Learning how to draw can be a little demotivating. Especially, if you have the feeling, that you are not Improving. So I collected 15 Tips, that can help you to improve.
1. Learn the Fundamentals
Even if you only want to draw Anime, you should still learn the fundamentals. The fundamentals of drawing will help you with everything, that you want to draw no matter what style you want to draw in.
I know, fundamentals can be annoying and hard to learn but it is well worth it. You don´t have to master all the fundamentals but if you want to improve your ability to draw then you should at least have a basic understanding of the fundamentals.
2. Do Studies
While drawing finished pictures is a lot of fun and can teach you a lot, doing studies is very important as well. Doing studies help you understanding an Object or the Subject, that you are studying, way better!
So try and draw an object from different angles and try to understand how the object works. And when you understand something, then you will eventually be able to draw it from your Imagination.
So do some Studies and you will Improve your drawings fast.
3. Don´t copy
So drawing something from a reference Image is very Important as long, as you don´t just copy the Image. Copying won´t help you and you won´t learn a lot by mindlessly copying something.
So use Reference Images to Enhance the feel, mood, and accuracy of your Drawing but don´t just copy parts of the Reference Image and add it to your drawing. It won´t help you and it will not look good.
4. Learn Anatomy
Anatomy is part of the Fundamentals of drawing but it is so Important, that I mention it here as a separate point. Learning Anatomy should be the very first thing, that you learn when you are drawing figures.
So when you have the problem, that your Anime characters are looking a little bit off, then you should definitely take a closer look at Anatomy.
Exactly like learning the Fundamentals, learning Anatomy can be quite dry but it will help you a lot with your art!
5. Don´t compare yourself to the Masters
Another very common beginner’s mistake. You can compare your drawing to other drawings from a good artist but don´t discourage yourself.
So often I see beginners artists that finish a drawing and then ook up their favorite artist online and compare it line by line. Just to say, that their drawing sucks and they have to learn more and try harder etc.. This behavior will not help you and it will discourage you more than motivate you.
So look at your drawings and constructively think, what you could have done better and also what you did well on that drawing.
6. Try Different Mediums
Trying different Mediums, especially Mediums, that you never tried before will force you to try new stuff. It sounds silly and easy but it works really well.
Try, for example, to draw with watercolors or Ink to change it up a little bit. Also, if you are mainly drawing digitally then you should defiantly try to draw in a traditional medium.
You will learn a lot and you will be able to take some of the thinks, you learned, over to other Mediums.
7. Learn from the Masters
Like I mentioned above, don´t compare your skill to masters of their art but that doesn´t mean, that you can´t learn from them. It is very important, that you look at art, that you like and that inspires you.
So if you encounter a problem, for example, you just can´t get the skin color right or the eyes, that you draw look weird. well, then you can either try again and again until it looks good or you can look at how other artists have solved these issues.
So learn from the Masters but don´t copy the masters!
8. Try and Tell a Story
If your drawings are not looking interesting enough and you don´t know why, well this may be why. If you are not telling a story in your drawings, then the viewer will not have a big reason to look at it for more than a few seconds.
You don´t have to overdo it. On the contrary, telling a story in a subtle way will sometimes be more effective than an overcomplicated one. So, learn how to tell a story and you will see, your drawings will become more interesting.
9. Learn About Composition
The composition is another thing, that will make your drawings look more interesting. The composition is a weird subject and a lot of compositional rules can take a little getting used to. But these rules are surprisingly effective. So try it out and see for yourself.
10. Color and Light Will Make Your Drawing Look Alive
This tip may sound a little obvious but if you understand how light and colorwork and how to draw it, then your drawings will look way more alive then before.
Learn about how light bounces and how the shadow is cast. Then your drawings will look a lot more realistic.
11. Keep it Simple!
When you draw a picture you should keep it as simple as possible. There are already so many things, that you have to care about and keep in mind. Like light, composition, anatomy and more. So try and keep the message of the picture and the shapes as well as the design as simple as possible.
This will help you a lot. But keeping it simple is ironically not easy. So try it out and always keep it in mind, when you are drawing and your drawings will improve quickly!
12. Atmospheric Perspective is Important
So Perspective is Important, obviously, but atmospheric perspective is a very effective tool to use as well. Basically, atmospheric perspective is something artists mainly use in environment drawings but it can also be utilized in character drawings!
To make it simple, the atmospheric perspective is a perspective rule, where an object is getting lighter and is having less contrast the further it is in the background. Giving the picture the illusion of depth!
13. Not Everything Has to be a Masterpiece
Don´t draw with the intention to create your next big masterpiece. If you only do illustrations and finished drawings, then you will learn but not as fast, as you could.
Instead, you should switch it up a little and do some studies or scribbles in between to loosen up. And don´t stress out if you made a mistake! Mistakes happen, just try and incorporate the mistake in your drawing or start over. But don´t let yourself get discouraged!
14. Learn How to Draw in Shapes
Another thing, that I see a lot of beginner artist do, is to draw in Lines. The reality is, there are no actual lines in the real world. Lines are just an illusion. The World consists entirely of shapes. If you learn how to draw these shapes then you will never need to draw another line! This is also known as the “painterly” approach.
If you are confused, what I mean by “shapes”, then let me give you an example. Let´s say, you want to draw a ball, the most obvious shape is the circle, that will show the dimension of the ball. But then there are shapes defining the light side of the ball, shapes that define the cast shadow and the bounce light and shapes, that define the reflection of the ball in the surface of the underground and so on. All these shapes will create the illusion of a ball.
15. Don´t Give Up!
The most important tip for the end! You are going to learn how to draw as long as you don´t give up on drawing.
That is a Promise! Every famous artist had to start at the beginning and they all made it because they didn’t give up. Not because of their talent but because they never stopped. And that is the truth! So keep on drawing.