Drawing Blog

The Drawing Blog is where we discuss all things pencil and paper. You’ll find techniques on mark-making, instruction on how to draw shapes and turn forms in space with shading and line, inspiring artists who create amazing works on paper, and more.

The Drawing Blog is the place where the essentials of art-making on paper are explored, from sketching to charcoal drawing to life drawing and figure drawing. Enjoy!

Seriously, All You Need Is Average Eye-Hand Coordination

Just to demonstrate the statement that everyone can learn to draw. Here, and below, are two comparison drawings of my students from the last term. The progress they made in just nine three-hour sessions is noteworthy. Drawing Skills Everyone Has Everyone with average eye-hand coordination can learn to draw the human figure. I mean everyone.…

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The Simplest & Most Common Mistake

Don’t Stumble with Figure Drawing Let’s talk about common mistakes we all make because if you are making these figure drawing mistakes and are told to look out for them, it will speed up your progress considerably. I am using examples of my student’s drawings from the masterclass I teach to illustrate my points. Drawing…

Drawing Basics: The Best Drawing Art Books

Plate VIII, Study for a Picture, chalk and pastel drawing. From The Practice and Science of Drawing by Harold Speed. I was just telling a friend of mine that artists love books. That surprises some people, but it is totally true, especially if you love flipping through great books for drawing ideas, like I do.…

The Mystery of Head Drawing Revealed

Head drawing and the ideals of proportions have changed dramatically over the centuries. However, one thing has remained the same–a secret system of rules that few artists even know about, which are universally truthful and, when closely studied, can crack the code on understanding the mystery of how to draw the head. A Leonardo sketch…

The Emotional Bridge Between You and Your Viewer

“A line is a path that can offer an interesting and varied journey, rhythmic and with occasional, pleasurable surprises. Thus is one tempted to take the journey again.” -Krome Barratt, Logic and Design: In Art, Science, and Mathematics Creating representational art is challenging; a satisfying visual event requires more from the artist than simply transcribing…

Clubfoot Boy by Ribera

Find That Dominant Sensation

The Clubfoot Boy by Jusepe de Ribera, oil on canvas, 1642. Art…has the power to make any spot on earth the living center of the universe; and unlike science, which often gives us the illusion of understanding things we really do not understand, it helps us to know life in a way that still keeps…

Jean Drawing, ca. 1901, Pierre Auguste Renoir

Drawing on Love

“. . . in fact, the enjoyment of the sketcher from the contemplation of nature is a thing which to another is almost incomprehensible. If a person who had no taste for drawing were at once to be endowed with both the taste and power, he would feel, on looking out upon nature, almost like…

Drawing Basics: Meet Your Master and Then Throw Him Away

For this brush and ink drawing, I applied what I learned from da Vinci, but moved in my own direction. Sad is the disciple who does not advance his master. –Leonardo da Vinci Maybe you remember–in my earlier post when I recommended that you choose a master–I remarked that it was generally a good idea…

Drawing Basics: The Best Pencil?

Dan Gheno, a New York-based artist and teacher, introduced me to the Pitt oil-base sanguine pencil, and it is my favorite material to draw pencil sketches with. I like it because it has a nice warm tone reminiscent of the marks in some Renaissance and Classical drawings and because it is waxy enough to stay down on…