What's your one weakness you want to strengthen?



  • Yes I have overcome many weaknesses at SVS since 2016! It's awesome. I was right in the middle of my first picture book job with a self-publishing author friend when I realized I knew next to nothing about this field of art and that's when I found SVS.

    There are lots more skills I must learn to apply, but the biggest one that makes my art the hardest currently - I struggle with backgrounds and scenes, choosing objects to go in the backgrounds, knowing what arrangement of objects is best, how to mute colors of background objects without changing the read of the objects (light background, dark foreground concept). For example, my last piece is for Christmas. How does one make red & white candy canes in the background look less bold / saturated without making them PINK? So much to learn! Ha!



  • @LauraA Thank you. Yes, I researched a lot yesterday, and found lots of interesting threads. It was good.
    It really makes it sooo much better when the teachers comment.
    However, I also understand they're busy.
    I'm truly grateful for any comments, by anyone.

    I can relate to those two.
    I started watching Lee's YouTube video, "How to do great illustrations every time.". And it looks interesting. Good points! Goes deeper into it, offering more than thumb-nailing.
    I'll continue watching it today, and use Lee's advice and techniques.



  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz Mine too.
    For me, I want to create works for my portfolio, that show a consistent style, and loads of skill(ability to create sequential art, and more).
    More and more drawing.



  • @Amanda-Bancroft That's awesome!
    Did you complete that picture book job?

    Yes, me too. Lots of learning to do. And it's fun.
    A lot of people are struggling with backgrounds. What about the courses here?
    Lee's video might help.

    I think every piece is different. And they have different problems to solve.
    Draw more backgrounds. Look at and study other peoples backgrounds. Ask yourself questions. Why did they make those choices? And more.

    I think there are many ways to help create depth.
    Did you try making the candy canes smaller?
    Use overlapping?
    Make your line work thinner in the bg, and thicker, bolder in the foreground.

    That's interesting.
    If you find something that works, please let us know.


  • SVS OG

    @jsnzart same. I’ve decide to shift styles lately. My portfolio needs new pieces.



  • My story telling is weak because I like to draw everything in poses.



  • I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles with finding a style. I am a self-taught artist (SVS is the most formal education I've had for illustration and I'm loving it!), but I've never really been able to pin-point "my style."

    Not only do I love trying new styles - just look at my Instagram, haha - but I get trapped in the idea that each new project deserves it's own look. I love drawing everything from monsters/creatures, to kid's scenes, to more minimalist, graphic style art, so one style can't really fit all of them.

    That said, I absolutely realize that art directors want to know what they're getting when they hire you, so I have been working on building up my illustration portfolio with only two of my styles, knowing in the back of my head that they will change eventually and once I have enough illustrations in another style, I can swap it out.



  • One of my current challenges is construction with shape. Currently, I paint and draw much like a sculptor. I lay down lines and play with values until the silhouette and the shapes within it look "right". Although this approach has yielded some nice results, it's essentially working without a solid foundation.

    I'm currently taking the How to Draw Everything course on SVS and so far it's helping me better understand shape. I'll need a lot of practice before I can apply it naturally, but I'm looking forward to the work ahead!

    Thank you for asking this question! It gives a nice chance for self-reflection.



  • @jsnzart Yes I did finish the job, in 2016. Nothing to be proud of, but finished!
    I think I just need to study harder about backgrounds, including some SVS courses I took (reviewing those). That's a good idea, I should study other people's backgrounds. I've only been able to find a few greeting card artists that do backgrounds relevant to my current line of work but this is a useful tip, thanks! Yes I did use overlapping, so my gingerbread house is behind the foreground subjects which are also bigger/closer to viewer.



  • @JoshuaDages cool, it's nice to know others here consider SVS the most formal education they've had - me too! No art school. Style is really difficult for me, too. We're in good company!



  • @chrisaakins I want to work on my story telling too. And I think we're in the right place to learn how to do that.

    @JoshuaDages Me too, I am around 70 something percent self taught,...giving credit to hundreds of YouTube videos by awesome generous artists, and many many books.
    Yes, we can learn a lot here. And it's enjoyable too.

    @Francisco-Varela You're welcome. I like that course, and completed it. However, every now and then, I will go back to it to brush things up.

    @Amanda-Bancroft Finished is good.
    Sounds good.
    And did you try using thinner lines for bg elements, and thicker for the foreground elements?

    If anyone has useful tips/advice like, which course/s to take, please go for it.



  • lol. just about everything is my weakness.
    all the foundations.
    anatomy. perspective. shadowing. color. composition. storyboarding. the only thing i think i am strong is my ideas. technique and sitting and making the time instead of indulging myself in my rare spare time, is not a habit yet. but its about 30-40% there.



  • Such interesting comments! One of my weaknesses is that I rely TOO much on reference! I don’t want my art to look too realistic, but I am never satisfied with characters that don’t look ‘right’ to me. I started in fine art in traditional realism and built a box around myself where I believed I was only able to create realism. The word ‘talent’ has been a crutch for me where I’ve just leaned on what I was already able to do and ignored the work to get better in other areas by telling myself I just wasn’t able to do that! Silly. Anyone can learn and improve! So I’m trying to smash my loves together to create a style that I’m happy with and comfortable in with a mix of realism for the characters and more loose and conceptual for the backgrounds. I am also really not good at visualizing images before I start, design, backgrounds...So much to learn 😂 I need so much help


  • Moderator

    @LauraA @jsnzart
    Regarding classes. If an instructor of a class started a thread for the class they are more likely to respond if you post your work there because they would be alerted to it.



  • @burvantill Understood. Thank you very much.



  • Something I'm going to be actively working on until I feel like I have a handle on it is pushing shadows. I don't have a problem with highlights or midtones, but my shadows are never dark enough and my pieces tend to look kind of blah or muddy because of it.



  • One weakness I have is figure drawing which I feel I am slowly improving on. Another weakness is dramatic lighting which I still have a long way to go on. I love the podcasts and forum here as well as the classes of course but since I work mainly traditionally some of the classes don't apply so well with my process. I feel that most are more applicable to digital illustrating which is fine since I still learn from them! But lighting techniques for example are so different when working in watercolor versus in Photoshop because one is a subtractive process and the other is additive. I'd love to see more classes on traditional media here at SVS though especially since Will, Jake, and Lee all seem to be pros in traditional media too. 🙂



  • @arielg I would like to work on all of those things for myself. Drawing more, and learning more.
    I am still working on foundations.

    Sometimes I wish I had better ideas.
    But, when I get into it, and draw a lot of thumbnails focusing on one main idea/character/subject, I find new ideas coming.

    @VeronicaMui I need help too.
    And I love realism! Love details! I love drawing like that on paper, lots of fine details, with pencil or ballpoint pen.
    And now I'm trying to change my style to suit digital tools, and be more stylized, especially with colour and environments.
    More work needs to be done!

    @Elliot Did you try that course Light and Shadows for Illustrators by @Lee-White ?
    And there's another one Lighting for Storytelling. I will definitely be looking at that.

    @Mary-Toth Me too. More on traditional media.
    Did you try Figure Drawing Fundamentals?

    I just found a new weakness, especially with digital painting. I must stop painting soft edges, and learn what to do instead. Anyone know of a good course to help me strengthen that weakness?



  • I've been actively working on my human figures! Grown ups and kids are LEAGUES behind my animals in skill level, and I'm focusing really hard on exploring ways to simplify the human form in a style that matches my animals. It takes me at least three times the amount of time to do a human than it does for most of the animal kingdom and it's starting to feel very limiting!



  • @korilynneillo I feel ya. For some weird reason I can draw animals with ease. (Except horses, they are my bane) and I can draw people from references well, but drawing figures without references, they always look off to me for some reason.


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