Post your noticeable improvements in 2018

  • So everyone can usually look back on the year and see how they've improved. I'm curious what specific things others have improved on this year (thinking of 100 hours spent on a particular skill)

    Mine's line quality (particularly makin' nice straight lines). I've spent about 20 minutes almost every morning for the past year to add up to, ding-ding, about a hundred hours.

    It also made me try about 50 different methods of keeping my hand from sticking to the cintiq (some worked, most didn't) :smiling_face_with_open_mouth_cold_sweat:

    Post examples of specific things you think you've improved over the year! I'm super curious!

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  • great exercise! 😃 and I see great improvement! I stopped doing this exercise about half a year ago and now I am getting into it again 😃 But the gap is very very noticeable

  • @Jonas-Zavacky There's, like, two or three things I can think of that really helped me improve this year. This exercise was definitely one of them 🙂

  • My overall planning and execution have improved:
    This time last year:
    Vs Last month:

    And I spent less time on the second.

  • Oh man, I wish I could contribute to this thread! But unfortunately, I don't think I have improved in the last year. I have actually been focusing on my work habits and motivation more than actual technique, so I think a lot of my work looks the same. Great exercises though! It certainly is a nice improvement in your linework!

  • @thiskatecreates

    Significant improvement! It's amazing how much better a painting turns out when you start to think about things ahead of time. 🙂

  • @jeanebean I know what you mean! Having good work habits is definitely one of those things to make sure you have down pat.

  • @art-of-b Yes, there are a lot of bad habits and bad thought processes that get in the way of me creating regularly. Self Doubt is one, but also trying to fight my energy levels for when I am most ready to work. I think I am improving a little bit in that regard, as I found out a lot of the problem comes down to anemia I am now treating. This past year has been all about healthy mentality for creators and realizing that a lot of the things I held as gospel like working all day on something, aren't actually helpful.

  • SVS OG

    Hi! I think my most noticeable improvement this year, I would say, is my rendering skills. A year ago, I would just paint in flat colors, add some shadows and maybe some highlights. I didn’t really consider ambient lighting and such. Secondly, the most noticeable change in my work is in my style more specifically in my textures. A year ago, when i was still using a wacom intuos small, I would ink and shade the artwork traditionally and then scan and color it digitally. I love the effects it made but it was tedious and time-consuming. Now that I’m using an ipad, I made the conscious decision to go full digital. It was tough. I tried so hard to recreate the textures digitally but it was futile. I wouldn’t call it as an improvement since I still really like my initial style but it is a huge change. Below are samples of my work a year ago and currently.


  • SVS OG

    I would say I've gotten better at adding details this year. In early 2018 I would make only one pass at drawing the scene and get one with the coloring. I was impatient. Now I draw, let the idea sit for a day, then come back and add more details. Repeat a couple times until the tweaks are right.

    The first piece was also done by drawing a cool dog-bus, then trying to illustrate a scene around him. For the owl one I was thumbnailing out the entire piece, planning the environment with the characters, so I think they feel more a part of their world.


  • SVS OG

    Same sweet sand dweller. Seriously, she is always in the sand at the beach. Somethings just don't change!

    Top one is from july of 2016, the bottom from August of 2018.

    The earlier one I transferred directly from the photo using tracing paper then to the watercolor paper. The face isn't pleasing (not my daughter's fault, it was mine)
    the new one I drew free hand. I finally feel more comfortable relying on my own drawing than a direct transfer from the photo. This hasn't been the case in a very long time. So yay for straightening that muscle. I added the pencil outline, or ink depending on the picture, to my style. I feel like it strengthens it. Maybe I will loose it once my watercolor is stronger, but for now I like it.

    0_1545061665902_IMG_7877 copy.jpg 0_1545061647978_IMG_5733 copy.jpg

  • I should do this as well, my hand is so moronic on the tablet lately. Great!

  • This year I have really focused on drawing daily and working on my line quality. This was the first year I did inktober and I did my own challenge in November and it's made a huge difference!

  • @shiggins180 That's a definite improvement in line quality :smiling_face_with_open_mouth:

  • @carriecopa It's amazing how thumbnailing can bring your art to another level, isn't it? Blew my mind when I started doing it regularly 🙂

  • @nyrrylcadiz It is SO TOUGH to keep organic textures in your art, isn't it? Are you using procreate on the iPad? There should be a thread for swapping brushes (I've got some neat pencil brushes and such)

  • @whitney-simms I like the pencil outline 🙂 I think it definitely strengthens your work.

  • SVS OG

    It was hard for me to answer this question, because I've spent the last year experimenting with so many different techniques -- digital, watercolor, pen and ink -- and so everything I do is still pretty beginning level but here are two that definitely show improvement in values, line work, and rendering. The first is from last August and the second is from one I recently finished. Not only is the improvement due to SVS lessons but the second is one I posted to the forum and people's advice helped immensely.

    0_1545136324781_The_journey 2.jpg

  • Thanks for asking the forum, @Art-of-B!

    I think my chiefmost improvement was in color, but there has been an overall elevation in my personal ability to do good work. Here's something from earlier in the year:


    I labored over this one out of passion for a lovely lady I'm privileged enough to call Girlfriend, but while the passionate side of the work made things come together fairly well, I don't think this could be called much other than a study. At the time, this was the best I had ever done in terms of color, and with all the details involved (a lot for me at the time) I'd say that it was a breakthrough, but not phenomenal. Not to mention, I didn't really know a ton about painting or brushes, so I was at a disadvantage there as well.


    This illustration kinda showcases how far I've come this year. I understand color way better, I've begun to understand painting and light, and my composition skills, while not particularly revolutionary in this one, are better, most likely due to Inktober training. It's messy in spots, but I've recently begun branching my skills out again, so, for a little while, I'm alright with that.

    Also, lots of the help I've needed to improve has come from the SVS community, so thank you!

  • This year has been a big deal for me. I finished inktober all the way through. Some drawings i loved some I could have worked on a little more. I became better at designing characters. I just started learning composition and color.

    The froggy was a character i designed after doing my first few SVS classes. The Baba Yaga chicken house was a inktober drawing (which i will probably use for a story I’m writing) and the little adventurer with the big skeleton is my end of year piece where I’m trying to incorporate composition and value. This actually made me feel a lot better because I’ve been feeling like I’m not getting anywhere lately. Ty ❤

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