One look at self-taught Japanese illustrator Toma-to's (@idoukunn) artwork will have you convinced that the talented artist has been tapping into a natural talent for beautiful illustrations for a while, but a recent post by Toma-to on Twitter has thousands stunned to see his apparent starting point.

Toma-to took to Twitter to show off the fruits of his artistic labor and just how much work he's put into refining himself as an artist, sharing two illustrations he made roughly two and a half years apart. "For about two and a half years, I've really really tried by hardest, so to be honest I'd be happy if I was praised even a little bit."

Before (September, 2017)

Source: @idoukunn

After (April, 2020)

Source: @idoukunn

Clearly, Toma-to's hard work and self-study has paid off with dramatic improvements, creating a fully expanded and charming aquatic scene in a relatively short amount of time. While he's obviously being showered with praise and amazement on Twitter for how far he's come as an artist, many are asking what steps he took to make such a drastic level up.

While Toma-to studies illustration on his own, he says he's relied on two sources for such study. When it comes to drawing human beings, he follows @Manga_Materials, particularly the helpful step-by-step guides they've posted on pixiv. When it comes to backgrounds, Toma-to finds guidance from Yo Shimizu, particularly the character background drawing guide they've released on Amazon (he highly recommends the attached brush!).

As you can see, the skills he's picked up aren't just on display in one illustration.

Be sure to follow Toma-to's awesome artwork on Twitter and Pixiv.

By - Big Neko.