When people talk about how to be an artist, they usually mean what kind of media you should focus on as a career. You could be very good at oil painting or drawing in pen and ink, for example.
But beyond that, there are many other ways to make money being creative. This is true not only of creating your own artistic expression, but also designing logos, cartoons, illustrations, and so on.
Many artists start out doing simple drawings and then move onto more complex styles. The way to do this is by learning how to draw!
There are several different types of drawing, with some being more fundamental than others. By learning the basics, you can eventually expand into more advanced styles.
This article will go over the five most common types of drawing and describe their fundamentals.
Practice drawing people
A lot of illustrators start off doing caricatures, which are very funny drawings of large or small people that have exaggerated features. Caricaturists use light and heavy lines to create an image or expression, so it is helpful to practice that with simple shapes such as circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles.
Practice making marks in different styles such as washes, stippling, dry brushing, and heavier line work to achieve different looks.
By practicing drawing humans, you will solidify your understanding of how proportions look and how to draw faces!
Illustrations are creative exercises that showcase your artistic ability and skill levels. There are many ways to approach human figure illustration, so do not feel limited by what genre or style of art you already know.
Learn how to use reference materials
As we know, illustrators use pictures and references heavily in their artistic process. They study them closely and incorporate bits of them into their designs. Many artists even make sketches using references as models!
Finding inspiration from other artists’ work is an easy way to refresh your creativity. When you are trying to figure out what styles or techniques you like, look through their paintings and illustrations to get some ideas. You don’t need to be a professional artist to do this!
Illustrations are a very common form of art that many people enjoy looking at. By studying the ways different artists built up their drawing skills, you can pick and choose things that appeal to you and apply them to your own style.
Reference materials include still life photographs, personable drawings, and creative craft projects. Take time to explore these types of images, see what you can learn from them, and add some touches to match your design concept.
Need more inspiration? Check out our article: 30 Great Hand Drawn Graphics for Inspiration.
Take a class
Being an illustrator means having a passion for creating illustrations, so whether you are looking to take your craft more seriously or just want to learn some new tricks, there is always something you can learn from others’ work. There are many ways to learn how to draw, and most art schools offer classes that focus on different styles of drawing.
Many colleges also have illustration courses designed specifically to teach students the basics of designing illustrations and then giving them lessons in specific areas such as character design, styling, etc. Some even have online courses available via YouTube or other streaming sites.
Practice drawing from life
There are many ways to learn how to draw, but one of the most fundamental is practicing drawing from nature. This can be a beautiful subject or a ugly one!
Many people begin taking art classes by looking at still lifes, which are natural settings with just shapes and lines. These lessons then move onto more expressive drawings, where there are human figures in context.
By learning about proportions, values, and textures through practice, you will make your illustrations look much better! Figurative artists must also know how to depict complex scenes with accuracy and detail.
There are several ways to add depth to a picture; using light, shadows, contour lines, etc. All these concepts come later as you experiment and study them. By adding layers to your artistic repertoire, you’ll find yourself producing eye-catching work soon!
Illustrations are an integral part of graphic design. Artists use their skills to convey messages and ideas via pictures.
Practice using a grid system
When creating your illustrations, how you organize the elements can make a big difference in the style of the piece. There are two main organization systems that most illustrators use to get their artwork looking consistent.
The first is a color-based organizing scheme or what we call a color palette. An artist will pick shades of colors they want to work with and then find ways to put those colors together in designs or stories. For instance, an artist may choose bright, bold colors for characters and settings. They could also choose soft, pastel colors for other shapes such as flowers or landscapes.
By having strong colors used frequently, the eye easily finds its way around the illustration. The design becomes familiar and stops to focus more on details instead of the overall picture. Color palettes usually have many colors, which helps create a vibrant image.
The second organizational tool artists use is the concept of a grid. A common beginner mistake is not defining boundaries for your art. By doing this, it can become hard to tell where one element ends and another begins. This takes away from the flow of the drawing and can be frustrating.
Using a grid allows you to clearly define areas of the painting or drawing. More advanced artists often use several grids within one project to help streamline their ideas.
Create your own theme
As mentioned earlier, illustrators start off with a medium they are passionate about and then find ways to make it their own. Whether you want to do stylized animals or elaborate landscapes, there is no limit to what you can create.
The best way to learn how to draw is by doing. Try experimenting with different styles and media to see which ones appeal to you more. You will also need a source of income for illustrations, so be sure to research successful artists’ routes to success!
Once you have mastered drawing from life, take some time to analyze the style and figure out why it works for them.
You could even look through old drawings to get inspiration.
Use reference materials
As we already mentioned, illustrators start with very basic shapes and then they develop their styles as they add layers to their illustrations.
There are many ways to learn how to draw from scratch. One of the most fundamental is drawing from references or studies of other artists’ work.
By copying other designs, you will be incorporating some of the best tools used by top artist in their field. These masters have left behind lots of notes, sketches, and study pictures that can help you get going quickly.
A great way to do this is use a site like Pixlr-Web-Seller where you can create an account and upload your own images or use theirs. You pick a style, tool, material, or anything about the image and write out what brush, pen, marker, or computer program it is before importing into the website.
Learn how to use colors
Color is one of the most important tools used in illustrative art. Artists use color for many different reasons, but it always comes down to two things: inspiration and expression.
Using strong colors can inspire you to create more vibrant illustrations or express your feelings better. For example, if you want to convey gratitude, then using bright reds and oranges are great alternatives.
Conversely, muted neutral shades like blues and grays help make pictures seem calm and relaxed. This article will go into detail about some basic concepts in color theory and how to apply them to your style.
Color psychology is an interesting field that studies the effects of color on people. There are several theories such as hue dominance, neutrality, and value contrast.