Sometimes the most brilliant ideas come from the shower…
I have an idea that all of you artists might find fun. It is not an original idea for the most part. I am sure A LOT of artists do it or have suggested it. But I swear I just thought of this while I was in the shower! This idea mostly applies to digital artists but traditional artists could benefit from the idea too!
How do I become a better artist?
Simple. Practice. I know everyone is TIRED of hearing that word. The dreaded “P” word. But let’s be fo realsies here. The only way to get better at something is to practice. And I have an idea for you to do such a thing:
- Open your drawing program
- Make a new file
- Set you canvas size to match a standard 8.5” x 11” piece of paper (optional; use whatever size is comfy) and DPI is up to you.
- Make a new layer if there isn’t already one above the base background layer
- Doodle one sketch on the layer
Simple right? Here is where things get fun. When you finish a doodle on the first layer, make a new layer and doodle something else on the new layer, and just keep repeating that process. If you wish to add layers to a single doodle, put those layers collectively in a new folder by themselves. This will help separate them from other doodle layers.
Basically, this big digital canvas becomes a sketchbook file. One file with allyour doodles (I realize some computers and programs can’t handle a certain amount of layers. make a new file!). You put the doodles on a single respective layer (or folder) so you can move it around or edit it without interfering with other doodles.
Now, if there is a particular doodle you want to work on further (line art, colors, etc), you can crop the canvas around that doodle and save it as a NEW file (Be sure to click on “Save as..” so you do not overwrite your entire sketchbook file).
Draw in your digital sketchbook everyday or at least any chance you get! You improve by doing. And by doing constantly, you improve faster (especially if it is hours at a time) You don’t even HAVE to post anything. You can keep it private until you are ready to post something.
Again, I can’t take credit as this being an original idea. It is a simple idea I am sure many artists have done or have come up with. But I thought I would share this idea in hopes it will help both you AND me improve.
Some people suggested some cool ideas to add to this, and you are more than welcome to add your own special rules to your canvas. You can write your special rules to the side so you don’t forget if you’d like. These rules are optional, and they can be used for fun little challenges to help you improve.
Some rules you can try:
- No Ctrl+Z.
- minimalize your erasing, or set certain number of erases per doodle or canvas. You can keep track at how many times you erased per canvas
- Minimalize, or completely disregard the existence of the use transform tools.
- Themed canvas. You can pick a theme to stick with through all the doodles you draw on that file (i.e. beach theme, Autumn theme, etc)
- …and whatever else you can think of!