These articles broach a number of miscellaneous topics, often pertaining to subjects that are commonly brought up on the boards. These are highly recommended reads for all new posters.
On Style and Progression by ipgd
Whether you're a fan of Japanese manga, American comic books, cubist painting or something else entirely, there are some things you should consider before you pursue your goal of emulating your favorite artists. Beginner and intermediate artists are encouraged to read this essay; it addresses issues that are all too common among amateur artists in how they view and approach the issue of "style".
Understanding Your Style by whitetrashpalace
Many artists struggle with stylization, especially those who come from a background of cartoon art. Understanding Your Style is a deconstruction of common problems that affect artists already mired deep in their own artistic conventions.
Choosing a New Tablet by ipgd
Tablet advice threads are one of the most commonly reoccurring topics on art boards -- so much so that we've decided to ban them outright. This should satisfy your curiosity. If you still have concerns after reading this article, please ask them on the off-topic boards and not the art boards.
These links cover miscellaneous topics especially useful to beginning artists.
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards
This is one of the essential introductory books on learning how to draw. It specifically covers the subject of learning how to accurately translate what you see onto paper; though often taken for granted, this is one of the most fundamental skills for a beginner to learn, and crucial for any critical understanding of the rest of books and tutorials on this page. While parts of the author's explanations in the book are rife with pseudo-science, the exercises do work and are commonplace in introductory drawing classes. It is a valuable read for anyone armed with the power of selective reading.
The links below are instructional books covering figure drawing and human anatomy.
Figure Drawing For all It's Worth by Andrew Loomis
This book is the staple artist's anatomy book; it's been lauded for over six decades academically, professionally and by the hobby artist, and for good reason. It serves as both an excellent introduction to drawing the human figure as well as a supplement to an intermediate artist's knowledge. While Loomis doesn't go terribly in depth into anatomy, he does provide the reader with a solid foundation in proportioning, procedurally constructing a figure and placing it in space. The book has been out of print for some time, but there are numerous sources of .pdf downloads on the internet.
Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing From Life by George Bridgman
Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing From Life is a compilation of six of the artist's well known instructional books; as such, it covers a wide array of topics including basic construction of the body, specific anatomical details and basic lighting and drapery -- the book is notable for its anatomical instruction especially, and it serves as a suitable follow-up to Andrew Loomis's more basic Figure Drawing For all It's Worth.
The Vilppu Drawing Manual by Glenn Vilppu
The Vilppu Drawing Manual is an excellent anatomy resource. It covers musculature and the structure of the body in greater detail than Loomis or Bridgman, but his methods of teaching are still simple and easy to follow for an artist with basic understanding. In conjunction with his highly recommended Drawing Manual Lecture DVD Series, Vilppu offers one of the best sources of anatomy instruction available outside of an actual classroom.
Dynamic Figure Drawing by Burne Hogarth
While Hogarth's books are not quite as useful for learning basic anatomy as the previous recommendations, what Dynamic Figure Drawing does teach you is how to apply the knowledge you already have. Once you're comfortable with basic proportion and anatomy, Hogarth will help you loosen your figures and place them in fluid, dynamic poses.
These links cover the subject of perspective, the system artists use to accurately draw three-dimensional objects on a two dimensional surface.
Perspective Made Easy by Ernest R. Norling
Perspective Made Easy is just what it says on the tin; the book explains linear perspective in an easy to understand fashion. It covers both the very basics of perspective and some more advanced topics that artists commonly struggle with. It is written in clear, concise language, making it accessible to beginners and experienced artists alike.
Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis
Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis is a definitive and multifaceted guide to perspective. It is an invaluable resource for learning how to create linear perspective and draw correctly proportioned and shaded objects in 3D space. It covers some other topics, but it is largely notable for its information on perspective.
Light and Color
These links offer instruction on the behavior of light and color theory.
Light - A Detailed Tutorial by Richard Yot
This tutorial is a detailed yet understandable source of information on the subject of the behavior of light. It does not use complicated terminology and is easily accessible to beginners. It has some technical inaccuracies, but the core concepts it touches upon are solid and useful for anyone starting out in the area of light.
"Color Theory" Principles and Practices by fredflickstone
This ConceptArt thread is a useful source of information on the subject of color theory and the use of color in composition. It has information on mixing paints in traditional media, but most of the information is universally applicable and helpful to digital artists as well.
The Dimensions of Color by David Briggs
This page is an expansive, technical look into the mechanics of light and color. It approaches light and color from a more scientific standpoint than most artists' writings, but in doing so, it corrects many of the misconceptions commonly disseminated by the more utilitarian literature on the subject (including some of the recommendations on this page). It can be daunting for an absolute beginner, but it's a valuable read for anyone looking for accurate information.
General tutorials and other resources that don't quite fall into the other categories can be found here.
Creative Illustration by Andrew Loomis
After Loomis's figure-based books, this is an exceptionally useful read for any artist wanting to know how to create a successful piece of illustration. It covers design, composition, value, colour theory and how to illustrate ideas by looking at character and environment. It ends with dated advice on using photographic reference and describing the art industry, but a keen reader will still be able to find helpful information here.
PSG's Art Tutorial by Niklas Jansson
This commonly circulated tutorial covers a range of topics from light to perspective, but it is particularly relevant for its coverage of rendering. While the author does not go terribly in depth into any of the topics, it's a useful resource for some tips and tricks that may help you achieve results more effectively.
If you don't have access to life drawing classes, Posemaniacs can be a suitable substitute for gesture drawing practice and a useful place to find pose ideas or loose reference. Its rotatable 3D hand models are also quite helpful.
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