What I Need to Do to Improve My Art (WAW)

I meant to write a post like week for Write Anything Wednesday, but I had such a busy week. (Hey, it’s still Wednesday where I am. Forget you, Greenwich Military time!)

Anyway, I have been meaning to make this post for quite some time.

As I have stated in some posts and my “About” Page and in my Gravatar profile, I am an aspiring artist and writer. While I can see that I have already made some improvement as a writer, I still need quite a bit of work to do as an artist.

Much of that is my own fault. Since childhood, I have loved to draw and I did this more consistently, even without proper tools. But I abandoned much of it for years after reaching adulthood.


Where I Struggle

I went back to school so I could earn a degree, but I didn’t make the type of progress I wanted to. For one thing, I struggle mightily with figure-drawing. I do have some books and references to use, but it will take me some time to get my art to where it needs to be in this area.

That’s not to say that I can’t draw figures, because of course I have. You can see that from the samples I have shared even on this website. But I need to create more original poses from scratch.

I also need to work on head and facial detail. In a way, that’s harder than figure-drawing, especially when dealing with the shape of the head and facial proportions.

Additionally, I want to work my way to building scenery and drawing more objects. The former has never been a strength of mine and I have always liked focusing more on people than on objects.

Finally, I want to improve my workflow and have a more consistent schedule for working on art. At best, I want to be able to put out needed pieces every 2-3 days, depending on the work that needs to be done. As it is, I’m too slow and I’m still learning some processes. Improving my skills in the areas I mentioned above — and with different mediums and techniques — will help tremendously.


Where I Am Now

I would say that my best works to date were vectors, with the images of American football players being the absolute best.

PFF Recolored Vector 3

This was a trace, but it gave me confidence to eventually work on other vectors from this sport via reference. I also dig the effect I was able to create with the colors here.

NFL Players Vol. 1

These were fun to work on, especially the Aaron Rodgers vector.

It takes me quite a bit of time to work on these, but I’m more comfortable with these results than I am with my graphite drawings to this point. That is something else I need to work on, if only to create drafts that will help me with lineart.

In the meantime, I think I should continue on with this path and expand the types of sports I work on. This is something that needs to be perfected along with me incorporating my techniques for images like this and to my repertoire.


Where I Want to Be

I want to be versatile. That means, being able to work with various media, including traditional media like watercolors and charcoal. I want to employ different techniques digitally, from simple sketches worthy of publication for a web comic to pixel art, to detailed paintings. For example, here are some works on DeviantArt:

There are many more examples, but these are ones that exemplify where I want to be in a few years. And yes, that’s Artgerm, but it’s not a bad thing to be inspired by him.


What I Can Do to Improve Now

Of course, I can start by drawing regularly or at least doing drawing exercises on a daily basis. When I do fire up my tablet, I can work on growing in the areas I’m most comfortable in then branching out. For one thing, I would like to improve on the image below.

Sawyer 1

 

I honestly want a do-over with this piece. I feel I can remake this image and do a better job with the shading and use of strokes, since I was lazy when doing the lapel and using textures. Those can be fixed, too.

Additionally, I want to add a “glossy” aspect to vectors like these. That might be done with the use of colors and highlights. I just need the practice — and tons of tutorials — to get it to where I want it.

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5 thoughts on “What I Need to Do to Improve My Art (WAW)

  1. I have no visual motor integration, so any visual art is amazing to me, including what you’ve posted here. What a talent you have. I’m partial to #12 of my beloved Green & Gold!!!, but they’re all cool. Keep working, and keep enjoying the work. I hope that enjoyment continues to propel you.

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  2. I can relate to this. As a child a was drawing and painting and doing a lot of stuff, then just suddenly stopped after I got married. I did a lot of stuff with my children for about 5 years and slowly stopped again. I “kept alive” only my writing. Now I want to draw and paint more and already started with some water color paintings but still don’t feel it is enough. So I need to challenge myself more.

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  3. I am curious, why do you like drawing? I saw you said you did it since you were a kid. But what pulls you into the medium? I am not an artist, but my husband is, and it fascinates me to know why people are pulled toward certain ways of expressing themselves.

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    1. As a kid, it was just fun to draw. I liked working with most mediums that were made available to me. At first, it was the finger paints, crayons, and markers in preschool. As I got older, graphite was the tool of choice. When I had the time, I could finish some drawings and I had some creative ideas. I really loved the free drawing periods we had, especially in the fourth grade.

      Other than that, I started drawing some pictures from reference. It was also fun to show my classmates and family members.

      What did I love about the art itself? For one thing, I loved being able to depict things I saw in real life or that I could imagine. Secondly, I liked viewing my own progress. The same is true today.

      Also, I think drawing allows me to pay more attention to detail. When I’m able to depict something accurately, and give something my own spin, the thing I’m referencing looks more beautiful to me.

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