Learn from the Masters

A blog of Old Master painting and drawing techniques for artists who want to learn how to paint and learn how to draw in the classical ways of Rembrandt, Leonardo, Van Gogh, and more.

Shah Jahan, Remembrandt | Shorthand Drawing Techniques | Artist Daily

The Shorthand Drawing Style of a Certifiable Genius

Rembrandt Was Brill. Drawing Tutorials That Show You Why… Okay, I don’t even know how to certify a genius, but I know I am right about one thing: Rembrandt was one. The greatest of the great Dutch masters, Rembrandt made art that was a revelation then and now. That goes for his paintings, of course,…

Watercolor painting by Frank Webb.

20 Master Watercolor Teachers Offer Their Best Advice

What Puts a Watercolor Beginner on the Expert Path? Every master was once a student. Every watercolor beginner deserves to hear–straight from the best teachers around–what can put them on that expert path. We contacted instructors worldwide with the expectation that they would each offer a distinctly different set of recommendations for today’s painters. Instead,…

Masters: The Academy Drawings of Pierre-Paul Prud'hon

Prud’hon drew from the figure throughout his career, and now those “académies” anchor his reputation. How did he draw such stunning figure studies? by Ephraim Rubenstein   Standing Nudecharcoal heightened with white chalk on blue paper, 24 x 13¾. Collection Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, Massachusetts. Notice how Prud’hon drew the hatching down the…

Masters: John Ruskin and His Influence on American Art

During the second half of the 19th century a single writer held enormous sway over the hearts and minds of American artists, critics, and their public. by John A. Parks Devonport and Dockyard, Devonshireby Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1825–1829, watercolor and gouache with scratch work on cream wove paper, 11¾ x 17. All artwork this…

Masters: Ingres Materials

Ingres taught us much about contours and portraiture. Here, we offer an excerpt from the feature about how the artist's use of graphite on smooth white paper was ahead of his time. by Mark G. Mitchell Portrait of La Principessa Fiano1817, graphite, 8 5/8 x 6 13/16. Private collection. “So familiar to us are both…

Masters: Rubens' Drawings: The Marks of a Prolific Master

Juggling dozens of commissions at once, Peter Paul Rubens and his staff created hundreds of dynamic drawings and oil sketches. by John A. Parks Self-portrait1638–1640, oil, 43 x 33½. Collection Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria. Born in 1577 and based in Antwerp, Belgium, Peter Paul Rubens towered over the art of the 17th century as an…

Masters: Whistler’s Mark

This expatriate American turned away from realism to create an art of stylish and ethereal beauty, ably represented in his drawings. by John A. Parks Crouching Figure in The White Symphony: Three Girls 1869-1870, chalk on brown paper, 10 5/8 x 10¾. Collection the Freer + Sackler Galleries, Washington, DC. Black Lion Wharf 1859, etching,…

Masters: Ingres in His Own Words

Some of  Ingres' most prized advice about the art of drawing.   “To draw does not mean simply to reproduce contours; drawing does not consist merely of line: drawing is also expression. The inner form, the plane, modeling. See what remains after that. Drawing includes three and a half quarters of the content of painting.…

Masters: Drawing Out Sargent

As well as any artist before or since, John Singer Sargent learned the best lessons in value, light, and form and used them throughout his life—lessons clearly visible in his drawings.     by Mark G. Mitchell Sleeping Child1872–1873, graphite on off-white wove paper, 1111/18 x 811/18. Collection The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New…