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Showing posts from 2017

Art Video of the Week - Painting Fireworks!

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It's the last day of 2018 and, as it is a suitable subject for New Year's Eve, I thought I would highlight this video on painting fireworks in watercolour.

Art Candy - Elena Popea

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This week we venture into Romanian Modernism with Elena Popea, 1879-1941.

Art Video of the Week - How to Draw Santa

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Since it's now Christmas Eve, and the Jolly Old Elf is about to load up his sleigh and start his annual rounds, I figured it was a great time to show some videos on how to draw our favourite Christmas friend: Santa Claus!

Art Candy - Jacques-Louis David

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This week, and I'm way overdue, we're going to take a look at the work of Jacques-Louis David, 1748 - 1825, a French Neoclassical painter.

Art Video of the Week - The Basics of Oil Painting

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This week, Lena Danya walks us through some of the essential basics of working with traditional oil paints.

Update: Patreon Reverses Decision

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If you haven't already heard, today Patreon announced that they were reversing their much maligned decision to shift payment processing fees onto the patrons.

Art Video of the Week - Teoh on Patreon

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I've already blogged about this move, so I will leave it at that from my perspective. However, it's probably worthwhile getting the perspective of a creator...

Patreon and the Cash Cow

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Do you use Patreon? Do you support more than one artist? Congrats, it would seem that Patreon has dollar signs in their eyes when they look you.

SketchBox #7 - Copics!

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This month, my SketchBox is featuring Copic markers. This is pretty neat because I've actually wanted to try these for some time, but never really got around to making an investment in them.

Art Video of the Week - Oil Painting Mediums

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This week we have a two for one special on mediums used in oil painting hosted by Andrew Tischler who is fast becoming one of my favourite Youtube artists, especially when it comes to learning about oil painting.

Art Candy - Jean-Honoré Fragonard

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Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732 - 1806) was a prolific French painter in the last decades of French monarchy whose style was in the Rococo (or Late Baroque) movement. The Rococo movement, among painters, was typified with delicate colour selections, curved form, and a definite flare for the romantic.

Art Video of the Week - Toning a Canvas

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This week we're having a look at the concept of toning your canvas. The video here is focused on oil painting, but the concept of toning is often applied to other mediums as well including gouache, acrylics, graphite, and more.

Art Candy - Francesco del Cossa

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The Italian Renaissance is a phenomenal period of art history, especially for painting. There are many well-recognized masters of that era that remain household names even today and for good reason, they produced an enormous body of very high quality work.

So while we tend to think of Michelangelo or DaVinci when we think Italian Renaissance, there are others of impressive skill such as Francesco del Cossa (1430 - 1477).

Art Video of the Week - Atmospheric Perspective

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This week it's a look a different concept around perspective, more specifically how you can create the illusion of depth based on the effects of atmospheric haze on the image.

Art Candy - Pieter Bruegel (The Elder)

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Pieter Bruegel (~1525 - 1569) was a Dutch painter during the earlier Netherlandish period whose efforts, among others, helped to shape what was to become the golden age of Dutch painting.

Art Video of the Week - Perspective

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This week Marshall Vandruff takes us through an introduction to perspective using a very straightforward and engaging style to describe the core concepts of angles and their relationship, tricks of perspective, and more. The video serves as an introduction to a larger series of videos he had recorded way back in 1994 and has made available for a very reasonable $12 for the full set. They're very analog, but nevertheless effective, and the price as hard to beat.

Art Candy - Emile Claus

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Emile Claus (1849 - 1924) was a Belgian painter noted for his role in the Impressionist movement known as Luminism, which placed a great deal of focus and attention on light effects. He created Vie et Lumière artist group and is widely considered to be a pioneer of Belgian Luminism.

Art Video of the Week - The Dreaded First Page

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The dreaded first page... You have a new sketchbook, the first page is blank, what do you do? Panic sets in, you freeze, the page never fills and you never get started!

Art Candy - John French Sloan

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John French Sloan (1871 - 1951) was an American painter of the American Realism movement and a member of the Ashcan School that specialized in scenes of New York City.

SketchBox #6 - Watercolour

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The November edition of the SketchBox arrived a couple of days early and has a focus on watercolour with a collection of supplies to give you a chance to dabble with the medium.

Art Video of the Week - Pumpkins in Perspective

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Just in time for Halloween, Proko handed off his Youtube channel to Marshall Vandruff to give us a lesson in perspective using everyone's favourite gourd at this time of year.

Art Video of the Week - Cartoon Glam Eyes

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This week it's a bit of a fun, more cartoon-style, of drawing for eyes by Alice of HulloAlice. The video is really good at breaking down the basic steps and reminding us of some essential features that eyes have that, when paying attention, make them seem believable without necessarily being realistic.

Art Video of the Week - A Street Scene with James Gurney

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James Gurney, for those who don't know, is a well-known author and illustrator who is probably best known for his Dinotopia series telling the utopian tale of sentient Dinosaurs co-existing with humans. He's also the author of some phenomenal instructional books: Color and Light and Imaginative Realism. I have both, and I can tell you that they're excellent sources of information that, I think, any artist should have.

Art Video of the Week - Drawing Circles

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When you consider that the foundations of every form we draw can be rooted in basic shapes such as square, triangles, and circles, then the art of drawing a good circle is an important element in your toolkit.

SketchBox #5 - Inktober

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October, Inktober, what's in a name? Well, if you're into ink drawing and painting, this is the month of the year that many get involved in The Inktober Initiative by Jake Parker and this month, the SketchBox is very apropos to what's happening!

Art Video of the Week - Watercolour Shadows

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Steve is one of my favourite Youtube watercolourists and this week he's giving us a demonstration on how to approach shadows and, as a result, dimension, in your watercolour work.

Art Video of the Week - "Magic"

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This week I'm going to venture away from the usual tutorial style video and give you an opportunity to watch a watercolour timelapse painting by one of my favourites: Mary Doodles.

Art Video of the Week - Cartoon Hands

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This week we do a shallow dive into the world of cartoon hands by one of my favourite Youtubers, Stan Prokopenko of Proko.com. If you haven't watched his videos before, I think you'll find that you'll enjoy the style quite a bit.

End of an Era: Quinacridone Gold

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Pigments are an interesting thing, they're not necessarily continuously available and sometimes disappear from the market for a variety of reasons. For example, mummy brown was actually partially comprised from grinding up Egyptian mummies! The pigment eventually disappeared as its contents became known.

Art Video of the Week - 3D Shapes

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This week, Liron Yanconsky takes us through the concepts of three dimensional shapes, shading, and how to create depth.

Art Video of the Week - Value & Colour

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This week we return to Dianne Mize of In The Studio Art Instruction to talk about judging value beyond the black and white scale that so many of us are used to.

Art Haul Week and Sketchbox #4 - September

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Well, the supplies keep growing...

My September SketchBox came in on the first day of the month and that's never happened before, it's usually a week or more later! So, pretty pleased that they may have figured out how to speed this up.

Art Video of the Week - Lightfastness & Fugitive Colours

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I missed last week while I was on vacation, in Kentucky, to see the total solar eclipse. However, I'm back, and this week I wanted to touch on the subject of lightfastness and fugitive colours as I have been, recently, building a watercolour swatchbook for all of the brands I have that shows name, pigment (when available), lightfastness, and opacity.

Art Haul - Pastels and Paints

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Nothing like Amazon Prime to satisfy your art buying urges! Admittedly, this is a dangerous habit, but I really like getting art supplies because it's fun.

Art Video of the Week - Painting Cherries

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YouTube is, of course, loaded with tutorials on painting or drawing various food items and some are better than others. These two videos (yep, a bonus video) show two different approaches to the problem and come out with pretty high levels of realism as a result.

Art Haul - Daniel Smith!

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I've been wanting to get some Daniel Smith colours for a while now and, since I happened to be near a store I knew carried these, I stopped in today and picked up the Essentials and PrimaTek sets (5ml tubes). For those not in the know, Daniel Smith makes some of the most well-regarded watercolour paints on the market today, creating some really unique colours that nobody else does, especially in the PrimaTek line.

SketchBox #3 - August

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This month, the SketchBox arrived with:
Two bottles of acrylic ink (cyan and shock yellow light) from Montana (the company, not the state)Two 0.7mm Montana empty markersOne 2mm Montana empty markerDerwent Graphik Line Painter (the colour is called "tickled" of all things)Pack of Strathmore Artist Tiles in black (4x4 inch, 30 in the pack)

Art Video of the Week - Watercolour Brushes

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Confused about the various brush options? What they're for? Need advice on what to get? Well, Teoh Yi Chie walks you through some of the concepts in this week's video (a day late, but not a dollar short):

Getting Warmer - Red vs Yellow

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Which is warmer? Red? Yellow? Depends on who you ask. Dianne Mize recently posted a video on YouTube on how to determine warm vs cool blues:

Art Video of the Week - Drawing Trees

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This week Chris, from LethalChris Drawing, takes us through the process and thinking he does when drawing trees using graphite. Of course, Chris makes it look effortless, but it's worth remembering that he has a lot of practice!

Art Video of the Week - Holding Your Pencil

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This week, Leonardo Pereznieto talks to us about holding the pencil for drawing. Like most of us, I usually hold it in the classic writing position which, I suppose, is a natural place to start. However, as Leonardo shows us, there are better ways if you are looking to improve...

Art Video of the Week - Improve Your People Proportions

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Valerie Flynn of Art ala Carte has a fun Youtube Channel with quite a bit of good instructional material on there. Recently, she uploaded this gem on practicing your people proportions using stock images either on your computer or tablet, or with paper if you don't have the sketching capability on your device.

Art Video of the Week - Painting Clouds

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This week we have a tutorial by one of my favourite Youtube Watercolour artists: Peter Sheeler. Peter has a pretty regular upload of videos usually demonstrating variations of his line and wash technique, but also videos that are a bit more instructional. This video has a focus on creating cloud formations.

SketchBox #2 - July

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This month SketchBox seems to be on the theme of basic sketching with a selection of pencils and ink, notably:
Staedtler 0.3mm Triplus Fineliners in 10 different colours2 Derwent Procolour colour pencils (Distant Green & Burnt Yellow Ochre)Sakura Microperm .05 fine linerDerwent Precision Mechanical Pencil setSmall, SketchBox logo, triangle ruler (6" or 15cm length)

Art Video of the Week - Drawing Boxes

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Shoo Rayner is an author and illustrator specializing in children's books, but he has also written some drawing instructional books and currently maintains two Youtube channels (Draw Stuff Real Easy and Shoo Rayner) along with his personal website. This video focuses on getting to a fairly basic shape: boxes.


I really like the easy, friendly, approach that Shoo takes with his instructions and I can highly recommend his other videos along with his book: Everyone Can Draw.

Art Video of the Week - Watercolour Skin Tones

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Anna Mason is a well-known artist from the UK who specializes in botanical watercolours with very realistic results using a personal technique that she has developed over time. If you're interested in the technique, you can sign up for her courses on her website, but in the meanwhile, I wanted to share this video from her Youtube channel with you which she has entitled "How to paint realistic skin tones in watercolour."



What I like about this video is really the demonstration of the power of layering in watercolour. She doesn't really tell you much about the colours in the skin, she focuses in on the building of value and how you can best see the full colour ranges as you build up the result. One of the reasons to get a value checker card is that we often "see" the darker regions lighter than they actually are and then that translates to our brush leaving the shadowed areas to light to create the realistic look.

Art Video of the Week - Drawing Faces

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If you're not familiar with Mary Doodles, I highly, highly recommend that you spend some time looking through her Youtube channel. The information there is very valuable and she is always entertaining. I'm a huge fan of just watching her work on her speed drawings, they're mesmerizing.

Today, I thought I'd post one her videos from a couple of years ago on basic facial proportions:


As Mary notes, faces come in all shapes and sizes, but the proportions here provide a good basic start point for experimentation. The style she is using here is cartoonish, but that is also a foundational start point if more realism is your thing.

Art Video of the Week- Misty Forest in Graphite

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This week we're going to venture into the realm of graphite. In this video, Chris of LethalChris Drawing walks us through the process of creating a misty landscape in pencil.



I'm in mid swing on my attempt at following his instructions, so I won't show it here, but the technique is well described and, like everything I've seen Chris draw, it comes out amazingly well. As an aside to that technique, I think I will also try a variation using watercolour graphite pencils to see how they handle with this.

Anyways, enjoy the video and, if you do like it, give his channel a look-see and maybe even subscribe.


SketchBox #1 - June

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Around a month ago I finally signed up for one of the monthly art box subscriptions and decided on SketchBox based on price to content considerations. So, today, the first of my 12 month subscription boxes has arrived!

Art Video of the Week - Gradient Washes

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Staying on watercolour (since it is my favourite medium) and with a focus on the basics again, this week I have a couple of videos on the topic of graduated or gradient wash.

In the first video Carrie, the Watercolor Misfit, gives a basic overview of the approach of a simple graduated wash:


I really like Carrie's approach to tutorials, it's very friendly and inviting. Her style is unique, to me at least, and so I find I just like watching her videos even if I already know the technique.

The second video, by Danica Sills, takes it a bit farther and goes into the topic of variegated washes as well.


I think both videos, combined, give the best overall lesson on the topic.

My quick go at the combined approach this morning resulted in:


One lesson the from that... Pick a better colour blend!

On a side note, I picked up a Darice Multipurpose Heat Tool from Amazon the other day and used it to dry the sheet. Works really well! That will certainly help with my lack of patience around dr…

Not Impressed - Body-chan/kun

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I was really looking forward to getting the Body-kun/Body-chan figurines, but after trying poses and such for the last day I have to say: I'm not impressed.

Art Haul Tuesday!

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The mail delivery was really good to me today with the arrival of not only the set of charcoal drawing tools from General's, but also my two Body Kun drawing figures.

Art Video of the Week - Glazing in Watercolour

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Back to watercolour!

In this article, Steve Mitchell (A.K.A. The Mind of Watercolor) brings us a video on the topic of glazing.


Glazing is a well known, and heavily practiced, oil painting technique in which very thin washes of oil colour are stacked to create a deep and luminous look. This is also something that you can do with watercolour as it is already a thin and transparent medium.

As usual with Steve, he walks you through the concept with simple and easy to follow examples. However, I think the thing that I liked the most is his admonishment that this is a technique for the patient: you must let each layer dry before going to the next.

Anyways, give it a go! I don't have a sample from me, at this point, but it's to come. In the meanwhile, check out Steve's YouTube channel where you can find an absolute treasure trove of great tutorials on watercolour painting.

Art Video of the Week - Doodle to Learn

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Doodle while you play! Doodle while you work! Heck, doodle when your hands would otherwise be idle!

Leonardo Perezneito has been a favourite of mine on Youtube for some time. So much so, that I started sponsoring him on Patreon a little while ago. I find his style and approach to be engaging, fun, and informative. So, check out his videos!

Today, though, I wanted to focus on one video in particular and that's the video on doodling. As Leonardo points out, the doodle is a great way to loosen up before getting "serious" about what you're going to do. As a hobbyist, my "serious" is still very loose and fun, but there is something to be said for just letting the hand wander over the essential form.

That brings me to the second point... Doodling allows you to just consider the basic forms of the subject rather than worrying about detail. You can just let the shape develop and not worry if you have done the eye correctly or if the mouth is realistic. Basically, i…

Ikea Saturday or How I redid my Space

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So, my home office/studio is the front parlour of our house and when I "moved" into it from my previous basement location, I had kept some of the furniture we had in the room. That changed this weekend...