Asked by Anonymous
- are you a perfectionist? at all? if so, buy a notebook/sketchpad and call it “imperfect art notebook”. Let yourself make as many mistakes as you want on every page. After all, the whole point of that notebook is to be imperfect. Certain things in it should be wrong. This will help you get over the fear of “ruining” your notebook with bad art.
- draw simple straight lines, curvy lines, circles and squares. Then trace over them as many times as you can. This should help you gain control over your lines + learn to steady your hands.
- when practicing, give yourself a challenge. If you paint with a brush too big, it’s going to be even easier when you paint with one the right size. Try making color schemes with limited palettes. Try making landscapes only with basic shapes. Give yourself restrictions. Then see how much better you do without them.
- try doing a 30 day drawing challenge. a lot of them are super fun.
- you can make a blog to keep track of your progress + share your work with others more easily. The art community on tumblr is really welcoming (in my experience).
- drawing with your friends is super fun. You can go get coffee together and doodle the coffee shop around you as you talk. You can make a game of it where you draw one panel of a comic, your friend draws the next one, you draw the next one, and so on. You can make silly caricatures of each other to practice.
- take inspiration from other people. Look at art online. Look at the techniques and tools used by your favorite artists. Read art history books. Maybe even take a class if you can. If you see a style that you like, play around with it. If you see an idea that you like, try to make your own twist on it.
- Study light! Study the difference between artificial and natural light. Study shades. A simple and easy place to start: look out your window on a bright day, and write/draw down what you see. Do it again on a gloomy rainy day, and compare.
- Other helpful things to study: composition, proportions, color theory, character/environment design (pro tip: if you study the way lines + basic shapes interact in nature and have been used in history, it will help you understand design much more easily).
- Okay so I know I just said a lot of stuff which can seem really overwhelming when you’re just starting, but here’s the thing: do it one step at a time. Start by putting your pencil on paper (or stylus on tablet or whatever it is you use). Make lines. See what happens. Keep drawing. Bring a notebook and a pen with you when you go out in case inspiration strikes. If you get a cool idea and think “I’ll draw that when I’m better!” or “I wish I was good enough to draw that”, ignore that voice and draw it now. Of course it won’t be as good as you want it to be. That’s okay. Nobody makes a masterpiece their first try, but nobody makes a masterpiece without that first try either. Read an art book or check an artist’s website every now and then. Study the things I told you or ignore what I said and do your own thing. Do this whatever way is funnest for you, but keep doing it. Draw as often as possible. You’ll do great.
- bonus resources:
free andrew loomis art books
color scheme designer
figure & gesture drawing tool
help you draw tumblr (a collection of art tutorials and tips)
eatsleepdraw (good art inspiration)
fire alpaca (good free digital painting software)
blambot (comic fonts and lettering)
user created color palettes
50 art journal prompts
In April of 2009 a family home in rural Vermont burned to the ground. Fifteen months later I walked through the charred foundation and found a family photo album and a box of snapshots that had melted into a dark mass. Locals told me that that after the fire, the family had moved away and what was left there had lain exposed to the snow, rain and heat of several seasons. The object I found was a palimpsest of otherworldly patterns and colors. Nearly all recognizable imagery (the very purpose of snapshots) had dissolved, leaving an intricate visual record of the elements, chaos and loss.
Slowly, I separated each snapshot from the mass and spread them out across the table like artifacts from some future archeological dig. The paradox of intimacy and abstraction embedded in each 4x6 sheet begged to be decoded. In photography, the “latent image” refers to an image that has been recorded, but is not yet visible, still holding the potential for meaning. But how do we talk about an image that, once visible, has receded into it’s own materiality; the rippling, cracked emulsion of a color photograph? The production of chromogenic photographs is now in rapid decline, but for decades we have depended on this material to record, rewrite and memorialize our lives. Through one destructive, albeit common, event these familiar images have been transformed into bizarre microcosmic landscapes shaped by their own chaotic material logic. This disruption interrogates our collective dependency on a very unstable medium and suggests it’s unlikely, transformative power.
The storybuilding adventures of Ben Feehan, aspiring author, intellectual ragman.
In case you’re interested, I now have a storybuilding blog. Is gonna get creative up in this joint.
This is my hubby. He is pretty cool. And also, he’s going to be famous.
Commission for hellisforcowards!
It’s finally here! My commission from Dana Guerrieri has arrived!
Mike Sullivan is a legend in the St. Louis Homicide Division. Or he was. Six months ago, his failure to solve a grisly multiple murder and a near fatal assault by unknown assailants took him out of the rotation. Now, counting the minutes until retirement and a pension, Mike stumbles across a lead that only he can remember. With a killer on the loose and only a single clue, it’s up to Mike to save his city, and maybe the world.
Kindle Ebook, coming this year. Fingers crossed.