First and foremost, I can not recommend this book enough.www.amazon.com/The-Drawing-Rig…
Drawing on the right side of the brain. It teaches you how your right brain works, and how to communicate your vision, to your brain, to your hand, effectively. It covers pretty much everything you will ever need to know about figure drawing, though it might be lax on anatomy. It makes up for it in how extensively it gets you drawing from observation. You can get it online from MANY different sites OR I bet your local library will have a copy.
Here are some before and after pictures of self portraits of people who read the book and worked with the workbookdrawright.com/gallery.htm
Another great book to look into for color is books.google.com/books/about/C…
Contemporary Colro: Theory and Use.
Secondly, its generally a great idea to familiarize yourself with copyright law. International and whatever region you happen to be in.
Then, reference material. Its all around you
Here is a great post with a lot of recources!venneccablind.tumblr.com/post/…
use sites like Pixeloveyartists.pixelovely.com/
For daily practice. 10 minutes a day, draw what you see. Set your time to like 60 seconds to 2 minutes and just draw. Dont pause if you can help it. Just draw that ONE image for that short time and then when the image changes, start a new sketch. Then like once a month, pick a good image and just draw it start to finish. Dont time yourself just do it.
Artists are great people! We love sharing experiences, tips, etc! Talk to all the artists you can! just hang out with them. We are all kind of show offs to, so we like to tell you cool things we know. Go find us on facebook and deviantart and tumblr and ask us questions. We honestly love talking to you. Watch steams, watch speedpaint videos... You learn so much from what others do!
Know your tools. What are you using? Pencils? Pastels? Watercolor? Digital? Google is amazing, and so are other artists, on this subject. Learn some basic dos and donts with your tools. Things like "dont use ink on rough paper because all it does is spread the ink out. you want smooth paper for ink" and "Dont EVER shade with black!!!!"
Critique is a very very useful and helpful thing. Be open minded to critique. DO NOT just take shit from people and DO NOT just look for asspats. FIND SOMEONE YOU TRUST TO GIVE YOU HONEST, BUT POSITIVE CRITIQUE! ONLY GET CRITIQUE FROM THAT ONE OR TWO PEOPLE! This is important because honestly, the majority of the internet will either trash you or give you asspats, and NEITHER of those will help you improve. You are going to have to hear someone tell you about what you can do to get better, opinions on what to study, and things you did right so you can do those next time too. Dont accept ACTUAL critique from someone that only says "I like it"!!!
Art classes arent actually required to get good at art. BUT It can help. If you want to take some art courses I recommend starting at a LOW college level (community college in the USA, Im not sure of what its called in other countries). It can give you a lot of basic art education to get you started on your own path of technical skill and creative thinking.
There are tons of awesome programs out there. I started out with Gimp, which is FREE!www.gimp.org/
its a vector program and its scriptable (if you even know how to script. I dont. I never used it. But Im sure this is useful somewhere). This program can ALSO make very basic animation by putting a new frame on each layer. The website has all kinds of tutorials on it and a community forum if you need help.
Firealpaca - Free!firealpaca.com/en
this one is great for beginners and can teach you most of the basic tools that you will encounter in other programs. I wouldnt specifically recommend it for making SUPER AMAZING ART but its great for sketching and conceptualizing a piece.
Krita - Free!krita.org/
This one has sooooo many features, but it might be very different from the others. Its layout is also a bit tricky. The plus is that its VERY easy to work with the tools on the canvas and it can help you make amazing art!
Mischief - Free?www.madewithmischief.com/
Ok so Mischief is a free program, but if you buy it (its super cheap. Its only like $25 in USD) you get more stuff. This one is SO COOL because basically the canvas is endless. You save your files as selections of work and if you want, you can doodle forever!
Easy Paint Tool SAI - about $40
This program has a TON of tools and settings and STABILIZERS! WOO! The biggest hugest upside (in my opinion) is the blending tools. These are AMAZING for digital painting (realism). Its a LITTLE outdated and theres low quality support for the program because its old and out of Japan. They dont like talking to you lol but most of the time you dont have to talk to them. Otherwise its a great program.
Manga studio - BUY 5. DONT BUY 4. Just dont. - $50USD (or $209 for the really fucking big fancy version with extra stuff for making full comics. Really its not that much more. Just buy the regular program).my.smithmicro.com/manga-studio…
This is the program I use. I honestly could go on and on and on and on about this program. IT HAS SO MANY FEATURES! Its different in all the good ways from other programs. It has stabilizers and all the brush settings you can imagine. It has the most amazing way to make new brushes too! IM SO ADICTED! This is by far the best program to buy. Seriously. Its amazing AND cheap (compared to photoshop).
Ok and the big one, Adobe Photoshop - its up to CS6 right? They are coming out with a new one >.> - They charge you a different MONTHLY amount depending on what you want to do now. Honestly not worth it.creative.adobe.com/plans?singl…
This program is widely regarded as the mother. Its not. But its what everyone recognizes. It does have great tools. It does have a great system. And it has GREAT layout. Bonus, it has even more layer functions than you can imagine. The downside is that it can be a little bit intimidating and hard to catch onto. Especially without taking a class on it.
Not all programs are created equal. There is no "best" program. You have to try a bunch of things and decide what YOU PERSONALLY LIKE BEST. I am a firm believer in Try before you Buy. If you want to torrent a program to try it out first, I dont think thats a bad thing. There is NO point in spending hundreds of dollars on a program you dont end up liking. But it is important to buy a program that you DO like and will use. The people who created that program do deserve to be paid.
Wacom tablets ARE THE SHIT! THEY ROCK! but you dont NEED one to be good. In fact, you dont need one at all. But let me say that they help. A lot. A fuck ton. Seriously you having one makes life better.
The one I use (and I just got it like a week ago lol) Is a Wacom Intuos Pro in Medium size. Not to be confused with Wacom Intuos. This one is the pro. (See a little while ago, wacom had bamboo, and intuos. Intuos became intuos pro, and bamboo became intuos. It just makes them sound fancier and confuse people into buying the most expensive ones).
Pro - www.wacom.com/en-us/products/p…
Intuos - www.wacom.com/en-us/products/p…
Wacom is a fantastic brand for both hardware and software. If you want to go for the gusto, get wacom.
But for beginners, I suggest something a little less harsh on your wallet.
I started out with monopricewww.monoprice.com/Product?c_id…
This is even on sale right now. Its $50 all the time, and right now its like $40 ish. This is a great buy. The downsides to it is the drivers. The software that comes with this tablet is mediocre and doesnt work with all programs. On the plus side, it has NEVER had issues with Manga Studio for me before. Its like Manga Studio and this tablet share a language.
There are other tablets out there. These are just some examples. Shop around! You might find something that fits YOU better.In addition, here is an older post I made about beginner artists and tips!
I am always available to talk
If you need anything just ask.
And for the rest of you artists, if I am wrong on anything TOTALLY just come to my ask box and correct me, and/or correct this post. Seriously, if you know better than me on something spread that.