Tag: Drawing Basics

Portrait drawing of the Postman by Vincent Van Gogh.

Did He Have a Lust for Line?

Portrait Drawing & Vincent Van Gogh There are a few artists that I wouldn’t like to watch working. It is always addictive to see someone drawing in a sketchbook or painting in the studio. But after seeing what Van Gogh could do with simple line to create a portrait drawing, I would definitely put him…

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…

Plein air art: Depictions of "controlled nature" were a hallmark of Monet's style.

The Romance for Impressionism Is Overrated

Plein Air Art Strategies of Monet & More I used to think so romantically about Monet, Pissarro, and the other Impressionists. Not romantic like Manet is so dreamy; romantic as in idealizing this particular group of painters—thinking they stepped outside of their studios and, snap, Impressionism just happened. Veneration can sometimes blind the mind’s eye…

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The Blind Contour Exercise — Good Drawings Start Here

Beginner Drawings — Start with a Simple Line The Blind Contour drawing exercise is a fundamental tool that can help artists create their first beginner drawings as well as experienced artists learn to reacquaint themselves with the power of observation. Popularized by Kimon Nicolaïdes in his 1941 book The Natural Way to Draw: A Working…

Frank Weitzman, artist

Shrink Your Painting–Does It Still Work?

What Makes Small Canvas Paintings Loom Large? I don’t mean literally shrink it, though small canvas paintings are proving more and more popular these days, but if you take a photo of your painting and reduce it to the size of a thumbnail and it still holds together compositionally, you’ve got a good piece on…

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The Hybrid Method of Painting and Drawing

Pastel Painting Landscapes — Tips for Success When I’m hiking or walking in the woods, my attention span is really short. I flit from activity to activity, sight to sight, just trying to take it all in. That’s why pastel painting is a perfect fit for me when I want to create art outdoors. I…

Female Posterior by Benjamin Shamback, 2005, charcoal, 30 x 20.

Best Paper for Charcoal Drawing

Artists have drawn on virtually every kind of paper every produced. All types of drawing paper have their own unique characteristics. Some papers, like Bristol board, are more difficult to erase from. Others, like newsprint, are not archival. How a draftsman chooses a paper most often reflects what the drawing is meant to be or…

The Three Graces by Patricia Hannaway, charcoal and chalk drawing.

If You Don’t Get Loose

Sketching As a Starting Point It’s tricky when an activity involves technique but is actually done best when you just get loose and let things happen naturally and effortlessly. Dancing is that way, and learning how to draw and sketching are, in part, that way too. There are a lot of things that you can…

Cheers to the human form, figure painting, and
how it continues to inspire. Water
Serpents II by Gustav Klimt, 1904.

Cheers to Conquering My Fear

A Toast to Quiet Moments, Figure Painting & More   As I am faced with being a little over a month into this “new” year, I wanted to take the opportunity to belatedly craft a toast to 2016 and acknowledge all the great art that has been created in the past and has yet to…

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Do You Want to Paint Like the Old Masters?

What was emulation? The classical formation of artists and architects in the Renaissance and Baroque took the apprentice on a trajectory from imitation to emulation to invention. If imitation was the foundation of an artist’s training–copying a master’s drawings, drawing from casts, eventually drawing from the live model–emulation marked the stage where the apprentices began…

Boldini's abstract painting style

He Has a Sketchy Side

Giovanni Boldini & Abstract Painting But sketchy can be a very good thing in this context! When I was trolling for artists who draw like they paint and vice versa, Giovanni Boldini immediately came to mind. His mark making is a tour de force, no matter if he is working in oils, pastels, or when…

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No Two Shadows Are Alike

Beginner Drawing Shading Tips I am usually heartened when I hear disagreements about matters of art and technique. Maybe I’m just combative that way, but more likely, I think I take such debates as a sign that there are more artists coming to the table, that the field is growing and evolving, and that there’s…