Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Eyes Have It

Reference photo
I had the pleasure of giving a drawing demonstration at Jerry's Artarama in Virginia Beach this past Saturday where I teach a weekly drawing class. I chose a reference photo from morguefile.com, a great resource for copyright free photos. I quickly blocked in my major shapes at home before the demo simply to save a few minutes. This is how far I got after about two hours, working on 14x17" Canson drawing paper. I prefer to work in layers, slowly building up my values to ensure that they all work together and to make sure I don't get

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Fear of the Blank White Page

One of the things that can be nerve-wracking about creating any kind of art is confronting a brand new, pristine white canvas or sheet of paper. You might catch yourself thinking, "The moment I make a mark on this, I might screw it all up!" I think this is something that's kept me from drawing and painting as much as I should - it sometimes still happens. As artists, when we decide to create, we're committing to physically make something that will be seen by many people, and our natural desire for perfection and fear of rejection may make us freeze up and create nothing at all. But you can get past this.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Go-To Drawing Materials

One of the lovely things about drawing is that the materials necessary are relatively inexpensive and easily portable. These are the tools I find indispensible:

Graphite pencils. I have a box set ranging from 2H to 6B, plus a 4H and 8B. I also keep a boxcutter handy to whittle away the wood. More on that later.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Beginning Drawing: "Where do I start?"

I'm the kind of person who flips through art books incessantly but rarely sits down to read what the book actually says. (So no, the irony of me writing anything at all that I hope/expect others to read does not escape me.) I say this because whenever I find a promising book with how-to information, I want to skip the wording and just study the images to see if I can recreate them. I suppose I can sometimes get away with this since I've been drawing and painting intermittently for over 30 years, but in all honesty I'd be an even better artist if I were disciplined and paid attention to the books.

Now I've gotten to the point where I'm teaching others to paint and draw, and I am eternally grateful to every single student I've worked with. Not only do I have the pleasure of seeing their growth, I find they keep me energized, make me a better artist, and push me to articulate different aspects of the craft in ways that help the absolute beginner. There's nothing more satisfying to both student and teacher than seeing that light bulb go off and their artwork leap off the page with life and brilliance!

So to begin. What does a wannabe artist really need to start drawing?