Art techniques: pro tips and tutorials for painting and drawing

Art techniques

01. Sketching techniques
02. Composition techniques
03. Light and shadow
04. Practical effects
05. Workflow and inspiration

Part of honing your skills as an artist involves learning how to draw the world around you: animals, people, landscapes and so on. The other part involves getting to grips with art techniques – mastering composition, light, shadow and so on. 

Creative Bloq regularly invites the industry’s most exciting artists to share their best pro drawing techniques here on the site. Elsewhere, you’ll find our favourite Photoshop tutorials, Illustrator tutorials and vector art tutorials, as well as painting tips and more.

In this article, we bring together a host of fantastic tutorials to help you add more pro art techniques to your creative arsenal – whether you’re looking to improve your sketching skills, learn how to add perspective or capture movement. You’ll be able to explore some different styles, as well. 

You’ll find a mixture of traditional and digital tutorials below. Regardless of media, each one provides insight into a wide range of different art techniques that can be applied to any art project – so dive in.

01. Sketching techniques

7 fundamentals of pencil drawing
If you’re looking to learn new art techniques, a good place to start is by making sure you’ve mastered these seven pro pencil drawing techniques. Artist Bobby Chiu runs you through what you need to know.

10 sketching tips for beginners
In this article, top artists share their advice for getting started with sketching. It covers everything from how to avoid smudging to how to control your pencil properly.

15 observational drawing tips
Observation is key if you want to capture figures with real life to them. This article offers some top art techniques that will take your work to the next level by observing the world around you.

02. Composition techniques

Give your art a sense of motion
Composing multiple figures is always difficult, but painting them in motion makes the problem even harder. In this tutorial, Lauren K Cannon shares three pro tips.

03. Light and shadow

How to mix the right shadow colour
Finding the right colour for your shadows is difficult. In this tutorial, artist Rob Lunn shows you how to mix a colour that relates to the rest of the painting.

Master drawing light with these tips
Get the lighting right in your illustrations by using a light ball. This article explores how to use a light ball to provide a constant reminder of your light sources when painting.

The basic rules of painting in shadows
To paint someone coming out from the shadows, the only thing you need is a source of light. Digital artist Paco Rico Torres reveals how to master it in four simple steps.

04. Practical effects

How to get harmonious colours in paintings
Colour harmony is the theory of combining colours in a way that is harmonious to the eye. This tutorial explains some techniques for ensuring harmony in your paintings.

How to wrap textures around an object
Painting textures on three-dimensional objects can be tricky, but Photoshop’s Warp and Liquify can be incredibly useful. This tutorial shows you how to use them to speed up your workflow. 

How to start painting from a silhouette
Silhouette is the most characteristic visual element in every person or animal. Concept artist Mark Molnar explains the benefits of working up a silhouette as opposed to a sketch.

05. Workflow and inspiration

How to use reference images
Reference images can be your best friend or they can suck all the life out of your artwork. Here’s some tips for how to use them the right way. 

How to paint outdoors
If landscapes are your thing (or even if they aren’t), getting out and about and painting out in the real world can give your artwork a new lease of life. Here’s how to get started painting en plein air.

10 top speed painting tips
Speed painting – giving yourself a limited time to finish a piece of work – is a great exercise for beginners and experienced artists alike. Here are some tips. 

Boost your creativity with daily sketching
Sketching shouldn’t just be a means to an end at the start of a project – it’s also vital part of developing yourself as an artist. This article explores techniques for daily sketching.

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