Crush Artist Block and Work S.M.A.R.T.

Overcoming Artist Block Everything's ready. The materials are out and your mind is clear. Your motivation level has never felt higher. You are ready to create. You sit down to work and then it hits you. Like a massive semi-truck barreling down the road at 75 miles per hour, the blank paper or canvas smacks you square in the face. You are now in "gridlock" - stunned and frozen by some mysterious force. You feel helpless and a little panicked as the white of the surface grows brighter and more intense. A sense of Read more [...]

Understanding Your Learning Style

Understanding Your Learning Styles Nearly every second of the day, we are learning.  Most of the time we aren't even aware of the process. Sure, there are times when we are actively aware that we are learning - when we are "trying" to learn.  But there are also times, when learning just happens. Why is it that some things seem easy to grasp, while others seem impossible? Why do some bits of information "stick", while others seem to get lost. While we often think about what we are learning, we seldom consider how we Read more [...]

All About Drawing Papers and Surfaces

All About Drawing Papers What's the first thing that you consider when you're about to start a drawing? Is it the subject matter, the medium, or maybe the composition? These aspects are incredibly important to your success, so it's no wonder that they are typically the first places that your mind goes when starting a drawing. How much and how often do you consider the surface itself? Often neglected in the art-making process is the surface that the art is created upon - in essence, the very foundation of your work. Read more [...]

The 30 Day Sketchbook Challenge – Winner Announcement

wehaveawinner Thank you to all of you that participated in "The 30 Day Sketchbook Challenge". 60 of you posted your work on the forum, and I'm sure many more participated without sharing. 460 images were shared! Remember, the point of this contest was to encourage daily drawing which leads to visible drawing improvement. Even though the contest is over, you should continue to draw everyday! The winner is forum member, "mikayla". Mikayla will receive... Lifetime Membership at TheVirtualInstructor.com Read more [...]

5 Tips For Better Compositions

5 Tips for Better Composition I used to play in several bands.  I am a drummer and although drummers don't really receive the same respect as the other musicians, we are still very much musicians.  Ask any drummer and they will tell you that successful pieces of music have a clear structure, an ordered approach that has been rehearsed and practiced. Imagine playing in a band that just wanted to "wing it", without any structure or practice. Clearly this would be a disaster.  In this scenario, each musician in the band Read more [...]

The Best Books for Learning How to Draw

Books for Learning How to Draw We all learn in different ways. Some of us learn by watching, others by doing, and others by reading.  Many of us learn most effectively by doing a combination of these things. Instructional videos are great for learning because the artist can demonstrate techniques in real time and explain their actions and thought process throughout the video. Instructional videos meet many styles of learning and for this reason are a popular platform for learning. Videos are also more accessible than ever. Read more [...]

We Can All Be Masters

How to Become a Master Artist It's easy to watch a master draw and think that their actions are almost magical.  The lines are made with such accuracy and the marks, gracefully executed. The medium that is used is almost an extension of their body.   It's mesmerizing to watch masters work, layering mark after mark with such speed, grace, and accuracy. Unfortunately, for someone with less experience drawing, watching a master work can also be discouraging. We watch the master work and think to ourselves, "I'll never Read more [...]

Why Art Teachers are The Most Important Teachers in the School

Art Teachers are Important I know that I'll be sparking quite a bit of controversy in this post, but I feel that in light of recent budget cuts and a general misunderstanding about what art teachers actually do, some light needs to be shined on this subject. Let me first be clear - ALL teachers are important. I think, however, that there is a tragic misconception when it comes to art teachers, and other teachers in the Fine Arts for that matter.  Some schools refer to these teachers as "Specialists", which is a Read more [...]