Whether you’re a simple sketch artist, or you’re a large mural painter, there’s a lot of different ways to improve your skills, and just as many to hold yourself back. Here are four mistakes that are commonly made, but you need to look out for with your own work and skill.
- No goals. When you start a piece, you should have a rough idea of how you want to finish it before you even put the pencil, pen, or paint to paper, or canvas. If you aren’t sure how you want to draw it, you won’t be sure of how to frame it within your borders, and you may lose real estate on your perspective and shading as a result. This is where simple shape drawing comes in for sketching out your subject. At the very least, these simple shapes can also show you how much room you will need, and even whether or not the pose you have in mind will actually look great.
- No action. One of the beauties of art in any medium is the play of angles and light. These qualities can be used to express weight, motion, position, and more. Without them, you end up with a very stiff, very uninteresting study of a person. Even anatomy drawings take physical laws and space into account, to provide you with the level of realism necessary for reference. For your own art, you need to challenge yourself, and keep things angled, or curved.
- No background. For starting artists, and even those that are experienced, there are two banes in life; drawing backgrounds, and drawing hands. Both require experience and practice, but with backgrounds in particular, it’s much harder to get a sense of dimensions and even perspective without some form of background reference with a figure. Even simple shading can do a lot to create a sense of motion or placement for the object, person, or animal that you decide to draw or paint. Leaving the background empty and white is definitely a mistake. As for the hands, there’s really no easy fix.
- No room to grow. This is a serious mistake, and one that many, many artists make. It’s very easy to get praise from a few people, or even a lot of people, and think that you have really made it to where you need to be. There’s no ceiling on art. There’s no end to the amount of skills you need to practice and improve, nor is there a shortage of subjects and themes in this world. To rest on your laurels at any point is to basically “retire.” No artist ever should.
Every piece that you create has the potential to push you forward along your path. The progress that comes with challenging yourself, even if you don’t feel it, will help you to improve your skill and your understanding of whichever medium you choose to work with. Stay positive, and push on.