So, after reading a friend's tips for being a good poet, here's my tips for being a decent painter.
1. Find your roots. In otherwords, look at other successful artist's works, and you're bound to find an artist whose style really speaks to you.
2. Research. Inform yourself on different forms of art, because every art style eventually overlap. Even if you want to draw just anime, the pro anime artists never restrict their methods, so you shouldn't either.
3. Become intellectually curious. Art is complex, and it's a great tool for expressing ideas. Tools are meant to be used, and the most timeless art always have a degree of religious, philosophical, or social commentary.
4. It's not always about the technique. For example, we've all seen it: A beautifully painted anime character surrounded by frilled dollies. While the techniques might have been superb, if the initial idea behind the art is not interesting or attention-getting in some sort of way, it loses value. While someone may paint the best anime girl playing at the beach ever, this one will always taks my breath away: friendist.deviantart.com/art/F…
5. Focal point. While this may seem like an easy step, it's actually one of the most difficult elements to maintain once you start restricting your palette, and adding copious amounts of fine detail. A solution is to constantly take a few steps back. If your drawings focus is clearly visible from four meters away, it's perfect. However, if your screen looks like it's littered with spots of high contrast, then it's time to reduce the contrasts on those areas.
6. Choosing the best palette. This is tricky for those just experimenting with pro-techniques, (or artist-puberty as I like to call it) because most young people start out painting landscapes or drawing manga characters; things that have been given pre-determined color palettes. When choosing a color palette, contrast is the key. Study color theory, and you should be A-Ok.
7.Details.People tell me I included copious amount of detail in my pieces, and they're right. Pouring over every nail has a negative image among pros, since they can detract from the focal point. However, if you can successfully keep the details contrasting with only themselves and not the focal point, it's perfectly fine. One way I do this would be, using slightly darker greens for blades of grass in a distant football field while the focal point isn't green at all.
8. Finally, know your target audience. Your art will appeal to specific niches; don't try to please everyone.
*Endnote: If I left out anything, please ask!