Tag Archives: drawing

It’s Sunday. Let’s make some art. Here’s some links to help with that.

First off, if you are stuck on the the never ending question:  Why make art ? then read that. Austin Kleon has an answer: art gives you a chance to study something you love in depth.

Ok, let’s talk tools. I love these pens. If you’re wondering how to use them: How do you use a Micron pen to draw? | In My Sketchbook. Speaking of tools, I love conte…more on that hereConte Crayon – Drawing Techniques – Joshua Nava Arts. and  Drawing with Conte crayons.

Instagram has some good advice for artists. For example: here’s some good drawing advice from Instagram. Also from IG: how to make flesh color with paint.

For people struggling with this: draw a head with a 5×8 box, read that. If you are  drawing on toned paper, then read that.

You may not be Andy but you can silkscreen like Andy Warhol.

This is helpful if you are stuck wondering what to paint: DPW – The DPW Painting Challenges. This is a good way to get better: get faster …How to draw faster 

I just like these: Amy Beager’s Dreamy Paintings.

Finally, a cool way to turn photos into images you can collage with Photo Editor: BeFunky.

What do Kent Monkman and Christopher Pratt have in common? (or what I find interesting in art, November 2021)

Well besides being Canadian artists, they are both featured in this post! 🙂

In addition to those great artists, here are other things I’ve found interesting in art recently.

Artists: Here’s a strong story: Julie Green Artist Who Memorialized Inmate’s Last Suppers Dies at 60 . I was really struck by this piece about her. She did important art and it’s well worth reading about her and her work. More on that here: Dish by Dish Art of Last Meals.

This was an amazing story: Art Enthusiast Spots Long-Lost Sculpture by Black Folk Artist in Missouri Front Yard. I liked this story:  The Gilded Age painter devoted to scenes of every-day life around him. Also this one was good:  A TikTok Subway Artist Finds His Way to the Lower East Side

This made me sad: Bernini Bust of a Woman He Abused Exhibited Alongside Photographs of Survivors . I have always been a fan of Bernini. That he was brutally cruel to Costanza Buonarelli (the woman who was the victim) is not something I can ever reconcile with how much I love his work.

This is a good little piece on a work by  KENT MONKMAN: “DANDY”. And here is a great study of how Christopher Pratt created one of my favorite works: Pedestrian Tunnel”.

How-to: I’ve been doing some drawing and watercolor these days. I’ve moved on from being a frustrated artists to actually making some basic art. This is a good tool for that: Free Interactive 3D Model for Drawing Figures Dynamic Poses and More Online Drawing Mannequin.

Relatedly, I found these useful. Here’s some good tips so you can get Better at Drawing. This helped: Learn how to draw a face in 8 easy steps: Beginners. So did this:  Draw a Self-Portrait. As did this: Human Anatomy Fundamentals: Basic Body Proportions .

I’ve been interested in multimedia, so I was into this: Using Acrylics in Collage, and this: How to Adhere Paper to Canvas, and also this: The Best Paint To Use For A Beautiful Collage Painting.

Music:  most of my art interest is visual, but I also like these music links:  Guitar Trainer by Acoustro, and The Complete Beginner Saxophone Course, 
and this 5 Minutes That Will Make You Love Bach.

Finally: this looks like a good book: Your Art Will Save Your Life

(Image is a link to the piece on Pratt.)

On Palomino Blackwing pencils

Plenty of people are big fans of these pencils, including the person who wrote this: Palomino Blackwing Pencils review | Creative Bloq. (10/10) One thing they highlighted about them was their softness:

The Blackwing is the softest, then the Pearl, then the 602. We would compare them to 5B, 4B and 3B pencils in value.

I’ve been using a Blackwing consistently over the past few week and I found that as well: it does write like a 4-5B pencil. If you like that kind of line, great. If you like a harder lead like I do, you might want to avoid them.

Other reasons to avoid them are they are expensive and you have to sharpen them a lot because soft.

It’s a nice looking pencil. But I think I might stick to harder pencils that cost less.

When you don’t know what to create, record what you know

When you don’t know what to create, record what you know. I was reminded of that rule when admiring the paintings of Rachel Campbell, here:  Colorful Oil Paintings Depict Give a Glimpse into the Life of the Artist.

If you are trying to write or draw or paint, you may be stuck with two problems: being able to make things look “nice” and not knowing what to make. Recording what you know solves those two problems. You know what you are going to make: a recording of what is in front of you. And even if you don’t make a good recording (i.e. it isn’t “nice”), I can assure you years from now you will look at it and say “oh that! I forgot all about that, but I am glad I have a recording of it now!”

Here’s another tip: ask yourself what is something you know that you Love or think is Beautiful. Whether it’s a place or a person or a thing or even a time of day, record that. When you see it, you won’t think the lines aren’t great or the colour is wonky: you will see the Thing you Love or think is Beautiful. Others will think it too.

Here’s a final tip: record something of your era. Include something fashionable, or technology, or anything that is not long lasting. Years from now it will be fascinating to your or others. “Look at that old phone”,  they’ll say. Or “look how cheap everything is”, or “look at that dress”.  You get the idea.

Sure you can take a photo, and it may be a good photo. But put some creative thought and effort into it. Your art will get better, and the work you produce will be better.

(Image is a link to the article in My Modern Met.)

If you are afraid to draw, blind contour drawing is a good way to start

There are several benefits of blind contour drawing:

  1. if you are afraid you can’t draw “well”, then use blind contour drawing. Chances are it won’t look like the thing you are drawing, and that’s ok. But you will learn and get better at drawing.
  2. it is a good way to be mindful. If you are focused on doing a blind contour drawing, it’s hard to think of anything else
  3. It’s a good way to shake off your bad habits that you may have picked up.

Here’s some good links to help you learn more about it:

(Image is a link to the Austin Kleon post)

On Vija Celmins


I first came across Celmins work at a large exhibit recently at the AGO and was so blown away by it. I love the detail and the abstaction of her art. You can get really lost in just one of her works. I know I did when I saw them. I think you will too.

I was doing some research on her and I found these articles to be good. If you want to learn more about her, check them out:

  1. Vija Celmins – 11 artworks – painting
  2. Explore the art of Vija Celmins – Look Closer | Tate
  3. Vija Celmins’s Surface Matters | The New Yorker

Hobbies, or how to start drawing even if the idea terrifies you


Yesterday I encouraged you to take up a hobby. If you haven’t decided on one yet, I recommend drawing. You may be terrified or at least put off by the idea of taking up drawing. It’s ok. Many people feel that way. To help you, here’s some good links to get you thinking at least of taking up drawing.

Lots of good advice there in those links. As for books, I highly recommend the book above. It is superb. It can be hard to find, but these folks seem to have it.

Quote

Great advice on how to get better at drawing that can be applied to anything

I have been trying to get better at drawing lately, but I have been floundering. Much of what I have been drawing is poor by my standards. Poor and not getting better. To try and get better, I was trying different media and different tools (coloured pencils, watercolour, etc.). All these different things didn’t help. I was stuck.

Then I came across this video and had an a-ha moment. It’s really good. I recommend you take a few minutes and watch it.

In a nutshell, the idea is to focus. Focus on drawing one thing. Don’t do what I was doing, which was a little bit of everything. A little bit of everything didn’t add up to anything.

What I found was that by focusing, I didn’t have to think of what to do, I just did it. In his case he drew emus. In my case I drew robots. Just dozens of robots. I would start by drawing a shape and then adding to the shape. Or I’d start with a theme (a book robot) and use that to draw. The drawing didn’t have to be good, though I tried to make it good. Regardless of good or bad, what I discovered was that I was learning more about drawing from each picture. Before, I would think: what shall I do to practice drawing and get better? Now I don’t think, I just draw, and I am naturally getting better.

I think this can be true of any skill. Take running for example. You might fear starting because you don’t know anything about how to run well. Fine, just pick a short distance and run it. Do that over and over. Each time you do, you will learn something. Maybe you are running too fast. Or too slow. Or too long. Or too much. Take notes each time and look to improve. If you get stuck, do some research and try to apply it. The next thing you know you will be much better at it then you were only a short time ago.

Anyway, watch the video and then think about how you can apply it to your own life. You will improve. Keep with it.

Here’s a link to the video: The drawing advice that changed my life – YouTube

Speaking of keeping to it, he has another great video about “not getting off the bus”. I highly recommend that too. You can find it here.

Quote

Two ways to relieve stress and be mindful without meditating

The first one is make art. It can be of anything with anything. Draw, make collages, do simple painting. Anything. Why? As David Hockney says:

“We need art, and I do think it can relieve stress,” he said. “What is stress? It’s worrying about something in the future. Art is now.”

And if you can find the ingredients, try and bake bread. It’s also good for getting you to focus on the now and stop worrying about the future.

Read both pieces I’ve linked to. Then get busy.

Quote

Free Picture Stencil Maker

This is a nice little tool if you want to turn a photograph into a stencil or drawing: Free Picture Stencil Maker.

If you wanted to simplify an image, this can help. For example, if you wanted to break down an image for painting or drawing, this could be really useful.

Give it a try!

 

Quote

The wonderful portraits of Adam Riches


These works, one of which is shown above, are fantastic: Scribbled Portraits of Brooding Figures by Adam Riches | Colossal.

Go to Colossal for more.

 

Something beautiful: Italo Calvino’s ‘Invisible Cities’, Illustrated

Artist Karina Puente is illustrating  Italo Calvino’s ‘Invisible Cities’ and the web site ArchDaily has a sample of some of her work, including the image you see above.

I hadn’t expected to like illustrations of this book. The writing itself is so evocative, I would have thought that illustration would limit it.  I make an exception for these works: they complement rather than reduce the writing.

I’d love to see an edition of Invisible Cities filled with Puente’s illustrations. For now, we can enjoy what we see at Archdaily.com.

Do you know someone (maybe you) who wants to make comics or cartoons?

Then send them over to this really smart post by Sarah McIntyre: i want to make cartoons & comics but i have no idea where to start!. It’s packed with great advice and plenty of links for anyone who would love to do this but is stuck on how to start.

Superb. (Image is a link to her post.)

For people with big todo lists and/or like to draw on walls

I give you this:

I really like this idea, but then I am an IT architect and we like to stand up and draw on walls (ok, whiteboards). A whiteboard would also work, but if you have kids, there may be times when you want to save anything they did. Or never mind kids: maybe your own doodle was keep sake worthy.

By the way, you can get such paper dispensers at IKEA. Most people mount them on a table, but clearly the wall is an option too.

Wall-Mounted Kraft Paper Roll Dispenser – Design Milk.