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It feels like my art has gone to the next level.  It feels really good now when I start sketching.  People and buildings are getting a little easier for me, landscapes still rock so I thought I'd just take a minute to highlight how I got to this point.

Practice, lots and lots of it. I know that sounds a little cliche and it probably is a bit, but honestly, that's all I've been doing is practicing.  I digital paint nearly every day.  Sometimes I just sketch black and whites all day long just pulling what I see out of the chaos.  Besides the practice, I would have to say that commissions also helped me get to this point.  Sometimes I get commissioned to do things that I'm not really comfortable with so it makes me buckle down and try harder.  While I hate doing things I'm not really not proficient at doing, it forces me to adapt and overcome.

So I guess the lesson is, practice doing things you love, but also go outside of your comfort zone and do art that you normally wouldn't do.  These two things will help your art improve and move it to the next level.

So go level up!

:D
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:iconirmazwart:
IrmaZwart Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey JJPeadboy, thanks so much for this advice. I've always been wandering how you could improve everytime I saw another painting of yours. I've got one question, how many hours a day do you practice? Cause I'd really like to practice everyday but sometimes I just don't have time for practicing very long, and when I draw, I like to draw for hours and hours on :P 
So how do you do that if I may ask? :D
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:iconjjpeabody:
jjpeabody Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's just like 15 minutes a day now during the week because my life has changed a bit, but on the weekends I'm usually painting for about 9 hours a day doing different things. I found that if I get too ambitious during the week, then my weekend art-juices are all dried up and the art isn't as good.

Do small studies when you have time for them. They don't have to be full art productions. A head, a shoulder, a tree, a bush, etc. You'll find when you do get to do the fun stuff, you'll be able to do it more easily because you most likely have done a small study of it at some point.
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:iconirmazwart:
IrmaZwart Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks so much for the answer!
That's good to  hear, 15 minutes a day sounds reachable, haha :)
And there's plenty of time in the weekends, so I'm totally gonna try to do that.
Also thanks a lot for the advice!! :dance:
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:iconwestlylafleur:
WestlyLaFleur Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I know dem feels.
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:iconphesant33:
Phesant33 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So so true :)
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:iconmarsiams:
MarsiaMS Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I knew that practice makes perfect, but going out of the comfort zone is a great piece of advice for me. I kinda knew it helps before, but just did not think about it as a strategy I guess :flowerpot:
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:iconkoukuro:
koukuro Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013
Great words!
:D
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:iconimfragrance:
imFragrance Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013   General Artist
reading this motivated me a lot and made me feel better. I am soon getting a full time job and i wasted my 3 months doing nothing productive in regards of drawing and illustrating. So i have been feeling so bad that i will never be able to improve my art works, especially after getting a day job. Reading that you are a software engineer just encouraged and motivated me. It would be nice to hear some tips about creating time and matvating yourself for your art besides your day job. Thanks :)
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:iconjprisfinal:
JPRisFinal Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well said. Practice, time, and reflection. Practice to physically improve, time to improve concepts, and reflection to analyze mistakes.
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:icondanielh24:
DanielH24 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
You are right! practice is the key to succeed♥
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:icon7hekro:
7heKro Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013  Student Filmographer
Happy to find someone that has the same mentality :D
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:iconm-jae:
M-Jae Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Student Interface Designer
Congrats! I want to level up too, but I can't put myself to even practice. I should be better than this.
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:iconlittlewing2:
littlewing2 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Watching your work for some time and I have to say you`re right, you`ve really improved. It`s such a good feeling when you realize you`re up one level, doesn`t it?:)
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:iconjht888:
jht888 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013
I just wanted to say that I think your work is beautiful. My partner and I love your landscape work, its kind of takes the viewer away to a distant place to lose themselves for a while. But reading what you have written reminds me of all the long hours of practising and trying new challenges to 'move up a level'. keep up the amazing work :happybounce:
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:iconjjpeabody:
jjpeabody Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks, I appreciate the feedback and the encouragement :)
Reply
:iconbiogears:
BioGears Featured By Owner May 26, 2013
Thanks mate! I could really use the inspiration when it comes to writing. I definitely need to start doing what I love more often!
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:iconduane-clay:
Duane-Clay Featured By Owner May 25, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I really needed this... thanks!
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:iconeuphoriarcane:
euphoriarcane Featured By Owner May 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconbravoplz:
Artistic growth is one of the best feelings ever. <3
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:iconquirkybrainiac:
QuirkyBrainiac Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm really glad that you feel even better when you sketch! I'm so proud of you!! Keep rocking on with your amazingly mad, wicked skills, brah! :D
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:iconjjpeabody:
jjpeabody Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for your support this past year +
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:iconquirkybrainiac:
QuirkyBrainiac Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Of course, always :)
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:iconalexandergras:
alexandergras Featured By Owner May 24, 2013
How do you earn your living, if you have the time to "sketch black and whites all day"?
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:iconjjpeabody:
jjpeabody Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, I should have specified. While I sketch each day, it's not the entire day. I sketch in the evening when I come home after work. Weekends are when I can sketch all day.
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:iconsacredcandybar:
SacredCandybar Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014
I'm curious, what is your "process"?  You say that you sketch in the evenings after work.....do you jump right into drawing, or do you take a breather first?  How long on average do you sketch on weeknights?  What do you sketch?  Do you draw from life more often, or do you occasionally draw solely what is in your head?    I really like to hear how other successful artists go about making art and what works for them.
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:iconjjpeabody:
jjpeabody Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't sketch in the evenings so much any more.  I'm usually pretty drained from my regular job.  Too drained to concentrate on painting anything.  I work better in the mornings, but that's just me.  In the early afternoon and into the eve I'm usually too wiped.  I say usually because sometimes the excitement of an image might give me some extra fuel.

I have videos' that show my process on YouTube.  I have some crazy brushes that help me visualize things.  I'll mess around with some random shapes until I see something, then I'll pull it out.  This process works best when I don't know what I want to paint.  Once I see something, I'll pull it out by rendering it.  Sometimes this doesn't work.  Sometimes I can do this an entire day and get nothing (usually when I try to do characters).  Landscapes are pretty easy for me to visualize now, but that's because I have built up my visual library.  I still do sketches, but I almost always change what I'm sketching and make it my own.  I might use the lighting, the colors, but will make an image entirely my own.
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:iconsacredcandybar:
SacredCandybar Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014
Wow, thank you for the detailed response. I will have to watch a few of your videos to get an idea of how you pull images out of the shapes.   
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:iconlapiscrest:
LapisCrest Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
haha i have been thinking about it for a while! thanks for the push! :)
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:iconjemidove:
JemiDove Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Student General Artist
Well-said. :)
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May 24, 2013
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