And the Award Goes to…

Pencil drawing by Fernando Freitas: Jesse and Friend
Fernando Freitas' Jesse and Friend is drawn in graphite. Freitas
teaches his students to be aware of the sheen graphite creates
on the paper surface.

I've been waiting all my life to have a red-carpet moment, but who knows when the Academy will get around to remembering my searing director's debut at the age of 14, when I put on a musical version of Hamlet to the theme song of The Beatles' "Obladi Oblada." (Maybe you had to be there.) So I've decided to take matters into my own hands—not to hog the limelight for myself, but to bestow accolades and acclaim to a few of the brightest and best resources in our Artist Daily store!

  • When I first came to Artist Daily, one of the first questions I had was, "Exactly what is plein air painting?" By the time I finished reading Plein Air Painting, our comprehensive guide, I knew—and then some. It helped me understand that inspiring outdoor painting compositions are all around me if I just know how to look, and how to pack to be ready for any kind of plein air painting session. It also made me aware of all the national and state organizations and regional community groups that are out there making it easy for plein-air painters to get together and do what they love most.
  • I've never met anyone quite like C.W. Mundy. I say it to everyone who will listen—he's a hoot to hang out with and has a beautiful painting style, as well as a heart of gold. In his DVD, Mastering the Dramatic Still Life, he teaches his "7 Foundational Truths," and gives a logical and straightforward approach to painting that allowed me to feel like I can not only create an eye-catching composition, but execute it with excitement and power.

  • Still life painting by CW Mundy: Brass with Oranges
    Brass with Oranges by C.W. Mundy,
    16 x 20, oil on linen.

    When I saw The Best of Drawing, I knew I'd met my match. It gave me everything I love about drawing in one source. There was instruction on how to use Old Master techniques in my own practice; how to draw differently depending on the subject, landscape vs. figure; and detailed instruction on the tricks and characteristics of graphite, which happens to be my favorite drawing medium.

And the winner is…you! That's because all these resources are ready and waiting for you in our Artist Daily store. And right now our Store Sale is going on, so it's a good time to pick up the resources that are right for you.  

Tell me, what art and artist resources—books, websites, DVDs, workshop instructors—have you used to become a better artist? Share them with me by leaving a comment here. Thanks!

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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

3 thoughts on “And the Award Goes to…

  1. It would be helpful if you would put the type of paper used for the graphite study above. I notice that you specify on the oil painting that it was done on linen. Perhaps you could consider that for all art works you post, let us know the surface too.

  2. It would be helpful if you would put the type of paper used for the graphite study above. I notice that you specify on the oil painting that it was done on linen. Perhaps you could consider that for all art works you post, let us know the surface too.

  3. Courtney,

    Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how much I enjoy receiving your posts in my email…it’s become my frequent reminder to be a better artist!

    Things I do to become a better artist:

    I paint in plein-air with some of my peers and mentors, it gives a reprieve from the daily monotony of studio painting and gives me a fresh approach to the landscape.

    Participate in plein-air and national competitions. This forces me to dig deep within, using those tools and emotions that make real art.

    I teach workshops and classes occasionally. There is no better way to cement the knowledge you have, and resolve the things you don’t quite understand, than by teaching. This also enables one to learn the ability and dialogue to talk about ones own work effectively. This is a big deal at shows, especially at a one-man show, since you are the main attraction.

    Reading books

    Participate in online forums, or an email group of artists. This gives me a sounding-board. I know what I can sell, and I know what a great piece of art is…but they are not always the same painting. My goal is to make a living…AND be a great artist. Having a group of people that I can bounce ideas off is a great way to achieve the goal of becoming a great artist AND making a living while doing it.

    Thanks again!

    Simon Winegar