List of study topics for artists. (by Suzanne Helmigh ←- my Twitter account)
Disclaimer: I will keep adding to this list.
Message on July 1st 2020: Use this list to guide you with topics to study. There is not 1 particular order in which to do so, but try and find a balance for yourself. Please do not overwork yourself. These are a lot of topics and by no means does it apply that you should master ALL.
Mental health is important and burnouts are serious consequences.
* Human anatomy.
* Animal anatomy.
* Insect anatomy.
* Imaginary (or fused) anatomy. (fused anatomy? : think mermaids, centaurs etc)
Anatomy sections within those types:
* Skins, pelts,scales.
* Human (and non human) hair.
* Veins, cartilage, tendons, nails, claws, teeth, tusks, horns etc.
* Decay and aging.
* Life cycle.
* Gesture and action.
* Body language.
* Material properties of water.
* Material properties of rocks, gems, dirts, metals.
* Material properties, and life cycle of plants.
* Climates and their flora.
* Clouds, skies, weather.
* Formation and shifting of tectonic plates, craters, canyons, hills and mountains, vulcanos, cliffs etc.
* Geology in a broad sense.
* Prehistoric flora and fauna (check anatomy sections).
* Various belief systems that are current and old.
* Various social behaviour and law systems that are current and old.
* Various mythologies and urban tales that are current and old.
* Fashion! Fabrics, colours, materials, and the cultural meaning behind them.
* Hairstyles (technically also falls under Fashion and art, but big enough to be mentioned separately).
* Art from other cultures throughout history. (household utilities, theatre, statues etc etc)
* Rules of two point perspective.
* Rules of three point perspective.
* Rules of panoramic perspective. (also fisheye perspective)
* Rules of emotional storytelling behind perspectives (check composition)
* How to paint depth (in focus, out of focus) in terms of detail (or blur).
Storytelling through imagery:
* Check, culture/anthropology.
* Cinematic storytelling in films (camera angles and compositions that relay emotional meaning/effects)
* Composition (check: lighting, form, colour, culture, anatomy etc it all comes together here)
* Story methods like: story mirroring, pre-cursors, prop placement (look them up, it’s fascinating)
Human made structures and utilities:
Sections to research for Human made structures and utilities:
* What does it do?
* How are they made?
* Why are they made that way?
* How do they work?
* What are they made of?
* How did we do it before?
* How does it break?
* Cultural influences.
Colour and value (lighting):
* Base object colours.
* Colour relations.
* Colour influenced by various light sources.
* Materials influenced by various light sources.
* Emotional and cultural meaning behind colours.
* Bounce light.
* Rim light.
* Subsurface scattering.
* Dappled light.
* Various degrees of sunlight.
* Fire light.
* Glow light.
* Moon light.
* (there are so many more light sources to mention).
Art styles and methods:
* Various mediums, from pencil, ink, paints, crayons, digital painting, 3d sculpting, clay etc etc.
* Realism versus stylisation and simplification and the workings behind it.
* Cultural meaning behind certain art styles.
* The rules and cornerstones that define a style (What makes World of Warcraft, World of Warcraft? etc.)