I have been drawing for around 14 or 15 years, basically since I could hold a pencil.
I have been drawing with a computer for around 7 years.
I have been drawing anime, or trying to draw anime, for around 5 years.
I have been colouring and drawing pictures on a computer for about 36 weeks.

33 weeks ago, this was the limit of my skills on a computer: link

See how far I have come. I dare you to ask why I have improved. What can you come up with? Am I perhaps using secret master tutorials? Do I have a special expensive tablet that somehow transfers skill and experience to my very hand? Am I an artistic genius? No, no, and no. I learn how to draw things by doing two things. I look at something, and then I draw something. That’s all that’s involved.

You may say, ‘how can just copying something teach me to draw?’ Well, how can it not? When you copy a picture, you are, or should be, archiving all lines, curves, blends, etc, in your mind of everything you are drawing. I copy pictures often, and learn quickly because of it. If you never copy a picture, you never learn what anything really looks like or how to draw it.

In the case of drawing people, take Life-Drawing classes. If you can’t get access to one or don’t have the maturity, time, money, patience, or urge to do these, borrow books on anatomy from your trusty local library (I had to say that, I volunteer at the library) and see what you can learn from those.

I have only occasionally attended these classes, as they are rare around these parts, but I have borrowed many an anatomy book. I also have a folder of reference images containing about 380 images, and it always grows as I find more art both similar to mine and that I aspire to one day achieve. They consist of anime drawings and paintings, photos, and digital renderings of scenery similar to the ones I create.

What kinds of art do you aspire to one day produce? If you don’t know which way you are facing, you can’t move forward. I won’t get into the business side of things, but I will tell you that if you want to be a good artist, you need to know exactly what you want to be good at. It is quite pointless to say ‘I want to learn to draw’ and leave it at that, because it cancels out very little. By focussing your studies and practice, you can greater improve your skills and techniques.

Do not let your harshly critiquing mind get the better of you. Every artist is their worse critique. Is there a picture that is really bothering you though? Try flipping it horizontally. This little trick is an extremely useful trick and it is how people basically see your image, only flipped around. Immediately, you can see what is out of proportion and what is not.

  • Look at a picture. Draw it. You just learnt something.
  • Take drawing classes or borrow or buy books on drawing
  • Build a reference folder (or 15) of art similar to the type you want to achieve and learn from it!
  • Which way are you facing? What do you actually want to achieve?
  • Flip your images horizontally. If you see no mistakes, it is well proportioned
  • Never give up! The point of learning to draw is to not stop trying

All art and content of this site is © 2013 Joshua Gillies. All Rights Reserved.
Contributions to the library/wiki are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 License.
Portions not contributed by others are Copyright 2013 Joshua Gillies.