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!

El Moro #2, Cemetary, Old San Juan by Judith Carducci, pastel drawing.

Is It Pastel Drawing or Pastel Painting?

Stirring Up the Confusing Controversy Many pastelists consider their pieces to be paintings. Many others think of the medium in terms of drawing. To further complicate the issue, I’ve heard dozens of artists speak about the medium both in painting terms as well as drawing ones — sometimes within the span of the same breath!…

Learning how to draw a nose over 20 weeks was a lesson in patience as well as skill. This drawing of a nose is by my instructor Darren Kingsley, made with graphite pencil.

Drawing a Nose for 20 Weeks…Really?!

Delayed Gratification with How to Draw a Nose As a student at Studio Incamminati, I was introduced to doing charcoal drawings in, for example, 60 seconds, five minutes or ten minutes. We did longer ones as well, but the emphasis early on was capturing the gesture of the human form, in one or a few…

How a Stranger Becomes Your Model

Recently on Facebook, a friend asked how he may approach women about posing for him without sounding like a creep. I enjoyed reading the responses, which varied, in the spirit of Facebook, from “I long to have your curves on my canvas” to “Have your business card and smartphone ready with images of your work.”…

How to draw flames--the colors, shapes, and more

How to Draw Flames

How to Draw Flames We all know what flames are and what fire looks like–lit matches, burning candles, campfires, wildfires, and even houses on fire. For your art, adding flames to the mix can mean anything from superpowers to sci-fi disasters to people gathering together for warmth and comfort. Here are the basics of how…

Rembrandt and Homebrewing Brown Ink

Rembrandt launched my ventures in the homebrewing of ink. I live in a city that offers vast riches of art, but I personally came to draw and paint late in life. As someone who learns by doing, I wanted to reproduce Rembrandt’s rich combination of line and washes in his brown ink drawings, and wanted…

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,…

Drawing Basics: Think Egg!

Ethel Smyth by John Singer Sargent, chalk drawing, 1901. Adapted from an article by Dan Gheno Facial features can be used and contorted to tell us all kinds of things in a drawing. But you don’t always have to think up dramatic scenarios for a drawing. Ideas can be subtle, too. Like using the mere…

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…

The Avengers

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…