Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sherry Sander

Sherry Sander
// Deja View

I love great animal sculptures.
Especially when there is movement involved, or when the pose reveals the animal's character.
Sherry Sander is an American sculptor who has high standards and emerges through the often uninspired scene of midwestern wildlife art. There is a raw quality to her work that reminds me of Rodin and the great Rembrandt Bugatti. Sander travelled all over the world to study animals, and it is that research that gives her sculptures a beautiful sense of authenticity.

Here is the link to her website:


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Friday, August 25, 2017

Hips Tutorial by bokuman Support the artist on Patreon!

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Don't forget the second step

Don't forget the second step
// Seth Godin's Blog on marketing, tribes and respect

The first step is learning how to do it. Finding and obtaining the insight and the tools and the techniques you need. Understanding how it works.

But step two is easily overlooked. Step two is turning it into a habit. Committing to the practice. Showing up and doing it again and again until you're good at it, and until it's part of who you are and what you do.

Most education, most hardware stores, most technology purchases, most doctor visits, most textbooks are about the first step. What a shame that we don't invest just a little more to turn the work into a habit.



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Raphael’s Drawings at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Raphael's Drawings at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
// Black Gate

23. Two Apostles (c) Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

The heads and hands of two apostles, c. 1519–20.
Black chalk with over-pounced underdrawing
with some white heightening.

One of the highlights of my regular stays in Oxford is visiting the Ashmolean Museum. With its fine collections of all periods, especially Medieval Europe and Ancient Egypt, it's a place I and my family keep going back to. It also has excellent special exhibitions. I wrote up last summer's exhibition on Underwater Archaeology for Black Gate, and this year we got to enjoy the treat of studying some little-seen drawings of an Italian Renaissance master.

Raphael: The Drawings brings together 120 rarely seen works by the Italian master, including 50 from the Ashmolean's collection, the largest and most important group of Raphael drawings in the world. They came to the museum in 1845 following a public appeal to acquire them after the dispersal of the collection of the portrait painter Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769–1830), who had amassed an unrivalled collection of Old Master drawings. A further 25 works are on loan from the Albertina Museum in Vienna, which will show the exhibition in autumn 2017. The remaining drawings come from various international collections.

The Three Graces

Study for the Three Graces, c. 1517–18 Red chalk over
some blind stylus. © The Royal Collection Trust,
HM Queen Elizabeth II.

The drawings range in date from Raphael's early career in Umbria through his radically creative years in Florence to the apex of his career in Rome, working on major projects such as the Vatican frescoes.

I must admit that as a non-artist much of the subtlety of this exhibition was lost on me. I could only gape at the detail of the lines and the almost magical effect of some of the techniques he used to create shading and light. One of the things I found interesting was how his drawings often had more detail and more refined techniques than his finished paintings, such as the details of the drapery on the Madonna in the Studies for the Madonna of Francis I (c. 1518).

19. Madonna of Francis I (c) Gallerie degli Uffizi, Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe, Florence

Studies for the Madonna of Francis I, c. 1518 Red chalk
over blind stylus. 
© Gallerie degli Uffizi, Gabinetto
dei Disegni e delle Stampe, Florence.


The final painting that same year. Much of the work was
possibly done by his workshop assistants and not Raphael
himself. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

15. Putto (c) Teylers Museum, Haarlem

Putto holding the Medici Ring, c. 1513–14 Black chalk with
white heightening, later framing lines in black chalk.
© Teylers Museum, Haarlem.

Raphael used a variety of media including charcoal, earthy chalks, ink, and metalpoint. The exhibition includes a small display of these tools for those of us who can't draw a straight line. I finally found out what gum arabic looks like and what it's used for. It had always been one of those terms I occasionally heard but had never bothered looking up.

Raphael himself realized that his drawings were more than mere preliminary sketches. He knew they had artistic value in their own right and presented them to such prestigious figures such as Duke Alfonso d'Este and Albrecht Dürer. We're lucky he did, and we're lucky the recipients realized the value of these drawings too and preserved them.

Raphael: The Drawings runs to September 3.

11. Mother & child (c) Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

A seated mother embracing her child, c. 1512 Metalpoint with white
heightening on grey prepared paper, selectively indented for transfer

1. Youth (c) Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Portrait of a youth (self-portrait?), c. 1500–1 Black chalk
on white heightening, now largely lost.

Images copyright The Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, unless otherwise noted.

Sean McLachlan is the author of the historical fantasy novel A Fine Likeness, set in Civil War Missouri, and several other titles, including his post-apocalyptic series Toxic World that starts with the novel Radio Hope. His historical fantasy novella The Quintessence of Absence, was published by Black Gate. Find out more about him on his blog and Amazon author's page.


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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Five Tips to Drawing the Figure

Five Tips to Drawing the Figure
// Artist's Network

Figure drawings and sketches by Ilya Repin.

Figure drawings and sketches by Ilya Repin. Article contributions from Mark Gottsegen and Bill Tilton

Easy Ways of Making Figure Drawings

When you get comfortable creating figure drawings or sketchings, you watch your whole world change. Every person — waiting in line in front of you, sitting at a table across from you at a cafe, on the bus or passing you on the sidewalk — is a figure waiting to be captured in your sketchbook. To put you at ease and in the rhythm, so you can start to fill up page upon page with sketches, here are five tips you will want to learn about simplifying the shapes of the parts of the body. From there, you'll find every figure much easier to draw.

Hands Off

Use your non-drawing hand as a model to practice creating gesture sketches. You can also use an ordinary mitten as a model to capture the essential mass of the hand. Try drawing the mitten in a number of positions, then divide this mass into four fingers.

Out on a Limb

Practice drawing the basic arm and leg structures by thinking of them as cylinders. Initially, ignore any details that change with your viewing angle. Drawing from life is always the best approach, but if you don't have a model handy, try substituting sections of PVC pipe, straws connected by modeling clay or pipe cleaners.

Sketch by Linda Capello

Sketch by Linda Capello

Body Art

Use the peanut shape to quickly construct a human or animal figure in any position. Then simply refine this basic shape with details. To better capture this shape, try making a model out of foam rubber, clay or another pliable substance. This model can be twisted or bent into any position for drawing.

Happy Feet

To get the basic form and positioning for feet, draw them as a three-dimensional, rectangular form similar to a brick. Practice drawing them in perspective and in a variety of positions.

Get Ahead

Initially, avoid getting enmeshed in the features and other details of the head. Instead, practice representing the head using a ball for the main portion of the skull and a bucket shape for the jaw.

When you find yourself doing this automatically, begin lightly indicating the shape and position of the nose, eyes and ears.

Once these are in place, draw the nose more definitely and add the mouth, relating its size and placement to the bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin.

Next, add the eyes, relating them to the width of the mouth. Finally, sketch the ears, using the eyes and nose to gauge the proper size and position.

The Best Way Forward

Spend 10 minutes sketching people passing by. Then the next time make it 15 minutes. Then 20. Start tacking on the minutes but the consistent rule is don't stop. Fill the page! And then another! Soon the figure drawings will flow, especially if you couple that sketchbook time with all the lessons and fun exercises Brent Eviston teaches you in Figure Drawing Essentials: Getting Started with Gesture & Shape. Get Figure Drawing Essentials now and enjoy!

Show off what you've done by tagging your work #artistsnetwork! We are excited to see what you've been working on in the studio and in the pages of your sketchbook!


The post Five Tips to Drawing the Figure appeared first on Artist's Network.


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Figure Drawing Basics: Costumes, Clothes or Nothing At All

Figure Drawing Basics: Costumes, Clothes or Nothing At All
// Artist Daily

To Clothe or Not to Clothe in Figure Drawing?

Figure drawing by Steven Assael.
Figure drawing by Steven Assael.

We all know that drawing the nude figure is a, if not the, classical way of depicting the human body. You gain so much from those kind of explorations — a sense of gesture, a foundation for drawing anatomy, and a close study of bodily proportions, which are crucial for establishing realism in any figurative representation.

But breaking the mold and adding clothing to your figure drawing art can lead to quite a few benefits. You are able to add intrigue to a line drawing or drama to a contour drawing and contribute to the overall message of the piece. It really just gives you a bigger visual vocabulary to work with.

Why Clothing can Lead to Better Figure Drawubgs

Figure Drawing Basics: Costume, Clothing or Nothing At All | Deciding Whether a Model Should be Clothed or Nude in Figure Drawing | Artist Daily
Julie Seated with Hands Clasped by Steven Assael, 2007, drawing, 22 x 15.5.

Artist Steven Assael, for example, often creates works with figures in constricting or tight-fitting clothing. He does this as a way to parallel or visually represent the psychological complexities and internal conflicts within everyone.

Other times clothing can exaggerate the gesture and movement of a body. A swirling cape can give more force and power to a figure in a street scene, for example. You get a sense of atmosphere that might otherwise be missing without the garment.

Clothing can also link a figure drawing to a culture or a time and place. If you are interested in drawings from the past with a more historical bent, or for the future, clothing can enable you to achieve your ends. Adding clothes can make a narrative element clearer to your viewer than a figure whose attire doesn't lend itself to a specific context.

However, always remember the gesture and facial features or body position of a figure drawing are really what will make it successful and articulate, not just the clothing worn.

So many of us find both challenges and rewards when drawing people, which is why Drawing People for the Absolute Beginner is a resource that will never gather dust on my bookshelf. It is a foundational manual for anyone who wants to approach figure drawing and drawing people in an easily understood but comprehensive way.

Get Started with Gesture

As one of the most challenging, but exciting, art experiences to engage in, figure drawing takes a lot of practice. Below is a preview of Figure Drawing Essentials: Getting Started with Gesture and Shape. In this trailer, you'll learn quick tips for capturing gesture and shapes in figure drawings.

Like what you see? You can find the full-length video demonstration on to master fundamental tools and techniques for developing a strong foundation in figure drawing. Enjoy!








The post Figure Drawing Basics: Costumes, Clothes or Nothing At All appeared first on ArtistDaily.


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Monday, August 14, 2017

Figure Drawing: Repeating What You Should Already Know

Figure Drawing: Repeating What You Should Already Know
// Muddy Colors

-By Arnie Fenner

I think a simple truism about being an artist is that, regardless of stature or status, regardless of the number of years spent sitting at the table, easel, or monitor, regardless of degrees from universities or from the School of Hard're always something of a student. And always will be.

As an artist, you're never (or should never be) entirely satisfied with "where you're at" and, essentially, are always practicing—striving—to get better at the craft. Every doodle, every scribble or sketch is part of the process, part of being an artist. It doesn't stop: you're always experimenting and exploring and observing and thinking. You're always trying to learn or master techniques; you're always studying color and composition and light and gestures and character and, above all, anatomy. Regardless of personal style or career direction, the ability to draw a convincing human figure is truly the core of being an artist. Continuing to practice at it helps artists maintain their visual and spatial abilities: it's almost a form of calisthenics of skills. Every time the model moves their arm or tilts their head, every time they change their pose, there is something new to see, to understand, and to learn.

And, because drawing the figure is fundamental, successfully communicating with and connecting to an audience as a creator—whether the approach is realistic, distorted, cartoonish, or abstract, whether the subjects are people or animals or monsters or landscapes—rests firmly on that foundation. It is the beginning for anything you want to do artistically. As Donato said in his post last year on MC, "I find that life drawing is an important way to reconnect with the main subject in much of my work, that of the human figure. The varied forms of expression and the enlightened discovers which occur while drawing helps to fuel my imagination and inform my eye as to what is possible for shape design within characters."

Above: A figure drawing by Andrew Loomis.

Above left: A late-1950s drawing by Frank Frazetta. Above right: Drawing by Willy Pogany.

A highlight of Spectrum Fantastic Art Live has been the late-night figure drawing party (with several nude models) generously sponsored by Kansas City's The Illustration Academy. Even with pizza (graciously provided by the Aladdin Hotel) and a cash bar, it is a surprisingly serious party; there's relatively little chatter and what there is tends to be in whispers. The focus is on drawing, on getting the most out of the opportunity. I've heard that some have been somewhat intimidated by the intensity of the room, but I've also heard that others were absolutely giddy to be sitting and sketching next to—and getting feedback from—Justin Sweet or Donato or Iain McCaig or Android Jones or Mark English.

Above: John English conducting a figure drawing class during The
Illustration Academy's 2017 Summer Workshop. Photo by Timmy Trabon.

Starting clockwise above left: George Pratt, Bill Sienkiewicz, Mark English, Jeffrey Alan Love.
Figure drawing classes, led and critiqued by the teachers, are an important part of
The Illustration Academy's annual workshops. At the conclusion, the instructors' originals
(like the samples shown above) are given to the students via a raffle. 

Drawing from life whenever possible should be high on any artist's list—and, of course, the knowledge obtained through the process is applicable to everything you do, whether you work digitally or in traditional media. I talk often about The Illustration Academy because I know them well (they're local, after all), respect the hell out of what they do, have had the opportunity to sit in on their workshops, and have spent time with their instructors over the years. They're devoted to not only helping artists improve their skills but also in helping them achieve their professional goals. Besides actively emphasizing figure drawing in their curriculum—and hosting drawing events as they have at SFAL as a part of their outreach mission—the Academy hires models and sponsors semi-regular sessions open to all artists at the Interurban Art House (in one of KC's suburbs) throughout the year. Watching IA's Facebook page is a good way for people to stay abreast of dates. Naturally, there are similar gatherings all over (like the Sketch Nights at the Society of Illustrators in New York every Tuesday and Thursday) and it shouldn't be a surprise that I encourage everyone to take advantage of these opportunities whenever and wherever they're offered. (The social and networking aspects of such gatherings are extremely important to career growth as well.)

Above: George Pratt (on the right) oversees the give-away of the instructors'
figure drawings to students. As an aside, let me talk about George for a moment:
A renowned comics artist, illustrator, and Fine Artist, his graphic novel
Enemy Ace: War Idyl has been translated into nine languages and for a time was
required reading at West Point. Besides teaching at the Illustration Academy,
George has taught at Pratt and the SVA and is currently an instructor at the Ringling College
of Art and Design. The IA's Summer Workshop lasts five weeks (students can sign up for
one or all) and features a different group of instructors each week: George and John English
teach during all five. And, yes, there are on-line classes available, too. Anyway, readers
can learn a bit more about The Illustration Academy and other great workshop
opportunities in my "Summer School" post some weeks back.

Depending on location, finances, or other circumstances, I know it can be difficult-to-impossible for some to take part in a figure drawing get-together...but that doesn't mean you can't still practice. Use family members or friends as models and if even that doesn't work out, you might recall that I've previously pointed out various video resources via YouTube that you can use at your own time, pace, and convenience. Like this:

Jon Foster says, "Students will ask me, 'When do I know it all? When does it get easier?' And I tell them: Never. It never gets easier. You have to work to make a career and work to maintain it."

So the Word of the Day is...well, the same as it is everyday: Draw! Or better, the three Words of the Day are: Draw The Figure!


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luffik: Some practice drawings of cartoony lady mouths c: More...

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

How to Draw Facial Expressions: A Quick Guide

How to Draw Facial Expressions: A Quick Guide
// Artist's Network

One of the many challenging aspects of drawing is that if you want to learn how to draw a face, it's not really just one subject you need to learn, it's many. This is because faces showing different emotions hardly look the same.

How to Draw Facial Expressions | 6 Facial Expressions to Draw | A Quick Guide for Artists

A happy face looks very different than a sad face, or a surprised face. And on top of this, of course, no two people's faces are the same to begin with. (No one said drawing would be easy!) To help, we're here with advice about how to draw facial expressions that will "wow" your viewer.

In this article, you'll discover how the face changes when it takes on six of the most universally recognized emotions: happiness, sadness, fear, surprise, anger and disgust.

For a much more in-depth lesson on this topic — including a breakdown of the all-important muscles that create these expressions — check out the Summer issue of Drawing magazine. This issue includes an article by veteran instructor Jon deMartin, titled "Expressions of the Face."

Drawing Facial Expressions: Six Essential Emotions

How to Draw Facial Expressions | Jon deMartin | Artist's Network

Neutral Expression, by Jon deMartin, 2017, red and white chalk on toned paper, 14 x 11. **Information in this post was adapted from an article by Jon deMartin, featured in Drawing magazine.


The facial muscles can produce an almost infinite number of expressions as they contract or relax. Some expressions are emphatic, others subtle. True expressions are involuntary and convey the emotions a person is feeling. False expressions do not; they can be used as a mask or cover.

You can become familiar with facial expressions by using a mirror to look for the action of the muscles on your own face. Many cartoonists keep a mirror handy so they can assume any expression they want when illustrating their characters.

To illustrate the most common facial expressions, I created several drawings of Christophe, a model who has a unique ability to transform his face.

I first drew Christophe in a neutral state, with no facial muscle contractions or discernible expression (see above). We can compare this neutral face to the subsequent expressive faces to determine what actions and movements have taken place.


How to Draw Facial Expressions | Jon deMartin | Artist's Network

Happiness, by Jon deMartin, 2017, red and white chalk on toned paper, 14 x 11.


When we express happiness, the corners of the mouth are pulled up, out and back. Additionally, the nasolabial furrow — the furrow of skin that passes from the top of the wing of the nose down to the corner of the mouth — is pulled in the same direction as the mouth and is deepened.

The fronts of the cheeks are raised and puffed, producing wrinkles under the lower eyelid. The eyes narrow, and the lower face is widened and lifted.


How to Draw Facial Expressions | Jon deMartin | Artist's Network

Sadness, by Jon deMartin, 2017, red and white chalk on toned paper, 14 x 11.


When we express sadness, the inner ends of the eyebrows are raised and drawn together, which usually inclines the eyebrow. Horizontal skin wrinkles develop on the center of the forehead only.

The medial ends of the folds covering the eye — that is, the ends nearer to the middle of the face — are pulled up. The lateral parts of those folds, closer to the edges of the face, are pulled down. The angles of the mouth are pulled down at the corners, lengthening the "long face" of sadness.


How to Draw Facial Expressions | Jon deMartin | Artist's Network

Surprise, by Jon deMartin, 2017, red and white chalk on toned paper, 14 x 11.


When our faces show surprise, the brows are raised straight up and arched. The upper eyelids are raised in more intense versions of surprise, and the white above the iris shows.

The lower jaw drops with the mouth open, the lips relax, and the face lengthens.


How to Draw Facial Expressions | Jon deMartin | Artist's Network

Fear, by Jon deMartin, 2017, red and white chalk on toned paper, 14 x 11.


In fear, the brows are raised and drawn together; they become straight and horizontal, with a kink at the medial ends near the center of the face.

Wrinkles develop across the entire forehead. The mouth is usually open. The entire lower face widens and flattens, producing high, rigid folds on the front and sides of the neck.


How to Draw Facial Expressions | Jon deMartin | Artist's Network

Anger, by Jon deMartin, 2017, red and white chalk on toned paper, 14 x 11.


When our muscles express anger, the medial ends of the eyebrows are pulled down and drawn together. The nostrils flare; the mouth squares, exposing the teeth; the lips tense; and the neck becomes engorged.


How to Draw Facial Expressions | Jon deMartin | Artist's Network

Disgust, by Jon deMartin, 2017, red and white chalk on toned paper, 14 x 11.


The last emotion we'll study here is disgust. In this expression, the middle portion of each side of the upper lip is pulled up, and the skin on the bridge of the nose becomes wrinkled.The front of the cheeks rise and bulge, and wrinkles develop below the lower eyelid.

Because the lower eyelid is pushed upward by the rising cheek, the eye opening becomes narrower. Extreme contraction of these muscles will part the lips, exposing the upper teeth.

Facial expressions, like figure gestures, are fleeting. But with knowledge of the underlying muscles and plenty of thoughtful practice, we can draw them with conviction, widen our creative horizons and convey the entire spectrum of human emotion.

The post How to Draw Facial Expressions: A Quick Guide appeared first on Artist's Network.


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// How to Art


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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Tweet by G. Willow Wilson on Twitter

G. Willow Wilson (@GWillowWilson)
Every artist I've worked with cites horses as the most painfully difficult thing to draw. (I've removed them from scripts!) This is cool.…

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