Improving technique

Improving technique: What happens if 30 seconds isn't enough?

Reconsider what "enough" means. Many artists get caught up in this idea that they need to produce a "sketch" in each 30 second window of time, and this becomes an impossible goal if in your mind a "sketch" is actually a semi-complete picture in pencil. Relax; you are doing just fine. Almost no one can actually get a "complete" drawing done in 30 seconds. That's actually the point — by giving... Continue reading

Improving technique: Be the master of your pencil

There are two extremely common concerns that are expressed to me through email, comments and forum posts, that both have their answer in better control over how much weight you place on your pencil when drawing. The first is being unable to go from under-drawing construction to completed work without seeing the "messy" under-drawing peeking from underneath. The second is being unable to produce anything... Continue reading

Improving technique: Starting to use colour in your life drawings

At the beginning of the year, I asked you what your artistic challenges were. An enormous number of you confessed to not knowing how to get started with color! Kenzo & Mayko from stepped up to the plate to provide this wonderful primer on getting started with color in your figure drawings. Thanks so much, Kenzo & Mayko! Be sure to check out Continue reading

Improving technique: Giving good critique

When to give critique Someone has asked you to critique their work? Wow! That must mean that they think you are talented, intelligent, and all around wonderful. Good on you! But hold on! As flattering as it is, don't automatically say yes. The person asking you for critique is someone actively looking to improve their work. They may be committed to practicing to improve in the problem areas that... Continue reading

Improving technique: Benefiting from critique

One of the hardest - and most important - skills for an artist to master is taking critique. It can sting to hear that there are flaws in your hard work, and the natural impulse is to shut down, become defensive, and try to explain away issues in the work as not your fault. A favorite refrain of people who are having trouble taking critique is "this was just a quick sketch." But no matter how... Continue reading