Best resources for aspiring artists
Hello there! I decided to compile a list of the best resources for aspiring artists right here on my blog. Like I explained in my last post, I’ve been drawing for quite some time and I have the tendency to spend way too much time learning about drawing than actually drawing. So, to save you some time, here is a complete list of the stuff that has helped me learn how to draw. Keep in mind, that I’ll probably be updating this list as time goes by and I encounter new great things.
By the way, I divided the content by type and organized most them from beginner to advanced levels according to my personal judgment.
The Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards. This book is for the absolute beginner in art. I bought it in 2016 because I felt stuck in my art and couldn’t draw references well. This book changed that. A lot of reading, but the exercises are great!
Keys to Drawing, by Bert Dodson. A lot of the same exercises at the previous one, but less reading and more content. Also for beginners to learn great art fundamentals (perspective, proportion, light and shadow, etc.).
Keys to Drawing with Imagination, by Bert Dodson. This one is for folks who are going through an art block. Great way to get out of your comfort zone and start drawing more. A lot of clear exercises and fun things.
Sketch Every Day, by Simone Grünewald. This book just recently got published and I love it. It’s basically a guide on how to draw a bunch of different stuff - from babies to feet, trees, dogs, and so on. I love the illustrator’s work and she explains everything super well. Great book to have when you’re not sure how to draw something.
Creating Stylized Characters, no author. This book, just as most books published by 3D Total, is a great resource for more advanced illustrators. It’s a bunch of tutorials and step-by-step instructions about how to create characters that actually tell a story. I’ve learned a lot from this book and the artwork is extremely fun to look at.
Character Design Quarterly, no author. This is actually a magazine published quarterly by 3D Total and has a lot of amazing content, such as interviews, tutorials, and amazing tips on the art industry. Quick read, inexpensive, and so rich with information. Also, great art.
Mitch Leeuwe. I had to include an Instagram category just for this one. Mitch has one of the most useful profiles out there. Go check out his page for a bunch of step-by-step tutorials on absolutely everything.
DTIYS. While none of the posts are from this page, they basically compile all the #drawthisinyourstyle challenges out these so you can find something quick to draw when feeling stuck. Also a great way to find new artists.
Jazza. While most of Jazza’s current videos are geared towards artistic entertainment, if you look at his old videos you’ll find a LOT of great tutorials on absolutely everything.
Kasey Golden. I enjoy Kasey’s style and she has a particular series of videos of 500 drawing prompts (which she’s taking a break from) that shows how she comes up with a drawing from a blank concept.
ErikaTheGoober. Erika has great tutorials on her channel as well as some down to earth discussion videos on art.
DrawingWiffWaffles. This is probably my favorite art channel ever. Rinnie has a great humor and I love watching her sketching process. She’s also the one who taught me to draw with inkball pens on paper to get loose and stop being afraid of making mistakes. Her art is beautiful and she’s always learning with her own art.
Pypah’s Art. Filipa Santos’ channel has a lot of videos of her drawing beautiful art. I love her style and enjoy her videos a lot.
Kendyll Hillegas. This video is more towards people trying to become an artist - literally the behind the scenes of being an artist. Kendyll is a food illustrator who works a lot with food packaging companies and things of the sort and her videos are always rich with information.
Bobby Chiu. This channel compiles interviews with professional artists and is a great way to learn about other artists as well as to listen to while drawing. If you’re into the entertainment industry, you’ll find a lot of amazing artists being featured there.
Schoolism. This is an online school run by extremely skilled and experienced artists from the entertainment industry. You pay around $30/month to take classes in your own pace. They have lots of different courses, from beginners to the more advanced. I’ve taken a class in Introduction to Visual Development with Victoria Ying and learned a lot about storytelling. I also learned that I didn’t want to work for animation studios - lol.
Other Useful Things
Pinterest. I use Pinterest to find almost every single reference picture I use. Also a great place to get some drawing inspiration, sketch practice, and some handy tutorials.
Patreon. Patreon is basically a platform where you pay artists to see some exclusive content. You can’t really find the artists there very easily, but a lot of professional folks that you see on Instagram have a Patreon page. I’ve supported Sara Faber, Mitch Leeuwe, and Magdalina Dianova over there. Usually they post tutorials and step-by-steps that are super helpful.
Comic books. I’ve found that comic books are amazing inexpensive ways to study anatomy and perspective. Comic artists often create amazing compositions and are masters in storytelling through images. The comic book world is huge though, so I suggest you look for genres you’re naturally interested in or artists that you admire who’ve done comics before. You can also download the apps for certain publishers and read comics online, either by paying a subscription fee (such as Marvel) or paying by edition.
The Art of… books. There are many “the art of…” books out there. Some of them are about specific artists, while others are about movies (think The Art of Tangled for example). While most of these books don’t have a lot of reading, they are great study tools to better understand light and shadow, how artists use textures and composition, and so forth.