You don’t have to be a genius or as talented as Leonardo Da Vinci in order to make amazing works of art. If there’s one thing everyone-and I mean EVERYONE is capable of, that is; ART! Often I hear people saying “I wish I can draw” or “I wish I can paint” when in reality you can!… you’re probably just unmotivated or too lazy to learn, or perhaps you give up too easily!
Luckily for you, I’ll be sharing some tips and tricks, to equip you with your journey into becoming a better artist!
- Doodle as if Your Life Depends on It
Carry a sketch book with you everywhere. Make random scribbles and try to draw every day when you’re bored, listening to music or even if you’re in a long conversation on the phone. Take a pen and a small notebook along to meetings, outings or in the office.
Doodling can be regarded as your artistic side expressing itself while your mind is occupied elsewhere. The symbols or objects you create when doodling vary from person to person and interpreting them can be quite fun!
- Create a Stimulating Environment
Put up as many visually stimulating items as you can in your room or office for inspiration. Put up posters, your favorite painting, have tiny figurines, display an awesome wallpaper on your computer/laptop, pinboard cool postcards, photos, printouts from the web, etc.
These little things actually give out subliminal messages to your brain which stimulates your creativity and imagination. It’s fun decorating and all, but don’t over-do it or else you’ll end up cluttering your entire workplace.
- Allow Yourself to Warm-Up
Understand that every day, you have to restart the machinery. Even if you’re a professional, your first few doodles of the day might look like crap because your brain is still booting up! Kinda like trying to talk early in the morning, your voice sounds like a dying frog because your vocal chords are still trying to adjust.
Do some drawing exercises in a sketchpad or notebook to warm-up before continuing on your painting or art project.
- Don’t Limit Yourself with Tutorials
There are millions of great tutorials out there, but limiting yourself and depending on these tutorials is a big NO-NO. What if you were told to draw something specific and you can’t find any tutorial on how to draw that certain thing?? You’ll probably panic and rip all your hair off because you’ve formed a bad habit by relying too much on tutorials.
Tutorials are definitely a good way to learn how to do things, but these should never define what you do. There is nothing more satisfying than figuring out techniques and styles on your own.
- What You See Isn’t Always What It Seems
When you show others a drawing that you think is the best piece you’ve ever done, chances are, those people see the flaws and errors in your drawing which you cannot see. That’s because our eyes are deceiving and our brain does this stupid thing where it tries to tell us what’s right when it’s actually wrong. What I’m trying to say is that you are being tricked by your own brain! but how?
Have you ever wondered why you don’t look like yourself in photographs? It’s because we are used to seeing ourselves in the mirror which is the FLIPPED version of our photographed selves. We look at ourselves in the mirror almost everyday and get accustomed that we have convinced ourselves that THAT is what we actually look like.
Looking at a painting or drawing in a mirror helps you see mistakes and areas that need working on.
So, if you feel like something’s not right with your drawing, turn it upside down, flip it, or better yet, hold it up in front of a mirror. You’ll notice the flaws and mistakes such as unproportional eyes, crooked nose, etc.
- Black and White Contrast
Before adding the finishing touches to your artwork, take a picture of it with your camera using the black and white setting, or if you are painting digitally, change it to black and white or greyscale. This way, you’ll be able to quickly judge if your shading or values are correct.
This is to prevent a dull or washed out-looking painting/artwork (unless that is what you’re trying to achieve).
- Simplify by Squinting
If you squint your eyes, the light and dark areas in whatever you’re painting will become more obvious. It also eliminates some of the detail, which you can probably leave out of your painting if you want. When you are starting to draw a rather complex subject, it’s very easy to get distracted by the details, which can be overwhelming.
By simply squinting your eyes as you look at the subject, you can eliminate a lot of the detail, making it much easier to see simple shapes and values.
- True Artists are Never Satisfied with Their Own Work
You are your own critic. Don’t be satisfied with just “alright” try to make that artwork of yours the best that you can make it. Fix things you need to fix even if it takes some time. Art isn’t meant to be rushed… unless you prefer quantity over quality.
Understand that you can NEVER make a perfect drawing (which isn’t a bad thing) but this is a reminder that there is, and will always be room for improvement whether you’re just a beginner or a professional. If you become content with your drawings, you stop seeing the flaws, and if you stop seeing the flaws, you stop improving which hinders you from becoming a better artist.
- Talent does not Equal Skill
Just because you’ve got some natural/inborn artistic talent, doesn’t give you a free ticket to making great art. You’ve got to use that talent to hone your skills. In other words; practice, practice, PRACTICE!
Think of it this way; A professional athlete doesn’t become a pro just by waking up one day, walking down to the field and start performing great feats of prowess. A rock-star doesn’t just wake up one day, pick up an instrument, and blow us all away. They’ve spent years turning their abilities and talent, into amazing skills.
You are the equivalent of an athlete or a rock-star in the making. You may have the talent but it’s going to take a lot of practice to achieve the skill level and recognition that you desire. The more art you do the better you’re going to get, so just draw draw and DRAW!
- HAVE FUN
Always remember to have fun no matter how frustrating it may seem. Being one of 7 billion human beings on Earth, it’s important to enjoy yourself. Art has no limits. If you enjoy making art even when you aren’t in the right mood, you will later be able to perform under a variety of circumstances, and become a professional.