You are currently viewing 2 Year Beginner Artist Progress – 2017 & 2018 Redraw
A series of redrawn illustrations that reflect my art growth.

2 Year Beginner Artist Progress – 2017 & 2018 Redraw

Update 04/17/2019: So I might’ve made a mistake on the date stamp for this. . . simply because I didn’t date anything in my very first Walmart sketchbook. The “before” sketch was actually drawn in mid-late 2016. I’m sorry for the hiccup! And always date your work my friends 🙂

A great measure of growth in your art journey is to be able to look back at work you once thought to be great, and see a list of things that you would do differently for a better result.

It shows development in your eye for the craft. Flaws that have previously flown passed you are becoming clear. Yet, this doesn’t need to be used as a reason to hide your old work from the people and world around you; rather, you should celebrate how far you’ve come in your art development as showcased through previous works.

Better yet, prove to yourself that you have improved by taking your old art and redrawing it. See your pieces side by side and revel in the result that is months of practice (and years of frustration).

I write this post while looking back at some of my old pieces and seeing the level of improvement between them.

I write this post while looking back at some of my old pieces and seeing the level of improvement between them. This is a sketch I created near the start of my art journey—when I was at the transitional stage between copying other people’s fan art in order to learn line placement (yes, this is where my art journey began), and creating some of my own characters and poses.

I welcome you all with open arms to a sketch I created at 21 years old (2017):

This is it. I was a complete rookie in every way, shape, and form, but I loved this piece. And guess what?

I still do.

Not aesthetically, let’s be real here. I love this piece for how it captures my development as an illustrator—and related to this, my will to power through.

Let’s compare this piece to something that I drew a year later (22 years old, early 2018):

A huge step up. Ink itself was a scary venture. I mean, using a medium that would render an eraser powerless was untapped territory. But I went for it. And at this point, I stopped believing that inking my work would ruin the fluidity of my images.

Throughout these stages, I’ve also made more mistakes than you can imagine.

One day, I’ll show you pages of my first sketchbook so that you can understand and relate to my art origins.

There are many things that I would change about this as I look at it now. My inability to draw hands is pretty blatant, as is my nasty case of big-head syndrome. But I was incredibly proud of this bobble-head rendition of an old art piece. For a while this lovely lady lived on my bulletin board as one of my favorite illustrations at the time.

Jump forward 10 months (23 years old, late 2018) and this is what I managed to create:

There are only a few things that I would change in this piece, probably because it’s more representative of my current illustration abilities. Maybe I’ll see more flaws in it and create something that shows even more improvement within another half year or so. But in the meantime, this is where I’m at.

Two years later, and I’m able to create something that I would define as pretty great. Given my not-very-extensive art history at least. You might disagree with this opinion, and that’s completely fine. In the world of picking up a hobby as an adult you need to be your own biggest fan.

Welcome to the era of alcohol markers. Nope, not Copics, but my beloved set of Master Markers (much more economical, since I’m a bit of a cheap ass). I actually attempted to use markers in the early-2018 redraw of this image, but couldn’t for the life of my figure out the medium. Although, I became much more comfortable with them during the months following.

I also put more emphasis on concept and expression.

Wearing a dress on a windy day would be really cold, hence the way this character is holding her body expresses this. The previous character redraw was intended to look sentimental, not stoic. So I upped the sadness game in the more recent rendition. Her head is also more proportionate to her body—another point worth celebrating.

Art is a tough code to crack, but once you begin to see improvement in your work, you’ll learn to appreciate the journey so much more.

Thank you for reading this post and following along. I hope that this can inspire you to begin, or keep at, your own art adventure. Even if you feel like improvement is out of your grasp, keep on drawing.

Besides if mediocre, right-brained me can embrace an artist mentality, then you absolutely can to.



A/N: If you’d like to share your own art journey, please visit this page: Share Your Art.

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