Sam K

Digital art and color theory advice?

Hi everyone! I have posted something like this on the old forums but I have a whole new set of issues(and some old ones...) I'm just going to list off some things that I am struggling with. If any of you have any advice or tips about any of these things- or even something that helped you improve in your art, please let me know!!!!!

1. Going from an okay artist to a great artist. - Two years ago, I made drastic improvement on my art. I did it by practicing every single day. But now, I have looked over my drawings from a year ago and there isn't much improvement, if any! I am still practicing everyday and doing studies as well as original art... I don't know why I'm not improving. 

2015-16 there was a big improvement, but 2016-17 there wasn't much at all.

2. Color Theory (A huge issue)! - I haven't improved in color theory even a little bit! Whenever I attempt to color my art it just looks out of place and weird.. The colors don't create a nice composition even if I use the specific formations from the color wheel. Even when I try to do simple coloring it looks bad. I've watched tons of videos and read alot of tutorials. Any specific thing that helped you guys? 

3. Making drawings flow and look more natural and realistic - Now, I am not a fully realistic artist. By realistic I mean the poses, and the way the body hangs. Many of my drawings look stiff and unnatural. Some are better but all in all they don't flow and look appealing to the eye. 

4. Digitally Painting Backgrounds - This kind of coincides with color theory but every time I try to paint backgrounds I go insane. I am so unbelievably bad that I get irritated and have to stop(mature I know...) I'd love to be able to paint gorgeous backgrounds simple or intricate but I can't do either... Anything that helped you get started? Because I have no skill in this. 

5. Thinking of complex poses and things to draw - The last thing I am going to talk about is this. I can draw just about anything if I try. But I don't often see a beautiful intricate image in my mind then draw it. When I do think of something to draw it is usually from a thought like "bus stop shy girl" And even then its a simple pose. Any tips? 

 And let me just follow this up by saying that I want to be able to draw without doing crazy, tedious things to work around my issues. I can draw alot of things but It takes a while because I have to do a bunch of work around's. I don't care how long it takes to draw something but I despise doing all of these workarounds so I'd like to learn how to do things better. 

Thanks so much in advance for any advice! 

  • k
    Kasper Hviid

    If you want to learn about colors, I can recommend the book "Color and Light" by James Gurney. Sadly, I gave my copy away, need to get a new one. But one trick I remember from it was that light is waves bouncing off surfaces, so if you're having a color somewhere in your scene, chances are that it will jump around and influence other parts. In short, try mixing in some of the colors from other parts of your drawing, and it will all seem more grounded.
    Another easy hack is that some hues are naturally dark, while other hues are naturally bright. For an extreme example, blue is naturally dark, while yellow is naturally bright:

    This is VERY useful since darker areas look WAY better if they use hues which are naturally dark. For instance, a lot of manga drawings use a yellowish skin color, but move towards red (a darker hue) for the shadow areas of the skin:

    Or this logo, which makes a gradient from green (a dark hue) to yellow (a brighter hue) and then to fully white:

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      Sam K k

      Thanks! Sorry for the late reply. This was really helpful! Thanks again! :)

  • a
    Sam K k

    Thanks! Sorry for the late reply. This was really helpful! Thanks again! :)

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