Best products from r/learnart

We found 264 comments on r/learnart discussing the most recommended products. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 483 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

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HUION H610PRO V2 10 x 6.25 inch Graphics Tablet Drawing Tablet with 8192 Battery-Free Stylus Tilt Function, 8 Shortcut Keys, Compatible with Mac, PC or Android Mobile
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u/TwoToedTerror · 1 pointr/learnart

Glad I could be of help!

Watts Atelier is really amazing. It is beginner friendly - anatomy knowledge helps, but you wont be drawing the figure immediately. It will still be a good idea to learn anatomy while you continue through the program - I'll link you to some great anatomy resources.

To give you a rough breakdown of how the course works, you start by drawing simple shapes (spheres, cylinders, boxes, cones) focusing on form and value. Then you will start drawing other simple geometric forms applying the same principles. Then drawing fundamentals is finished with still life drawing. Next you move into portrait drawing fundamentals, then figure. If you are interested in painting, you can continue the course to portrait and figure painting, along with other specialized classes (landscape, drapery, composition, etc.)

On the issue of sizing, that is a problem that will solve itself naturally over time. It has to do with proportions and measuring, which is a skill that takes time and practice to get a handle on. Eventually you can visualize where everything goes and place it on the page in the right spot. But yeah, Watts Atelier will definitely help.

The difference between Watts and other free tutorials online is 1.) professionalism and structure: The course is taught by the founder of the atelier Jeff Watts, and it is structured like a true academic art class. Learning online gives you random bits of information which are helpful, but you can't contextualize them. The course is designed to take you from beginner to master. The tutorials online are fun, but don't have that structure.

2.) The teachers are world class artists. To give context, here is some of Jeff Watts work. You may not want to be a painter, but you can be confident that you are learning from a master. You can also google his drawings, they will blow you away. Also, the guy Stan Prokopenko who I recommended - and is often mentioned in this sub - was trained at the Watts Atelier by Jeff Watts.

You probably get the picture, its a great program. My experience with it has been an absolute joy. I wish I could go back in time two years when I started pursuing a career in art and taken these classes immediately. It would have saved me so much time and effort wasted trying to figure out how to grow as an artist on my own. What I do is pay for a month and watch all the videos and print out the handouts for the module (currently on portrait II), and then spend however long I need to get a good handle on it before I spend the 100$ for the next month. Also, if you have the cash to blow, you can spend extra money to get 1 on 1 coaching with teachers at the atelier.

I will note that it can get boring drawing spheres and still life all the time, so make sure you schedule time to draw stuff you love. Once you get into portrait and figure things get way more fun, but just be ready for that in the early stages.

Anyway, glad I could help at all! Feel free to PM me at any time, I have tons of resources I've hoarded over the years that can be helpful. Here are some links that might be helpful:

Here is a video of Jeff Watts drawing and answering questions, it will give you an idea of what his teaching style is like and who he is. Also the drawing is really good.

New Masters Academy is another great tool that has been huge for me. The anatomy and figure drawing courses are amazing. They aren't as structured as Watts, but can be very useful for when you have specific areas you want help for.

This book is superb for figure drawing. Also, this book is the equally amazing book on perspective. Also, a lot of books don't talk about drawing the clothed figure (which is pretty dumb considering most of the time, commercial art has to do with clothed people), which is why I also love this book. You are probably familiar with Bridgman's book, but if you don't have it - get it.

A lot of professional artists in many different industries (concept art, comics, film, animation, 3D, etc.) make gumroad tutorials for a decent price, here is a massive list of tons of these great tutorials.

If you want some inspiration while you work, I love listening to Creative Trek and Chris Oatley's Artcast. They both are mostly interviews with other professional artists and contain all sorts of wisdom and inspiration to help you out.

I have more, but I'll leave it there. I hope the best for you man! Keep up the hard work! Feel free to PM me for whatever reason.

u/fanatical · 1 pointr/learnart

Sorry about the length of this. I seem unable to express myself with a short post.
Maybe this will sound boring. I'm only an amateur, but I will tell you what I think will help based on what my own struggles have been and how I have seen results. As someone who drew a lot earlier in life but never got anywhere and who finally improved over just a few years by putting in real work. And I don't even do this full time. I have a job on the side and I just try my best.

You will need understanding of basic forms. Look to for a quick introduction. You will need to understand how to turn forms in your head and understand the perspective of the basic forms of the cube, the sphere and the cylinder. This sound boring. I know. But please understand that to become a great footballer, you first have to at least know how to kick a ball, or dribble, or even tie your shoes.

You don't have to ONLY draw this. But I'd recommend you get lots of practice in. Please view it as lifting weights. It may not be GREAT fun to do the actual heavy lifting, but you're looking for results. You're working toward a very specific goal. If you want results in a given time frame you must focus your efforts, even if you're not having the time of your life doing it. When you DO see results however, you will feel better about it.

You're looking to get better at figure drawing primarily, which means eventually you'll have to do gestures. A lot. So just start now. Do ones that are horrible and ignore the fact that they are horrible. I have sketchbook upon sketchbook with gesture drawings. And in the beginning it felt like I was wasting paper cause I was so bad. But you still have to do it. Try to adopt an attitude about gesture drawing that it's basically the blueprint of your drawing. You have all these "materials". Construction of simplified forms. Light and shadow shapes. All fit together like concrete and metal plates and rivets. But without the blueprint you wouldn't even know where they fit. So for the gesture and beginning figure drawing I recommend Michael Hampton's book : Figure drawing design and invention.
Also look at videos on youtube of Steve Huston, Karl Gnass and Glenn Vilppu. They have different approaches, but share the same fundamentals. Gnass' gestures are simple and pragmatic. Huston's are effective and good looking. And Vilppu's are intuitive and experienced. (In my own personal opinion ;D)

I know you want to draw cool looking figures in a certain style, but I put it to you that you don't have to go crazy about style right away. I feel like you can save that for last. Your art preferences will always be guiding your "style" anyway, so try to use reality for as much as you can. Realism in this sense does not mean photo-realism. It means using reality as the grounds for your practice. We have to do this because art is a science. People think it's not. They think art is some kind of opposition to science or that we need "both sides of the coin" or something. But art is a science. And only in recent years when we've finally developed both tools and understanding of the nature around us are we able to create truly stunning works of art.


Part two will have to be getting figure drawing training in, which by following along with Hampton's book will hopefully give you an idea of what you're going to have to scale. It's going to be first the simplification of the body into simpler forms (this is where your initial practice will be useful) and later refining those forms by a study of reality. There are so called "rythms" in organic figures and particularly in the human body that should be known and practiced. I believe you'll find much of this information in Hampton's book. It's one of the better compendiums of basic figure drawing I have read.

Of course, drawing from life is the best thing you can do. But being of "parents are forcing me to do something" age means you're probably young enough to be a partially "cybernetic organism". Youtube has decent resources for many things. Look around this sub and other art sites and you'll find links to a lot of figure drawing resources online. I like the New Masters Academy youtube videos and Croquis café on youtube. What would we do without youtube I wonder.

"Ignore" anatomy as some kind of knowledge of muscles and skeletons and bla bla. I've never found that particularily useful. We're not doctors. I don't mean that knowing anatomy doesn't help. Of course it does, but starting out it is the LAST of your priorities. Instead try to understand anatomy as simplified forms. And start from the big picture. What is the largest shapes and forms you can identify on a figure. Then work your way down. Example: You want to draw the head. First the head can be simplified as a tube or a box or a sphere. Later we can add smaller forms on this larger form to identify features like ears and nose and eyes. Again Hampton's book does well in explaining these things.

People repeat this mantra as if it's religious. Draw from life as much as you can. It might not be obvious right away, but you HAVE TO be able to understand the 3D form of what your drawing. And some times it's a BIG help to be able to just be able to walk around something to understand its form. Doing sculpture would even help your drawing skills because it will familiarize you with forms. This is the ultimate and imperative knowledge of all good drawing.

Lastly, you need that mileage man. You need to calm your ego and just say to yourself that "my work is gonna be trash for a while , but that's ok". Don't expect anything until months have gone by. You won't be able to lift that 200lbs weight yet. You have to keep working your way there.


This is actually enough to get you started. You don't need a million books and a million youtube videos or tutorials on anything. You need a direction and some dedicated time. Time that's spend lifting the right weights. Not trying to lift 200lbs before you're ready. You'll just end up hurting your back and feeling bad for your inability to lift the weights.

I'm sorry that I don't have a recipe for you on how to get good. It's down to the bare bone basics and a lot of work. Chances are that after 6 months you might see some improvement.
Just have faith in the fact that there are a few things which WILL improve your figure drawing.

  • Basic form knowledge and understanding of putting it in perspective

  • A constructive method of drawing (which will mean you draw everything the same way whether you imagine it, remember it or see it in front of you.)

  • Figure drawing from life or good reference (and LOTS of it) to train your memory, to train your intuition and everything else.

u/Am_draw · 5 pointsr/learnart

Your friend is sort of right about the pen. It can help do away with the "chicken scratch" method of drawing by forcing you to be more confident with your lines but you should stick with pencil for now.

I'm mostly self-taught as well (although I learned a bit from Watts Atelier until it got to be too expensive) and the sheer amount of information out there can be really overwhelming. I mean, there's so many things to learn: perspective, line weight, figure drawing, portraiture, landscape, etc.

What definitely helped me is realizing that I'm never going to stop improving as an artist. That means that I'm going to have my entire life to hone my skills. Even if you have to unlearn a lot of bad habits, you've still got plenty of time to practice slowly, deliberately and mindfully.

If you understand that you've got your whole life to get better, it's easier to formulate a strategy to get better. You've got to think about this in the long term. That means taking a month to work solely on anatomy, another month to work only on perspective, another month to work on tone and values, while always revisiting the skills that you've already cultivated.

For example, I've laid out my artistic goals 3 months in advance. That means that for the next 3 months, I'm only focusing on anatomy and gesture/figure drawing. My daily schedule this week looks like this:


1, 2, 5 and 10 minute gesture/figure drawings

study/copy hands from Bridgeman's Constructive Anatomy book

draw 50 hands

spend about 10-15 minutes drawing hands from memory and comparing them to the references I was using earlier

work on something fun

If I have extra time, I'll work on some more anatomy studies but it depends on how busy I am with work/life. After this week is up, I'll move on to arms, then the core, then legs, head, etc, following the same setup I've made. Maybe the next 3 months, I'll move on to perspective drawing but I haven't thought that far ahead yet.

If you're confused about where to start, just pick something that you're the weakest at and start drawing that. It's a grind and you're going to be producing hundreds, if not thousands of drawings but that's the way to get better.

Like I said, if you start thinking in the long term, it gets less overwhelming. I'm gonna link some resources that really helped me out.


Perspective Made Easy

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

Fun With a Pencil Actually, anything by Loomis.

How to Draw Kind of a technical book but goes into really great detail about perspective

Youtube Channels

Watts Atelier Highly recommended. Watch his figure drawing videos. Also, if you can spare the cash, join his online school. It's fantastic and very structured course in drawing. Definitely look into this if you have trouble deciding what to learn next.

Proko This guy has great intro videos for figure drawing. I think he learned at Watts Atelier as well.

New Masters Academy They have a ton of great videos about everything. Definitely look into Glen Vilppu's figure drawing series. He's the god of figure drawing.

Alphonso Dunn Really great pen and ink tutorials

Sorry if I overwhelmed you (ironic, considering your original post) but I just wanted to share some stuff that's really helped me develop a schedule and get better. Let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to help you a fellow art student out.

TLDR: You have plenty of time in your life to get better, so make a schedule and stick to it.

u/wrexsol · 1 pointr/learnart

Yes, as you've mentioned the head is tiny, knowing is half the battle I guess. The contours are pretty nice, but the picture is missing value/shadings so it looks incredibly flat. A lot of folks here will recommend anatomy lessons, which would certainly be a good start. Understanding how the the arms relate to the chest, the chest to the head and neck, all the processes in the skeleton that compose the human figure and how they all interact with one another will greatly improve how you see those things.

If I may, I'd like to elaborate on something that is easy to miss as an upcomer: people in real life almost never stand up perfectly straight or are never seen straight on by the eye in a perfect symmetrical orientation. The body is not perfectly symmetrical in most cases. In this picture, we see your model looking off to the side while holding the bow, but it looks uncanny and stiff. The hand on the hip exacerbates this flaw because usually when the hand is on the hip, the body's weight is usually leaning into it even if it's only slightly. Shifting the body's weight will help make the pose less stiff and more natural.

My recommendation is to draw from a photograph or some other reference (real models are awesome)! If you don't have a friend that likes being drawn, there are some sites out there that can help you refine your chops. Then, you can revisit an imagined piece like this and be able to make the adjustments that will make her come life. One site frequently recommended on here is the Pixel Lovely Trainer (also in the side bar); it cycles through tons of different pictures that you can sketch out at your own pace.

Some books about Anatomy:
Artistic Anatomy
Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist

An awesome tome about Figure Drawing:
Figure Drawing for All It's Worth

Gesture Drawing Tutorial (video) - something that may help you develop your skill

Additionally, and some folks may not like this, but taking some kind of drawing course might help you build your skills efficiently. I know when I did a 101 Drawing class for a college elective, it kept me focused, forced me to explore different elements of drawing that I would never have considered, and really helped me understand the relationships of different shapes and objects in a space. (another thing it helped me do was force me to work within a deadline window, which becomes fairly important when looking for confidence).

All in all I think you are onto a great start and with a little direction you can improve pretty quickly. There's a shit ton of information out there and it's all waiting for you to check it out!

u/xZeroRage · 6 pointsr/learnart

> I was thinking on drawing 50 arms, 50 legs and so on,

This will accomplish absolutely nothing if you aren't sure what you're doing in the first place. So, let's go over a few things to help you with this instead.

Let me tell you a few things that I picked up as soon as I saw your drawings:

  • You aren't actually paying much attention to the subject you're drawing; especially if you have a reference, you're going to have to measure up and make sure what you have looks right. There appears to be lots and lots of guessing here, which is a habit you'll have to break if you aren't sure what to guess.
  • You don't have a good grasp on perspective yet; this can be seen in examples 1 and 4 where you have the figures in such unnatural looking positions.
  • You have lines in example 1 which seem to be you measuring her height using the head as a reference, which is interesting to me, as you appear to have grown impatient and drawn what you though would make her look better. I think some of the frustration here lies in the fact that her head is too tall, which made the rest of her body not line up the way you wanted it to.
  • Your muscles look masculine, even with your women, and they also aren't what natural muscles look like.
  • Your clothing textures are actually decent (some more practice and I think you'll have these down, definitely!), and aren't really much of a weak point for you.

    Let's take this apart step by step and see where some progress can be made. First, the face:

  • You know what a face looks like, though you're having some difficultly constructing one. To learn how to actually make a face, one way to do it is by drawing a face head on so you get an idea of how the proportions work. It's also much easier to get a straight on look at a face and make less mistakes along the way, as you'll have the proportions directly in front of you. When it comes to drawing faces at an angle, however, this'll be more difficult, as you won't have the same guidelines to help you. Once you draw lots of faces head on, with practice on value/shading, etc. then it should be easier to construct one in your head and have an idea on what to work on for various other angles you're trying to accomplish. So here's a nice video that can go about showing you how to draw a face from different angles and here's another one that provides commentary along the way, and is a bit more straightforward as well.
  • Your faces, similar to your muscles, all look very masculine, which tells me you don't know what women look like. I'm more so just pointing this out as something you should work on, so here's an article that goes over differences in drawing faces between men/women it'll take some getting used to at first, but it's something to study and fix before you try getting too involved with faces (otherwise you'll get good at making mistakes, which you don't want)

    Next, the body:

  • Okay, you and I both understand that proportions/anatomy aren't a strong point for you. Not to worry, you can fix this! Proko is a great source on YouTube you'll see mentioned a lot here if you're having trouble with anatomy, since he goes over things in an easy to understand fashion. There's also Draw with Jazza whose channel I love, since he goes over material quite well. What may also help here is enrolling in a class in a university or community center that'll allow you to a draw a live model, where you can get feedback from a teacher and other students as well. There's also some books on anatomy, such as Atlas of Human Anatomy (keep in mind this one is not really a tutorial, just something to help give notes on anatomy), and this book, which is a bit more beginner friendly and has more instruction in it.
  • Instead of trying to simply draw 50 arms and 50 legs, it helps to have some guidance on what exactly you're drawing and how to draw it. This is a clear tutorial that can help with that , and in case you also need a bit of reminding of what limbs are supposed to look like, this here can help you with body proportions so you can make sure your limbs match up, and gives extra tips on how they can do that. One thing I will note as well, is that it's not just your limbs that need work, so don't feel like you should only be focused on them when you work on the body, as you need to make sure the entire human form is comprehensible and works together. What's the point of having nicely drawn limbs if you have a shitty torso, for example. I'll also remind you that drawing limbs is a pain in the fucking ass and that it's not something that you'll pick up quickly (this is especially true of digits, hands/feet were and still are a pain for me to draw!). Speaking of hands, you seem timid when it comes to these subjects, and you're going to want to get over that, since if you don't know much about hands/feet, then many of your gestures won't look as appealing (plus, it's only going to hurt you since you'll get frustrated time and time again trying to get them right). Luckily, Draw with Jazza has a tutorial on those, and you can also purchase a hand mannequin if you'd like some extra help. Another great resource is looking at your own hands/feet, since they're always available and can get the job done in some natural lighting.

    Lastly, your (lack of) shading:

  • Since there's no shading to speak of in these pieces, you're doing yourself a huge disservice as you aren't actually drawing the human form, but rather an outline of it (which in itself, isn't giving any details to speak of, which is adding to your lack of success with drawing people). This tells me you either a. aren't too familiar with how to create form, or b. simply don't understand yet understand the importance of shading when learning how to draw. This is all fine and dandy, as this link here will tell you all about form and how to shade properly. Some exercises you can practice for this are drawing objects in real life in shading them, and getting used to not erasing while you do so (when you don't erase, it prompts you to make less and less mistakes further along the road).

    And here's a last:

  • Go slow. Drawing is a not a race, you don't have to finish everything within a set time limit. If it's taking you a long time to learn something, don't sweat it. There's no such thing as someone who is good at drawing everything when they first start out. Everyone sucks in the beginning, so it's better to take your time and focus on what mistakes you make so you can take note of how to improve later. And since you want to work with people, which is difficult because a. not only is the human form in itself hard to draw, but you have to make a human body be recognizable since unlike drawing animals, which don't have any particular likenesses that are completely relevant (for example, you can draw a golden retriever, and I can look at it, and see it's a golden retriever because animals don't have that look to them that really separates them), meanwhile humans have facial and body features that are distinguishable to us since we recognize our own species, and b. there can be a lot going on in a human drawing, such as us holding something, wearing certain things, having certain hairstyles, etc. which by themselves can be difficult to master. So taking your time and realizing that it won't be perfect right away will only help you in the long run.
u/Sunergy · 6 pointsr/learnart

This seems like the perfect place to get started, and having the kind of confidence that it takes to be able to ask for help when you need it is exactly the kind of thing you need to be successful with drawing. I've been on my own drawing journey for about six months now, from a starting place quite similar to where you were, and although I still have a long way to go I'll do my best to share what I've been able to find out along the way.

Drawing is much like learning any other skill, like math or a sport, and as such the best favour you can do yourself is to know how you learn things best and to focus on that. Always try to go for several different methods, since variety will help your learning process from getting monotonous, and remember that any type of instruction will be better than no instruction, even if it's not your first choice.

Also, drawing on a tablet is hard. The disconnect between pen and screen as well as the small surface and lack of completely accurate touch feedback can make it a difficult way to begin making art. It's fun and you should certainly keep it up, but I found it was much easier to learn the basics with a good old pencil and a cheap sketchbook, and then apply what I learn to my tablet paintings afterwards. Sketchbooks also have the great benefit of being portable, and going around and drawing things that you can actually see in front of you is essential to learning to draw well.

Books did wonders to help me. Check you local library to see if you can find some on the cheap. Try to avoid books that only deal with drawing on specific thing, like "How to draw cars" and such, since these are often far to specific and narrow in scope, when what you really need is a solid drawing foundation. Probably the highest recommended one for beginners is Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. It covers all the basics and is geared to the complete beginner, and unlike a lot of art books that focus primarily on techniques it also talks a lot about the thought process behind drawings. Judging by your work, I think it would be the most help to you of anything, as your major problem seems to be that you are relying on "symbols" that represent what you are wanting to draw rather than direct observation, which is extremely common and was my major problem too. You can also find videos of her teaching the lessons from her book on Youtube, but I'd still recommend the book, as it allows you a better view of the examples, lets you double check the instructions and makes it so you can work at your own pace.

Taking a class can be invaluable, since you have someone with experience right there to put you on the right track. Many colleges and community centers offer art programs in evenings or weekends (and during summer break, since you seem to be a student) where you could get started. Asking at a local art supply store might help to put you on the right track there. My work schedule prevents me from taking classes on any regular basis, but I'm always on the lookout for short intensive and drop-in meetups that do fit in.

For web based ressources that deal specifically with digital painting, nothing beats Ctrl+Paint. You don't need to bother with the videos that require you to pay for now, there is a great deal of free tutorials that will help you get started.

After you learn the basics, it all comes down to practice and choosing what you want to focus on at any given time. More advanced books and classes can focus on different mediums or subjects, and the fun part is often exploring and experimenting on your own. The trick is to think big, avoid restraining yourself, laugh off every mistake and try again and practice, practice, practice.

u/George_Shrinks · 3 pointsr/learnart

> For beginners learning to draw accurately, just focus on the Elements of Art.

I'd actually like to chime in here to give OP another option (not looking to argue about fundamentals haha. We all know how that goes).

Quick backstory:

I studied art for two years and went through pretty much the same training that you described above. I had a wonderful experience, but decided that it wasn't for me. I then decided to pursue Industrial Design, which meant I had to study the fundamentals all over again, only this time they were different.

Just like the elements of art, we still started out with the basics of line, shape and form, but with a much heavier emphasis on accurate perspective. In fact we were taught about the different kinds of perspective and how/why they work from the get go. The equivalent of "value" in Industrial Design was "rendering", only it was much more technical (how to construct shadows in perspective, how light decay and occlusion work, the Fresnel Effect etc.)

Of course this all just sounds like a bunch of technical mumbo-jumbo, so let me make a small change to what you said above to summarize what I am trying to say.

>For beginners learning to draw beautifully, just focus on the Elements of Art.

and likewise

>For beginners learning to draw accurately, learn perspective.

I am personally in favor of learning the rules before you break them. Want to paint a pretty cottage? Paint a convincing one first using perspective. Again, this is not the only way to learn. It is just what I would recommend based on my experience. This is, of course /r/learnart and not /r/learntodrawperfectly, so please take all of this with a grain of salt.

"Well gee, thanks a lot Mr. useless design person."

Wait! Don't go, OP! I have some actual, useful advice!

  1. Avoid digital for as long as possible. Nothing beats the muscle memory you will gain from drawing with a real pen/pencil on real paper.
  2. Exercise those muscles every day! Here are some of my favorite exercises: 1- Straight, parallel lines. Keep your wrist as still as possible and draw from your elbow and shoulder. Grip the pen lightly and DON'T rotate the page. 2- Dots connected by lines. Draw lots of dots on the page and then draw nice, straight lines connecting them. You may rotate the page for this one. 3- Lines through a point. Draw a dot on the page and try to draw straight, intersecting lines through the center. Don't rotate the page. This one is tricky. 4- Circles! Just fill the page. Try to do these quickly. "Ghost" the shape of the circle over the page before putting your pen down, and then try to draw the whole thing in 2 or 3 quick gestures. 5- Ellipses! Draw some line segments on the page and then draw some ellipses with those lines acting as the minor axis. 6- Cubes in two point perspective. Draw your horizon line, and then just fill the page (I didn't fill the page here but you get the idea). Try to relax while doing all of these warmups. They might not be very exciting but eventually they can become sort of a calming, zen exercise. Your lines will look horrible at first, but you will get much much better if you just practice.
  3. Listen to everything /u/cajolerisms said above, and if you're up to the challenge, try approaching things from the technical route as well. Once you learn how perspective works you will literally see the world differently. It seems daunting now, but the more you practice, the more it will all make sense and your artwork will become more convincing as a result.
  4. As much as I hate telling people they need to spend money to learn how to improve their drawing/painting, I highly recommend this book. Scott Robertson does a great job of breaking down how perspective works and has some great tips on shortcuts for constructing accurate drawings. Plus, once you get the book, you get access to video lessons that break down all of the topics in the book.

    Remember that every time you put your pencil to paper you are creating something that has never existed. No one has ever seen the things that you will draw. You are a creator, and that is just about the coolest thing to be in the universe. Don't give up, and happy arting!
u/nearlynoon · 1 pointr/learnart

Howdy there.

So positives first: I like that you're trying a moderately challenging post, that's good. The legs and feet are pretty good, got some knee action going on and the legs aren't just vague shapes, they taper well according to form. Shows you're looking, or are copying someone who was looking and you noticed. The feet are basic, but similarly well-shaped. There's a good sense of weight to the whole figure, you've shifted her torso and head forward to account for the arms sticking out back.

Now, there are some proportion issues. The head is at an angle that is notoriously hard to draw (looking up at it from below) so that's excusable, but that arm is very long. The length of the arm from shoulder to fingertip should go to mid-thigh. That arm goes to at least mid-calf. It also doesn't show the sensitivity to underlying shapes that the legs do. Arms are not tubes, they have a pretty distinct shape when they're stretched out like that.

So everyone in this thread is giving you the delightfully vague advice of 'study anatomy'. What they mean is that stylized drawings like this (especially with the Eastern influence you have going on) rely on a very weird combination of 'correct' and 'simplified' anatomy which is more or less impossible to intuit. So the best thing you can do for yourself, especially at this early sage is get a textbook that takes the body apart bit by bit and study it. My favorite anatomy book is in a box somewhere and I suddenly can't remember the author's name and all anatomy textbooks have basically the same name so I'm not finding it. Whatever, my old professor wrote a pretty good one that lots of people like. Copy some of the individual parts listed in that book and take note of how they interact together. It will kick-start your understanding of the human form and help your cartoons out immensely.

Keep it up! Good luck.

u/Nausved · 7 pointsr/learnart

Skin is hard, because skin isn't actually opaque. It is translucent, so it picks up light and colors and scatters them within itself, as if it were a thin layer of wax all over your body. This is called subsurface scattering, and it gives skin a softer appearance, a reddish glow (from blood vessels), and more color and depth in the shadows.

Look at this image. It does a good job of breaking down the different elements of a face. The left image, of course, is the actual shape of the face. The second image is the flat shading; there is no scattering here, just straight up "Does the light hit this spot directly?" It also includes a "specular" map, which indicates which parts of the image are glossy and shiny; notice the area around the nose is shiny, for example. I'll get back to specularity later on.

The third image includes the coloration alongside the flat shading. A "diffuse" map shows the appearance of something when bright, diffuse light hits it from all angles. Basically, it shows the colors at the brightest and most saturated they can ever be. A computer program applies shading to a model, and then adds the color, such that the colors are their most vivid where the model is lit most brightly.

The fourth image shows flat shading with subsurface scattering added. Notice how the left side of the face--which does not get hit directly by light at all, and was previously almost black--is now rather bright and varied. That's because her skin is now transmitting light, which helps even the light out. And the fifth image just adds the diffuse map (essentially, the color map) back in.


Basically, this is what you want to create. And like a computer, it may help you to think about it in pieces, and then add all those different pieces together.

  1. As you probably know, when you're learning art, you start by learning how to depict 3D shapes in 2D. This is very much like creating a mesh for a 3D model, except traditional artists use a much more simplified construction.

  2. Artists next learn how to do flat shading. They think about where the light source is coming from, and they make the planes of the head that are facing toward that light brighter, while the planes facing away are darker. Beginner art schools make their students spend endless hours practicing stuff like this.

  3. Then artists tend to start thinking about color (including pigment colors and light colors) and light scattering (including subsurface scattering and light reflection). This is the step you're stuck on--and, to be fair, this is about as complicated as shading gets. It's simply not intuitive, and even in computer graphics, it's only fairly recently that subsurface scattering has become a common thing. But without it, skin lacks luster and life. There is no rule of thumb I can offer here, sadly. The best you can do is try to draw from life or from photos as much as you can, and eventually you'll start to pick it up. You'll learn which parts of the face scatter light differently, and you'll learn how it changes as the light direction changes (e.g., backlighting is dramatically different from front lighting). Don't be afraid to open a photo in some art software and actually sample colors from it; this can help you learn how to identify colors better and avoid falling trap to this classic illusion.

  4. Artists often add specularity last. This also relates to diffuse coloration, which is something I think you need help with, so I'll go into a bit of detail about that.


    When coloring and lighting an object, there are three basic sections: the part that falls into shadow, the part that is in light, and the part that receives a specular highlight. The part that falls into shadow tends to reflect light from the surrounding area, and it also tends to be cast in a different color from the part that is in light. Specifically, shadows will tend to be the opposite of the light color. However, when I say "opposite colors" here, I'm talking about light colors (in which red, green, and blue are the primary colors, and cyan, magenta, and yellow are the secondary colors). Here are the pairings of opposite colors, if it might help you:

  • red - cyan
  • blue - yellow
  • green -magenta

    So, for example, if you have a reddish-blueish light (i.e., a magenta light), the shadows will tend to look greenish. They will also take on a bit of the color reflected off nearby objects (such as the ground), though.

    A common approach is slightly yellow (perhaps verging on red) light with slightly blue (perhaps verging on cyan) shadows, especially if sunlight is coming in from a low angle, as in this painting.

    The opposite (blueish light, yellowish shadows) can also look good, especially if the sunlight comes from direct above.

    Under moonlight, firelight, incandescent light, fluorescent light, etc., you can get different effects; for example, this painting depicts reddish light with greenish shadows.

    You can very effectively avoid the use of black altogether in your shadows by making dark areas the opposite color to light areas. For example, look at this picture. The part of her face that is in shade is not much darker than the part that is in light. However, it is blueish, which makes it immediately apparent that it's shaded. (Also, note that the edge of her jaw is picking up white light reflected from her T-shirt.)


    Now let's talk about the second part of an image, the part that is in light. Remember what I said earlier about diffuse maps? How they represent the object when it is in bright, diffuse light--and they, effectively, show the color at the brightest and most saturated that it will get in that image? Well, this is what you need to do. Figure out what color your character's skin is, and give him that color of skin in the parts where he is in bright light. Where parts of his face aren't as bright, tone down the saturation and brightness a bit.

    Going back to the photo here, you can see that her skin is pinkest where the light is bright (ignoring the shiny bits for the moment). You can see it in here hair, too. Where her hair is in bright light, it is very vividly colored.


    Now let's talk about the last section, the part that receives a specular highlight. The specular highlight is the part that is so bright that it gets washed out. There is very little (if any) color; it's usually just bright white (assuming the light source is also close to white).

    The shinier the object is, the smaller and sharper the specular highlight becomes, and the more it reflects the shape of the light source.

    The more matte the object is, the wider and duller the specular highlight becomes. It's worth noting that even objects that you wouldn't expect to have a specular highlight often still do; it's just very subtle, like on this cardboard tube.

    Also, the harsher the light is, the bigger and brighter the specular highlight will be. Even matte objects can get overexposed under the right conditions. But no matter how big or bright a specular highlight is, it will never occur in a place that is in shadow (assuming only a single light source; as you add more light sources, things get complicated--and keep in mind that nearby reflective surfaces do act as minor secondary light sources).

    When painting a face, think about the parts of the face that are the most oily or glossy. These tend to be the eyelids, the lips, the nose, the scalp (on bald people), the eyeballs, and so on. These are places you'll see smaller, brighter specular highlights. Perhaps needless to say, sweat also adds glossiness, while makeup tends to remove glossiness.


    If you want to learn more or if you want these concepts explained better, I highly recommend this book.

    Also, this is intended for pixel artists, but you may be interested in this tutorial, which illustrates a common method for creating a rich, harmonious color palette for matte objects.
u/mdawsonart · 1 pointr/learnart

I see a lot of improvement and you should be proud of yourself.

As for suggestions, at this point the most important thing for you to do is to keep getting the mileage down. I know that's not what you want to hear, but drawing every day and drawing a wide variety of subjects will objectively be the key ingredient to moving forward.

If you want a more specific critique, I think your edges need work. You're doing a lot of line petting, which shows a lack of confidence when you lay down marks. This is completely normal and will go away with time, but training yourself to lay down confident lines will help sharpen a number of skills in ways you wouldn't expect.

I tend to advocate this book frequently, but I would really recommend picking up Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. You can find a used copy relatively cheap, and there is a library's worth of valuable information inside. The book is highly focused on stepping away from "symbolic drawing," and actually drawing what you see - and while you are clearly past that point now, she thoroughly covers a ton of different subjects and exercises, many of which I think you could still learn a lot from.

One last bit of advice: you should consider working on studies. A study is a drawing you approach with a specific learning experience in mind. For example, you could potentially benefit from putting some time into a value study - that is to say, a drawing where you put the most energy into making sure your darks and lights are as close to the reference image as possible. Print out a simple black and white picture, then do your best to recreate what you see accurately by comparing them as you go.

Good luck, keep drawing!

u/BoxLion · 4 pointsr/learnart

It does get boring, it's study. It's up to you to learn to have fun with it.

Divide your time between the study and the fun, spend some time doing gesture drawings(they serve as great warmups), then some time doing figure drawing, then move on and draw something for you.
I think the key to it is focusing on what you learn while drawing from life, and learning how that translates to styles you love.

As for resources, I personally believe for character/figure work, a good anatomy book can go a long way. Figure drawing design and invention by Michael Hampton or Classic Human Anatomy by Valerie Winslow are my personal recommendations, but there are plenty of great books out there. The idea is when you get stuck on something then you reference it, and study it; work it out on the side of your drawing, or on a separate sheet/layer, but understand it as best you can before moving on.

Online recommendations, like most people mention, Proko is great, good information, and easy to understand.
For environments and design Feng Zhu's Design Cinema is a goldmine of solid tips.
I've found Kienan Laffarty to have a lot of good general information on all sorts of topics, like color, design, etc.

finally I think watching other artists work in real time(not the 400% sped up timelapses) can be indispensable in understanding how to handle the nuances of creating believable forms, or just how to progress your work from rough to finished, if you go in with the mindset to study what they're doing.

u/OmNomChompskey · 3 pointsr/learnart

[Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist] (

This book is one of the best artist resources out there for the study of anatomy. Not only are there detailed illustrations of skeletal and muscular systems, but there are accompanying sketches that show you some shortcuts in how to depict various parts of the body.

There is also a good deal of written information explaining muscle function and relative proportions.

One of the best ways of learning is to study from the book, and then work from models or photographs. Your progress, if you draw daily for a few hours, should develop over the course of several months. In each of the following stages, I recommend that you do 24+ different figures per stage.

Start with the bone structure. Using the book, learn which bones are visible "landmarks" on the surface of the skin. Study the skeleton and learn to simplify it into basic shapes. An Oval or egg shape for the rib cage, with the thoracic arch indicated(as an arch with the apex at the sternum), a box or girdle for the hips, triangles for scapula, elbows are a cylinder or mallet, and the knees are a box or two stacked cylinders with a keecap shaped like a small shield. Indicate whether the bones of the forearm cross , as in pronation, or are parallel, in supination.

Use photoshop or tracing paper. Map out a very basic skeletal structure over a reference photograph, indicating each of those landmarks on the skeleton you've drawn. As you become familiar with these points and how the skeleton fits into the figure, move on to drawing the skeleton on its own, without tracing over the photo.

Next, you begin working on drawing a very simple figure to contain the skeleton. Go back to the tracing method. Your goal is not to copy the contours of the reference, but to simplify those contours into basic shapes. For example, a leg that is held straight can be indicated by only two slightly curved lines. The torso+pelvis is treated as combined into a beanbag or pillow-shape (or a kidney bean), and the limbs are drawn with 2 lines (one for each contour) if the limb is held straight, 4 if it is bent. Block in the general shape or area within which the limb exists. Ignore any contour that is the result of a muscle. The head is a sphere, with a wedge shape added for the jaw. The hands and feet are drawn as triangles or occasionally in the case of a hand which is spread, as a circular shape.

This should get you a solid foundation from which you can begin to study the muscles. Learn where each muscle group generally connects to the bones. I suggest breaking this down into subgroups. Do a set of separate studies just on the torso, the neck and head, the back, the legs, and the arms. Once again you return to the tracing approach. This time for each of the subgroups, you draw the skeleton and the figure foundation first, then you draw the muscles you see, drawing them as they would look if the skin were clear.

Once you are comfortable doing this in overlay, move on to drawing side-by-side. Your goal is to draw every muscle group you can, and have the figure look as accurate as possible to your reference.

The next step is to map everything out as described above for the entire figure, and then render the figure. Having learned quite a bit about anatomy at this point will help you to observe and better understand the shapes you see in the regions of the figure that are in light or shadow.

You will find that your figure drawing abilities at this point have strengthened, because you have learned how to better observe the figure.

u/Axikita · 3 pointsr/learnart

Gotcha! Some resources that might be helpful:

Loomis has some good (free) books on constructive figure drawing, which is what you want to learn if you're interested in drawing characters out of your head. I'd recommend Figure Drawing for What It's Worth in particular.

Ctrl+paint is another great resource for learning the art fundamentals that are specifically relevant to illustration. He also has a lot of great information on how to get into Photoshop.

If you want to be drawing characters, it would probably be good to thoroughly learn anatomy. I've seen scattered tutorials for this, but I've had better luck with books- Burne Hogarth and Bridgeman are good, and I've also found Netter's anatomy useful for learning the names of bones and muscles.

For color theory, I would recommend Gurney's Color and Light.

Also check out the sidebar, there's a ton of educational material under "useful links."

I would recommend starting with ctrl+paint or Loomis, and working from there. Both sources will give you an overview of a lot of topics that you can go on to explore in more depth. And of course, keep up the practice.

Best of luck!

u/Kallistrate · 3 pointsr/learnart

First off, congratulations on getting your comic book published! Your drawing is fantastic and, as a comic reader, I would pick it up for the cover alone. That's quite a feat, as I'm very picky. :)

As for the coloring, I'm not great at color personally, but I've been reading a lot about it lately and can maybe offer a useful opinion from what I've learned. It looks to me like the difference between the orange foreground and the blue background is too stark. I'm not sure if the blue flames are meant to be in the same physical area as the people in the foreground, but blue flames would cast blue light on objects, not white light (or lighter orange), and would bring the two parts of the picture together. If they aren't meant to be in the same physical space, I would maybe use a gradient on the blue pathway or create a delineation of some sort to separate where they're standing from the fire behind them.

If it's the former situation, there's a great book called Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter that covers all sorts of lighting and how it interacts with color and illustrates the idea of color transference much better than I can. I've mentioned it on here before, but I can't really recommend it enough; it completely changed my understanding of light in art. It also covers working with a (deliberately) limited color palette, which helped me a lot with actually understanding color theory instead of just picking random opposites/compliments off a color wheel in despair.

I also (and only upon closer first glance it seems fine to me) think the hands in the foreground need a different value from the figures in the midground to provide a better sense of depth and focus. If you look at the image in grayscale, I suspect the hands and the figures would be very similar. I wouldn't make a huge change, but having the hands and figures all the same color and same value makes them blend together, where a bit more contrast (light and dark) would help draw the eye to the figures. Obviously your composition does most of the work there, but color can either boost a composition or take away from it and I think it could be working harder for you here.

I hope this doesn't sound critical; honestly, the more I look at your cover, the more I like it, and these are the only issues I could find. I think your flames are great, and I'm really impressed by the coloring/shading on the hands in front. Who's your publisher, so I can pick up a copy?

u/ae7c · 2 pointsr/learnart

Some good advice from the previous commenter but I'd like to recommend Michael Hampton's Figure Drawing: Design and Invention. He does a great job of simplifying the major muscle groups and tends to take a much more practical approach to figure drawing. Life drawing from an actual model is always gonna be the best way to supplement your anatomy studies as well. It looks like you're on the right track for the most part though; there's definitely room for improvement but that'll come with time and practice.

Edit: You should also focus more on value before jumping into color. Taking on both at the same time tends to lead to unnecessary headaches and you'll have a much easier time understanding color once you've figured out how light and value work.

u/mattwandcow · 2 pointsr/learnart

I'll be the 3rd person to recommend Understanding comics. It is required reading.

The big thing is practice. Practice. Practice. Then go practice. I've been working kinda on comics for a while and sometimes, I can churn out a panel like nobodies buisness. The pose aligns just right and its super easy. Other times, a single panel takes me hours, because I keep finding I'm doing it wrong.

But you know what? the next time I do a scene like that, I do it a bit faster. I rarely go online to find references. Instead, I stand up from my pen and paper, and make whatever stupid pose I'm trying to draw and mentally take inventory of where all my limbs are, how my body looks and feels. A mirror may help.

In regards to asking the artist, a quick google claims that
>This book has includes an extensive interview with creator Masashi Kishimoto, step-by-step details on the process of creating a Naruto illustration, 20 pages of notes from the author about each image in the book and a beautiful double-sided poster!

That might be worth checking out.

>About how many drafts would you guys predict that it took that whole comic, and what sorts of panels would you all say take more drafts to perfect than others?

That's a really hard thing to guess, because of what goes into the comic. there are 3 steps in my mind that might count as 'drafts.' 1st, the overarching story. The script to that was probably passed through a few editing hands before any art got started. It really depends on the project on how much script you should have. I've been focusing on just the next strip on my current stuff. I have notebooks with outlines for twenty odd chapters for other stories that can't see the light of day until i finish rewriting them.

(I saw a comment here recommending to find scripts and try drawing the first few pages, then compare work. I'm so gonna do that!)

2nd. the page itself. Panel layout, camera angles, action poses, there is SO MUCH that goes into each page, I can't do it justice. A lot of good books have been suggested, so check out those. Duck into a bookstore and see what they have. I have fond memories of draw comics the marvel way! and I love How to make webcomics

I do end up drawing and redrawing the pencils several times, before I ink it.

3rd, you'd be surprised how much rewriting can go into every line of dialogue. For me at least. I write what I want to say, then I remove every word I can get away with, then I have to cram it inside of a bubble. Sometimes, writing a sentence takes longer then drawing a panel!

Closing remarks: I have 2 final pieces of advice: 1st: Invent your own process. Figure out how you want to do it. Each of us is shaped by our environment, by our upbringing, by the books we've read, by the artists we admire. And then, none of us have exactly the same tools. Make a process that works for you. (Start making. And then, when you're comfortable, experiment! I recently bought a calligraphy dip pen and have been using that for my inking. For so long, I had thought it an outdated piece of technology, but now I love it so much! but you don't need one. I did a lot of comics with paper and a ball point pen. They weren't pretty, but they were mine.)

Finally, (because I doubt you're even reading this far down!) practice does not necessarily equal practice. All the anatomy lessons, perspective practice, the realistic images, those are good fundamentals. I wish I had them. But if you want to learn to make comics, come up with a story, not too long of one, and draw it. Play with what you can do. Learn to tell a story. And, ya know, you'l get to a point where you need a cool city scene, and all that perspective practice flows into the panel. Or you'll want to emphasize how beautiful your villainess is, and your anatomy floods down your pen. Everything you learn is a tool in your toolbox and the fundamentals are very useful, although they don't seem to be, they are part of the path.

TLDR: Confucius say: Make some comics. They you will know how to make them. Also, read books.

u/argonzark · 1 pointr/learnart

For fantasy artists, take a look at some of the artists, and advice, on Muddy Colors:

Also, I write a blog called Lines and Colors on which I profile numerous artists. You might find some interesting artists in the "Sci-fi and Fantasy" category:


For learning figure construction and proportions, are you aware of Andrew Loomis?


What I'm trying to get across about being critical of your level of ability vs. being on a path is to avoid the "I'm not good enough" mindset (which will hold you back) and replace it with "I'm making progress" (which will carry you forward).

I think it helps to understand that progress in learning a skill like drawing is not a steady upward graph, but a series of plateaus. You can work hard for a long time and think you're not making progress or even sliding back, but as you go on, there will be a point at which you'll start to draw a bit better, and you'll realize that you've moved up a notch. You'll be on another plateau at that point, but once you realize that's how it progresses, you should be less frustrated with the process.


Yes, fundamentals are very important, and you're wise to realize that, but so is enthusiasm. By all means, work on fundamentals, but also take time aside for experimentation and play. Doodling and sketching for fun is not wasted time for an artist, it's where creativity has free reign and sparks happen. Try doing some just-for-fun, no-goals doodling/sketching for 10 minutes as a warm up before starting your figure studies.

Finding inspiration will carry you far. Perseverance plus enthusiasm is an unbeatable combination.

u/def_jeff · 9 pointsr/learnart

I disagree with this answer. You do need to improve on your shading and proportion, but this isn't why your drawing looks flat.

When drawing anything, try to think in terms of it being a 3D form. Check out these images from legendary Disney animator Glen Keane. Something that will help you is to break things down into basic geometric shapes like cylinders (good for people and animals), spheres (basketballs, baseballs, bowling balls) cones, and cubes (mostly architectural structures). Here is a basic example of a cone on top of a cylinder.

Another thing that can help you to start thinking this way is to do some cross contour drawing. Google for examples, but this is what I mean. You don't even have to do two directions. Just draw around the forms, like this.

I don't know what you're into, but a book that may help you is How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way. Some of those old comic book artist had amazing skill in drawing an accurate figure in 3D space all kinds of angles.

Good luck, and remember that your paper is a window into a three dimensional world much like our own. You must sculpt things into existence!

u/kaze_ni_naru · 102 pointsr/learnart

Thanks! I highly recommend New Masters Academy, they have a free trial and also Cyber Monday sale ($11/month for 3 months). I'm not sponsored by them but they are by far the best resource for anatomy I've come across. I recommend going through Rey Bustos's Anatomy first, then Glenn Vilppu, then Steve Huston once you know your muscles.

As for books, Thieme's Anatomy is great, and Bridgman's Anatomy is also great (bridgman only if you're more advanced though otherwise it'll confuse you). All other anatomy books are pretty lackluster tbh, compared to having an instructor teach you. I've actually talked to Glenn Vilppu in person and he recommends medical anatomy books + observing the body and coming to your own conclusions, over artists' anatomy books.

Observe how the body works as a machine, for example observe how body weight is applied to the legs. Or how your thigh bone always sits at a 15 degree angle when standing. Or how there's a slight inward curve to your shinbones. Or how your inner ankle sits higher than outer. Lots of details like that add so much to believable anatomy.

Do lots of figure drawings, know your muscles and bones and where things attach, and you'll be set :)

edit: one thing NOT to do - is to spam figure drawings without knowing your muscles/attachments/bones. I did this for 1-2 years, and ended up with the before picture. Get your anatomy knowledge first then go into figure drawing KNOWING your stuff. You'll learn way quicker.

u/Phasko · 1 pointr/learnart

Number one is never using paper that has lines or squares on it.

I'd recommend not drawing over the same lines again and again, make the line in one go. This'll improve overall line quality. You can search for "hairy lines" if you're not sure what I mean.

Then this book is very good, try to study anatomy before drawing a stylized person. This'll give you more control, and you'll have a better understanding of what you can play with.

Next to that you can try to play with lineweight and adjust untill you've found a comfortable weight. This video explains it pretty well.
Scott Robertson also had books:

You can find more great books on the internet, design studio press has a nice selection.
I'd recommend getting;
How to draw
How to render
Framed ink
Framed perspective
Figure drawing for what it's worth

What really helped me was dropping the pencil, and using a black fineliner. That puts you in the spot that everything you do has a very direct consequence. You'll learn to draw quicker in the beginning, and noodle/work slow in the end when you're doing details.

Good luck!

u/DrDougExeter · 2 pointsr/learnart

I can definitely help you with this.

How to Draw: drawing and sketching objects and environments from your imagination

This is the best book on perspective you can buy. Perspective is the number one thing you need to have a grasp on if you want to draw, especially from imagination. Practice this until it clicks for you.

For setting up scenes I recommend Andrew Loomis books, Creative Illustration in particular. Loomis has several books out and they're all amazing. Many artists have learned to draw from Loomis.

Burne Hogarth is another master of the craft and you can learn a lot about musculature and anatomy from his books. These are generally a step up from Loomis so you could move on to these once you have a solid grasp of the fundamentals to take your work to the next level. Dynamic Anatomy, Dynamic Figure Drawing, Drawing the Human Head.

For people and anatomy, Proko ( has good free youtube videos. He uses a lot of Loomis and Hogarth methods (which are pretty much the standard) and presents them in a way that is easy to digest. He's constantly updating his channel and adding new videos.

If you can only get a few books, I would get the How to Draw perspective book first, then go through the Proko material, then move onto the Loomis and Hogarth stuff. These learning materials will take you pretty much as far as you want to go.

Also I highly recommend sticking to traditional materials (pencil and paper) while you're learning. Once you have the fundamentals down then you can move on to digital. You're going to make things much easier on yourself if you stick with traditional while you nail these fundamentals down.

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/learnart

Yeah! I was in that same boat, I actually know some artists in the area who told me that "Just start drawing!" is a tip that can be both bad and good. People have varied ways of learning skills and such, and the amount of freedom you have with art as a whole, can be both liberating and very fucking problematic haha. I've found that out first hand myself.

As I said before, I started out wanting to learn to draw in a manga style (anime-ish). Which is a decent style. It's the part that you learn after you have the fundamentals down at least a little bit. So if you just "start drawing" anime, you're basically skipping steps 1-10 and jumping straight to steps 11-20. You might get a facsimile of what you want, but the actual structure will be lacking. Characters will come off as impossible, and even if you're going for an exaggerated style of drawing, there will always be something "Off" if you don't have at least a fundamental understanding of perspective, anatomy, and shading.

Also, I forgot some other things that will be great to look into. There are books by a man named Andrew Loomis, that are fantastic in learning how to start from Simple to Complex forms. I recommend Fun With A Pencil, andFigure Drawing for All It's Worth. You can find them online for free, but I'd recommend picking them up on amazon. They used to be hard to find, but now that they've started reprinting them, you can get a new copy for a nice price.

Don't be deceived by Fun with a Pencils more cartoony elements. Another user put it best on here a couple days ago.

Anyways, I hope I helped.

Side note: holy crap you do not know how much it hurt my stomach to post that album. It's nerve wreaking to post your art when you're still learning.

u/guiguismall · 5 pointsr/learnart

You won't necessarily draw the internal anatomy every time you draw a person, but you'll definitely have to learn it by drawing it a lot. Look at it like that: when you draw a figure, the only thing you can see is the skin (and later, the clothes). Well, it happens that said skin is wrapped around a complex structure of bones and muscles, and so are the clothes of a characters. Knowing how this structure is built will let you "drap" skin and clothes the proper way, and will give you all the indications you need when it comes to adding light and shadow. As a bonus, being able to "see" the internal structure of a body gives you the ability to manipulate it, exagerate poses, and even create new ones from imagination.

Now as for how to learn it? I see in one of your old comments that you seem to have the books everyone recommends already, but have you tried using them? Grab either Loomis's or Hampton's book, and read them cover to cover while reproducing the drawings, that should be a good start. Alternatively, check out Proko's channel on youtube, he's got some material on figure drawing, too.

As a side note and to answer an older question of yours regarding drawing cars, check out Scott Robertson's book on objects and environments in perspective, or his DVDs on Gnomon Workshop if you're like me and prefer this format (subscription does cost $50 a month though, but Gnomon also has some pretty good figure drawing / anatomy courses. Your call).

u/OhNoRhino · 1 pointr/learnart

Are you sketching from reference or your imagination?
Understanding human anatomy is a long process but can have great payout if you put in the time.
I recommend going back to the very basics which involves retraining your brain.
You have to get rid of what you think a face should look like and replace it with the actual structure of the body.
You may think you know but you don't. Learn the skull, skin, lighting, then coloring in that order.
Check out these resources. I can't find the good stuff but the best will be in a book

A good simple starting point - How to draw face basic proportions
If you're serious this is the greatest database of free human photo references

u/Fey_fox · 4 pointsr/learnart

Holey muffins yes, without the basics you will never improve.

In order to draw something you must be able to (in an artistic sense) understand it's nature. Like how a cylinder sits in space, how to draw light, how muscles and bones sit in the body (anatomy), all that.

A good cartoonist always has learned to draw realistically first. To give a cartoon body a sense of realism you need to get how real bodies work. Basically you got to know the rules before you can break them.

You can go to a used book store and go to the art section and pick up anatomy books and life drawing books pretty easily. If you see anything by this author, grab it. When you draw from life, start with simple stuff first like just a ball, or an opaque glass like a mug, or even a box where you can see the interior. Don't smudge the graphite, and don't press too hard with it either. Learn how to create light and shadow with the graphite alone.

The more you draw realistically the better you will get. It may not be the topics that excite you, but these exercises that don't seem as much fun are the way to get you to get better at drawing the stuff that is fun.

Good luck

u/tygrenier · 2 pointsr/learnart

Don't get too hung up on books, they can be useful but but realize they are still limited in information, technique, application, opinion etc. That being said: Loomis is widely known as the standard for drawing anatomy; Masters of Anatomy have some great pose references to practice dynamic figure study; and lastly Framed Ink is a short but valuable book about how to use compositions to achieve different things.

When you do studies, just think of what you want to learn better and build your own study to achieve that goal. Want to learn dynamic lighting? Grab some lamps and set up a still life. Want to learn compositions? Get some professional images with great composition and trace the major shapes over the top, then try to reverse-engineer how and why the artist did things that way.

u/Soleras · 1 pointr/learnart

I like the last two, I can feel the mood they're giving. First of them is quite regal, the other really into their guitar. I want to give gesture advice but let's back up.

  • Practice your lines. Draw less of them, and draw them more confidently. Draw lightly to compensate. Draw straight lines for practice. Lots of them. Straight lines, curved lines, circles, ovals. Try to repeat the same line / curve / shape over and over in your practice.
  • Drawing is about seeing. Drawing what you actually see. Our brains are damn good at simplifying. Practice drawing objects in real life.
  • This book was invaluable to beginner me:

    Gesture / quick drawing advice:

  • Try sticking with straight lines. Short ones when you need a curve. It's easier for me and looks structured.
  • Gestures are quick and simple but they're still 2d images pretending to be 3d. Instead of drawing a circle and a rectangle for a subject's head and body, gesture out an egg shape and a rectangle shape.

    Best of luck! You got this!
u/roguea007 · 3 pointsr/learnart

Any of Scott McCloud's books. Making Comics is good for the technical side, Understanding Comics (the 1st of his series) is also good to break down WHY comics are important.

(One can probably skip his second book, it mostly examines webcomics and since it was printed is fairly outddated now thanks to various internet technologies advancing as it all does)

DC Comics has also published a series of "How-To" books which are good to thumb through , I personally own all of them but the Writing one-

-[DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics] (

-DC Comics Guide To Pencilling Comics

-DC Comics Guide To Inking Comics

-DC Comics Guide To Coloring and Lettering Comics

-DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics

Since you mentioned the line thickness/thinness- um, the inking one would probably be a good one to start with. It'll show at least American/western methods of going about things, minus anything digital because the book was written before digital was big in the process. The Digital Drawing book somewhat helps on that issue but with programs like Painter, you can pretty much emulate any traditional tool fairly easily. If you have a particular style in mind you want, post it up and perhaps I can help determine what tools were probably used to make it???

u/AAARRN · 2 pointsr/learnart

Wow thanks for the answer. I'm amazed that I could get such advice from a simple post.

The stick approach is something I discovered looking at Matisse
I was always losing myself in details and never focusing on the whole. This helped immensely in my process. I also noticed a lot of people tackle this process with a projector and rendering it bit by bit. But I didn't feel this would learn me that much. I treated the enormous paper as a sketchbook page that needs enlarged tools to do so. Now it's very rewarding experience that I can draw portraits from people posing for me.

Interesting you write about adding and subtracting mass. I recently graduated in architecture but to learn to draw portrait I had to turn off all that spatial/constructional/sculptural thinking from model making to really see values, contours and negative space. I hope by adding it back in it will help me in future projects.

Hair is something where I have a real issue with. I always start off trying do it very detailed to then realise it sucks, erase it and go roughly about it with some tones. A lot of books and teachers say that the haircut is an extension of the face but it doesn't seem to stick with me. Maybe seeing it as shapes will help me.

The background I'm also not sold one entirely. I wanted something else but eventually defaulted to the strategy of adding a dark tone next to a light (hair).

Thanks for again for the advice. It always helps to get some kind words to keep going. For practising proportions I was interested in the Bargue excercises. But I don't know if it is really helpful to copy away for 200 pages.

u/spaceicecream · 3 pointsr/learnart

Anatomy books are the real deal, but not always inspirational starting points. The important thing to practice when drawing people, is in why are the figure's arms too short and legs too long. You might want to look at a book that doesn't obsess over where muscles go on huge naked men. For example,

But most importantly, don't burn out on this stuff. Remember to draw what you love and have fun once and a while. With the right mindset to improve, you can only get better.

u/old_fig_newtons · 9 pointsr/learnart

You need to specify which medium you're interested in learning first, since they work differently. Pick a medium, and invest in a some medium specific books and more general theory ones (example).

If you're interested in oils, check out Bob Ross. He had a tv series that ran for a while, and each episode he instructed you on how to build up different landscapes. I'm a watercolor painter, but I still looked at Ross's videos to understand the process of building a painting up (very important i believe).

Ultimately google is your friend. Just google "(your medium) techniques/tutorials/etc" and you will be pleasantly surprised. Youtube also posses a great wealth of knowledge in video form.

u/ZombieButch · 6 pointsr/learnart

These little skull models are only $12 but are very accurate even given their size and price. It's the one I've got, and I've painted and drawn him a lot; it's well worth the small investment.

You're always better off drawing real things from life rather than what you think things look like, and with a physical model, you can light it and draw it from any direction you like. There's a lot of details you've missed that you can best learn about by studying actual skulls - the real thing or a good facsimile - in different lighting conditions lots of times, like the shape of the eye sockets, the planes on and around the orbital ridge, the shape of the muzzle of the teeth.

u/nyxmori · 21 pointsr/learnart

IMO, the best way to start drawing is with a pad of unlined paper and mechanical pencil.

But if you want software: GIMP is free (yay), Photoshop is the well-known standard (and these videos are good), PaintToolSai feels more natural to draw with, and I just started using Mischief (which has a natural drawing feel, infinite canvas, and vector-based). My recommendation is Sai, since it's cheap, easy, and fun to use.

To learn how to draw people, start working through the Loomis books, beginning with Fun with a Pencil. A classic for learning how to 'see' like an artist is Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. And when you start to feel frustrated with your work, turn to Art & Fear and Daring Greatly.

Let me know if you have any questions, and good luck with your art journey :)

u/sjalfurstaralfur · 2 pointsr/learnart

Ok, realistically, if I started again from zero but had knowledge of how to learn here's what I would do:

Go on amazon and buy these 4 books (technically 5 but yeah):

  1. Figure Drawing: Design and Invention
  2. Scott Robertson's How to Draw
  3. Framed Perspective Vol1 and vol 2
  4. Richard Schmid's Alla Prima

    I would read those books cover to cover, do exercises in them, copy their drawings, etc. I would also listen to Feng Zhu's youtube channel while I'm eating dinner or whatever. I'm a pretty experienced artist now so I know what books are good and what books are bullshit. Those 4 books I listed have really good content. Scott Robertson's book teaches you technical 3D drawing, that figure drawing book teaches you anatomy in a 3D sense, the Framed Perspective books give an intuitive yet thorough introduction to perspective (arguably the most important skill in art), and Alla Prima gives a great introduction to laying down colors.

    I would also get into anime, because anime relies on art to make money so their artists are really really good. I would copy and study the paintings of Kazuo Oga, Yoh Yoshinari, and look and study the backgrounds of Studio Ghibli and Makoto Shinkai films
u/phife · 3 pointsr/learnart

I use to want to be a comic book artist when I was a teenager. Then I realized how much I hate redrawing things in small panels. A lot of artists I know started off wanting to be comic book artists. Anyways I think these are the fundamentals you should know, although someone who is an actual comic book artist would probably know better than me.

Anatomy - Gotta get those muscles and bones right, this includes proportions. Don't be Rob Liefeld and hide your feet. Get a good book like Human Anatomy for Artists. Or one of these

Gesture - Those nice muscles will look all stiff if you can't get the gesture right. The gesture is the big movement or line of action in the figure. Everything has a gesture. Personally I like this book the best

Value - How light and shadow create form. How to simplify your values so they read nicely.

Object/Construction Drawing - You'll be drawing a lot of stuff from your head. You'll need to be able to construct your drawings using simple shapes. Something like this or this or this will be helpful. I'm just going to lump in perspective as part of this. It should be a given that you learn perspective when doing object/construction drawing techniques.

Composition - All that work and knowledge doesn't amount to much unless it makes a nice picture.

Storytelling - This is specifically for comic book artists, and the least I know about. But I can tell you that Frank Miller was awesome not because he could draw so well but because his panels really told the story in an interesting and cinematic way.

There's other stuff, but I'm assuming you want to be a penciller, so I think things like color won't be as important.

u/Spuzman · 12 pointsr/learnart

My biggest tip: take a figure drawing class, if you have the time and money. There's no substitute for a good teacher, and as a bonus you'll get the chance to draw from life (which can be very helpful). Don't be afraid to ask stupid questions!

If you're looking for theory, the best books I've seen are Jack Hamm and Andrew Loomis, both of whom offer intelligent simplifications of the figure along with breakdowns of specific anatomy if you want it.
This basic figure frame from Loomis is one of the best things you can learn (though don't place too much emphasis on meeting those measurements-- after all, they don't help for crap once you have to foreshorten).

Try this study tool. Set it to 30 second or 1 minute intervals with nude models and fill up the page with Loomis-style mannequin figures. Don't worry about getting each one perfect; move on once your time is up. Get a bunch of paper and do it for 20 minutes straight.

Think, especially about the shape of the ribcage, spine, and hips. Notice how the ribcage is kind of egg-shaped, how the spine curves, and how the hips are shaped like a wide V.

u/BIRDsnoozer · 0 pointsr/learnart

This suggestion may not help with character creation in terms of creativity, but if it's technique you're interested in, I would suggest How to draw comics the marvel way It's an older book by stan lee and the artist, john buschema.

It's a book from 1984 so... The character designs in the book may seem a little dated, as modern comic artists tend to stylize a lot more, and incorporate the influences of anime/manga etc... but the techniques are still sound.

The book goes through drawing figures starting from stick-men, to block-men, and then fleshed out characters, faces etc, to ultimately placing your characters in perspective in scenes.

It even touches on more abstract concepts like composition of a scene, and starting a drawing from basic lines of movement.

I dunno, this book was like a bible for me. Once you start drawing figures fast and proficiently, I'm sure the ideas for characters will flow freely.

u/fishpuddle · 2 pointsr/learnart

Which artists would you say you like most? Would you ever like to create artwork in a similar fashion?

I think you dodged a bullet by not getting into the design college. I know plenty of recent graduates who found it to be a waste of time and money, not to mention not finding any decent work.

If you can afford it, I would highly suggest buying the Drawing Course by Charles Bargue and Jean-Léon Gérôme. It will give you great advances in drawing skills that you can apply to any sort of drawing. You could easily draw one plate once per day, or even week.

At the very least, you could devote 15 minutes per day, just sketching whatever catches your fancy. You got a new puppy, sketch him! Also, don't feel like you have to share your sketchbook with anyone. I found that by being very particular about who I show my sketches to, I can be more free to make necessary mistakes without worrying about scrutiny. Critiques are definitely overrated, especially if you can see what mistakes you've made. I know if what I drew was crappy, I don't need others to tell me.

Remember that you will have days where you draw really well and days where you draw like complete crap. You did a drawing, that's all that matters. The more practice you get, the better you'll be. Even artists who've been selling art for decades still need to practice often to keep their skills sharp.

A side note: Artwork that has agriculture and livestock as the subject tend to sell really well in certain markets. So if that's something that interests you, it may prove lucrative!

u/gray_rain · 0 pointsr/learnart

There are three things I would recommend to you. :)

  • This GIGANTIC page of info on color and light
  • Scott Robertson's How to Render
  • James Gurney's Color and Light

    You'll find that a lot of information on color out there is almost strictly theory oriented (not a big surprise considering it's called color theory), and there isn't much practical help on how to apply that information. Each of the things I just suggested are all very practical sources of information for learning how to work with color.

    Some things you should note, though...the Scott Robertson book is designed to build on top of his book How to Draw. That book teaches you perspective and how to create proper 3d forms in 2d space. How to Render builds on that by teaching you how light will interact realistically with those forms you now know how to create. If you don't want to work through How to Draw, that's fine (though I highly suggest that book as well)...but you'll probably be losing out on a fuller understanding of the concepts.

    Make sure that before you move too much into painting and color working that you can make well constructed drawings and can handle value properly. Those two are the most important. Why? Because if you don't have a proper looking drawing then no matter how well you can render and lay color over it...that won't save will still look wrong. And if you can draw well constructed things but you're weak in values, then you're really in trouble. If, when you lay down color, the values of those colors are wrong, then your well constructed forms that you drew will no longer read as the forms that they're supposed to because the "light" that's interacting with the form isn't interacting like it would in real life so your eye reads it as a different form than you intended.

    I understand that they style you're going after isn't at all realistic. On some of them the color that's there isn't even being used to's simply there as a graphic element. Which is fine! Really awesome style. But you will be well served if you put in the time to learn the technical application of light and color. That way, since you know the "rules", you'll have control over the color...when to use it realistically and how and when to use it graphically...rather than the color having control over you. :)

    Hope this helps! :)
u/Niaxus · 1 pointr/learnart

An absolute must have book for every artist. I wouldn't trade this one book for an entire year of art school, it's that good and it's that helpful.

I'm in love with the tri-grip design of these pencils! Comes with sharpener and eraser, now just snag a Strathmore sketch book and boom you're all set!

Just always remember a few things. It's not about the product it's about the process, meaning have fun with it and don't worry so much about how it'll turn out. Don't let anybody discourage you, especially yourself! You obviously have a passion for this, I think all you need is the right tools and a push in the right direction and you'll just take off. Draw everyday, draw everyway. Art is simply a way to communicate feelings and perceptions when words simply won't suffice.

As far as this particular sketch goes. It really isn't that bad and there is no right or wrong answers, it's all about what you want to do better. The only thing I would have done differently is turned the entire face about fifteen to thirty degrees to the left and I would have chosen a light source from the very beginning before I even begin to draw the subject. Yeah for some reason humans are the most difficult thing for us to draw and paint. Which is way it's such a good place to start!

u/ManiCon · 2 pointsr/learnart

Great start. Consistency is key.

The values look pretty good for just starting out. The main thing that stands out is the eyes seem too big and the nose is a bit too narrow.

Be sure to look at the shape of the features rather than drawing what you think it looks like.

If you want rapid improvement read “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

It made me actually believe I could draw.

We believe in you!

u/J-Wh1zzy · 3 pointsr/learnart

Definitely, not sure what your budget is but there's a book I have called "How to Draw"

It goes from A-Z learning to draw and think in 3D. It's an awesome book. I'm currently in art school and I had the pleasure of hearing one of the authors talk about it. After this book there's a second one called "How to Render" which goes through all the dynamics of light.

The thing I really like about these books is that it approaches drawing from an analytical point of view and really gets at the science behind it.

u/CaptainFiddlebottom · 4 pointsr/learnart

Theres so much you need to know to make a good piece, and I'm really only starting to get there after about 4-6 years of off and on 'serious' studying/practice. I also taught myself, used books, dvds, and online articles/tutorials.. with a little assistance from some art school friends for a short period of time.

You're really going to be accumulating a lot of books/dvds/tutorials through the years.. and they're all going to be valuable to you.

Maybe you should pick something you want to focus on.. and then move towards it by practicing everything it encompasses.

Could start with the elements and principles of design.



Color Theory (Color and Light by James Gurney, Kecleon Color Theory)


Life Drawing to understand light/values.

Figure drawing to understand the human figure. (Anatomy books, Figure Drawing For All It's Worth, Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators, Force: Character Design from Life Drawing.) I love the Force books because they taught me how to SEE, INTERPRET, and EXPAND on an idea when it came to figure drawings.

The Animator's Survival Kit/Drawn to Life to understand motion, even if you don't want to be an animator. has been an invaluable resource to me throughout the years too. (It's mostly digital stuff, but there really is no huge difference. It's all the same principles, just less preparation and knowledge about brush types/liquin. Once you understand how they work.. you're set anyway.)

And I'm constantly searching for more material to help me out. I just bought that Color and Light book because my understanding of how color works was atrocious.

I don't even know if this is going to be all the helpful.. but, uhh.. here. lol TL;DR.

u/Superkroot · 1 pointr/learnart

Drawing on the right side of the brain is a good start, there's a reason people keep on recommending it for you!

Andrew Loomis's books is also good (all free there in digital form)

Constructive Anatomy by George Bridgeman

Imaginative realism by James Gurney more about painting and finishing, better for more advanced stuff.

Other than that, just draw things! Just anything and everything, it will help!

u/mazaer · 5 pointsr/learnart

I strongly recommend Scott Robertson's "How to Draw" book. It is almost entirely dedicated to perspective drawing. It teaches everything from the basics of two and three point perspectives all the way to more complex things such as mirroring curves and even correctly drawing things like staircases in perspective. It's also super cheap for what it offers:

Grab that and work your way through every exercise one-by-one and you'll come out with a firm grasp on perspective drawing. He also has an accompanying website for the book that you can log into that goes through some of the lessons in video format. As he is a teacher (and so is the co-author), they both do a great job of explaining things in the videos.

u/moondawg5000 · 1 pointr/learnart

Well, the top things that people will probably tell you to focus on are value and perspective. Probably because they tend to be the hardest things to just pick up. There are loads of places online to get help with these, many of which are probably over on the sidebar of this sub. Many people recommend Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain if you're into books. I'm not sure you'd love the exercises in there, but they're valuable.

Honestly, I think if you draw as much as possible, seek criticism of your work and use it to improve, and do it mindfully you can go pretty far.

u/Dragoniel · 1 pointr/learnart

Get the largest Wacom model you can find for the price and don't be afraid to look for used ones, because in your price range you will be likely forced to resign to small models and people tend to upgrade from them after a while, so such investment isn't particularly wise. Avoid anything with touch interface, it's widely regarded as useless, go for non-touch versions and save some money. Intuos Pro Medium is currently considered #1 choice for professional digital artists, but it falls outside your budget.

The closest competitors to Wacom are Monoprice tablets, but they have all sorts of driver and build quality issues. Huion is another leading competitor, offering a particularly attractive Huion H610PRO tablet for a very affordable price. That would definitely be a good alternative to Wacom products, but make damn well sure to test it before paying or at least make sure you have a very good return policy. I had to return mine, because it couldn't draw straight diagonal lines and it's not exactly an uncommon issue. But if you get a working model, for the price it can't be beat.

All non-Wacom products seem to have severe compatibility issues with Windows 10 at times, so keep that in mind if you're running that.

u/artistwithquestions · 7 pointsr/learnart

Last time I tried to give advice on drawings the person got upset and quit reddit, soooo, please don't do that. My suggestion if you're absolutely serious about drawing is to absolutely learn the fundamentals.

Fun With A Pencil: How Everybody Can Easily Learn to Draw

Drawing the Head and Hands

Figure Drawing for All It's Worth

Successful Drawing

Creative Illustration

And after the basics

Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist (Volume 1) (James Gurney Art)

Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (Volume 2) (James Gurney Art)

It doesn't matter what medium you use, learning how to draw and understanding what you're doing will help out the most.

u/IronMyrs · 1 pointr/learnart


I'm on day um... 63 I think? I don't have my sketchbook on me at the moment, but I was challenged by a friend to do one drawing a day. No restrictions on content or detail. Just had to be in pen, and had to be daily. So far it's been FANTASTIC to just be in a position of "well, I don't wanna draw today, but I gotta get this done before I go to bed." It really beats the fear of a blank page out of you when you know that you MUST draw today, even if it's just abstract polygons.

Another recommendation is Art and Fear. It discusses what you're feeling on a very high level (it doesn't talk about technique at all, just things like motivation around the creative mind and thought process) and the book itself is short.

u/artistacat · 2 pointsr/learnart

Two resources you need to read on color: and

Lots of illustrations and examples, very easy to understand and yet both are no more than 250 pages. I have both of these books and they are great! I would also look at Cubebrush and Ctrl+paint. You need to definitely focus on color theory as well.

Along with learning these, also check out Andrew Loomis' books (Google Save Loomis to find pdf of his books for free). And this one -- >

But once your learn color theory and look at the resources I suggested, you will definitely improve on your coloring skills. Gurney's may be aimed at painters, but it's for everyone really. I can't give much advice since I'm learning color theory but these results have been very helpful.

u/CasualMeerkat · 1 pointr/learnart

Wow thats awesome! I would love to see a pic man. Can i ask you, what version of the book did you get? is it The 4th edition?

u/Quantum_Finger · 7 pointsr/learnart

The hair is flat. Create some depth and volume by working more shading and lighting into the bangs.

Also, the anatomy is slightly off. The eyes are stylized, but their placement and construction is still slightly off. Same with the nose. Flip the canvas horizontally while you work. You will have an easier time seeing mistakes.

Check out this book. I found it to be quite helpful: Figure Drawing

I think your choices of color and subject matter are appealing, and your style is very nice. The bubble gum is a cool touch.

u/thebestwes · 2 pointsr/learnart

Here's a good intro to color theory. For more advanced learning, I'd highly recommend James Gurney's Color and Light. Don't forget that, much like value, color only appears vibrant in contrast. In the words of blogger and painter Stapleton Kearns (who you should also look up), "All color is no color."

u/super_cute_nihilist · 4 pointsr/learnart

If you're just starting out, I would suggest 2 things. First, go through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. It will get you going quickly.

Second, learn to critique your work. You can't fix what you don't know is wrong. It's a simple, but not easy thing to do. Every time you do something, when you're done look at it and honestly answer 3 questions, how do you feel about the piece overall, what do you like, and what could you improve on. The most common mistake I see people make is to make excuses for things they don't like. If you can see it and it bothers you, it will bother someone else.

There are a number of other things that you can do to help, but starting with a good foundation and a comfort with self critique will get you far.

u/KoalaTulip · 1 pointr/learnart

Here's a whole list of free art programs out there.
Try them out and see which one works best for you.

As for 'track pad' (IDK what that is) but if you meant 'tablet' go for Wacom Intuos (formerly Wacom Bamboo), great starter tablets. There's also Huion if you want something much cheaper than that, and they work just as fine.

u/Metal-Phoenix · 10 pointsr/learnart

I used to be an art zero, had the worst stick figures on the planet and I've had several shows in galleries. I knew someone who's hands permanently shook but was a kick ass painter and you'd wonder if other people were safe when she used an x-acto knife..

You need three things:

  1. A mentor who can give you tips. That or youtube.

  2. Practice. My god, the practice. I went through an art degree... oil painting? 1 painting a week... for 16 weeks. For two semesters (32 weeks total). Shoot a roll of film and develop it a week for 3 semesters (48 weeks). Drawing, 2 semesters, 3 drawings a week. Lots of practice.

  3. Critique. I cannot emphasize enough how important a good critique is for helping you grow as an artist. Start posting to /r/ArtCrit

    Additionally, your inner artist like a child. A child, to reach it's maximum potential, must always be challenged, must always play (that's a child's job), must be protected from the assholes of the world, and must not be given false, positive encouragement (they need to be told when they're not doing well enough... no trophies for the losers). You must practice. Don't ask your friends and family for art advice or critique. Ever. People who don't support you should not see your art. (Read The Artist's Way, Art & Fear, and The Art Spirit)

    Ninja edit: Do not be afraid to use projectors and lightboxes until you get a firmer grasp on proportions and compositions.
u/Beestonian · 1 pointr/learnart

probably the most fundamental drills you can do, is not at the scale of eyes or hands or objects. Drill a few basic things like:

  • measuring proportions
  • measuring angles
  • drawing straight lines (freehand)
  • drawing circles and ellipses (freehand)
  • drawing curved lines accurately

    pretty much anything you should be 'grinding' is relating to hand eye coordination or measurement accuracy.

    See Dorian Iten's accuracy guide and Scott Robertson's "how to draw" for descriptions on where I get these. Why do you drill these basic motor/visual skills in particular? Because you will apply them in *every single drawing you will ever do. You will use those skills to understand marks in higher arrangements like eyes and hands.
u/conteaparis · 3 pointsr/learnart

Gurney is a great resource for beginning painters. He goes really in depth about how colours work, how to use them, how to pick a palette, etc. This book by Richard Yot takes it a step further and teaches you why colour (and light more specifically) behaves the way it does, and will help you learn to properly observe colour from real life. Those are my go to resources. They are both enjoyable reads too, not overly verbose with many clear examples.

However, all the books in the world won't help you unless you actually take the time to put it all into practice. What you need is to learn about colour, yes, but also start making some paintings where you apply some of those concepts. A simple still life is a good place to start. Once you can do that, you might look into painting outdoor landscapes for a more dynamic lighting situation. Even if your paintings suck at first, the act of observing, analyzing, and trying to conceptualize light/colour from observation will gradually build up your familiarity with colour. It's no different from drawing, really. You just have to do the thing to get better at it.

u/garg · 2 pointsr/learnart

This artist is color blind:

My suggestion would be to purchase Color and Light by James Gurney. Study it and then practice it.

Then do color studies. If you have photoshop, then try to reproduce a painting (something by the masters is preferable) by 'eye' and then once you're done, use the color picker on your painting and the original master painting and figure out the differences between the color you chose and the colors in the original. Don't get discouraged --- color is difficult for non-color-blind people as well!

Go and get the hue (H), values (B), and saturation (S) right in the color picker. Do this daily with different paintings and I guarantee that you'll improve a lot! :)

u/ParanoidAndroid67 · 2 pointsr/learnart

I would recommend Color And Light by James Gurney. This one is a really good book to just understand the principles of color and light used by traditional painters. You can extract lot of information from it to apply on digital environment painting.

If you'd like to check out art books, along with review and some images of the pages, check out Parka Blogs. This website has an extensive list of art books ('art-of' and instructional).

I would even recommend checking out some websites like


u/ThePain · 2 pointsr/learnart

A good starting point that I and a lot of my friends used for getting in to art was "How to Draw the Marvel Way"

It's comic book artwork, but it includes the fundamentals and gives you something fun to draw as well as a firm starting point to launch into more lifelike drawings.

u/bobthefish · 3 pointsr/learnart

Let's start with the basics, when you draw people, there are average ratios for a person's face and body. I would recommend picking up Jack Hamm's books:

it's great for beginners.

Here's an excerpt to give you an idea of what I'm talking about: People are around 7 1/2 heads, idealized people are around 8 heads (

Faces, notice the width of the nose, the angle between the eyes and the bottom of the nose, etc... this should give you an approximation of getting closer to a correct face (

Once you've achieved satisfactory ratios for face and body, and you're quite close to getting it right every time. Then move onto doing Bargue plates.

u/DocUnissis · 2 pointsr/learnart

This book does a fairly good job at explaining how to make pictures look like they're "in motion" but assumes you already have a pretty good grasp of drawing the human form.

This book will, with practice, get you that grasp.

u/clamo · 6 pointsr/learnart

ok i got two for you! ive been using these books to teach myself in my free time when i have downtime from my classes! they work great as guides to teach you fundamentals of figure drawing and perspective/ environment drawing.
figure drawing:


u/4FK · 1 pointr/learnart

this is a great book!!! XD

u/FryingPansexual · 7 pointsr/learnart

It's a good start. Obviously you're unpracticed, but drawing is a very learnable skill and you've got everything required to learn it.

I'd recommend getting your hands on a copy of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. It'll get you past a lot of the common mental blocks that people who are new to serious drawing struggle with and you're right at the skill level where it'll be most beneficial. If you work your way through that, you'll be astonished at what you're capable of within a few weeks.

The neuroscience it talks about has largely been debunked, but the exercises and basic concepts are still spot on.

u/syrah900 · 1 pointr/learnart

I've just started learning to draw. Actually, I've always sketched a bit, but I wanted a firm foundation in drawing. I'm currently reading and doing the exercises in this book: It's been recommended by a lot of people.

It's really good, and I already see improvement in my drawing.

And read this book while you're at it (it's not just about comics but about drawing and symbols and how they work on our brains):

u/worldseed · 3 pointsr/learnart

Proko is probably the best for this on Youtube. His website is good too. Constructive Anatomy is a nice cheap book. I have Figure Drawing: Design and Invention which I really like, but it's a bit more expensive. The author also has a good website

u/superflipcup · 2 pointsr/learnart

This book goes over the idea very very well.

You can find a pdf of it online, I'm sure. Good luck!

u/dysp_ · 6 pointsr/learnart

Everyone starts off not knowing how to draw (with some very rare exceptions). It is definitely something that can be learned. For example, Van Gogh started learning art when he was about 27.

You should check out Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. It's more than just step-by-steps and tutorials. It goes into detail about how to learn to draw and how your brain perceives and processes imagery. Once you do get started, keep at it! ...and marvel at the new super power you've acquired! :D

u/NothinButTwoWheels · 1 pointr/learnart

To get into understanding objects as forms and lines instead of fine detail, I recommend Michael Hampton's figure drawing book. I also recommend gesture drawing. Quickposes is great for this and I use it very often.

u/WeeLittleSpoon · 1 pointr/learnart

Maybe "can you suggest any tutorials/artists that I can learn from?" would be a better question than what you've typed above, because I don't really understand what you're asking for in the original.

If you're looking for things like books, I have recently enjoyed Dream Worlds by Hans Bacher and Framed Ink by Marcos Mateu-Mestre. They're not really 'how to' books, but they're good for demonstrating composition.

u/DecadentDashes · 3 pointsr/learnart

Probably not much help, but Stan Lee has this book out which may be of help, as it deals with western style comics. I've also heard good things about this book as well.

u/TheArmandoV · 3 pointsr/learnart

I recommend this book.

This is one of the best anatomy books I've ever owned. This mixed with loomis is the ultimate combo for figure studies and construction. :)

u/troutmix · 4 pointsr/learnart

Ignore the other person.

Get Bridgeman's Life Drawing book, Hogarth's Dynamic Anatomy, and Loomis's Figure drawing book.

Go here, here, and here.

Apply the methods of figure drawing within those three books to these figures, starting with construction and then building upon those shapes with more defined anatomical lines, such as bones and muscles.

Also, Michael Hampton's book is pretty awesome, if you want some detailed instruction.

This is from his book, I do believe.


Don't listen to the people saying "use loomis's mannequin". You aren't ready, there are better ways to approach figure drawing, and learnart is full of bad people.

Also, check out Vilppu, I'd say go to him above EVERYONE else. His methods are better than Loomis's by far, especially if you can get the Drawing Manual off the internets.

u/jefftalbot · 2 pointsr/learnart

This looks like it was a study done following the methods laid out in the Charles Bargue Drawing Course.
Here's the book on amazon


I'm not sure of the exact terminology, but you'd basically do a simple lay-in (like a simplified version of the body), heavily measured from your reference. Then you go in and add or remove shapes making the forms more complex.
The process would be similar to this but on a larger scale:


Hope that helps.

u/sixilli · 1 pointr/learnart

I would recommend How to Draw by Scott Robertson. He does lots of digital art but the book can easily be followed by using any medium of your liking. The book is filled with practical examples and knowledge. Many perspective books dive so deeply into the science they forget to show you how to use and apply it to your work. The book also comes with links to hidden videos to go with the book. Here is a video of him paging through the book. You can check out his other tutorials on that same youtube channel. His videos usually focus more on advanced subjects a bit past the basics but any skill level can learn from them.

u/sketchius · 3 pointsr/learnart

When the surface of a body of water is not still, like this, it will refract light onto objects below that will looks something like this or this. You could try appying that sort of light pattern on your sea floor, but I think it would be challenging.

The further (or deeper) light travels through water, the more it is affected by the water molecules. This scatters the light, making more ambient, or coming from all directions.

Color is also important in an underwater scene. James Gurney explains this in his book, Color and Light.
> Water selectively filters out colors of light passing through it. Red is mostly absorbed at ten feet, Orange and yellow wavelenths are gone by twenty feet, leaving a blue cast.

So, I would recommend toning down your reds, oranges, and yellows, to give it a more underwater quality.

Also, keep in mind that even blue light gets absorbed, given enough distance, making far-away objects difficult to see. You might consider fading out some of the background sharks and terrain.

I took the liberty of doing a quick paintover to show what I mean with the colors and fading.

But in terms of the light and shadow itself, I think you could still have a weak light source from above (the sun), combined with an ambient bluish light. Your illustration is quite strong as is, and I don't know if the lighting need to get super-realistic.

u/Zhuyi1 · 1 pointr/learnart

I would recommend:

Figure Drawing: Design and Invention

Really cool looking stylized art captures the energy of a good gesture, typically the line / brush economy is also very efficient. Don't let the simplicity of colors or lines fool you, there's a lot of time and practice in there.

u/Astrolotl · 1 pointr/learnart

I'd suggest you take a look at Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain first. Really excellent book for learning how to draw. The "sciencey" introduction is a bit outdated, but it serves it's purpose.

I'm not sure about a drawing 1 course teaching the very basics, like going in depth as how to see as an artist. I took a drawing 1 class at an art college so maybe it was a bit more advanced, either way taking a look at the book I linked couldn't hurt.

u/linksoep · 2 pointsr/learnart

Start with gesture drawing. Watch Proko and Reiq first, to see what it's all about, then go to Quickposes. Do the 30 second timed gestures until you've reached level 1. Concentrate on the line of action. Don't get stuck on details. It will be impossible to do at first, but your skills will increase rapidly. Your hand will loosen up, and you will find something of a personal style. After that, read Andrew Loomis. It will be a revelation.

u/RoosterOnCommand · 1 pointr/learnart

If you’re still interested in improving your portrait skills I’d recommend you to get the book called “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”

Here’s the Amazon link:

u/xaureatex · 3 pointsr/learnart

What I meant by dissonance is that moving your hand a small amount can have a much larger effect. Your body is doing one thing -- drawing a small line. Your eyes see something else -- a long line is being drawn. You won't have that issue when you are using something like a Cintique. Or a tablet that closely matches the monitor you are working with. Whether or not this matters to you is preference based.

I'm going to echo /u/GanjaYogi and say to take a look at Huion tablets they are good quality and cheaper than Wacom. For example will get you a much larger tablet for about the same price as the Wacom you were looking at.

u/mariatwiggs · 1 pointr/learnart

If you're going for accurate, her facial features are too big, for example an average head should be 5 eyes wide, with the space of an eye in the middle (unless you're drawing someone like Drake, then put one and a half eyes width, haha). Overall I think you should look into general figure anatomy and proportions. Usually people in /r/learnart suggest Figure Drawing for All it's Worth by Andrew Loomis.

If you're planning on adding more to the drawing, it would have been much easier to sketch the whole thing out until it looks just like you want, and only at that point start adding details. It saves time and effort, and preserves your paper better from eraser and pencil scarring. Erasing shading and fine details is going to make a bigger mess than erasing light lines. It's less frustrating, too.

u/Braffe · 3 pointsr/learnart

Then this book is made for you. Autor here focus on encouraging persons who thinks they can't draw and convince them that everyone can do it. Great book.

u/bipolarcarebear · 1 pointr/learnart

The best books I ever read and studied on anatomy were the old ones written by George Bridgman. In fact, I just ordered two of them so I could refresh my knowledge of anatomy. He looks at anatomy from a very sculptural point of view and shows you how to draw every bone and muscle from any angle you can imagine. Highly recommend.

u/duckhunt420 · 1 pointr/learnart

I'd probably recommend this book personally. I like it a lot better and it walks you through the figure in a really simplified way

u/IArtThereforeIAm · 1 pointr/learnart

You just said yourself that you still have a lot to learn, therefore this is my criticism: It's GREAT!

Keep on going, don't stop.

You might want to take a look at this book , IMHO it's the best self-phased structured program, you can find the book at your local library, or buy a used copy, no need to get the latest edition either, even an older edition will do.

u/deviantbono · 1 pointr/learnart

I'd strongly recommend picking up his book Fun With a Pencil which takes you all the way from super-easy cartoon drawing all the way through perspective and realistic drawing styles. There are dozens of pages of examples, so you don't have to sit there drawing the same example 50-100 times like you do with some books. The first 20-30 pages are just on drawing the head. You can actually find the answer to your question in the Amazon image preview, but I still recommend buying the book.

u/xNonec · 3 pointsr/learnart

This describes the premise of a left brain and right brain in layman's terms. For a whole book on the topic go read Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. It explains the idea of symbol drawing more in depth and provides a bunch of exercises to go with it. Some exercises require you to have a see-through pane (like glass). I've read that some people think it's okay to just skip them, but I did those too. You can work through the book in about a week of 2 hours each day and hugely improve your life drawing skills. You can see some before/after pictures here and I can attest you that the progress depicted is accurate.

Overall, I think that the author uses way too many words to describe the concepts presented, but there simply is no other book (I've heard of) that describes the same concepts.

u/Altilana · 2 pointsr/learnart

Seriously check out this book:

It addresses a bunch of different issues that artists battle while making work. Super easy to read and one if the most helpful things I've read in life.

u/mortini · 1 pointr/learnart

Scott Robertson in one of his videos talks about building muscle memory for drawing straight lines and ellipsis. Once you do this, you simply 'turn the pad' to position the paper so it's wherever you want to draw.

Technical Pen and Paper does two things for you. The way it feels when you drag a pencil tip across the paper is called 'tooth.' This is feedback that your hand can feel as it will feel different as you speed up or slow down. Or different types of paper. But you can feel the pencil move across the paper.

Tablets generally don't have any tooth - or very very little. So it's difficult to build that 'muscle memory' for drawing a straight line.

The first few lessons on drawabox you could work on those at your desk without any issues. It's really about getting confidence with basics and line quality.

How to draw - By Scott Robertson is pretty good. It's really based on perspective and drawing things in perspective, though, and isn't as much designed in lessons but as in sections for different types of perspective tasks.

u/OutsiderInArt · 2 pointsr/learnart

Different strokes for different folks. Depending on their learning style, some love Loomis but hate Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain or say Keys to Drawing didn’t help them a bit. Truth is, most artists eventually read them all and use portions from each of them.

My personal reading focused more on the philosophy of art. I wanted to learn the traits and mentality of a successful artist and why they do what they do.

Books by Steven Pressfield:
The War of Art,
Do the Work,
Turning Pro.

I also re-read The Art Spirit by Robert Henri.

u/HalleyOrion · 4 pointsr/learnart

You might find this book helpful. It's more a reference manual than a tutorial, but it provides very excellent information on color.

It's not focused on pixel art, but most of the principles can be carried into pixel art (and any other art style that makes use of color or lighting).

u/Strangersaurus · 2 pointsr/learnart

Probably Bridgman. George Brant Bridgman. Heard great things about his books, though I can't say I've added them to my collection yet. Here are some links to them on amazon.

Box set of three books(Bridgman's Life Drawing | The Book of a Hundred Hands | Heads, Features and Faces)

Constructive Anatomy

The Human Machine(Has quite a few bad reviews concerning the print quality, I'm afraid.)

Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing from Life(This one is kind of a combination of all his other books, taking the best from each of them, though leaving some bits out.)

u/ICBanMI · 2 pointsr/learnart

Figure Drawing for All it's Worth has some good info on the subject. If you google it, you can find the pdf for free online.

u/Halzman · 1 pointr/learnart

Well, I've gone ahead and picked up the recommended How To Draw book, since that seems to cover primarily what I'm trying to get better at (that flip through you did was perfect!).

I really enjoyed the advice you gave throughout your videos, like only committing to what you know you can do, and the risk/reward perspective. You make quite a few compelling points!

As far as topics - I've always marveled at how an artist can take a blank canvas, draw an outline, and then add details to bring them to life. I have enough technical skill to make a decent copy of an existing image, but I could never start an original concept from scratch without just creating generic stuff. Mentally I have an idea on features or style, but I'm never sure on how to incorporate them.

I guess my question would be - How do you 'design' the uniqueness to an idea? How do you figure out what kind of character to give it?

u/roman553 · 4 pointsr/learnart

Don't be intimidated by the tough to draw parts. Try drawing the contours of the ear, and the fine details in the eyes and face. The worst thing that can happen is you'll see the mistakes, and gradually learn how to do it better next time. If you want to improve , just keep practicing and check out some books like Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. It has some outdated psuedo-science to it, but the exercises can really help you learn some of the basic skills essential for portraits, and you've already finished step 1 of the book the self portrait.

u/indigoshift · 3 pointsr/learnart

Start with Figure Drawing For All Its Worth. It's worth its weight in gold. Those Loomis books are available in softcover at Amazon again, which is good.

Also pick up Drawing the Head and Figure by Jack Hamm.

Both those books are a fantastic way to get started! Not only do they show you anatomy, but also composition, perspective, and all the other fundamentals you'll need to get started.

u/Tolbi · 1 pointr/learnart

Ah that one looks great! The top critical review ( states however that the drivers don't work properly with Photoshop CC 2015; specifically pressure sensitivity (and I use Photoshop CC 2017).

If someone on this sub-reddit could confirm that this is/isn't the case, I would appreciate it!

u/straumoy · 3 pointsr/learnart

If you wish to learn more about comics, I cannot recommend Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art enough.

As for art style... eh, it comes in all shapes and sizes, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Especially when you do it just for fun and don't go for any other style than your own.

u/BadMinotaur · 1 pointr/learnart

I use Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist to learn human anatomy. It’s a bit dense but he goes into why things fit the way they do, which is important.

u/postpics · 1 pointr/learnart

> So what is the best way to "practice" my imagination-drawing skills?

Figure Drawing: Design and Invention by Michael Hampton was made for this question.

Whether you're drawing from a model, photo or imagination you should always follow the same process from start to finish: Gesture -> Tilt/Shape -> Landmarks -> Form > Anatomy. If you follow this process when drawing from the model then it will carry over to your imagination drawings.

u/Choppa790 · 1 pointr/learnart

I would also add Valerie Winslows' Classic Human Anatomy and/or Classic Human Anatomy in Motion. Eliot Goldfinger Human Anatomy for Artists is also an amazing book.

u/remembertosmilebot · 3 pointsr/learnart

Did you know Amazon will donate a portion of every purchase if you shop by going to instead? Over $50,000,000 has been raised for charity - all you need to do is change the URL!

Here are your smile-ified links:

Drawing for the Absolute and Utter Beginner


^^i'm ^^a ^^friendly bot

u/JunCath · 2 pointsr/learnart

Scott McLoud's books are great.

>The main problem I have is that I don’t know where to start.

>my anatomy is very lacklustre.

Work on your anatomy maybe? Youtube would be a good place to start off with some free resources. Don't forget about environments and perspective drawing. Also if you're planning to do the lettering yourself take some time to learn the basics of typography and typesetting.

u/mcscope · 1 pointr/learnart

If you want to actually learn perspective well I recommend this book - it's the most technical treatment of the subject that I've found.

It is written as though you are going to be drawing complex objects like sports cars in 3 dimensions so it's very precise. Most of the explanations of perspective I've found on the internet are very 'dumbed down' and just cover the basics of vanishing points.

u/D_Z_W_X · 1 pointr/learnart

I recommend this book. The exercises in it can be really difficult, but if you do them, you will improve.

u/theburritoman · 8 pointsr/learnart

So, for me, drawing from a live model didn't teach me about anatomy. How could I learn without knowing what was underneath the skin? It wasn't until after I studied anatomy that I could depict the live models better because of that knowledge.

Go buy a couple of anatomy books and look up the skeletal system and muscular system online. Draw the bones and muscles that attach to those bones and study how they affect the body's movement.

this magazine special was what got me started with anatomy.

this book helped me tremendously with anatomy and it still is.

Study these or other books and when you're reading through them, copy the illustrations and try to understand how that relates to the human body. Try to study the text in term of your own body too! Look at your arms and how the muscles and bones move when you're studying that section, for example.

Just don't expect to get this stuff overnight. It takes a long time to really start to grasp it and for you to see the knowledge in your art.

u/drymedia · 1 pointr/learnart

It is helpful to make you more accurate. However most people dont spend the correct amount of time on them. They are suppose to take hours and hours and hours of refinement making them super accurate. The project book is here but it has slowly gotten more and more expensive it seems. or maybe it was always this expensive its just shocking me for the second time i look at it lol.

u/gigaquack · 1 pointr/learnart

Great job persevering. I recommend picking up Peck's Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist (or any similar volume) from your local library/bookstore/amazon/neighbor's house. Once you take the pain to learn the basic bone and muscle structure, a lot of guesswork goes out the window.

u/opie2 · 1 pointr/learnart

I'm going to suggest a book I found very helpful when I was learning how to draw - Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. While some of the "neuroscience" may be a bit out of date, it is an excellent introduction to learning how to draw what you are actually SEEING as opposed to what some mental construct tells you you are seeing. This is a critical key to life drawing and to seeing that it is a skill that can be learned just like any other skill, with practice.

u/Undersized · 4 pointsr/learnart

Last year I hated drawing realistic, until I read the book Drawing on the right side of the brain. (You can easily find the PDF online)
With simple drawing exercises you can really improve the way you see things and then draw them. I think it helped a lot of people at different stages of their art.
When I tried it there was a self portrait you draw at the beginning and the same at the end and you can see a real progress. Try it on, invest some time and show us the difference.

u/mt0711 · 1 pointr/learnart

A person (including you) shouldn't judge your initial efforts and exercises in art any more than they would judge the worth of a mathematician on the practice problems in his old algebra textbook.

That being said, don't let your perceived lack of ability keep you from tackling projects you're interested in because you feel you need more practice first. Keep practicing but don't be afraid to say what you want for fear of technical ability.

Some books:

The Natural Way to Draw

The Art Spirit

Art and Fear