Perfectionism – The Enemy of the Artist

The Artist and Perfectionism Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a work? Do you find yourself not finishing a drawing or painting because it's "not right"? Do you frequently start over? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are facing a mighty enemy - an enemy of the artist. This enemy robs your productivity. It steals your creativity. It can make you question yourself as an artist. It can leave you feeling discouraged. It can ruin your artistic journey - if you let it. Most artists have Read more [...]

30 Day Sketchbook Challenge

30 Day Sketchbook Challenge It's time again for the annual contest here at TheVirtualInstructor.com.  Each year, about this time, I host a contest.  Past contests include a book give away and an artist's postcard event.  This year's contest is..."The 30 Day Sketchbook Challenge". The Challenge The challenge is simple.  For the next 30 days commit to draw at least one sketch in your sketchbook from observation every day.  Each sketch should represent 20-30 minutes of attention (it can be more).  It can be any subject Read more [...]

Losing Edges in Drawings

Understanding Edges in Drawing Most of us have learned to draw by focusing on line first.  In fact from a very early age, drawing mostly centers around making lines. Most likely, we are taught to create contour drawings of objects from observation as part of our learning.  As we develop, we continue to focus on drawing with line, using it to create the edges of things in our art. When it comes to representational drawing however, there comes a point when we need to push our concept and understanding of line and its purpose Read more [...]

Break the Rules With Your Art

Breaking the Rules in Art I’m a rule follower.  In fact, I’m a rule follower to a fault. I never wanted to risk “getting in trouble”, and as a result, I probably missed out on some opportunities in life. If truth be told, I bet most of us are rule followers.  We are content to stay within the “boundaries”, protected by the walls of the rules.  After all, the nail that sticks out gets the hammer, right? The Rules Are Safe Following the rules is safe.  It won’t make you stand out, and it won’t get Read more [...]

How to Sign Artwork

How to Sign Artwork You’ve spent countless hours creating that drawing or painting and now it’s time to take credit for all of your hard work and sign the piece. But all of sudden - you’re stuck. “How do I sign this thing”, you think to yourself. You don’t want all of your hard work to be ruined by an obtrusive signature, but you also want to claim your work with “your mark”. How do you sign your artwork? After all, this isn’t really covered in art school. Believe it or not, this is a common Read more [...]

The Best Drawing Pen – It’s Not What You Think

The best drawing pen When it comes to drawing with ink, the choices for pens are limitless.  There are literally countless manufacturers out there producing pens for drawing.  Many of them are great, and many of them are straight "rubbish". But, let me make something clear right from the start - this post is not about which manufacturers I recommend or which pens are the best for creating finished drawings.  The truth of the matter is that a drawing pen is a personal choice for the artist.  Different pens Read more [...]

Pushing Contrast in Value

Pushing contrast in value Value in art refers to the darkness or lightness of a color.  Success in a representational drawing or painting often relies on the inclusion of a full range of value - meaning the darkest "darks" and the lightest "lights". Occasionally, beginning and intermediate artists fail to recognize the importance of creating a full range and often are left wondering why they are not able to "take their drawings to the next level".  The solution may be as simple as recognizing and including a full range Read more [...]

10 Essential Drawing Materials and Tools for Beginners

Essential drawing materials for beginners Most of us started drawing when we were young. Back then, materials and tools were not that important to us. Perhaps, they weren't even considered. A standard pencil on some notebook paper would often "do the trick". But as we grew and developed as artists, the materials and tools that we chose became more important. The connection between quality art materials and quality artwork becomes noticeable along the way and it's no wonder that emerging artists desire to have the very best materials Read more [...]