A while back, I competed in an art show along side an artist whose work was an absolute inspiration for me to try harder...
Her work was in both color pencil and graphite, mediums that I had just began to renew my interest in at the time. Her work was photo realistic, and at first glance, I thought they were photos. I had entered some pencil drawings into the same show, and I felt they were just average in comparison.
I knew I could do better, and was determined to do so. I decided to ask her for some advice.
The first thing I learned was that your tools are important! I didn't have the correct tools for what I was doing, so I invested in better tools.
The second piece of advice she shared with me was the value of learning through online tutorials. I had no idea at the time there was so much info available at our fingertips! Viewing online tutorials help me understand that many of the drawings that I had made previously weren't bad or mediocre...they just weren't finished yet.
The third thing I learned is that a finely developed "artist's eye" occurs through practice and viewing other artists' work.
I practiced by giving myself assignments, and finding online tutorials and tips. I viewed other artist's works at art shows in which I competed, and at galleries.
The two images above depict an example of the development of my own "artist's eye".
This graphite pencil drawing, "Jackie", evolved from the initial drawing on the left to the finished product on the right after following the advice I outlined above.
There is nothing like seeing great art first hand...keep practicing, and stay inspired!