Well, you're not alone. Almost every artist (myself included) has, does, and possibly WILL dislike some/most of their own works. But, as with everything, there's always room for improvement.
-How to improve: Basic Steps-
Try to find a couple things you DO like about the picture in question. Maybe the shape of Sonic's hand turned out really well! Maybe the shading on Haruhi Suzumiya's hair turned out really cute! If you can find a silver lining among the gray clouds, you can reach for the sky.
2. Comparing and Noticing Slight Improvements
Compare some of the oldest stuff in your gallery to your most recent pictures. Any improvements you can take notice of? Did Mario's hat look more round in your latest, greatest picture of him? Did the tree in your newest nature piece look more... natural? Being able to compare your own artwork is a HUGE step in improvement.
For example, compare these two drawings of Elecman the Robot Master.
:thumb191193478: - Old
:thumb202342682: - New
I used to be very bad at anatomy and the like, but after studying different anatomy styles, I got the basics of it down eventually. Now, drawing full-body shots is simpler and quicker!
3. Dealing with those Depressing Days
Don't feel alone. All artists have had their *off* days. Whether it be stress, rage, or PMS, we all have gone mental over our artwork. There have been COUNTLESS days where I have looked at all the amazing pieces in my favourites, and bawled my eyes out because "I'll never be that great". If you have those days, whether it be weekly, monthly, or even right now, DON'T WORRY! Even if you think your artwork is gosh darn awful, and if tons of people tell you it's horrible and ugly, remember that there is at least SOMEONE who loves your art. I adore looking at ALL types of artwork, whether it be fanfiction, photography, digital or traditional imagery, I love it because it is art. A human being created that artwork.
-How to improve: Study study study!-
1. Tutorials - Drawings
Now we've come to the main attraction! Moving from all the psychological stuff, we've graduated to actually improving.
There are many useful and wonderful tutorials here on deviantART, but in this article, I will generally post the ones relating to what most people have trouble with. Whether you use, Paint Tool SAI, Photoshop, MS Paint, or a simple pencil and paper, I hope that these will help you.
a. Basic Anatomy
2. Tutorials: Photography
Unfortunately, I personally don't know much about photography, as I am just getting into it. However, if you want to become an amazing photographer like ~EscapedEmotions, or any other photographer you might know, please check out these tutorials.
3. Tutorials: Writing
No, not handwriting. Writing, as in songs, fanfictions, poetry, and even chapters to novels. I don't know squat about writing, mind you, so I apologize if this section is a bit... lacking.
Writing tutorialSo you wanna write huh? You got your pen/ keyboard ready? well slow down there because the first rule of writing is to think.
Well screw that the first rule is to have inspiration, you need inspiration? Sit down at your tv watch your favourite tv show/movie or go read your favourite book, try and figure out why you like such and such genre and what parts you like about it. Yes it's copying but that's what writing is about, it's about taking things you like and putting them into your own plot. Ever heard of the book "A hero with a thousand faces?" there are only so many plots out there what's important is to mould it into your own creation. H
Writing Tips - Organisation
Writing Without Confusing Yourself (Or Your Readers)
Writing is a very personal, individual undertaking. Everybody approaches the activity a bit differently from the next guy. Some people can come up with concept, plot, characters, and everything else and just sit down and write. Others need to take time to figure out what's going on; what's going to happen in the story, and how it all fits together. Others still will find themselves getting stuck somewhere along the middle, losing track of everything or changing an idea mid-way through, or never know how to end. These are the people for whom this has been put together. Those of you who can
4. Tutorials: Looking Around You
Anything and everything around you can be its own tutorial! Take a look at people, things, and even animals. Your sister's Sailor-Moon-esque hairdo, your dog's sitting position, even the shape of the walls in the room your sitting in. Just by looking, you never know what may strike creativity, or help you improve by studying it.
Since I am training to be a manga artist, I read a LOT of manga. The town I used to live in, which was just outside of Austin, TX, had a kick-butt public library with a couple hundred manga books in its current collection. Being a volunteer at said library, I was given permission to borrow whichever, however many I wanted, even the ones that weren't released to the public. By reading around 10-11 manga books a week, and studying the anatomy, the hair, the eyes, EVERYTHING, I believe that helped me quite a bit.
If you are studying manga-style anatomy, I suggest you read Bisco Hatori's "Ouran High School Host Club" or Kiyohiko Azuma's "Yotsuba&!". Or if you're looking for a more masculine style, try Hiromu Arakawa's "Fullmetal Alchemist".
b. American Cartoons
Maybe you aren't a manga artist. Maybe you want to try more of a American cartoony-style. In which case, I highly recommend reading comics such as Bryan Lee O'Malley's "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World", or even watching cartoons such as Hanna-Barbera's "The Impossibles" or Ruby-Spears' "Megaman".
To go with an even more cartoony style, well, just know that there are no limits with that!
So, have you learned anything? Not everything HAS to be negative in the world. And yes, it's OKAY to be proud of your artwork, as long as you don't brag and shove it in other people's faces. Be patient and wait for people to see it. Check out more tutorials if you feel like you need to see more. There are MANY lovely tutorials by fellow artists here on dA.
Just remember, in whatever you do, there's ALWAYS room for improvement.