Art video tutorials are wrong

Don’t misunderstand. I love tutorials and video tutorials. They are great! But I spotted a major issue with them that can lead you off your road to art success.

Completing an area of the image at a time is a deep pitfall in learning. Actually, I didn’t realize it until I noticed it on many WIPs posted on social media, with frustrated artists asking for advice.

I’m going to tell you what I discovered

I have quite a number of live performances on my shoulder right now. I realized that I developed two methods over time, without planning.

When I’m in my studio, I work on steps and layers on the whole image. The process is pretty much the same over and over. Sometimes I’m pretty messy, I keep two or three different versions of a change and decide later which one is better.

When I exhibit at comic events or live performances with an audience, the purpose is for show.
There’s no need to paint your best piece ever. Your average result will probably look awesome to most visitors, just because you’re the one performing.

People love drawn faces and hands. To retain wonder and attention from the audience, I detail those parts first. Then I move on hair and body.
When colouring, I do one piece at a time. This way, if a late visitor didn’t see how I painted water, he can stop by and watch how I paint water in the area I left.

Does it sounds familiar? If you’re thinking that the last process video you watched resembles this pattern, it’s because it’s true.

Drawing for work and drawing for show are two totally different processes! Besides education, those video tutorials are recorded for an audience, for show, for views and clicks.

Many watchers copy the “show method” (doing one piece at a time) and apply it to everyday practice. As a result, they can’t keep control of the image as a whole and their art becomes deeply unbalanced.

Now you’re aware of this big, yet subtle difference, you can better learn from tutorials and videos online.

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Francesca Urbinati Artist

Francesca Urbinati

Sono illustratrice e fumettista freelance. Ho lavorato su effetti speciali 3D, graphic design e multimedia per RAI, Mediaset, Adobe, ArtOrder LLC, Studio Hamburg, MoveTheGame e molti altri. Pubblico la serie a fumetti Niki Batsprite e aiuto altri artisti e autori a emergere.
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