Jessica R. Herrera's Books, Blogs & Art

5 Tips To Become A Better Artist

  1. Line Variation– There is plenty of great art where the line shape is consistent throughout the piece, but the reason many of these drawings are  successful, is they are depending on patterns, color and value to bring interest to the art.  Even if you like the look of of the consistent line, I would say experiment with changing the line’s shape or taking it away completely. I created a line art drawing of a truck as an example of how a line can dramatically change the appearance of a drawing. Notice how the line is the same thickness throughout the drawing.no-variation-line-art-truckline-art-truckHere is the second version of the same drawing. Notice how the line has changed and added interest to the art.So try to experiment with the thickness and shape of the line, but a thick line on a bad drawing probably won’t help.  You still need to remember the principles of design.
  2.   Color Think about your use of color. It’s true that you can make gorgeous art in just one color, but really thinking about what colors really suit the art, can completely change the mood of the drawing. Try creating art on colored paper to change things up a bit. Make copies of your art on your printer and color them in different shades to see what all the possibilities are or use an art program and experiment on different layers.
    chevy-truck-in-color2

    Color Examples 1

    chevy-truckred-and-sky

    Color Example 2

    In this example the building and truck color have changed.

    chevy-truckcolor-change3

    Color Example 3

    The color of the building and sky have changed.

    chevy-truckcolor-example-4

    Color Example 4

    All of these trucks have the same line art, but all are changed because of the color choices.

  3. Watch videos– You can practice and practice, so don’t get me wrong, you HAVE to practice to improve, but you will be surprised at the quick progress you can make by watching videos of other artists strutting their stuff. Watch for inspiration. Watch for tips and pointers. Watch, because you are bored and have nothing better to do. Whatever your reason, see what the possibilities are. Don’t give up your style by following another artist, but enhance your art through seeing another artist’s practices and process.
  4. Get opinions– I’m not talking about just asking mom and dad. Their opinions may be nice, especially if one is an artist, but you need honest feedback.  Ask friends. Ask family. Most importantly ask other ARTISTS. Most artists are eager to help new artists improve and help them get unstuck when they are in a rut. Even if you feel insulted, or like the critique  you received should have been critiqued into creative criticism, you never know when you will finally receive that one eye opening comment that takes you from beginner artist and hurls you toward the professional artist territory.
  5. Go shopping– Buy a new “toy”. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be something as simple as a $1 notebook and a pencil, but for some reason just starting fresh, with a brand new pencil (at least for myself) can help diminish artist’s block. It can make you want to draw what you have never drawn, try what you have never tried and get your creative juice pumping. I would recommend things like stencils, pencils, colored paper, a note pad or a ruler. All are inexpensive, but can get you back in the drawing mood. Whatever you buy make sure you use it. Don’t just go buy a bunch of art supplies and throw them in a pile. That won’t make you into an artist, that will make you into a hoarder.

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