So you may all know, I have a comic called ravenheart. I haven't got around finishing it because of one thing: I ain't ready. The reason I feel I ain't ready is for various reasons, one of them is my art style, or a frankenstien's mix mash of art styles I copied from. Oh and another thing, that my art style isn't "polished" yet. If a professional in ther field said it, then it might as well be taken as the gospel. I may know anatomy but I honesty don't how to apply it without making my characters complex or looked all screwed.so, how freaking gosh darn long it takes to learn the basics. THe basics you say? Well that won't that hard. Wrong. Dead. Wrong.
See, there's alot of stuff to learn from hands, feet, head, torsos, etc. Not only that, but learning about perspective, forshortening, and other techniques as well. It ain't no cake walk as long as I'm concerned.it's an uphill battle of screaming, feeling like crap that you don't have the chance to draw from life, and relying on books, guides, references, or anything that ain't "real." And when I ask this question, people be like, "it depends." Oh really? Then in that case I might as well draw so the body parts listed realistically until I die. Not saying there won't be much for me to learn after that, there wilI be plenty left.
This all came down to this one thing, I freaking hate how bad my art is.
This is actually why you SHOULD make a webcomic. If the one you're working on now is something you want to save until you're happier with your art, okay. But come up with something because making a webcomic is one of the single best ways to force yourself to improve your art. :)
When I fall in love with a story, it's rarely because it's a flawless masterpiece. For like half of my top 10 favorite stories of all time, I could probably easily point out their flaws. But I love them and am thankful that they exist because in spite of their imperfections, they managed to hit the right notes for me, and hit them well.
Sheer excellence is a great thing to achieve, but it's not what this is about. For me, at least.
The thing with art is that there's no ending point with learning. But if you want to draw comics, you should just start drawing them. It's the only way to learn how to do them. If you've got a story that's dear to you and you don't feel ready to tackle that one yet, try drawing other stories, one shots maybe. That could help you with feeling pressure of how good it's going to look. View them as practice. There's no need to try making everything into a masterpiece which is impossible anyway.
Honestly, that piece is unpolished. But not because of your style. It's showing your under sketches and is still sketchy otherwise too. That's why it can be considered unpolished. Clean the lines up and add color if you feel like it, and it's polished piece of art. Worrying about style is pretty counterproductive in my opinion since it's quick way to lock yourself down. Just draw in a way that feels natural and your unique style will emerge. By drawing naturally I don't mean not doing studies or actively thinking how you could improve, but finding a way of doing it that feels good.
Good thing with webcomics is that natural growth of the art and writing skills is pretty integral part of the medium. No one starts as good as they are on their latest page. And if you're not trying to pitch it to a publisher, there's no barrier you need to pass for starting. And probably everyone also cringes when they look at their old pages. Or not so old.
I sure as heck cringe at my pages.
Oooooold page 12.
Same page but drawn 3(?) years later
And I still see things I could do better in the newer version even if it's just months old.
Live, draw and grow, you know.
Edit: Also wanted to add that you shouldn't take even a pro's words as gospel. They're still human with biases/flaws. Sure, they have experience and (hopefully) plenty of skill but you can still disagree with them. Consider carefully the criticism, they're bound to have useful things to say but sometimes they too can miss the mark.
Respheal:Regardless of whether you start now or in a year, after a year of working on the webcomic you're going to look at your pages from a year previous and cringe anyway.
Unless you're a proffesional-grade artist with YEARS of experience under your belt, you'll probably feel like your art isn't polished enough. Hell, I'm pretty sure even professionals aren't 100% happy with their work.
There are no set rules for when you're "good enough" to start a webcomic, you kind of just need to start and continue from there.
And about learning the basics- there will always be more to learn. Even those who do art for a living still practice the basics to stay "in shape", so to speak. But I feel like once I started my comic, it really drove me to improving my art (disclaimer: I'm still learning as I go and am aware that my art is far from perfect XD). So I don't think that learning basics and starting a comic are mutually exclusive. It's important that you draw not only for practice, but also for fun.
I think you're thinking too much into it? Yeah, improving is hard work, but what's the point if you're making yourself miserable over it. The best way to improve is to draw, take criticism, and study. You don't have to go to a class to study from life, you can do that in your own room, sketching the things around you or yourself in the mirror. You can go to a park and do quick gestures of the people walking around, or sketch a family member while you're watching tv. Who says learning from references and books isn't real? There's plenty of those things with photos of real people and things in them, just because they're not right there in front of you doesn't mean they're not real. Books and tutorials can also help you with learning new techniques to make drawing easier.
Yeah, stylizing what you learn from life can be a pain in the ass to figure out, but it's all about experimentation. Figuring out a style that works for you, go with the flow. If you worry too much you'll just mess yourself up, and turn drawing into a chore. Also don't worry about your art sucking, we're all bad at art in some way, and honestly how can we improve if we don't suck first?
Line of Action is a pretty cool site do online gesture drawing sessions.
Although I don't mean to tell you what to do, take your time. If you get too stressed out take a break, go see a movie or take a walk, come back to your project when you're ready. Your art stuff will always be there, but your health won't.
I think it's good to develop some art skills before you start a webcomic. I spent about 2 years just planning and practicing art before I started mine, because I didn't want to rush in and make a product that was complete garbage. But the thing is, your skills can continue to improve after you start a comic, also. Your art style on page 1 doesn't have to be your final, fully polished style. It just has to be good enough that people don't immediately close the tab.
And I'd definitely say your art is good enough for page 1 of a comic. If you want to continue to improve and have it look better by page 300, that's fine, but it's not necessary. Some very successful comics started with art much worse than yours, and actually, some continue to have art much worse then yours. I really don't think you need to worry so much.
I primarily started my comic because I wanted something that would help me get better at drawing. And you know what? It's working! My art has improved quite a bit over the last year and a half. I'm drawing things that I never would have drawn if I wasn't drawing my comic. I'm forced to draw multiple characters together, backgrounds, buildings, etc. Am I awesome at any of that? No, I still have a lot of ways to go, but I'm growing as an artist and as a story teller along the way :D And have I mentioned I'm having fun too?
If you feel like you need to be perfect in order to tell the story that you want, then maybe start small and revisit it later. Write a comic that will only take 30 pages to draw. This will give you that practice you need and you won't feel like your doing your "darlings" any injustice by not being good enough. I spent years dragging my feet because I never felt good enough. I look back now and wish I had just started, posted my work online, gotten feedback, and grown. I know I would leaps and bounds ahead of where I am now if I had just started years ago. The only way you will learn how to do webcomics is to actually do a webcomic!
So as what everyone else is saying, I urge you to start and keep going. I found the hardest part was getting past the first couple of pages, but once I got past them, I had less urges to throw in the towel and quit ;)
you literally have to just do it. You'll always find an excuse to put it off until you get better at drawing, but you're never going to be satisfied. Personally I was planning not to start my comic until the next year, but then one day I just randomly decided to start. Even though my first chapter looks terrible compared to how I can draw now, I don't regret it a bit because i started. I have so many story ideas that I never started writing because I was always waiting.
also I'll add that drawing a webcomic is one of the best ways I've ever found to improve my art, and definitely the fastest. It's soooooo much commitment, and so much work, that you'll have a reason to draw All Day™ and that constant flow of work will fix up your art skills so fast.
In the words of Shia (that guy from Even Stevens), JUST DO IT!
But seriously, just go for it. Before I joined this site, I started my webcomic back in 2015. It was something I always wanted to do after graduating college and I went ahead and did it a few years later. And I never looked back thinking I wasn't ready. And my art style? Looking back at it now, I noticed I've improved a bit because I kept making comics. I'm sure you'll do the same if you actually try and not let this fear stop you from doing it. And don't let your art style be one of the main reasons why. They are artists out there making webcomics in their own style and I bet they're still learning as they go.
So I hope you feel more confident on making a comic in the future.
6/7/17 - Posted 100 comics!
9/16/17 - A year has passed since I've returned from hiatus!
10/18/17 - Currently on break due to laptop dying. Will have something to fill in the gaps around November.
But seriously though, if I spend 3-10 art hours each day of acting on each body part of the human body, then go to proportions, then foreshorting, then perspective, then shading, color theory, etc. How long would reach a point where I can safely break the rules without screwing up.
Depends on what you want from this. Do you want it realistic? Cartoony? Do you want to sell it? Just display it?
To be honest, you can do whatever you want, really. There will be people who will criticise your anatomy no matter what, and others who will defend you. Doing this art thing means experimenting, and going wild. If you're too scared to finish your comic due to lack of skills, start some other project that pushes yourself slightly beyond what you can actually achieve, and accept that you will screw up on occasion. Ask for critiques, and play with styles using a comic that isn't dear to you, that doesn't matter as much if you don't do it perfect.
Are you doing this to put bread on the table? If not, then there's no hard reason to be insecure. Most people eventually get better, to some degree, at doing something if done habitually. The downside being to avoid falling in a rut and losing those gainz. I speak from experience.