I often get asked how to get better at drawing and painting. While the main answer is practice there are a lot of fantastic resources that will make the journey far easier; below is a list of the ones I have personally found most useful. Some are free and some are paid, if you want the paid ones please actually buy them and support the hard-working artists that spend their valuable time providing quality education.
Also this is enough material to last you for, literally, years, so get one at a time, study it in detail, then once you're thoroughly finished move on to the next one. Reading a book or watching a dvd doesn't make you better. What makes you better is ingesting the information slowly, pondering and truly understanding it, and then applying it with diligent practice over a long period of time.
So without further ado, here is my...
EPIC RESOURCES LIST!!!
Proko - This is probably the best education on the internet. Check out all his free youtube tutorials here: [Link] or for even more content purchase the premium courses at proko.com
Figure Drawing for All Its' Worth by Andrew Loomis: [Link]
Figure Drawing, Design and Invention by Michael Hampton: [Link]
Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing from Life: [Link]
Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators [Link]
Figure Drawing by Erik M. Gist [Link]
The Human Figure: An Anatomy for Artists by David K. Rubins [Link]
Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist by Stephen Peck [Link]
Also, Proko is about to start releasing an anatomy series, and I expect it will be of the highest quality, so get in on that for some easy to understand video tutorials that will make a complex topic much easier to understand.
Rendering, Light, Color, and Value
Practical Light and Color by Jeremy Vickery [Link]
Color and Light by James Gurney [Link]
How to Render Matte Surfaces 1, 2, and 3 by Scott Robertson: [Link] [Link] [Link]
Everything on CtrlPaint.com
PSG Art Tutorial by Prometheus: [Link]
Painting Joan of Arc by Donato Giancola: [Link]
Basic Perspective Form Drawing by Scott Robertson [Link]
Picture This: How Pictures Work by Molly Bang: [Link]
Unfortunately I haven't found a lot of good resources on composition. Very few people seem to get to the heart of composition which is the abstract design of a painting and how it controls the subconscious emotion of a piece. Molly Bang's book does a great job of explaining this, but beyond that I would recommend you reverse-engineer masterpieces by artists like Dean Cornwell and N.C. Wyeth. Do small, simple thumbnail studies of their work and study the shapes and values.
Concept Art / Character Design
Visual Storytelling 1, 2, 3, and 4 by Iain McCaig. Learning foundations is important, but being creative is what makes great art, and this is the best resource I have ever seen on how to develop an idea. If you want to make compelling art, BUY THESE: [Link] [Link] [Link] [Link]
Imaginative Realism: How to Paint what Doesn't Exist by James Gurney [Link]
Feng Zhu's Design Cinema: [Link]
Drawing People by Barbara Bradley: [Link]
This book has great information on drawing drapery and clothing, as well as other helpful general drawing principles.
Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters by Robert Beverly Hale: [Link]
This book covers a multitude of topics and will shine the light on many useful (and fundamental) principles that make great drawings. It's not a comprehensive course, but it will open up your eyes as to the things you need to study to improve your work. Highly, highly recommended!
I'm sure there's more than this that I'm forgetting, when I remember it I'll add it, and if there's a topic missing let me know and if I've encountered any good resources on that topic I'll add it. Happy painting!