I thought I’d take the time to compile a list of some common mistakes digital fantasy artists make and how you can avoid them. However, some of these points may not seem like mistakes to you; they are usually made by artists new to digital art. I hope this article will help you in your artistic journey. Let’s start!
1. Not Looking at Reference Photos (or Not Having One)
Many artists struggle to create good fantasy art because they’re too close to the subject – they’ve been drawing it every day for years. These artists just have to change their approach. Making fantastic digital art is about mixing realism and creativity using a Procreate brush and other tools, not slavishly copying photos or drawing purely from imagination.
One of the key parts of creating good fantasy digital art is to use references, especially when the subject matter is difficult for you. Find a series of images showing your subject and keep them open.
Sure, some artists prefer to draw purely from imagination, but even they use a tonal reference for lighting, or maybe a few photos of their subject.
Once you’re done looking at the reference photos, check out the CreativeMarket Brush Pack Picks for Procreate.
2. Not practicing enough…
… Or not at all ! How many times have you heard this? I can’t count how many times this has been said by frustrated artists – however; digital painting takes a lot of practice. You cannot become a master of your art by reading another artist’s blog, watching their YouTube videos, or checking out their art on DeviantART.
If you find inspiration elsewhere online, try practicing with a free Procreate brush. If you do it enough times, you will be able to reproduce it yourself one day.
3. Colors that don’t go together
A common mistake I see among new digital painters is that the colors are too bright or lack cohesion between them – try to think about how the colors relate to each other. For example, red and blue are complementary colors on the color wheel, so adding one color next to another will make the contrast between them stronger.
Another good exercise is to divide your digital painting into three or four layers, for example, one for skin tone, shadows, highlights and highlights. You can then build these layers with colors that complement each other, rather than colors that clash badly!
This simple technique will help you create better, fantastic digital paintings because your colors will always complement each other, even if they’re not the same colors you used in your reference photo.
4. Adding too much detail
Another common mistake new digital painters make is adding too much detail because they think more detail makes their art better.
Nevertheless; making fantastic quality digital art is all about balance. Your painting should therefore always be balanced, whether it contains a lot of detail or not.
Painting with less detail may seem easier, especially with a Procreate star brush, but it’s actually very difficult to do well. Using subtle forms of texture and variation is where the real skill comes in creating good fantasy digital art – it means deliberately adding less detail than your subject needs.
5. Not working on a large enough canvas
It might not seem too bad at first, until you realize how many pixels you need to create good, fantastic digital art. The standard is 3000 x 4000 pixels, the more detailed your painting; the larger this canvas size should be.
A common mistake made by new digital painters is to create a small canvas because they think they will do something worthy of that space; but it’s actually the opposite – the smaller the canvas, the less detail you can squeeze into it, even with the star brush provided by Procreate.
6. Make bad compositions
Another common mistake made by new digital painters is not thinking about how the objects in their paintings relate to each other and creating a bad composition that looks boring or doesn’t make sense. .
Good digital art always has balance and harmony – so if you want your digital painting to look great, even with a free Procreate brush, the objects in it should still relate well to each other.
7. Not planning your painting…
…Or make a “mess” of it! It’s easy to get carried away with the painting process and do things that work against you later in the room. Before you start painting and downloading Procreate brushes, it’s worth borrowing some composition techniques from classic artists, so you can create a fantastically good digital painting, even if the subject isn’t well-crafted.
For example, imagine drawing a character with its back to the background; it will make your character look smaller than it should be and seem unimportant. To fix this, just darken the background to highlight your character.
Fantasy art is a genre of art that can be difficult to master. There are so many new techniques and skills you need to know to produce high quality work, but don’t worry! With these tips, you won’t make the same mistakes as others.