How To Be A Better Artist

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As an artist, you’ve probably asked yourself at least once – how to be a better artist? Becoming a better artist is a journey of continuously evolving skills, techniques, and pushing oneself beyond the boundaries. 

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In this article:

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  1. Master the Foundations 
  2. Observe, Observe, Observe
  3. Choose a Favorite Subject 
  4. Be Scientific and Systematic in Practicing
  5. Be a Well-Rounded Person
  6. Hear The Criticisms Out

How To Be A Better Artist With These 6 Tips:

Master the Foundations

Foundation knowledge is crucial in any area, not just with art in particular. You cannot call yourself a competent artist until you have mastered the basics: perspective, color theory, values/lighting, composition, anatomy/figure, etc. It’s not just learning or hearing of, but mastering those concepts. Confidence and authority in the artwork mean so much to a true artist. 

Don’t dwell on concepts you’ve already mastered like the back of your hand. It takes determination and hard work rather than just doodling aimlessly in your sketchbook. 

Search for design and composition guidelines, analyze bones and muscles’ underlying anatomy, comprehend the effects of facial expressions, and take lessons on lighting principles if necessary. 

Stop wondering how to be a better artist! Master the foundations first, then improvement and success are not out of reach anymore.

Observe, Observe, Observe

man in gray shirt observing the building and painting-us | How To Be A Better Artist | Observe, Observe, Observe

Observe with eyes wide open. Filter things out through an artistic prism by paying attention to details or marginal subjects of the scene: the sunlit patching in a landscape, water bouncing off the surface of a lake, a muscle in the forearm bulging with the wrist tilts inward, the animal bending to drink, etc.

Nature can evoke positive emotional reactions and reduce stress since humans possess an innate affinity for the patterns and forms in nature. Get outside and explore the world around you. 

Preserve the therapeutic value of a walk on the beach or time spent in the woods by bringing a small sketchbook and doing rough sketches of subjects you observe.

For instance, your upcoming project will be fantasy drawings about a furry, mythical creature. Take a look at animals around you: dogs, cats, lizards, or even those creepies-crawlies in the backyard yard. Sketch them for informational purposes and incorporate them into your creation.

Choose a Favorite Subject

woman in white long sleeve shirt holding white and blue floral painting-us | How To Be A Better Artist | Choose a Favorite Subject

Choose your favorite subject to practice over and over again. A flower, water bottle, or your favorite animal can all be excellent sources of inspiration. Draw the same objects repeatedly and differently. This will strengthen your anatomy and proportions skills of that subject. 

Take your cat, for example. Repeat your cat’s portraits but with different poses and compositions every single time. The paws, the nose, etc. anything can be subjects to your creation and will give you a richer grasp of skills to portray that subject the next time. 

When your repetition reaches a certain number of times, it becomes easier to sketch objects with similar anatomy and proportions. Let’s say a cat translates to a tiger, and pebbles translate to mountains. Everything will come easier and be more understandable.

Be Scientific and Systematic in Practicing

Many people still bear a strong conviction that being creative means working unsystematically and solely dependent on moods. That myth obscures the real answer to the question of how to be a better artist. 

In reality, that question can be answered, ironically, by treating artworks like science experiments. 

Follow a scientific approach with a structured outline to tackle the problems efficiently. Observe, deconstruct, and recognize familiar patterns. Beware of the physics laws also: color spectrums, stress, light, shadows, compression points of fabric, etc. And make it creative to yield the most effective outcomes: varying edge qualities, emphasize contrast in color, shapes, etc.

Be a Well-Rounded Person

History, literature, music, politics, economics, science, religion, photography, film, etc. are interconnected and help shape the world, in both reality and art. Learn about these things, and you’ll be surprised by their strong influence on artworks. 

This works with the inner aspects of the artists, too. Maintain healthy relationships with your family, friends, and loved ones as they are the core of human emotional expressions – the parts that touch artists’ minds most of the time.

How to be a better artist? Be a well-rounded individual!

Hear The Criticisms Out

If an artist is great at animate objects and landscapes, it doesn’t translate to perfect anatomy and figure. Weaknesses are not something uncommon, even with accomplished individuals.  

As a developing artist, you may not get supportive or helpful comments other than “keep working on the basics.” Nevertheless, criticisms should be treated as a valuable arsenal for self-improvement. Otherwise, a bruised ego for criticism will lead artists to misery. 

Be grateful and behave graciously, whether they are positive or negative comments. Rome was not built in a day. How to be a better artist? It takes a lifelong journey of creative fulfillment and living in peace with critiques!

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Becoming better at art is a path of passion, determination, and hard work. Incorporating the tips above in your artistic growth to yield amazing results!

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