Tag: Drawing Basics

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…

Daniel in the Lion's Den by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, c. 1614/1616, oil on canvas.

Know Your Model

Painting Animals in the Right Environments It always makes me smile when I see an artist who loves a pet so much that the drawing or painting they do of their four-legged companion comes out a little like a tall tale, where Snowball the pet cat is drawn like a wild lion prowling the grasslands.…

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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.”…

Frank Weitzman, artist

Shrink Your Painting–Does It Still Work?

What Is Linear Perspective in Art? I don’t mean literally shrink it, but if you take a photo of your painting and reduce it to thumbnail size and it still holds together compositionally, you’ve got a good piece on your hands. For this to happen, big shapes matter and so does perspective. I look at…

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Take Advantage of the Sights Around You

Pencil Sketch & Come Back Later I typically don’t carry around a sketchbook, but during this time of year I could make an exception. There is so much going on, and it seems like everywhere I look there’s a composition  waiting to be found, a color scheme that excites because of its drama, or just…

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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…