We all enjoy a good tutorial, don’t we? But do you know how to use a tutorial? If you’re serious about learning colored pencils, let me share a few tips to help you choose a colored pencil tutorial.
Let’s get started.
How to Choose the Right Tutorial
Most colored pencil students choose tutorials based on one of two things.
One, the tutorial is by a favorite artist or, two, they like the project.
There’s nothing wrong with either of those two things, but if you really want to improve your skills or gain new skills, you need to consider a few other things, too.
What do you want to learn?
If drawing water is something you want to get better at (and who doesn’t?), then choosing a pet portrait tutorial probably isn’t going to help you very much. It may be fun, and you may learn something, but you won’t have advanced your goal.
Instead of looking for any tutorial with a fun or attractive project, look for a tutorial that features water. Any kind of water. Drawing water in a glass will help you even if you really want to draw water in a landscape.
If you can’t find any tutorials with water, then look for a tutorial with a different kind of reflective surface. All reflections behave pretty much the same no matter where you find them, so a tutorial with a classic car or lots of glass, may be a good substitute for a tutorial with water.
What’s your artistic style?
I once worked on an art deco tutorial that was interesting and enjoyable, but didn’t really improve my existing skills or teach me new skills. Why? Because art deco isn’t a style I want to learn. My preferred style is realism, so while an art deco tutorial provided experience, it didn’t help me draw more realistically.
If you want to learn the art deco style, then look for art deco tutorials. If you want to develop detail drawing skills, look for tutorials that focus on drawing crisp detail.
What about paper, different mediums, or other things?
The same holds true for trying different papers, different pencils, different tools, or similar things.
If you want to learn mixed media with colored pencils, look for mixed media tutorials.
And if you want to learn a new support, that’s what you should look for. Matching the type of tutorial to what you want to learn helps you advance much more quickly and could be a lot less frustrating!
Unless you just want a fun project.
Look for a Challenge
Every now and again, it’s a good idea to deliberately push yourself. Challenge is a key to avoiding stagnation. That was, in essence, the theme of the post I recently wrote about getting bored with my favorite subject. I’d forgotten to challenge myself within that subject and eventually got tired of it.
Don’t do that! Periodically look for a tutorial that really stretches you.
Maybe it’s more advanced than you think you’re capable of doing. Maybe the composition is more complex than anything you’ve ever done before, or maybe it’s a totally different subject. Don’t automatically exclude a tutorial because of those things.
Or maybe it’s a more detailed study of a single subject.
The best way to learn anything is to push yourself. The more often you do, the more quickly you’ll improve.
Just be aware of challenging yourself to the point of giving up. No good will ever come of that!
So How do YOU Choose a Colored Pencil Tutorial?
There is no right or wrong way to choose your next colored pencil tutorial, but if you have a specific goal in mind, remember that goal when you shop for tutorials.
Yes, any tutorial can be fun and informative, but choosing the best tutorials for what you want to learn or accomplish can help you accomplish more. And accomplish it more quickly.