HOW TO DRAW: 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

How to Draw Cartoon Dogs - An Easy Tutorial

There are various ways to draw a dog. Here I will describe one procedure which is easy and can be used by people with different skill levels from beginner to intermediate. You can use these instructions to draw the dog either on paper or on your computer. You will find the required diagrams for this tutorial at URL given bellow.

Draw four circular shapes position and them vertically as shown in the diagram. The top most shape will form the head of the dog. The one bellow it will be the snout of the dog. And the lowest two are for the dog's body. Draw the ears on the top most shape as shown in the figure. Two small circles and will form the eyes of the dog. Place two half circles around the eyes these will be eye brows of you cartoon dog.

Now make another small circle concentric to the circle for the snout this is the tip of the dog's nose. You can check the figure to see the placement of it.

Now draw the legs. Your dog will be in sitting position so the front legs will be straight whereas the hind legs will be folded. Once you are done with these steps add some details like the neck and mouth.

Lastly erase the construction lines that are not part of the cartoon dog's body. For making the drawing beautiful you should be drawing the construction line with 2H pencil applying as little pressure as possible. Once you finish your work and erase the construction lines you can redraw your dog with deep lines. You can also use inking pen to ink your drawing. Proper inking will make your dog livelier.

Learn To Draw Simple Stuff First

What is going wrong with my drawing?... Why Can't I draw?

Here are 2 questions that are asked by people who think they can't draw.

Do you know something... "Yes, you can draw"

And, what's more you can draw anything you want to draw... Landscapes, Portraits, Cars, Cats and Dogs. Its easy when you know how... But first learn to draw. Learn to draw 'simple' before you try complicated stuff.

Watch a professional artist draw a portrait... An artist puts in the simple framework first with light pencil marks. Then the artist looks again at the subject in front to make sure that everything is right. Only when satisfied does the artist move on towards the finished drawing

A professional artist is careful about preparing properly before working towards a finished drawing. "So, how can you expect to learn to draw without equal care?"

The artist makes simple marks to learn about the subject... To get the idea of form. To understand the function of the object. To feel the sensation of texture.

"Do you really think you can learn to draw expertly without keeping it simple first?"

Imagine you have a bowl of fruit on a table... 2 Apples, 1 Pear, a Bunch of Grapes and a Banana. You want to draw a picture. It is a simple still-life study. But, you will make a mess of it unless you see...

  1. The Apples are almost circular
  2. The Pear is 'Pear-shaped'
  3. The Grapes are round but smaller than the apple
  4. The Banana is long and curved
  5. The top edge of the circular bowl looks like an oval (a squashed circle)
  6. The straight lines of the edges of the table sides seem to want to join somewhere in the distance

All of this is obvious to you... Yet, unless you see the key words in the list you can't start to draw well. The key words are... Circular, Pear-shaped, Round, Curved, Oval and Straight lines.

Here's a 3- part challenge for you before you try to draw anything... Learn how to draw lines... Practice drawing circles... Discover how to sketch with curves.

Even if your lines aren't perfectly straight your drawing will improve. Even if your circles aren't exactly round your drawings will become better. And, when your curves are drawn loosely and freely your own individual drawing style will be released.

Transform your drawing skills... Learn to draw simple stuff first... Draw Lines, Circles, Arcs and Curves.

Get your Free Drawing Lesson and discover how simple lines and circles help you create a Moonscape Drawing.

Michael Dale is the author of 1- Color Is Best (the quick and easy way to learn to paint watercolor) and 3- Colors Are All You Need (mix any color you want fast using only 3 colors). Contact to find out more.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

5 Drafting Tables Perfect For The Drawing Artist And Businessman

Finding a quality drafting table to suit your needs can make a huge difference in the quality of your work. You want to go with something that is comfortable, easy to adjust to, and fits with how you need to use it. Here are 5 different drafting tables to consider when looking on the market.

1. Professional drafting table
Professional drafting tables are ideal for professional architects, engineers, artists, drafters, and everything in between. These tables will offer you professional features and a sturdy construction for stability. Because of the well build design, you can expect these tables to last you for many years. At the same time, you can expect to pay for many years worth of use with a hefty bill.

2. Folding drafting table
As you may have guessed, folding drafting tables do coincidently fold up. The bonus to this is that you can easily move your table wherever you wish to work. This can be convenient for artists who are on the go and want to work on the site. They are rather light for easy transportation. The downside to these tables is that they are not very sturdy and typically do not last longer than a few years depending on the usage you put into it.

3. Wood drafting table
Wood drafting tables are the traditional and contemporary design that people think of. There are many different brands and kinds of wood that are used to create these tables giving you a number of different choices. Another option is to have these tables custom built for you so that you can have a mounting system for your computer. The sky is the limit with wood tables.

4. Four-post design
A four-post design offers the highest stability and strength in a drafting table that you will find. And what is great about a four-post design is that you get incredible stability at a reasonable price. These designs are the perfect addition to your office, home, or for school. While they will not last quite as long as a professional table and do not have as many features, this is toward the top of the list with drafting tables.

5. Artist table
If you are an artist, you are well aware of the need to find a drafting table that tilts 90 degrees. Because of the need to draw and paint at different angles, having a table specifically for artists is essential. These tables are also known as a tilt top artist table. With these tables, you have the ability to use as a horizontal work surface as well as a large art easel.

The options are endless when it comes to shopping for drawing tables. The five listed above are certainly the most common tables purchased, but there are plenty more you can find. This list will help you get started, though, on your quest for finding the perfect drawing table.

Craig Thornburrow is an acknowledged expert in his field. You can get more free advice on a drafting table and a used drafting table at

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

How to Draw Fantasy Creatures

Drawing fantasy creatures takes some skills that go beyond the normal realm of drawing because you can’t find a subject to pose for you – unless you live in an enchanted forest! So you are faced with not only the task of learning how to draw you are also faced with the challenge of tapping into your imagination and then putting this down on paper. Here are some solid tips that will help you imagine and draw better fantasy creatures.

How to Tap into your Imagination

Doodling and drawing with a free style is the best way to get your creativity and imagination flowing. The process to follow is to simply draw quick sketches and then modify them as things start to appear. It goes something like this: Draw a roughly human shaped head then start to add a body to it but don’t consciously make it a human body, vary your lines and see where it goes. You will be surprised by what happens. Your eye will start to see things in a different way and you will create some fantastic creatures. These should only be quick sketches and you should draw lots of them – fill the sheet of paper and see where the drawings go. This is a great way to come up with the initial idea for a new fantasy creature.
Changing the shape of existing creatures and animals – Many of the most familiar fantasy creatures are variations of familiar animals. A Unicorn is a variation of a horse and a Dragon is a variation of a Dinosaur. Think of other creatures and doodle their rough shape while thinking up variations. What would a cat look like if it had scales instead of fur? Or how about a Giraffe with short legs?
The Power of Combining Animals – this is a very powerful way to create new fantasy creatures and Greek Mythology is loaded with this kind of beast. A Centaur is half man and half horse; and a mermaid is half woman and half fish. The possibilities are endless and when you are doodling out ideas don’t limit yourself to just upper and lower body combinations. Try combining limbs, torsos, heads, hands, feet or anything else that strikes you.
The creative power of distortion – Often times fantasy creatures are distortions of humans or other animals. Think of your drawing as a lump of clay that you can mold into any shape. Distort the arms, legs, torso, head or anything else. This will reap some great results. If you draw a human that is very skinny with an oversized head you are heading toward something goblin-like. And if you draw a human that is very thick and stocky you might be heading toward a Troll or Ogre.
Here are a couple of unusual ways to tap into your imagination and create unusual fantasy creatures. Try making an unusual sound then try to draw the creature or beast that would make that sound. Or write out a description in words for your beast then try to draw it. These two techniques bring other parts of your brain into the process not just your hand-eye coordination.

The Mechanics of How to Draw Better Fantasy Creatures

Everything relates to human anatomy – If you practice drawing people you will get much better at drawing fantasy creatures. The same basic rules of musculature and skeletal understructure apply to all biological creatures – even made up ones. Remember: Skin or fur is something that covers muscles and bones but don’t completely hide it. The bones and muscles show through. So draw more people and your fantasy creatures will improve.
Draw more existing creatures - Fantasy creatures are almost always variations of creatures and animals that already exist. If you want to draw a dragon you should think about and look at pictures of dinosaurs and large lizards. If you want to draw a unicorn you should use a horse as your model. And there are many variations on the human form. If you want to draw a dwarf, an elf or a goblin you can use the human form as a perfect starting point. The important thing to remember is that the more horses you draw the better your unicorns will be and the more dinosaurs you draw the better your dragons will be. And the best thing about this is that you can easily find pictures of horses and dinosaurs to look at while you draw.
Use your drawing tools for more expression – When drawing a creature you have to think of its disposition. Is it a gentle creature or a mean creature? Use your pencil in a way that expresses this. Dark, bold and sharp lines are usually better when drawing angry or scary creatures and soft lines are usually better for gentle, mythical creatures. This is something that is often overlooked but it is very important. You are using your pencil in a way that goes beyond just drawing lines. And this applies to a whole spectrum of techniques including short lines, long lines, choppy lines and even shading.
Don’t hesitate to look at and copy other peoples work. Carefully looking at other fantasy work will improve your work dramatically. When doing a copy you are forced to see things you wouldn’t normally see and this is a great way to learn how to do it yourself. – Just don’t claim the creature as your own.
Keep a sketch and doodle book and work in it often. This is something that works real well for me because looking over many pages of doodles you have done in the past will often inspire new ideas for drawings of creatures.
Drawing fantasy creatures is a challenging yet rewarding hobby. It has the dual benefit of improving your ability to draw while cultivating your creativity and imagination. With a bit of practice and an understanding of these basic tips you will be drawing some amazing fantasy creatures in no time at all.

Will Kalif is a writer and artist of fantasy. If you would like to learn more about drawing fantasy and medieval creations check out his free fantasy art school at:The Fantasy Art School

Or you can visit his site devoted to fantasy, creativity, and all things medieval on the web at: Storm The

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

How To Draw People - How To Use Gesture When Drawing People

When you are learning how to draw the human figure, it helps bring your drawing to life when you use gesture correctly. People's gestures are very dynamic and showing their gestures are key when draw the human figure.

Imagine for a moment that the body is 3 blocks; one block for the skull; one block for the rib cage and one block for the hips. These blocks can be positioned any way you want and then once the gesture is established, the arms and legs have very few options left for them to be placed in... In other words, once you find your gesture, your drawing is almost done. In a drawing with good gesture, you should be able to draw a line down the center of your figure.

That line should twist with the angle of the shoulders, hips and skull, so that the line has an "S" shaped curve to it. Once the 3 blocks are positioned so that the "S" is established, the next step is to be concerned with the direction the 3 blocks are facing. The 3 blocks should not be facing the same direction. Try drawing 3 blocks all facing the same direction and see how flat the drawing looks.

Now draw the head and hips facing the same way and the rib cage facing a different direction. Notice how dynamic and round the gesture feels once you have drawn it with those angles.

A really good example of this principle is Michelangelo’s "David". There are no two points on this figure that are parallel, for example, shoulders, hips, hands, feet, etc. The head, chest and hips are facing slightly different directions in this sculpture.

Creating a good "S" curve is the first step in any drawing or sculpture. All of your anatomy will be subservient to the gesture. For example, if your gesture indicates one hip lower than another, then one leg is going to be straight and one has to be bent.

The bottom line with gesture is, if you start a drawing with the “S” shaped curve, you have a good base to start a figure from.

Adam Reeder is a professional artist who is currently working on a masters degree at The San Francisco Academy of Art University. Visit his website at

Friday, September 21, 2007

Digitizer Tablets for Digital Drawing

If you want to drawing freehand images directly onto your computer, then you need a digitizer tablet. It functions like a touch screen commonly used for tablet PCs except that it has a blank screen and is more sensitive to pressure. You can directly draw on the tablet with a puck and stylus, a pointing device that has over 16 control buttons for adjusting the image attributes of your drawing. Your drawing won't appear on the tablet itself, but it will appear on the computer screen.

Digitizer tablet models – Which is better?

Digitizer tablets have different models and most of them are able to draw thicker lines when you increase your stroke pressure. There are also high-end tablets capable of drawing features that are more realistic, with paint splatters and ink drips.

1. Command size digitizer tablets – Commonly used for diagrams, freehand drawings and graphic design, they can be installed on your desktop or placed on your lap. Sizes ranges from 4x5 to 12x12 inches (the smaller are handheld).

2. Tracing size digitizer tablets - This is for bigger drawings like architectural plans, blueprints, and large posters. Its size ranges from 24x36 to 36x60 inches and they can be mounted on stands, hung on walls, or rolled up.

What to check
Buying a digitizer tablet may seem hard at first, but there are really only two things you should look for.

1. Screen format – Ensure that the tablet can match the aspect ratio of your monitor. Most of them are designed for common 4:3 monitors, but they can distort your images when used with newer ones. Look for one that can support wide-screen or dual monitors if you have such a monitor.

2. Footprint – If you want better resolution, it is advisable to choose a digitizer tablet with bigger relative footprint.
Complete information / Compare digitizer tablets
A complete Guide to DIGITIZER TABLETS is available in Picky Guide, one of the fastest growing online magazines giving free consumer advice and product information.
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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Caricature Drawing and a Better Retirement

What began as a hobby has become a full-time obsession. I refuse to refer to drawing as a "job",that would defeat the original purose of what I do.It began as a search for some part-time way ofaugmenting Social Security. I needed enough additionalincome to keep the wolves away and facilitate my beingable to focus exclusively on art; the fullfillment of a life-long dream.For the past three years I have been making thetransition from my previous life as a mental healthcounselor to that of a semi-retired caricature artist.It has been one heck of a trip, but well worth thetime and effort.I feel very comfortable saying to one and all thatI have now made it to where I had always wished andhoped I could someday be.

My list of art clientsnumbers into many hundreds and include not only ordersfrom nearly every State in the Union, but also from adozen foreign countries as well. I have divested myselfof the stressful routine of being a full-time counselor,working in a busy community-based mental health facility. There are no more staff meetings, schedules or mountains of paperwork to deal with. I now spend my daysat home in my studio,listening to vintage rock'n roll music and creating caricatures from photos people send me.

I'm not getting rich, but I am comfortable and, more importantly, much more at ease with myself and the world. I have succeeded in making retirement a truly"golden" experience that has rejuvenated my spirit andreplentished my hope for the future.I strongly encourage anyone who is comtemplating what to do with themselves in their later years, those who do not necessarily see themselves fishing or playing golf until they're planted, to consider a similar course. Turn your hobby or latent passion into a means to a happier, more productive retirement.For me, it was art and caricature drawing. Whatever it is you've always wished you could do, remember: If not now, when?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Doodling for the Drawing Challenged

Do you like the look of doodling on scrapbook layouts but you are hopeless at driving a pencil? Me too. My doodles do not have that graceful free flowing look that I admire in the magazines. More like the drunken rambling of an inebriated spider with a Texta tied to his leg.

Here’s a tip that you might find useful.

Find a piece of fabric or clothing that incorporates something in its design that you could use as a doodle on your layout. Lay a sheet of acetate (the sort used for overhead presentations in offices) over the fabric and with a permanent marker pen, trace the part of the design you want to use for your your doodle.

Let the ink dry properly, then cut around the outside of your tracing. The great part of this is that you don’t need to cut right up to the edge of your tracing or in the tricky little loops and curls because the acetate will be transparent on your layout so you will only see the doodle.

You can attach your doodle to your layout either by carefully applying a glue stick under the pen marks (so you won’t see it from the front) or by incorporating brads into your design and using them to hold your doodle in place. And, unlike with doodles done directly onto the layout, you can play around with the positioning.

You can find things to create your doodles from all over the place. I have made them from such things as part of the design of a tray cloth that my Mother embroidered many years ago. I just used the parts of the design that suited me. I didn’t slavishly try to trace all the design as that would have been too busy.

Other sources I have used are: the embroidered pocket on jeans, part of the design from my kitchen tablecloth, patterned shirts,bedlinen, etc.

You can use the doodle you create as a stand alone embellishment or you can add flowers or ribbons to it to dress it up a bit. It looks just great and is so flexible and easy to apply to your layout you'll want to use this technique over and over again.

Karen Bellamy is a digital as well as a traditional scrapbooker from Australia. She writes the Scraps of Mind blog which she describes as:
A feast of Scrapbooking information and tutorials for both the Digital Scrapbooker and the Traditional Paper Scrapbooker. Seasoned with Antiques & Collectibles, Music inspired, and Blog Presentation articles to add some extra spice. All served up with a light hearted and fun style.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Figuring Drawing: Practice Makes Perfect

The best way to hone your figuring drawing skills is to practice. Even if you are primarily interested in landscape painting, you should be able to depict incidental figures to give a feeling of life to the subject. The figure is a foil to a landscape, and if it is not executed convincingly it can destroy the effect of an otherwise good canvas.

Life drawing should be a part of your training, and, if possible, should be acquired in an art school. However, you can learn to draw the figure well by sketching people at every opportunity. Sketch people in the subway, in the park, at home, at play. Draw at all times.

Observe how people walk, sit, and stand; notice their gestures. You will discover that you can often identify someone you know at a distance by the way his head rests on his shoulders, and you will see the different postures of the old and the young. Make notes on how clothes are draped on a person, and how wrinkles form in a sleeve when the arm is bent, raised, and hanging at the side.

The drawings do not have to be large - from 2 to 6 inches will do. They will probably have to be small if you are trying to capture any action. Indicate the line of action first and then draw the figure around it. Some of your early attempts may resemble scribbling, but get the action.

Obtain a small sketchpad that can fit into your pocket or purse and carry it with you at all times. Fill the pages with sketches, using a pencil, a fountain pen, or the newer felt-tip pen. If you use a pencil, don't use an eraser. You are not out to collect neat pads of figure drawings. If the line is not right redraw a corrected heavier line over it.

The advantage of using a pen is that it leads to a more direct handling. But do not be concerned about technical handling of the pen. Put the lines down as you feel them. Observe how the shape of a suit or a dress is affected by the figure.

In time your pads will contain a collection of both action sketches and studies of form. As these pads are filled you will develop your figure drawing and acquire enough knowledge to place a single figure or a group of figures convincingly in your composition.

While constant sketching will increase your powers of observation and general facility in handling incidental figures, some time should be spent learning at least the rudiments of anatomy. Study bone and muscle structure, so that you acquire knowledge of how it affects the figure. It is not essential to know all of the anatomical designations, but you should be able to identify and know the function of the main bones and muscles. You should know the relative proportions of the male and female figure. Most important is to know the working of the movable masses, that is, the head, the rib cage (chest), and the pelvis.

There is no substitute for drawing the figure from life, but you can get a great deal of help from wooden or plastic manikins, which are for sale at most art shops. They can be studied to advantage by checking with an anatomy book in arranging the various positions.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

An Introduction to Drawing and Painting With Pastels

Pastels are a wonderful medium to work with. If you are used to painting in wet mediums like oils and acrylics then you should give pastels a try. They are a very refreshing and enjoyable approach to creating art. This article will introduce you to the various pastel mediums that are available as well as touch on a few pastel panting and drawing techniques that you can incorporate into your next work of art.


Soft pastels are probably the most popular of the various pastel mediums. Artists love the soft texture and the ability to paint on the colors which allows more freedom and usage of various techniques. Soft pastels can cover large areas and are well suited for blending. By varying the pressure, soft pastels can be applied in very light layers or impastos.

Because soft pastels are so delicate they can break easily so proper storage is important. Do not toss your soft pastels in a loose box or drawer. They must be stored in a cushioned box or tray for protection.

With excessive use, your pastels will become dirty by picking up other colors. This will eventually make it difficult to recognize your colors. You should get used to keeping your pastels clean by wiping them with a tissue every now and again.


Pastel crayons are of medium hardness. They are a cross between soft pastels and hard pastels. They give you the ability to work with painting techniques associated with soft pastels, as well as give you the ability to create sharp lines. They are available in a variety of colors and are quite popular for outdoor drawing because of their durability.

PASTEL PENCILS Pastel pencils are similar to pastel crayons only they are encased in wood. They are perfect for doing detailed line work and can also be used for blending.


These wonderful pencils are noticeably different in consistency having a sort of waxy feel to them. They can be used as either a wet or dry medium. A wide range of effects can be achieved with these pencils because of the ability to use water. You can cover wide areas of your paper by creating lines and then transforming them into colorful washes.


Oil pastels are also noticeably different in consistency as the pigment is bound using oil rather than gum. From your very first stroke you will instantly notice the rich deep tone that these pastels produce. Oil pastels are fragile and very sensitive to temperature. Try your very best to keep the wrapper on your oil pastels as you work or your hands will get quite dirty. Just like oil paints, you can use turpentine with your oil pastels if desired.


Blending The characteristics of pastels make them differ in some ways when compared to other painting mediums like oils and acrylics. Unlike oil and acrylics which can be mixed on a palette, pastels must be mixed directly on the support (unless you are using the dry wash technique as described below). One such way to mix pastels is by using the blending technique. Blending is when two or more colors are combined by rubbing the colors into one another with your fingers or other blending tools. There are a number of tools available for blending and are discussed below.

Kneaded Eraser

You can purchase a kneaded eraser in any art store. Kneaded erasers are soft and pliable and can be made into any shape. Soften a kneaded eraser into a point and it can be used as an effective blending tool.


A variety of paint brushes can be used to move and blend the pastels on your support. Both soft and hard brushes can be used depending on the pastel medium you are using and the desired result.


The tortillon is a great tool to have available for softening edges. When it gets dirty or worn down, you simply unwind the paper to reveal a fresh point.

Cotton Swab

This is another great little tool to have available. It is also great for softening edges and for getting into those smaller areas of your work.


The dry wash technique is best suited for laying out large areas of color. This technique is great for landscape paintings when you need to block in large areas of sky. For this technique you will first need to scrape or crush a pastel into a powder. Then with a soft brush, cloth or other suitable tool, pick up some of the powder and apply it to your support and work it in. You can achieve a variety of different effects with this technique. You can mix different powdered pastel colors together first on your palette, or you can overlay individual layers of color on your support.

I hope you enjoyed this article on pastels. For more free pastel painting & drawing techniques visit our main site: and our art instruction blog: today!

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cartoon Drawing Tips For Kids

Cartoons are fun. Well almost. If you are like me you certainly love to watch cartoon figures. But drawing cartoons is another story particularly if you are not aware of the basics.

If the thought of creating beautiful cartoon characters gives you high, read on, here you will find some tips that you can readily use to improve your skills and reduce the time taken to create beautiful cartoon characters.

There are certain things that are same for every style of drawing, be it realistic drawing or cartoony, now we will go quickly through the basics before getting specific to cartoony style.

1. Select your tools wisely. Clean your hands before starting your drawing. The paper you use for your work should be of good quality. Low grade, off colored paper will make your drawing look pale. Your first sketch should be made with light lines and for finalizing you should use deep-colored and prominent lines --so choose your pencils carefully.

2. Many times beginners find drawing a smooth line difficult. Remember drawing smooth lines will be easier if you do not support your hand on your wrist like we are used to do while writing. Doodling and drawing some circular shapes just before you start will also help you to draw smoothly.

3. Learn to draw facial features and hand carefully. Hands are more difficult. Experts often judge a person’s drawing ability from how well he can draw human hands. So practice drawing hands with care.

4. Study about basic forms and proportions of human body. Learn about basics of human anatomy and various ratios of human figures.

As a cartoon creator you will have certain liberties, you do not need to bind yourself with strict body proportions rules. You can draw four fingered (Thumb + Three) hand that makes your work a bit easier.

But one challenge you will face while drawing cartoons --cartoon characters needs to be more expressive and certainly you have to create this expressiveness with some lines drawn with your pencil.

Keep in mind that three areas of human face that play major role to express emotions are

1. Eyelids (wide open, half closed, almost fully closed etc.),

2. Eyebrows (raised, normal, crooked etc.) and

3. Lips (forming downward bow, upward bow etc.).

Other than these you can also use, hair (properly combed or ruffled), garments (well kept or torn) to create characters that tells a story.

Hope you find this tips useful. Coupled with some practice these tips will help you to take your cartoon drawing skills to a new level. Enjoy the fun of drawing beautiful and expressive cartoon characters.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Introduction to Pencil Drawing Supplies and Techniques

Drawing is a wonderful art form in itself, but it is also an excellent exercise for other forms of art, like painting for instance. Learning how to draw will truly open your mind to your surroundings enabling you to really see what is before you.

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Choosing your drawing supplies

There are a variety of different drawing tools available for todays artists and what you choose to work with is based on your own preference. It comes to down to experimentation. You have to work with a number of different things before you find the tools that fit your style of drawing.

Don't go out and spend a ton of money on your drawing supplies in the beginning. You can really get started with a beginner pencil set and some newsprint paper. When you become more experienced, you can then venture out and spend money on better supplies.

Graphite pencils - Graphite pencils range in hardness and are labeled from 9H to 9B. The H pencils are the hardest. The higher the number in front of the H the lighter the mark. The B pencils are softest. The higher the number in front of the B the darker the mark. The H pencils are generally used for detailed lines where the B pencils will produce rich dark lines great for bold expressive drawings.

Charcoal Pencils - Charcoal pencils also come in a range of hardness and are labeled either from H to B like graphite, or simply as "soft", "medium" or "hard". They have a noticeably different feel to them and produce a rich dark line. Charcoal pencils tend to wear pretty fast because of their softness.

Blending Tortillions - Tightly wound stumps of paper with a point used to blend in your drawings.

Erasers - You may want to have a few different types of erasers on hand to fit every occasion.

Kneaded Eraser - A soft pliable eraser that can be kneaded into any shape to pick up and remove pencil and charcoal. May not be the best for erasing smaller details. The SANFORD Kneaded Rubber Erasers are very popular.

Eraser Pencil - These are wonderful for getting into small areas of your drawings. They can also be sharpened like ordinary pencils.

Fixatives - Fixatives protect your drawings from being smudged or ruined. There are two types of fixatives: permanent and workable. Permanent fixatives are used on a finished drawing to protect, where a workable fixative is used during the drawing process as you are working. Use great care while working with fixatives by only using in a well ventilated area. When spraying the fixative, make sure you do not spray any one section for too long and only spray a light mist standing about 3 feet away from the drawing. You should probably experiment on a few practice drawings first to determine if a fixative is right for you. There appears to be a difference of opinion amongst artists when it comes to fixatives. Some artists love to work with them and swear by them, while others feel they may actually alter the quality of a drawing. Again, you have to experiment yourself to see if fixatives are a good choice for you.

Paper - In the beginning, for the purpose of practice, you may want to consider purchasing some inexpensive newsprint paper. You should be able to get this at any local art store or online. When you are ready to purchase a more expensive grade paper, choose something that will work best with the medium you use. Paper comes in a variety of different textures from smooth to rough, often referred to as its "tooth". A really smooth paper may not work well for some mediums as the surface lacks texture, and will not grab certain drawing mediums very well. If the paper is too rough, the medium may simply slide across the surface. You have to experiment with different papers to find the one you are most comfortable with. Strathmore Brand makes excellent paper that is very popular amongst artists.

Horse Hair Drafting Brush - You should be able to purchase a horse hair drafting brush at any local art supply store or online store. This is a really helpful tool for brushing away unwanted eraser scraps from your drawing.

Basic Drawing Techniques:

There are two basic ways to approach a drawing: linear and tonal. The linear approach to a drawing focuses on line and outlines of shapes. In tonal drawing, you make use of gradations to indicate the various planes of your subject.

You should try to avoid smudging and blending in the beginning so that you force yourself to use your pencil more to achieve value in your drawings.

Avoid looking at your drawing too often. Make sure you are constantly focusing on the subject and only glancing at your drawing. By doing so, you won't constantly judge your drawing, or think something is wrong or out of place. Focus on the subject and draw what you see.

Never throw out any of your drawings. Keep a neat portfolio of everything you draw. This is an excellent way to see your progress over time.

Holding the pencil - Hold your pencil in a way that is most comfortable for you. Some hold the pencil just as you would hold a pen or pencil if you were writing. Others hold a pencil with the pencil between the thumb and index finger, with the rest of the pencil resting under the palm of your hand. Whichever method you use for holding your pencil, make certain that you do not hold the pencil too tightly.

Contour Drawing - This very basic technique is simply drawing the outline of your subject without any shading to indicate form.

Blind Contour Drawing - Similar to contour drawing, only you do not look at the paper. The point of this exercise is to force you to better observe what it is you are drawing. You should have no concern over the outcome of your drawing so it is important not to peek.

Hatching - This drawing technique uses a series of parallel lines drawn close together, in the same direction, which gives the appearance of value.

Crosshatching - Similar to hatching only you draw multiple layers of hatch lines at different angles that overlap one another.

Tonal or Value Drawing - In this approach to drawing we are indicating the various changes of light and shade in our picture without the use of strong edges and lines.

Upside Down Drawing - Drawing upside down is a wonderful exercise to awaken the right side of your brain. When you turn an image upside down, you are making it somewhat abstract and unrecognizable. This forces you to draw what you see as opposed to relying on your memory to draw something.

Negative Drawing Technique - This technique teaches you how to properly see the "white" or "negative" space in your picture. This is the area that surrounds your subject or "positive" space. Instead of drawing out the positive part of the drawing with line, you draw in the shapes that surround the positive part of your drawing.

Dry Wash Technique - This technique works quite well if you want to cover large areas of your drawing. It creates a nice soft tone. You begin by adding marks with a pencil or apply some graphite powder to the desired area on your paper. Then using a tissue or soft cloth pick up some of the graphite and gently rub it across the paper, almost as if you were painting.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Advantages of Oil Paints and Painting

Painting artists have been using oil paints for hundreds of years. Actually, they have been seen from as early as 13th century in England, where they used oil paints for simple decoration. In the early years, however, many artists preferred to use paints called tempera instead on using oil paints as they were able to dry faster than oil paint. In the 15th century, Flemish artists came up with the idea of mixing oil paint and tempera. Nevertheless, it was not until the 17th century that pure oil paints became a more usual art medium.

Oil painting dries slowly than any other forms of paint because they are made of small particles of pigments that are balanced in a drying oil. While some of the artists might find this slow drying quality troublesome, most artists believe oil paints to be a required type of art media that must be taught to every art student. This is partly because of the many oil painting reproduction, which have been developed using oil paints.

There are several advantages of using oil paints, aside from its robust quality. Oil paints could as well be left open for a long duration. In fact, oil paints could regularly be left opened to air for up to several weeks without drying. This characteristic makes it possible for an artist to work on a painting over different sessions with no fear of the painting drying up too early. Of course, this attribute could be seemed at as a disadvantage by some artists, because it takes few weeks for the project to be completed and the slow drying process could make it difficult to move on to the next stage of the project.

Oil paints are as well outstanding for blending with surrounding paint. When blended on canvas, oil paints are able of creating artistic brush strokes and other blends, which are not possible with other forms of paint. For some artists, though, this advantage to oil paints could be viewed as a disadvantage, as it is possible to by chance blend colors while painting that were not meant to be blended.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Why Every Artist Needs a Blog and How to Create an Artist Blog

As an artist, the key to selling more artwork is maximizing its exposure. The internet is an increasingly popular tool for promoting original art, and if done properly, can be quite profitable.

One of the most effective (and free!) online marketing tools for artists is the blog. Artist blogs provide an easy way to display your art, discuss your creative process, post exhibition announcements and more. Best of all, blogs require no working knowledge of HTML and the search engines love their dynamic content.

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What is a blog and how will it sell my art?

A "blog" is a web-based diary or journal. The author of a blog, also known as a "Blogger", publishes content on a regular basis about a focused topic. These regular postings typically provide a "community" feel by allowing site visitors to post feedback to your journal entries. This mode of communication can deepen relationships with potential art buyers, leading to increased sales.

Blogs also have the ability to archive all of your previous posts, dynamically creating an individual page for each journal entry. The feature is great for art buyers using search engines to find original art. For example, if you have a blog post describing a painting that you just completed of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset and an art buyer in Florida goes to Google and searches for "painting of Golden Gate Bridge at sunset", there is a very good chance that your blog entry will appear pretty high in the rankings. Cha Ching!!

Many artists have felt the pain of email marketing losing its effect due to spam filters, junk email overloads and virus paranoia. Blogs provide a new way to communicate with clients, fans and industry professionals. This trend can support your email marketing efforts by allowing blog subscription options for site visitors so that they are notified whenever your blog is updated along with providing a permanent place on the web for all of your postings as opposed to newsletter emails that are typically deleted.

How to start a blog

Blog Publishing Tools

To begin, visit some of these free blogging sites, all offering unique template options that even an artist can appreciate, image uploads and syndication ability. (Simple to set up and multiple authoring ability) MSN Spaces (Create your own mini site, with an exceptional blogging feature) Live Journal (Requires a bit of ‘blogging knowledge' to get it set up) Blog Drive

If you're interesting in reviewing additional blog features, these sites require a small monthly fee to maintain.

Typepad (starts at $4.95/month)

Tripod Blogs (starts at $4.95/month)

Note to artists with MySpace accounts: MySpace provides members personal blogs, but it is important to know that MySpace blogs are not currently listed in search engines, which as noted above, is one of the main reasons to get a blog. While MySpace works to remedy this issue, it is recommended that you blog using a tool that is accessible to search engine spiders.

Decide on a title for your blog

The title of your blog should be brief and to the point. You can get creative with your language in the blog description / tag line. A focused title will help with higher search engine rankings and make it clear to visitors what the blog is about.

For example, the title for blog is "Diary of a Pauper". The blog description is "Rants and raves about the careers and lives of starving artists." The title is concise, stating exactly what it is, while the description is a bit more creative.

Blog theme

It's important to establish yourself as a professional working artist if you want to use your blog as a vehicle to sell your art. Blog theme involves the layout and color of the page, quality of the artwork images displayed and verbiage used for blog postings. Select your blog template carefully and make a habit to review your blog from the perspective of a potential client. Is the page visually appealing? Do the images of your artwork provide a link to an extra large version to see detail? Does your content have a consistent theme? Here's a good example of a working blog by mix engineer, Ken Lewis: http://protoolsmixing. com/blog.html The content theme is exceptionally consistent, plus the colors and page layout match his website.

What to write

What's beautiful about blogs is that there are no rules on what to write, but if you want to attract and keep an audience, you might consider some of these suggestions.

Keep your posts creative and interesting. Move and inspire your readers by being completely honest about your creative process.

Use keywords in your blog title and post. Using the example mentioned earlier - if your post is about a Golden Gate Bridge painting, be sure to use that exact phrase in the title and body of your blog. Think about what people might type into search engines to find your content and then use those keywords in your blog. This technique will help increase the ranking of your web page on search engines.

Post daily, or at least twice a week. If you publish blog entries frequently, you will see more return visitors, subscriptions to your blog and comments from site visitors.

Proofread and preview your blog entries before posting. Some blog HTML editors have a way of creating weird symbols out of certain characters and a quick spell-check never hurts. (Note: be sure to create your blog entries using Word or some other text editor. Many blogging tools tend to "time out" after a certain amount of time and you could potentially lose hours of work.)

Publish your blog Finally! Your blog looks great and has unique content. Now, depending on the blogging tool that you selected, follow the steps to publish it to the World Wide Web. Test the live URL that now houses your blog. If all of your graphics appear correctly and the copy is flawless, then you want to make sure that you promote your blog on your personal website, in your email signature and by word of mouth.

Using the tools you already have to spread the word while testing your dedication to frequent posting is the best way to get started. Part 2 of will unveil tons of ways to promote your blog online

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Caricature Drawing and a Better Retirement

What began as a hobby has become a full-time obsession. I refuse to
refer to drawing as a "job", that would defeat the original purose
of what I do. It began as a search for some part-time way of
augmenting Social Security. I needed enough additional
income to keep the wolves away and facilitate my being
able to focus exclusively on art; the fullfillment of
a life-long dream.

For the past three years I have been making the
transition from my previous life as a mental health
counselor to that of a semi-retired caricature artist.
It has been one heck of a trip, but well worth the
time and effort.

I feel very comfortable saying to one and all that
I have now made it to where I had always wished and
hoped I could someday be. My list of art clients
numbers into many hundreds and include not only orders
from nearly every State in the Union, but also from a
dozen foreign countries as well. I have divested myself
of the stressful routine of being a full-time counselor,
working in a busy community-based mental health facility.
There are no more staff meetings, schedules or mountains
of paperwork to deal with. I now spend my days at home in
my studio,listening to vintage rock'n roll music and
creating caricatures from photos people send me.
I'm not getting rich, but I am comfortable and, more importantly,
much more at ease with myself and the world. I have succeeded
in making retirement a truly "golden" experience that has rejuvenated
my spirit and replentished my hope for the future.

I strongly encourage anyone who is comtemplating what to do with themselves in their later years, those who do not necessarily see themselves fishing or playing golf until they're planted, to consider a similar course. Turn your hobby or latent passion into a means to a happier, more productive retirement.For me, it was art and caricature drawing. Whatever it is you've always wished you could do, remember: If not now, when?

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Flipstart Micro Laptop Drawing Close to Release

After years in development, the FlipStart 1.0 is nearing its debut. This will be a computer so small that it might tempt those who need more functionality that a handheld or smartphone can offer but don’t want to carry around a full-size laptop.

This device will have the typical clamshell shape of a laptop, but will be 5.9 inches wide, 4.5 inches tall, and 1.6 inches thick and weigh just 1.8 pounds (with extended battery). It will be bigger and heaver than some of its competition, like the Sony Vaio UX180P or OQO’s model 02, but has a larger screen and keyboard.

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In addition to its 5.6-inch, SVGA primary display, it will have a 1.9-inch external screen that can show information from Microsoft Outlook, including the user’s email, calendar, and contacts.

The FlipStart 1.0 will use a 1.1 GHz Intel Pentium M processor to run Windows XP Professional, and Windows Vista Business will be available as an option. It will also sport an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator.

This PC will have 512 MB of RAM and a 30 GB hard drive.

For wireless connectivity, it will include Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth and the 3G cellular-wireless standard EV-DO.

It will also have two USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port, and a VGA port.

The FlipStart 1.0 is scheduled for release later this month, and it is expected to cost $2,000. More information is available on the FlipStart Labs web site.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Types Of Drawing Charcoal

When it comes to drawing and sketching there are many instruments that you can use to get your imagination onto a sheet of paper. One of the most commonly used mediums by artists is the drawing charcoal. Drawing charcoal is easily accessible, can create the lightest of grays to the rich darkest of blacks and is very easy to work with. Its popularly seems to be steadily growing over the years as more and more artists realize its unique quality to enhance the visual presentation of many of their sketches and drawings. Compared to that of the pencil, drawing charcoal is arguably more visually stimulating. Plus people will tend to take you more seriously as an artist, since drawing charcoal is used by some of the most renowned artists from all over the world.

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Before using drawing charcoal for your artistic endeavors, you must be aware that there are a few different types of charcoals to choose from. The first is the drawing charcoal pencil. The drawing charcoal pencil is merely tightly compressed pieces of charcoal wrapped in a plastic or a timber like material. Charcoal can be flaky and powdery, so if you decide to use a charcoal pencil without its plastic or timber like wrappings, you may end up with dirty hands.

The charcoal pencil is also very easy to sharpen, which is very important for the finest details of your drawings. Another of type of drawing charcoal is the Willow and vine charcoal. The Willow and vine charcoal is generally unwrapped and can produce shades from pale gray to a deep black. This utensil is great for the everyday sketches. One of the most noticeable traits of the Willow and vine charcoal is that it tends to smudge. Hard charcoal is a strong, tough sketching tool used primarily for extremely fine lines. You may be want to use hard charcoal on strong, thick paper. Charcoal is general is very affordable. So the try them all out until you find the on that fits your needs the best.

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Drawing inspiration

New comic book celebrates feats of Langley-based team

Gary Kingston
Vancouver Sun

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As comic book superheroes, Svein Tuft and the rest of the pro cyclists with the Langley-based Symmetrics team had to be drawn a bit larger than life.

Still, when Tuft saw himself in the new comic/press kit looking more muscular than your typical lean, lithe road racer, he had to laugh.

"We're all a bunch of sissies really," he cracked.

Hardly. Sissies don't win the inaugural U.S. Open in Virginia, as the 30-year-old Tuft did on NBC in April. Nor do they lead the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Americas point standings as Tuft currently does, a standing that could well help get Canada three spots in the men's road race at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Tuft and the rest of the Symmetrics team are taking a break from UCI racing to return home for B.C. Superweek, the eight-races-in-10-days extravaganza that starts tonight with the Tour de White Rock's hill climb and includes four criterium, including Wednesday's Tour de Gastown and two road races.

It will be during Superweek that Symmetrics will give wide distribution to the unique comic book, believed to be a first for a pro cycling team. The idea came about earlier this spring when Symmetrics public relations man, Matt Hansen, editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics DB Pro line, and Symmetrics boss Kevin Cunningham were kicking around ideas about how to promote the five-year-old team.

"We needed a paper press kit, but those things are just so boring, so lame," said Hansen. "We said let's make something fresh, something that essentially tells a story, points out our sponsors, our values and what the team is all about."

The result is a 16-page kid friendly comic, whose story line involves three team riders -- Tuft, Andrew Pinfold and Andrew Randell -- being late to a photo shoot and sees them riding their Norco bikes and eating Power Bars -- both team sponsors -- while riding by the buildings of other sponsors, including major backer Coast Capital Savings.

The 15,000 copies will be distributed at all Superweek events, at select bike stores in the Lower Mainland and at Coast Capital offices.

"It's real first class," says Cunningham, who admits some people were skeptical at first.

"When we talked to all our sponsors and told them we had this idea, it was like we had come from another planet. But when they saw it, they all thought it was cool.

"One of our goals is to take our team brand and not just have the cycling community know who we are, but get our brand out in the general public. We're an all-Canadian team that is trying to produce the very best Canadian athletes, trying to produce Olympic athletes."

The terrific art work was pencilled by Brazilian Eduardo, who Hansen says is a big sports fan and who loved drawing cyclists for the first time.

In addition to the story line, the book contains biographical information on all the riders.

"I was skeptical at first, but the more I thought about it, I thought it was a really good idea, especially for kids," said Tuft. "It's something that really works at their level and our sport needs so much more exposure as far as families getting involved."

Cam Evans, the Tsawwassen resident who won the national road racing championship in Quebec on Wednesday and who will be out to defend his Tour de White Rock hill climb title tonight, says he loves the look of the comic. "Maybe for the next one, I can be part of the story line."

With all the negatives surrounding cycling the last couple of years because of the Tour de France doping scandals, the Symmetrics people feel the comic will help paint the sport in a more positive light and create, for kids in particular, some role models.

"These guys are superheroes at the end of the day," says Hansen. "In his civvies, Svein Tuft is just a regular dude, a Peter Parker [Spider-Man] if you will. But when he puts the racing suit on, he becomes this extraordinary person, a role model with extraordinary powers."

National Drawing and Coloring Contest Launches to Help Raise Awareness for Pediatric GERD

Third Annual Kids Create. Parents Relate. National Drawing and Coloring Contest Launches to Help Raise Awareness for Pediatric GERD

Contest Winners will be Awarded Educational Scholarships and Art Supplies

LAKE FOREST, Ill., July 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Sometimes pictures really do
speak a thousand words, especially when it comes to children. It can be
difficult for some children to describe in words how they feel, but through
drawing and artwork they may be able to show their parents how they feel.
The third annual Kids Create. Parents Relate. National Drawing and Coloring
Contest for Tummy Aches is based on the idea that it may be easier for kids
to communicate how they feel through drawing rather than words. The contest
invites children to draw or color how they feel when experiencing frequent
stomachaches or other possible symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease
Prevacid(R) (lansoprazole) and the Pediatric Adolescent
Gastroesophageal Reflux Association (PAGER) created the Kids Create.
Parents Relate. National Drawing and Coloring Contest in 2005 to help
educate parents and healthcare professionals about pediatric GERD and to
help children communicate health issues to their parents.
"It can be difficult for many parents to recognize the symptoms of
pediatric GERD," said pediatric gastroenterologist Suzanne P. Nelson, M.D.,
M.P.H. of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. "The Kids
Create. Parents Relate. National Drawing and Coloring Contest gives
parents, children and healthcare providers a tool to help facilitate
communication about pediatric GERD. Raising awareness about the symptoms of
pediatric GERD, a common yet frequently overlooked condition in children,
is extremely important."
The Kids Create. Parents Relate. National Drawing and Coloring Contest
entry forms are available to download by visiting
Children will have the opportunity to submit their original drawings that
depict their experience with pediatric GERD. The deadline for entry is
September 25, 2007. In addition to the educational prizes, the 12 winners'
artwork will also be featured in the Kids Create. Parents Relate. calendar
and included on through 2008.
Since the contest launched in 2005, more than 700 children have
submitted original paintings, sketches and drawings that embodied their
physical symptoms of pediatric GERD. Sixteen children were awarded more
than $70,000 in educational scholarships and art supplies for their school
or non profit organization of their choice.
There are many causes of stomachaches; sometimes they are not serious
and sometimes they are. The most frequent symptom of pediatric GERD is
stomachache, and its physical symptoms can be very painful. It can occur
when there is a weakness in the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing
stomach acid to flow up into the esophagus. Other symptoms can include
nausea and vomiting, belching, wheezing, difficulty swallowing, heartburn
and weight loss. If you think your child might have GERD, speak with his or
her physician. Only a doctor can diagnose pediatric GERD and determine what
treatments are best.
This year, 12 winners will be chosen from two age categories (six from
age three to nine and six from age 10 to 15). Two first-place winners will
receive a $10,000 educational scholarship and $1,500 in art supplies
donated to the school or non profit organization of his or her choice. Two
second-place winners will receive a $2,500 educational scholarship and
$1,000 in art supplies. Two third-place winners will receive a $1,000
educational scholarship and $500 in art supplies. Six participants will
receive honorable mentions, three from each age group, and will each
receive a $500 educational scholarship and $250 in art supplies.
"The response from children and parents over the past two years has
been wonderful, and we expect to get an even greater response this year,"
said Beth Anderson, director for the PAGER Association. "We found that
parents really appreciate the opportunity to communicate with their
children about their symptoms; and children like being able to express
themselves artistically. We are very excited to build upon the success of
this program by continuing our partnership with Prevacid."

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Drawing Tips - Top 10 Mistakes Beginners Make

Common Drawing Errors and How to Fix Them

Learning to draw is a gradual process, and like any skill, everyone makes mistakes along the way. Unfortunately, drawing is often self-taught, which means you continue making mistakes much longer than when a teacher is available to point you in the right direction. Here are the 10 most common mistakes beginners make when they learn to draw. Some big, some small, all fixable. Check and see whether these errors crop up in your drawings, and get some tips on fixing them.

1. Drawing With a Hard Pencil.
If you have no very dark shadows and the whole picture is rather pale, check your pencil. Are you using a Number2 (HB) pencil? These are too hard to draw with (though they are handy for light shading). Get a B, 2B and 4B for darker values. Read more about pencil grades.

2. Portraits from Flash Photography.
This is the major cause of beginner drawing problems. Using flash photography flattens the features, giving you nothing to work with. When the person is facing you, it is very hard to see the modeling of the face, as the perspective vanishes behind their head, and add a cheesy snapshot grin and you make life very hard! Have the person turning slightly to one side so you can model their face, with natural lighting to give good skintones, and a natural expression to show their real personality.
3. Incorrect Head Proportions.
Because of the way we focus on a person's features, we usually draw them too big and squash the rest of the head. Learn about the correct head proportions

4. Twisted Features.
Because we are used to looking at a person straight-on, we naturally try to make their features look level when we draw them. If their head is on an angle, this results in strange distortions in the picture. Sketch guidelines first to ensure that the features are on the same angle as the rest of the face.

5. Pet Drawings from Human Eye Level
When you take a photograph standing up, you are looking down at your pet. They have to look up, and you end up with their head seeming much bigger than their body, and a rather odd expression on their face. Have someone distract them so they aren't staring down the lens, and squat down so the camera is at their head level, and you'll get a much better reference photo.

6. Being Afraid of Black.
Often when shading, the shadows don't go past dark gray. If your value range is restricted to in some cases half what it ought to be, you are limiting the modelling and depth in your drawing. Put a piece of black paper at the corner of your drawing, and don't be afraid to go dark. Really dark. Improve your range of tone.

7. Outlining in Value Drawings
When value drawing, you are creating an illusion with areas of tonal value. When you use a hard drawn line to define an edge, you disrupt this illusion. Let edges be defined by two different areas of tonal value meeting. Read more about Value Drawing.

8. Drawing on the Wrong Paper.
If your drawing is pale, it might be the paper. Some cheap papers have a sheen on the surface that is too smooth to grab the particles off the pencil. A thick notepad has too much 'give' under the pencil to allow you to apply enough pressure. Try a basic photocopy/office paper, or check the art store for cheap sketch paper. Place a piece of card under a couple of sheets to give a firmer surface. If you are trying to do even shading, some sketch papers can be too coarse, giving an uneven texture. Try a hot-pressed Bristol board or similar smooth drawing paper. Find out more about paper

9. Scribbled Foliage
Don't use circular scribbles to draw foliage. Use more convex shaped scumbling - like crescent shapes and scribbly calligraphic marks - to draw the shadows in and around clusters of foliage, and your trees will look much more realistic.

10. Wiry, Pencil-Line Hair and Grass
If you draw every hair or blade of grass as a pencil line, you'll end up with a horrible, wiry, unnatural mess. Use feathery pencil-strokes to draw the shadows and dark foliage behind areas of grass - just like drawing short hair in this drawing hair tutorial.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

New Writers Needed

We’re looking for more new writers for our Blogging Network. If you love writing or blogging, I’d like to chat with you.

A couple notes:
• Please send me a writing sample.
• Experience blogging isn’t required, I will train you.
• Some positions are paid, and some aren’t. Please specify in your email whether or not you’ll work for free.

Send an email to .

How to Draw A Dragon

Dragons are cool. You know that, that's why you want to draw one. Luckily, it's a lot easier than it looks. Grab a pencil and let's draw a dragon.

1Step One
Draw a right triangle. Make it big with the right angle in the top right. Make the left side a little longer than the right side and have the hypotenuse (longest side) facing downwards. Don't go all the way to the edge of the page, have the triangle centered in the page. This is his face.

2Step Two
Draw a lower jaw. Simply add another obtuse triangle attached to the bottom of the face. It should share a point with your right triangle, the point on the right where the hypotenuse and the shorter line meet. The longest line of your obtuse triangle should be on the bottom.

3Step Three
Draw the nose. This will be a tiny little equilateral triangle near the end, but not touching the tip of the big right triangle.

4Step Four
Draw an ear. Make this a pointy triangle on the right side of the right triangle. You should have a triangle on each side of your original triangle now. You should be able to make out the shape of your dragon.

5Step Five
Draw an eye. Start with a semicircle inside the big triangle, about an inch away from the ear. Now put a slit for the eye, down the middle of the semicircle. To complete the eye, draw a straight line to close off the semicircle.

6Step Six
Add a ridge in the face. This is hard to explain, but it will look cool. From the top of the eye, draw a very shallow curve with the open side facing upwards. Make your curve stretch all the way to just under the nose.

7Step Seven
Add a nostril. Simply draw a circle at the end of your face ridge.

8Step Eight
Add a ridge above the eye. This will just be a slight bump on the triangle right above the eye.

9Step Nine
Give him some teeth, triangles, of course, inside the mouth. Two jagged ones on the top are fine, but if you think he needs more feel free to deck him out with hundreds of flesh-tearing fangs.

10Step Ten
Draw his neck. This should be one simple curve from just below the ear. Make it almost a semicircle. The second curve will be more S-shaped and will start from the bottom of his jaw.

11Step Eleven
Add some triangles along the back of his head. Make them in line with the ear but smaller. This is like a triceratops face with a collar of spikes.

12Step Twelve
Draw flames. That is, if your dragon breathes fire (not all do). These are wavy lines coming from the mouth.

13Step Thirteen
You're done! Well, almost. If you are an advanced artist, you can go back and round out some of the triangles and make it seem more realistic. You can also add shading. Add scales on the neck and make his eye more detailed.

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How to Become A Professional Artist and Get Paid for Drawing.

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Figure Drawing Secrets. How To Draw Figures And People For Any Artists.

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Art Lessons - How To Draw Faces, Paint Realistically, And Do Calligraphy - Presented By Bennecelli, The Acclaimed Artist!

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How to Draw A Car

Step by step instructions on how to draw a car. Click Below

Link to article on How To Draw

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How to Become A Professional Artist and Get Paid for Drawing.

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Figure Drawing Secrets. How To Draw Figures And People For Any Artists.

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Art Lessons - How To Draw Faces, Paint Realistically, And Do Calligraphy - Presented By Bennecelli, The Acclaimed Artist!

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How To Draw Anime Style Art

If you're an anime fan, and you're interested in learning how to draw like those artists we love so much, you're not alone. No one can magically give you the skills you need to draw, but at least we can give you some pointers. We have some basic tutorials on anime (or manga) style art from two different artists; work through both and see what works for you! Click Below to Continue

Step By Step Instructions - How To Draw Anime

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Figure Drawing Secrets. How To Draw Figures And People For Any Artists.

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Art Lessons - How To Draw Faces, Paint Realistically, And Do Calligraphy - Presented By Bennecelli, The Acclaimed Artist!

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Drawing From Experience

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Figure Drawing Secrets. How To Draw Figures And People For Any Artists.

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Art Lessons - How To Draw Faces, Paint Realistically, And Do Calligraphy - Presented By Bennecelli, The Acclaimed Artist!

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Drawing from experience

Kissimmee artist Arlene Conow says her artworks interpret the moods and complexity of life.

Sara Sheckler

Although Arlene Conow draws with charcoal and charcoal pencils, creating surrealistic faces and people, she says her children Kathleen and Brendan are her greatest works of art.

"They are my masterpieces," Conow said.

Conow, who lives with Kathleen, 10, and Brendan, 4, in Kissimmee, calls the style of her art "very free and abstract."

"My style is the reflection, or I could call it the evolution, of what I love the most, which is sculpture," she said.

Several of her drawings are on exhibit at Kissimmee's City Hall.

Conow, 37, was born in Puerto Rico and lived there through high school. Before settling in Kissimmee in 2004 she lived in the United States Virgin Islands and Pembroke Pines.

For the past two years Conow has worked nearly nonstop on her art, but she began drawing about 23 years ago.

"I have been drawing because I had a house, and what a shame to have other people work on my walls when everyone knows I am an artist," she said.

Conow attended Escuela Central de Artes Visuales, an art school in Puerto Rico, from 1984 to 1988. Students there were able to take classes in a variety of media until they reached 10th grade. At that point an art major must be chosen.

For Conow, that was sculpture. "Then afterward, I just practiced and did some more work on my own, and tried different styles, to where I am now," she said.

One day she decided to put down on paper events that had transpired in her life that day.

"Not as words but as drawings, things I remembered or comments from people -- whatever stayed in my head. I drew it my way," she said.

Conow, a member of the Osceola Center for the Arts, prefers to work with earth colors, so her drawings showcase browns, reds and grays.

Her subjects vary.

"Some are simple and some are very complicated. My drawings are like moods: They express happiness, curiosity, laughter, envy or love. Some drawings have a lot of symbolism and some are just what they are. I see them as interpretations of life," she said.

One of her creations is called "The Gossiper."

"It is about how we all like to sometimes share a little bit more than other people really need to know; you can see it in the big lips and the eyes are like coming out because it wants to see more than is out there," she said.

Whatever the subject, Conow connects deeply with her drawings.

"I love all of my work. They all say something different."

Comic Drawing - Drawing a Dream

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Check Out the Video

Reporter: Liz Collin

His work is already published daily in a local newspaper but a Lancaster County man hopes the internet will lead to an even bigger break for his comic strip.

Mike Witmer created "44 Union Avenue" about three years ago. It's named after the New Holland address where he grew up. Just recently his work was picked up by the online group

Witmer has loved to draw his whole life and his inspiration for his strip comes from his everyday life. He says his kids, work, and even a phrase will be enough to base a daily strip on.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Art - Artist, Defining the True Artist - Do you Have What it Takes?

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How to Become A Professional Artist and Get Paid for Drawing.

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Figure Drawing Secrets. How To Draw Figures And People For Any Artists.

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Art Lessons - How To Draw Faces, Paint Realistically, And Do Calligraphy - Presented By Bennecelli, The Acclaimed Artist!

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There are musicians who are more than comfortable remaining anonymous. You know, happy to hide behind their guitars or keyboards and be sidemen to the stars of today or tomorrow. Then there are those that have grandiose aspirations of stardom, adoration and limelight. And then there are those who have a driving desire and need to say something original artistically, to express themselves and to communicate that expression to an audience, be it a small niche market or wider demographic.

Those falling into the first category can make a living, albeit fairly modest as a general rule. Those falling into the second category often live in a little bit of a dream world and, depending on their tenacity and 'smart' skills, usually end up disappointed because the focus is set on the destination rather than the journey. The third category usually reaps the rewards of the second category gaining all the success and limelight, but as a result of focusing on their art rather than the shallow and flighty end of the musician's world. These are usually the most fascinating people too, because they generally have a little mystery about them and because they actually possess what most entertainers really want; sincere and dedicated talent!

But there are also those that are in the early stages of artistic development who are still learning their craft, and open to influences. Possibly they will become great artists in the future, possibly not. It will be a question of choices and consequences, and doors opened and opportunities taken advantage of - or not. Life certainly will take you places.

But for those that do have aspirations of artistry and expression, then I firmly believe you must have qualities that others do not have. As an artist I believe one must stand out from the herd in order to be heard. It is so easy to make a record these days. One no longer needs to have the luxury of a recording contract in order to stand on a pedestal and say "I am an artist - buy my record!" With home studios costing one 16th of the price they did ten years ago and with software programs that do it all, you can churn out albums by the dozen if you put your mind to it. And many do.

However, just because you can, why would you? - is my question. Just for fun? OK, valid I suppose. But Isn't it better to spend that time and energy searching relentlessly for something unique and different? God knows record companies are releasing enough mediocrity by the hour. Even signed artists are now under the impression they have something to offer. Maybe they have, but for the most part I don't think so (as public reaction and their CD sales will attest!)

Perhaps I am being extremely unfair, but I think too many artists do not realize that they have a responsibility to say something profoundly unique, certainly if they expect any kind of career longevity. We live in a world where musicians spend their lives emulating their heroes; singers spend their lives emulating Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and so on. Rock guitarists spend their lives emulating Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Paige, Jeff Beck and Eddie Van Halen. Jazz guitarists are proud emulators of Pat Metheny, John Scofield and Wes Montgomery. Saxophone players worship Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Michael Brecker. And so on...

Before I go on I have to say that emulating heroes is absolutely imperative in your formative years as musicians. You simply MUST listen to the greats, past and present. One has to have a strong grounding and musical knowledge and one simply cannot get there without listening. However, way too many 'artists' cannot get passed this stage. They need to have peer approval, have to know that other respected musicians around them recognize them and applaud their abilities. Often all this takes place subconsciously.

This 'peer approval' is a stage of development that is also important. Every musician goes through it at some point. It is absolutely natural, but I firmly believe that to become a great artist, you have to move beyond that stage and look inward. I always liken it those wedding band singers, who despite having an honorable and justifiable (and in some cases envious) career, they are all too often 'performing monkeys'. They are often fine vocalists but at the end of the day they are seeking approval and applause and not communicating or expressing anything artistic. They certainly know how to entertain but do they know how to intrigue? It's a huge gap. Nothing remotely subtle about it as far as I am concerned.

The real communicating artists seek unique expression. They are not interested anymore in sounding like their heroes. They have moved past that, now searching constantly, developing and refining their own unique voice. Look at any of the true giants of yesterday and today. Yes you can hear their references, but they also have their own strong identity. At some point during their development something bigger than them took over. The chances are they knew it at the time and took advantage of it and made an extra effort to really hone that uniqueness.

Finding that unique inner voice might not be as easy for some. I think it starts by recognizing your technical weaknesses. It is often those weaknesses that ultimately end up becoming your artistic strengths. Let's face it, if you were able to play the guitar technically perfect, at all speeds, meticulously so every note that came out was totally clean and audible, would this be ultimately interesting to an audience? Yes it might be very clever and impressive, but for how long could you listen to an album where every phrase felt like you were having your teeth drilled!!?

Wes Montgomery played with his thumb because he didn’t want to wake the neighbors, ultimately enabling him to become the greatest and most influential jazz guitarist of all time. BB King has about three licks in his entire blues repertoire. Does anyone NOT know BB King when they hear him? Thelonius Monk refused to conform to traditional piano techniques and musical ideas. He simply HAD to play music the way he heard it in his head. He made such a bold musical statement during his time that he is now emulated the world over and revered by the greatest musicians living today.

Technical shortcomings can be the very essence of your unique artistry. Now, should those shortcomings get in the way of what you need to say musically then those weaknesses might need to be turned around so they don't restrict what you hear in your head.

Remember, the true artist simply communicates from within. All other extraneous thoughts, influences and distractions need to fall by the wayside. The minute a lick or a phrase that your hero played or sung (and made famous) ends up on your record - watch out! You might be in trouble. Absolutely steal from your heroes, but just remember that real artistry is about what YOU have to say, not what your heroes have already said before, and have possibly said better.

Push yourself to the max and search for that truly unique quality within. After all, that next great talent we are all so desperately waiting for might just be you!


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