (optional)
  • Books

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