When it comes to being an artist or making any kind of art, you don’t really need to know how to draw. Sure if you’re working for Disney on an epic animation, you might. But overall, you can make some stunning stuff with little to no drawing skill. With digital software around now, you can pretty much bypass learning how to draw. Although, you should still learn, it will make things a lot easier down the road.
However there are lessons you can’t skip, which everyone does all the time, called fundamentals. They’re the basic building blocks to producing amazing artwork. They’re just simple rules, but if followed religiously, will turn you into a skilled artist right out of the gate.
A lot of people can’t understand why they’re not improving, it’s really soul crushing when you love something so much, and you can’t get better at it. Well don’t worry, you’re not going to be one of those people, as long as you study your butt off with fundamentals!
The reason why? You only develop the good habits in the beginning, which get ingrained into your brain. You can’t forget them if you tried, so it’s almost impossible to produce bad results.
On the flip side, many people just pick up bad habits in the beginning, and it turns into a rabbit hole of frustration. Until they go back to the drawing board, and learn fundamentals, they’ll continue to disappoint themselves, year after year. Often times their not even aware of them. Which is crazy.
It is possible to defy the odds though, and get lucky making a pretty cool image, but it’s not something you should count on. You don’t want to be the one hit wonder of the art world. So stick to learning the fundamentals, it will pay off exponentially in the long run, as you’ll be learning the good habits instead of the bad. Instead of being one of those artists that have to go back to the drawing board, after years of frustration. All the while wondering why their not improving, despite everything they’re doing.
The best place to start is with thumbnailing. The art of putting together miniature sketches, each one with very little detail, to get some quick ideas out there. It’s important not to spend a lot of time on one, and just use a few shades, black and white, the goal is to create as many as you can, so you can come up with the best design you can.
You can use any software or just a pencil and paper, to sketch out some quick ideas. I like to use photoshop mostly, which I used to do the above thumbnails. Playing around with the amount of light and dark in a scene can create some cool results.
Try to play around with your brush strokes, until you can see an image coming through. Just build up from there, but don’t spend too much time on one, the idea is to sketch as many as you can, so you can choose the best design.
If you’re going to take an image to a final design, you have to go with something that you really love. You don’t want to get halfway through a design you’re not really feeling.