My Top 5 Favorite Resources For Improving Your Art Skills *Updated*
Updated: Feb 12, 2019
Recently, I decided to switch from making drawing tutorials to doing monthly watercolor livestream classes for my Patrons. I wanted to have a way to interact more with Patrons and do something more relevant to the art I'm creating now.
Also, streaming on Twitch simply for the sake of streaming wasn't really going anywhere and started to feel more like a soul-sucking chore than something I enjoyed doing.
If you want to read more about this change, then check out my post about it here.
Now to the point of this post...
Ah, the Internet. It's become such an amazing resource for learning new art skills and techniques and for finding non-digital resources for learning countless new things.
I didn’t have access to the Internet until my later teen years and at that time, becoming a professional artist wasn’t something that was on my mind. I mean, it was, but, we were all told that Graphic Design was the way to go for the artist of the future and that didn't exactly appeal to me.
Like so many others my age, I wanted to become a web designer. It was like the game coding fad of my generation.
Also, there just weren't as many resources for learning and improving your skills as an artist as there were for learning HTML and in the age of .com startups, being a web designer seemed more appealing.
As I got older, however, I realized that what I really and truly wanted to be when I grew up, was an artist. Every pursuit, every career decision I had made, even when I want to school and became a certified Massage Therapist, it was all so that I could support my art.
I literally told my instructor that I wanted to become a massage therapist so I could support myself while I create art.
Now I'm in a position where having a job outside of the home isn't exactly feasible. I'm lucky enough to have an amazing husband who's able to support our family while I take care of our kids and focus on building my creative career.
That also includes improving my skills as well as learning new skills.
While, yes, I've been drawing and creating art for a long time (professionally since 2012) sometimes I still get stuck when drawing something new or I want to learn a new technique.
So, without further adieu...
Here are my top 5 resources for improving your art skills and learning new techniques.
Pinterest is full of valuable information and its visual formatting makes it really easy to find a tutorial for the drawing style you’re trying to achieve.
One search of “How to Draw” and you’re presented with an array of tutorials on how to draw hair, eyes, flowers, manga, the list goes on and on.
Since my art typically includes a face of some sort, I typically look at more specific tutorials like, how to draw hands or drawing different poses, because I get bored with drawing the same old pose all the time.
“How to draw” books
There are hundreds of books on drawing. Hundreds. There are books on drawing comics, illustrations, animation art and so, so much more.
Some of the books that I would consider buying to help me improve my style of drawing are:
I would like to note that I’ve never bought a drawing book for myself. I honestly don’t know why. I’ve bought them for other people as gifts, but for some reason just never thought to get one for myself.
Drawing videos on YouTube
Just like books and Pinterest, there are tons of great drawing tutorials on Youtube in just about every drawing style you can think of.
The channels that I have found to have the best tutorials (for me anyway) so far are:
Emmy Kalia- for top notch rendering in graphite
SchaeferArt- for more in depth lessons on the basics of drawing, painting and ton more
Draw with Jazza- his videos range from drawing to digital art tutorials and are pretty entertaining too
If you can afford a small monthly fee (about $15 per month) then Skillshare is great for acquiring new skills. It’s not just for drawing, but for pretty much anything you can think of.
I've learned so much from Skillshare that it's ridiculous! I was obsessed for a few months there. I took classes on lettering, watercolor painting, digital art, using Photoshop, surface pattern design and a ton more.
It's not just limited to creative classes though.
There are other classes on everything from email marketing to basic accounting. If you want to learn a new skill, Skillshare probably has a class on it.
Some of my favorite instructors are:
Hardy Fowler- digital illustration
Mel Armstrong- surface pattern design
Ana Victoria Calderón- watercolor techniques
Ohn Mar Win- watercolor, surface design and illustration
Me, of course!
The livestream itself is open to the public, but Patrons recieve perks, such as:
Printable lineart for each class.
Access to a super swanky BlickU list where they can pick up supplies for the best prices.
Unlimited access to video footage of previous livestream classes and video tutorials.
Super secret bonus livestreams.
All the help needed during and after the Livestream.
An open invitation to request or suggest topics for future Livestream Classes.
And, because this is the 3rd tier, you also recieve rewards from the 2 previous tiers:
The "Meowgical Monthly Coloring Page"
And a 5x7 digital download of my work
Previously, the rewards for this tier were drawing tutorials and Patron tutorial requests, which will remain available for this tier.
I’m not the only Patreon creator with tutorials!
Both have amazing Youtube videos as well, so you should check them out.
A lot of the artists from these resources are really amazing, and that can be intimidating.
Just remember, they were drawing stick figures and really disproportionate faces at one time too and they just kept practicing until they got it right. That's what talent truly is.
Talent is not some mystical gift you were handed at birth, it's relentless persistence until you get it right.
You guys are awesome! I hope this information was helpful to you and I hope you have an amazing day!