5 Things I Never Learned in Art School

5 Things That I Never Learned in Art School It’s been a while since I graduated from college, but what I learned and what I didn’t is still a clear memory. I think that time often allows us to look back in retrospection with a clearer picture. I never would have been able to put this list together a month, or even a year after my graduation. But now, nearly 15 years later, it’s clear to me how art school benefited me and how my exceptions of what I was to gain from attending were wrong. Call this a disclaimer if you like, but Read more [...]

3 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Drawing Without Picking Up a Pencil

Improve Your Drawing Without Picking Up a Pencil Yes, you read that right. Now I understand that there may not be many situations where you would be without a pen or a pencil when you want to work on your drawing skills.  So, while this list may not be the most practical, it does shed some light on how we might can improve how our minds perceive and make sense of the subjects that we draw.     A major misconception with drawing is that it’s purely a process of making marks on a surface.  And while it’s true that drawing is about mark-making, Read more [...]

The Creative Process

Creative Process Header Opinions vary on the actual steps involved in the creative process.  Some like to compare the steps to the scientific method, while others like to take a decidedly more creative approach. The truth is that we all approach what we create differently.  And although this post is about "the creative process" in general, the actual steps involved will vary from person to person. For some, the process is easy.  For others, it can be torture. The Brain The creative process requires the Read more [...]

How to Know When An Artwork is Finished

How Do I Know When My Art is Finished Creating an artwork is a deeply personal experience. Sometimes, it's as if your soul is transmitted to the surface through the marks that are made. The very nature of creating is so personal that sometimes it's hard to know when to stop. The reality is that deciding when to stop "speaking" is tough for all of us.  But knowing when and where to draw the line (no pun intended) is important to success. We don't want to overwork our art, but we also don't want to stop before it has reached Read more [...]

The Watercolor Workshop Modules

The Watercolor Course As most of you are probably aware, the next course is right around the corner for members. You guys voted, and a course on watercolor painting was the resounding winner! It is my goal to provide you with the instruction that you want, so the watercolor course is in the works with modules to be released later this month (December 2014). The course will be called "The Watercolor Workshop" and it should be a great addition to the other courses that are already available to members. But before Read more [...]

Artistic Self Confidence – Why You Need it and Why it’s Important

How to develop artistic confidence It can attack at any moment during the creation process. Many times, it sets in before you even start, when the concept is still fresh in your mind - before any marks are made, or the medium has been chosen. You are motivated to create but before you can even start, you tell yourself, "I can't". It can also set in during the process itself while strokes are fresh. You second guess every decision, every mark, every color. The art-making process quickly becomes a mental struggle with yourself. Read more [...]

Value vs. Intensity

Value vs. Intensity The words, "value" and "intensity" are thrown around quite a bit in the world of art-making. And although their definitions are quite different, they are often confused with each other. While value and intensity are different, they do have somewhat overlapping applications. This is one of the reasons that they are so often confused. Even though their applications are sometimes used interchangeably, knowing the difference between the two can help us make better aesthetic decisions in our Read more [...]

It’s Time to Try a New Medium

Try New Art Medium I was in my second year of art school when my life changed. Well, my artistic life anyway. It was in a special course for illustrators, appropriately named "Media and Methods". It was taught by a visiting professor who was just barely out of Grad school. Looking back, I think that he taught this course only because the other "established" professors didn't want to. They were "specialists" after all. How could a "painter" teach someone a drawing medium - absurd. The course, as it Read more [...]