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!

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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…

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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…

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Drawing the Strength of Bones and Folds of Flesh

Pastel drawing by Lea Colie Wight. At Studio Incamminati, it is not unusual for instructors or fellows who are not teaching a particular class to come in to draw or paint beside the students. This happened recently when Lea Colie Wight joined in a figure drawing class taught by Steven Early. (Lea is an incredible…

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Drawing a Nose for 20 Weeks…Really?!

Drawing of a nose by Darren Kingsley with graphite pencil. The fall session at Studio Incamminati has begun, and I am taking classes with Darren Kingsley. One is in charcoal, and the other in graphite pencil. Last year as a new student, I was introduced to doing charcoal drawings in, for example, 60 seconds, five…

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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. Everyone with average eye-hand coordination can learn to draw the human figure. I mean everyone. And I’m not talking…

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Labor Is Prayer

At Studio Incamminati, student work is always pinned up on the walls for other students and visitors to see. It can be intimidating especially in the first months a student is studying here. It doesn’t matter if you are taking a day class once a week or studying here full time. Your work is on…

A pen and ink sketch of Robert Liberace's of a town in Northern Ireland.

Sketch I Will!!!!!!!

I find that being an artist or art student is a bit like being a parent. The phrase: “Do what I say, not what I do” is too often applicable. For example, as I have expressed before, my goal is sketching something every day. The sketch drawings might take one minute, such as a pencil…

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…