What Level Is Your Art? [Scribble Kibble #39]

This video is here so you can take a piece
of your art and figure out what level it is and what you can do as an artist to get to
the next art level. For this episode I asked you to send in recent
art you made so I could rank it, talk about it, and give everyone else examples of art
on each level. I got so much art— Level 0
Art that doesn’t exist at all. You were scared your drawing wouldn’t be
perfect so you never made it. It’s nothing. It’s level zero. Level 1
Level one is an interesting place to be, because you will often see full illustrations here
that have characters and a background (basiabear02) – something that gets more rare on level two
and three but shows up again as the artist gets to a high level. If you’re on level one, you usually spend
a lot of time on your art, even if it’s a simple character. That’s normal. As you get more drawing experience and get
closer to leveling up, you will get faster too. The two areas that need most improvement at
level one are basic line and coloring quality, and shape. At level one, the lines on your drawing aren’t
as confident as a level two artist. They might look a bit shaky or scratchy. You can see this on THEGAMERGOD and Silver
Berry’s art. Or, if the lines are more purposeful and well
placed, level one art is held back by anatomy and shape. Joshua’s pony here is a great example of
that. You can see the technique to shade and draw
is easily level two, but the character itself has some significant anatomy problems, most
noticeably on the too thick neck and overly long body. A level one coloring technique has scribbled
in fills for traditional art, like Dennydo1’s piece, or in digital art, white gaps (anonymous
20) or pixellated edges (Tony Tony Chopper & Adrienne). Filling those areas in and cleaning your edges
on digital art is an easy fix. For traditional art, think about how the stroke
looks. If you scribble in the fill, the pencil lines
go everywhere. But if you use your pencil and only move it
in the same direction back and forth, the coloring job looks more uniform. The difference between level one and two is
that the coloring job at level two looks cleaner. Although the biggest factor for digital art
at level one isn’t coloring, usually. It’s line quality. A level two artist can have solid fill coloring
jobs like Dylan and Bri, their lines are just more smooth. If you are drawing digitally, one of the things
that may help is learning a different program to draw your art in. FireAlpaca and Krita are what people watching
Scribble Kibble recommend the most for drawing still images. And they’re completely free! The other big difference between level one
and two is shape, or proportions. At level one, your eyes might not be in the
right spot, or parts of the body might be different sizes than they should be. Level two art is just that little bit better
at drawing something in a way that looks right. The most important thing you can do to level
up from level one is keep drawing. Do not worry about your art being perfect. Keep drawing for fun, draw things you like,
and you will automatically get the experience you need to reach level two. Level 2
If you’re in this area, your art shows some improvement over where you started at Level
1. Lines and colors are cleaner, but if there’s
shading, it’s imprecise. Anatomy and shape problems persist. XiaoChio’s inking job is much cleaner and
precise than a Level 1 art piece, but it’s still slightly fuzzed and smudged compared
to level 3. More importantly, the balance of the character’s
shape is off in terms of the upper body to lower body ratio, particularly how far down
the arms reach. Even if it’s a dwarf character, we get the
feeling she is going to topple over. The head of Tiki’s anime human is fine,
but it would be much larger relative to her body, especially since she is leaning toward
us. Characters that are well proportioned at level
two will still look somewhat boxy, simple, or undefined relative to level three. Astroblaze and Carbon Coffee’s heroines
are more solid proportion-wise, but their sleeves don’t fit the form of the arm that
would be there underneath. Clothes are usually to blame for the boxy
feeling. At level two you’re taking more time to
make sure overall the character looks right, and not thinking about how different types
of fabric would flow over your arms. For digital artists, level two is the experimental
coloring and shading phase. You’ll try different coloring styles like
EPICSHEROOC and XPShowHost did – and you’ll notice it doesn’t fit very well with the
rest of the drawing. You’ll try some shading, but you won’t
really be sure about where to put it or how to do it, so what happens is instead of emphasizing
the subject of your drawing, it ends up looking like dark or light areas wherever. Burning-Sol, Ashylyn S, Flame Alicorn, LPS
Sketch Art are a few of many, many cases of that. You can improve shading by thinking about
where the light source is and how it would cast light and shadow over your character,
not as a 2D flat picture, but the 3D mass of the character. Sure it’s flat on the paper, but really
good drawings know how to add shadows to make it feel deeper than paper. Lighting is not a very easy thing to do. I recommend drawing some still life. You know, the thing where you put an apple
on a table and draw it on paper, paying attention to where it’s light and where it’s dark. Speaking of shadow, pencil sketches at level
two will be light and not have very much contrast. For comparison, here is a level 5 sketch. Clear dark and light areas. If your sketch looks like Timmsey’s, Silver
Draw’s, or Kitten Cakes, don’t be afraid to push that pencil down hard to make your
sketch darker where the shadows are strongest. ArtistTUBBS and Arctic Spirit have a good
sense for contrast. On Level 2, Infinityrise asks:
I was wondering if my skill level would be good enough to apply to an art college this
year? Yes. Now, if you want to apply to a prestigious
art school, you need to get to level four. At least. But! A local college or community college will
have less harsh portfolio guidelines. If you are determined you want a career in
art, I suggest trying to find summer college classes you can go to, or art activities related
to the art field you want to be in. Anything. Draw a lot and read online about building
a portfolio. CynderGirl77 sent this drawing and asked if
she would be qualified to animate. Anyone watching this is qualified to animate. Start sooner than later, because the skills
it takes to do animations are different from making a single illustration. Level 3
Level up! Level three is the brink, where a piece of
art is almost solid, but there are one or two areas that need improvement. If you’re at this level, figure out your
weak spot and practice. A level three artist rarely has issues with
line. Unlike the previous levels, their strokes
look bold and confident because the artist is more comfortable with the anatomy and shape
of what they are doing. They might make a light sketch of the character’s
shape before doing final lines, which helps with confidence. Even if there are no visible outlines, the
edges of features are smooth and purposeful, like KetchupKat. As for shape, while the subject at level three
is, for the most part, proportionally sensible, the pose it is in might be awkward and unnatural,
like heilix’s cat. Or maybe everything else checks out fine,
but there’s an imbalance in the character’s symmetry. (MaeraFey) In cases where you look at your art and still
instinctively feel something about the shape of it is off, like BlackRose, captain_whisker,
snickerdoodledandy, and Striiking, the best thing to do is study from real life. Even if you’re making cartoons, you need
to know the rules to break them. When drawing fantasy creatures and settings,
reference items related to what you are drawing. A lizard for a dragon, for instance. Also a quick trick is to flip your art. Then you’ll know if it’s off or not. Level three is where you should start paying
attention to composition. Composition is how all of the pieces of your
drawing look together on the page. While gamergirlrebel’s coloring technique
is only level two, the piece of art as a whole is very interesting to look at, whereas if
you flip to Dragons Ponies, there is a lot of unused, bland, empty blue distracting you
from the characters. Nothing some vigorous cropping can’t fix. Vigorous cropping. Ebonyinkstone’s composition is very confusing. Besides the sheer number of jarring colors
and lighting, it’s hard to tell if the focus of the piece is the mask, or the characters
behind it. Moving the faces to natural focal points like
here and here would help. Nitsua Sensei’s composition is more focused,
although it would be interesting to see something like this, which draws the focus towards observing
a planet, or this, loneliness in space. A lot of composition is about the mood you
want to make and what you want your art to focus on. If you’re ready to move on beyond drawing
a single character with no background, go read up on composition. Kiltketeer and Fredson are probably level
four artists who submitted a quick drawing. A level four would be the same drawing, just
with more polish. They could sell sketches and concept art in
this level three style. Dragons Ponies wrote that they’re curious
about how to make their art better because they’re having a hard time improving. My note on that is it’s rare to improve
suddenly. It usually takes a year, and you won’t notice
the improvement until you look back at old art. It may not feel like you’re improving, but
you are. Slothman asks about what to do when you get
so concerned about your art looking good that you quit, or don’t make anything at all. That is the number one struggle almost every
artist has. We stare at what we’ve made and think about
how bad and terrible it is, and how it didn’t go as planned. If you want to be happy as an artist you’ve
got to conquer that overly-critical habit. It hurts your productivity. Stamping out the little whiny devil in your
head is different depending on what kind of person you are. Try setting a deadline. Personally my desire to improve is stronger
than my fear of failure, so I keep drawing out of sheer willpower. And I’ve got people like you who believe
in me, so I want to live up to your expectations! If you’ve got a calmer, more peaceful personality
– try taking a step back from drawing and do a different form of art. You’d be surprised what you’ll learn about
drawing while making a really bad clay sculpture, stuffed animal, oil painting, wood carving,
papercraft, pencil sketch, you get the idea. Nobody knows your art and its flaws better
than you do, so it’s easy to be overly self-critical. Relax. There’s no pressure for you to draw. Any pressure you feel that you need to be
a certain way or at a certain level is all in your head. {Sometimes I’ll really want to draw something
and I’ll imagine it in my head, but as soon as I open my software and get my tablet and
pen ready I start getting thoughts through my head of “What if it doesn’t come out as
I want?” or “What if this is just a waste of time?” and the most I’ll end up doing is
a sketch before giving up on it and not wanting to go through with it. I have an artist friend who is always telling
me to just try and continue with the drawing but I can never pluck up the motivation or
courage to do so and it’s beginning to make me genuinely depressed when I even hold my
tablet pen now. What would you suggest for me to be more confident
with my drawing again?} Level 4
The criteria for level four is, “would people buy art drawn with this level of skill?” At level four, if there are anatomy problems,
they are rather small and unnoticeable. You can’t sell bad anatomy. It’s really quite that simple. The are some exceptions, like DieKnuddlerin,
the back leg on the raccoon wouldn’t lay like that considering the proper tucked nature
of the right one, but the drawing passes anyway because it has level four everything else. Composition of a level four piece of art is
solid; rarely will there be any useless space, or confusion about where you are supposed
to look. Some pieces will be especially well composed,
like this comic page by Amber-Draws that leads your eye through the page in an interesting
way. Another difference between level three and
four is color choice, aka color harmony or color theory. Up until this point you may make pieces of
art that have colors that look gross or unpleasant together. At level four, that goes away. A drawing does not have to be complex to be
level four. Simple drawings at level four are very clean,
constructed, and pleasant to look at, like Fox Called Blue, SauceSource, and ghostyjunky. Letters from level four! Kitty Nuki:
I just painted this yesterday and I’m really happy with the result, but at the same time
not really, and I can’t understand why or what can I do to make it better. Liking and disliking at the same time. I think we all know that feeling. So yes, the question is how do you make something
at level four better? And in some instances, you can’t – not without
starting fresh. I mean, how do you improve this drawing by
Frost Kitten? Changing it defeats the simplicity of what
it is. You could say, oh, add shading, but adding
shading wouldn’t make this a better drawing. Drawing this again as a hyper realistic cat
with a bow would require more skill, but the drawing would also no longer be a cartoon. Kitty Nuki’s art is the same thing. There is nothing technically wrong about this
art piece. If you draw something like this and are unhappy,
ask yourself this: Are you dissatisfied because your art looks
like this and not this? If so, quit drawing cartoons and start practicing
traditional or digital painterly style, because a cartoon is never going to look like the
Mona Lisa. Were you trying to capture an emotion with
your art? What was it? What would you do differently to get closer
to it? At level four, if you want to further improve
your skill you have two options: formal or informal training. There’s no two ways about it, if you get
to four as a self-taught artist, you need to get some edumucation to proceed. Read a book. Do life drawings. Look for classes by artists who have been
working professionally for more than ten years. And that brings us to Level 5 A level five piece of art has distinction
of being absurdly well executed in almost every way, and on top of that, it’s interesting. In many cases, it’s not just a drawing,
it’s a piece of art. Suburbanwinemons is my favorite example. I can’t stop looking at it. KatAuroraMist has a wonderful command of colors
in this piece, and compositionally the directional rush lines direct your eye to the most important
part, the cat’s face. A couple pieces at level five could use slight
anatomy adjustments, like sha-ga’s feathers and left leg, ReedFoxStudios in the glasses
and eyes, MrChiken in the lay of the body in the water – this angle is if she were standing
up in the water – but geeze, look at how beautiful these are. Awkward-Hermit is so close to level six. The element holding it back is the execution
of the woman’s face. A level six piece would have much more defined
light and shadow contrast that would give it lifelike depth. A front positioned nose should be symmetrical. Something that elevates a five above a four
is texture. A piece that would otherwise be a bit plain
if it were only flat colors has something special to it that gives it texture, like
HowlingWithMoon’s dappled painting. Same here for Kartase. Here’s one of the exceptions, HulluMel. This is an incredibly strong character design
thanks to its unique features. The cat is fluffy, but you can feel the weight
to it in the stocky legs and body. cattymadi on level five asks:
Is my art good enough to animate? Dear cattymadi, your art is too good to animate. If you tried to animate this without a team
of anime animators, you would weep in a corner after spending five months to create five
seconds. I’ve got a tutorial for character design
for animations on my agenda for the future. Synchro Centaur’s character is perfect for
animating. Simplify your characters and cut the shading
completely if you want to give animation a go for the first time. Anything I have to say about a level five
piece is just a tiny thing, if anything at all. I considered collapsing level five and six
together, but I decided to pull a few exemplary illustrations out of five. Level 6
Six is the level where I can’t help you. If, for some reason, you want improvement
on a piece of art of this caliber, seek out a similarly skilled artist who works in the
same type of art, an art critic, or a professor. I could say a bit at length about why each
of these is level six, but put simply you can see the intent behind every stroke and
color is that of an artist who knows what they are doing, whether by training or by
instinct. Wow. I’m dead. This episode took two weeks to make. There are about 1,200 pieces of art in here. You can make this episode better. Open the credits document below, pick one
or two names, click their art, and leave a comment of some kind. Not everybody who sent art posted it online,
so not everything is in there, but a lot of it is. You can tell by the link what site it’s
on so you can find something on a site you use. You’ll make the person’s day. Especially for small artists who don’t get
a lot of comments. Go now! Be free! Oh my gosh, I’m never doing this again. *groan* No new episode next week! I get a break! I’m giving myself a break! See you on September 23!


  • Animated Sins

    Me looking at my sketches and drawings hoping I get at most to level 2

    Me after the video ends and I make it to lvl 4

    Surprised Pikachu Face"

  • Bongo Lasagna

    A year ago I’d say that I was a two. Now I’m a four!

  • Shardadark 999

    Holy s**t xiaochao is a level 6 to me

  • Geo draws Epicly

    I can shade i can animate i can color epicly am level 6

  • dom

    this video made me feel so much better after the day i’ve had. i’ve been struggling in my art classes at school (mainly because i feel i’m not learning much and the projects we’re doing aren’t things that are really helping me improve) and my teacher told me she’s worried that i won’t be able to pass classes in college because i almost always have to turn in a project a day or two late. my main issue is procrastination and inability to practice due to just not believing my art isn’t good enough. after hearing that level 2 and 3 could definitely get into an art college with some practice, i feel much better

  • Luna Stargazer

    Me: Oh I'm totally getting better! Maybe I'll be level 3 at least!
    Video: Ur Level 2
    Me: … AT LEAST IM NOT 0

  • monoma pon pon

    5 years ago I was level 1 now im level 1

  • Sotiria2009 _gamer

    I'm none

  • s e e s a w e f f e c t

    i know nobody cares, but i have good (ish) anatomy and facial expressions, etc. just i tend to make the lines on my paper fuzzy, because i can never get a straight confident line

  • Kalisto PLAY'S

    Hey comment what level u at on mine I'm level 2

  • School Arsyad Gaming

    Thank you for the video, it really help me

  • • get in the boat •

    I'm at level 2.
    But its good enough to not even be considered a teenager lol.

  • Yellow & Rain

    one like = one person who drew anime


    I thought i was gonna be level 1/2 but no, im level 4 aparently….wow

  • Cake Lemon

    Oof I'm either a level 2 or 1

  • B3hr

    I know this video was made three years ago and I just happened to stumble upon it, but I just think I doesn't make sense to try and put a label on the amount of skill someone has, especially in art. Art is in the eye of the beholder someone may like how something is drawn while another person may not, this means that everyone will see art differently. An artist may be good at one thing like drawing backgrounds while being horrible at character design. And that may put an artist in a weird spot on this tier list of sorts. Something I noticed a lot while looking through the comments were people saying sometimes I'm a 1 and other times I'm a 4. If art were to be leveled it would have to be level on multiple thing for example, lvl 1 shading, lvl 5 balance, lvl 3 backgrounds etc. Not trying to hate or make people mad im just saying.

  • Clover• •.x편집

    Me 2 years ago: lv1
    Me now: lv 3

  • giovana314

    I've posted a comment that i was in level 1, but, looking at it now, i actually look more like level 3

  • CynthiaPlayz AJPW

    yay I'm level 3

  • I hate tomatoes 1

    2017 me watching this: wow that’s slot if Steven universe art

    2019 me watching this: little did I know that there would be a whole a$$ movie about su

  • Bananya - 418

    I come back to this video every 2 months!!

  • Grease

    im stuck in a limbo between 1, 2 and 3

  • I’m someone who loves memes

    I’m not level zero, I’m not level one, I’m not level two, I not any level.

    I can’t draw like any if this even if I tried.
    Trust me here.

  • Mr. Bones

    Thank you very much senpai. ???

    I'll be binging on your work.

    Thank you for teaching me.

  • Edie Roberts

    My art is bad because…
    I draw an amazing angel wing on the left
    I draw a literal piece of trash on the right

  • Hashimada

    I was level 2 a year ago. Now I'm at 5

  • Tao Is king

    Oh shit I might be lvl 5-6

  • Moonguided

    Can someone tell me what level im on
    I think im on lvl 2 but im not sure

  • Glitchee Pupper

    I'm a 2½ ?

  • BlueRosey Productions

    watching to figure out my art level I think it’s either 3 or 4

  • Mortal Cloud

    Haha. Everyone says whenever you're just getting into art, you take time and whatnot.

    From age 2-9 I was quick. And I was starting. Then at 10… Damn I was good for being friggin 10.

  • Grell Sutcliff

    I'm something between 4 and 5! Yay!

  • Yuna Gamerz

    I'm level 4, and I'm 12. I'm just going to be honest.
    Is that good? I don't really know.

  • Beth Heavelyn

    I'm between 2 and 5? huh

  • ChocoLatte

    oof im worse than level 1, but I still attempt to draw ;n;
    i guess im level 0.5?
    no more like 0.1
    (aka my digital art sucks)
    Edit: i realize that this is because i cant draw animals and those animals are gOoD

  • StrangeFunnyMan

    i watched this 2 years ago i was level 1, now im level 4! 😀

  • Gweegy Heard


  • Thatgirl D


  • Koala Derp

    last year=level 1

    this year=wow, im level 4

    facing test=level 5

  • OxO the cat

    thanks i hate you

    im level 2 ?*** ***** **

  • GhostyDraws


  • CosmicCookie 34

    A bit recently I went from level 4 to level 5, level up!


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