Tag: How To Draw

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…

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…

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.…

How to Draw Flames. Scot's Bay Evening by Alan Bateman, acrylic painting. Alan has painted the flames of the campfire in white with a hint of yellow. What is really exceptional is the smoldering wood--reddish and purple--toward the bottom right of the painting. The differences in texture between the two areas of flame really enliven the piece.

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…

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…

Colored Pencil: Waiting for Nightfall by Anna Hammer.

They Can Be Moody, Too

The Depth of Colored Pencil I’ll admit that in the past I have been guilty of thinking of colored pencil art as colorful and bright and not necessarily able to be coupled with serious subjects or moody narratives. But that was my own bias. As I’ve spent time looking at sketchbooks of draftsmen creating colored…

I Need a GPS for Drawing Faces

Drawing faces is a little like reading a map. And no, not the cool Indiana Jones map where the red line draws itself to the destination and ‘X’ marks the spot. I wish! It is more that when learning how to draw people, there are a few “signposts” on the face and rules of thumb…

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. Drawing Skills Everyone Has Everyone with average eye-hand coordination can learn to draw the human figure. I mean everyone.…

Drawings: Rockwell Kent Moby Dick

Hunting the White Whale

Rockwell Kent’s Drawings of Moby-Dick Art makes stories come alive. To me, it is as simple as that. And sometimes without art, there is no story-—or, at least, it’s not quite as good. This was the case for the great American novel Moby-Dick. It is hard to imagine that Melville’s opus was once relatively unknown,…

Mixed media drawing by Alex Powers.

Drawing Expressive Faces

When I was a kid, my mom always cut coupons on Sunday morning. I’d sit beside her and do the same, but I’d flip through magazines and newspapers and cut out pictures I liked or lettering that I thought was neat, and I never gave up my artsy coupon clipping habit because it’s a great…