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!

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…

A student drawing of the legs that are incorrectly straight.

Common Mistakes of Drawing the Leg

The leg is not a straight line. A common misconception when drawing this limb is the idea that a leg that is not bent forms a straight line. This is far from the reality. One of the ways that will help with understanding the body and, therefore, the ability to draw it is thinking in…

Here's how it all looks working together for when I'm out sketching.

Pocket Sketching

Sketching on location is definitely one of the most powerful sources of information, joy, and inspiration for an artist. At least for me. I love to paint cityscapes–the buildings, roads, cars, and people. To collect ideas for my paintings I just walk around seeking nice views, great light, and interesting compositions. And I carry a…

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Drawing Basics: Varying Your Mark Making

Last time we discussed the idea of switching up art practice techniques. The concept was that, while repetition builds skills, change keeps the mind sharp and the work lively. I’ve been thinking about ways I personally switch up techniques. The first I think of is variation in mark-making. Consider these two drawings. Both are from…

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The Art of Slow Time

I have tried hard the past few years–with mixed success–to avoid answering the question, “How are you doing?” with the response “Really busy.” Some blame our cultural “time shortage” on the clock, progress, and our obsession with “now.” But the artist’s studio can be a place where we reset the clock to an alternate set…

Audubon painting

Drawing Basics: Where Did Your Love of Drawing Come From?

Somewhat regularly, we hear from featured draftsmen that their love of drawing originated with or was initially nurtured by comic books more than more classical work like figure drawing. The superheroes in their pages may have had exaggerated muscles, but their proportions were otherwise reasonably close to reality, their gestures were dynamic and convincing, and…

Captain America by Lee Bermejo.

Comics: The True Descendants of Classic Art

Fine art has evolved in many directions, but comic book art has retained a strain of DNA from classical times. The heroic Greek gods were the forbearers of our modern superheroes and the portrayal of those heroes has carried on in the tradition of how modern artists portray comic book heroes. All artists who study…

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Crossing Over From Copying to Creating

Drawing Basics–The Transition from Copying to Creating I suggested in my previous blog that the difference between an excellent draftsperson versed in anatomy, perspective, elements of drawing and all the other disciplines needed to produce a realistic, believable figure drawing and an artist is that the latter uses the realistic, believable figure drawing as a…

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How to Draw Caricatures

How does one draw caricatures? Believe it or not that is one of the most commonly asked questions that I get about learning to draw. Everyone wants to know the secret and I tell them there is no one secret. In fact, there are THREE!!! The first is simple–good draftsmanship. The second is great distortion,…

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Drawing On Timeless Principles Before Techniques

Our best efforts are spent on timeless principles before specific techniques.— Juliette Aristides, Lessons in Classical Drawing Juliette Aristides, artist and author. I'm Juliette Aristides, an artist, educator, and author based in Seattle, Washington. I have joined on at Artist Daily as a blogger and wanted to introduce myself to all of you. I strongly…

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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 for…