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A rose -by any other artist – is still a beauty to behold!

A little over a week ago, I posted a tutorial with over 100 pictures showing how I draw a rose. Then a few days later, I posted a video where I drew another rose in 20 minutes.
In these tutorials, I wanted to be sure that there was enough visual content to make it as easy as possible to follow along.
Yesterday, I got a message from a man named Andy S., who followed my tutorial and drew a rose of his own, using my tutorials for guidance. Here’s his message:

“First, I can’t think you enough for putting these together. I’m watching for more :-). I’m going to practice with flowers this week and see how it goes. Would love your feedback on my first attempt. I’m brand new to this, so getting used to the kneading eraser was a bit of a challenge. I didn’t use Bristol paper so that may have made it more difficult. I’ve purchased Bristol for my next attempt.”

His drawing blew me away.   This was his first attempt at drawing a rose, and he did a phenomenal job:  Continue reading

Simple method that helps a busy mom like me find time to practice drawing every day!

“I just don’t have time to draw!”


If the above title is something you’ve found yourself saying, believe me: as a mother to 8 children, I understand!
I recently wrote about the value of drawing something every day.

I’ve said it before but I think it’s worth repeating: I think drawing every day is the single BEST way to improve as an artist.

It’s not always easy to find time for drawing. Sometimes it feels impossible in this busy world.
But it’s worth it if we really want to see lasting results.
And if we are honest with ourselves, we really do make time for the things that are important to us, don’t we?
For example, how many hours do we spend on Facebook some days? Or maybe catching up on a tv series? Or pursuing other activities we find enjoyable?
If we really, really want to, we can find time to improve our drawing skills.
I frequently draw while watching tv (well, I don’t do much “watching”)…Or while listening to a podcast or YouTube video…Or while letting hyper children jump on my back. ?
Continue reading

One Way You Can Create a Completely Original Piece of Art With Your Imagination Today.

When I was a child, I used to create my own unique stories and pictures using my imagination.  I didn’t really worry about what others thought of my drawings- I just drew them because I enjoyed the process so much.
As I got older, I started to care more about what people thought about my drawings, so I started trying harder and being critical of my own work and trying to impress them.
I spent hours per day trying to learn how to improve my drawings, but I think I must have stopped using my imagination somewhere along the way, for the most part.
I did not visualize a concept and try to put it on paper. I just copied what I saw and drew that alone.
I  learned to see what I was looking at and how to copy it on paper, but many of my drawings lacked a certain spark of creativity and individuality. Continue reading

How I Draw a Rose in Less than 20 Minutes – Real Time

A few days ago, I wrote a blog post about drawing a rose. The post had over 100 pictures.
But I decided today that for those who are visual learners – who need to SEE moving images to really understand – to create a video for them as well!
My son, Caleb, made a wonderful intro for me and even created the intro music for it. You can view his SoundCloud here.
I am sure as I continue making videos, I will improve in lighting, sound quality, and editing (this was my first time trying), but for now- I think that it should be educational in letting you see some of the techniques that I use when I draw!
Also, I am open to constructive criticism and tips if you are skilled in video editing!

Please let me know your thoughts! Did you learn anything from watching this video?

Drawing tutorial- how to draw a rose

Thank you in advance for your patience if the pictures I’ve posted below take a while for your computer to load. I have uploaded over 100 for this tutorial!
Today, I was trying to think of what would be a good subject matter for teaching a tutorial on this blog, and I finally decided on a simple rose.
I found a free stock image of a rose on Pexels:
bloom-blossom-flower-15239 (1).jpg
I would love for you to follow along with me as I draw this rose. Also… it would make me so happy to see your results! 
I decided to freehand this because I want to demonstrate that with certain subjects, such as flowers, trees -or most anything in nature really- can be drawn without worrying about exact proportions.
You’ll notice my finished drawing is not precisely accurate to the photo (if you were to compare them side by side) but still looks like a rose.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you’re following along and wanting to draw this if you do it freehand you might get frustrated with yourself if you find that your rose doesn’t look exactly like the picture- or maybe it doesn’t look ANYTHING like the picture.
If you find yourself feeling this way, please remind yourself that you’re learning, and people don’t learn everything overnight!
I’ve had students who have sometimes managed to throw away perfectly good pieces of work because they couldn’t look past the imperfections (what they deemed failures) to see the beauty they had captured and expressed in their drawing.
I can understand why they feel that way because I remember when I used to get so frustrated with myself when I would try to get the measurements right and no matter what I did, I just couldn’t get it to look like I wanted it to. And there were those times that I would tear it up and throw it in the garbage, regrettably.
But then, later, I would think…wow, wish I could see that drawing today. I would like to see how I’ve progressed since then!
And as for the ones I hated at the time but actually managed to hold on to, I’ve been able to look back and think to myself, “you know, it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was at the time!”
There’s a lot of emotion that is behind the way we feel about our drawings.  So today let’s just try to draw this rose together for the fun and enjoyment of it! Continue reading

One trick I learned that changed everything I thought I knew about drawing!

Have you ever experienced a paradigm shift?

Have you ever had that moment where everything you saw something changed drastically, and was replaced with a completely and entirely new way of looking at it?
That’s what I experienced after reading the book “Drawing on the Artist Within” when the author, Betty Edwards, challenged my way of seeing what I was looking at when I was drawing.
It’s been years since I read it, but I remember clearly the exercise she instructed in the book.
Betty was able to make me realize that even though I was “seeing” everything I was drawing, I wasn’t really SEEING it as it truly is.
What I realized was that in my brain, I have images that I have created in my mind for all of the different things I’m looking at. It’s kind of like my own personal file cabinet of memories – not very accurate memories, apparently!
For example, if I were to think of an eye, I would have wanted to draw an oval shape with a circle inside the oval. Very simplistic and inaccurate.
If I were to think of hair, I would want to draw individual hairs in strands from the top of the head…maybe if it was curly hair, I would have drawn many scribbly circles to indicate that. Continue reading

Essentials tools you need to get started drawing today!

So… you’ve decided that you want to start drawing but just don’t know where to start.
Maybe you’re wondering what kind of pencil is best, or what kind of paper you’ll need, or what other kinds of materials will be useful to help along the process?
I will try my best to give you answers to these questions to the best of my ability.
Click here to get art supplies at Amazon, and support this blog at the same time!

The first thing I think is important is to decide what kind of paper you want to draw with. There are many kinds, and the type of paper you buy makes a huge difference in the quality, look, and feel of your artwork!
Here are some examples of what I’m talking about. There are many, many types of paper that you can choose from, and here are some of them:

Sketch paper 

This is the kind of paper you’ll find in most sketch pads, and the purpose behind it is to give you something to practice on. You wouldn’t want to use it to create a finished drawing to give away or sell because it’s not durable; it is easily torn or damaged by erasing. It is perfect for the purpose of making quick sketches, and it is very affordable. Continue reading

One surprising thing you may not ever have been told about drawing outlines.

Years ago, I remember watching tutorials and reading step by step outlines on drawing techniques. They taught me a lot.
What remained a mystery to me, though was, “how did these artists get their initial outline to look so amazing? Did they do it freehand, and if so, I want to know how to accomplish that amount of accuracy myself!
I searched many sites and videos, trying very hard to find an answer to this, but almost everything I watched started the lessons AFTER the outline was already there, which really irked me!
So I tried asking the question, “How do I actually go about drawing the initial outline for my drawing?” on art forums such as Wet Canvas.
What I found interesting was that this question actually started debates among the artists there about whether any method besides 100 percent freehand was cheating! 
When I read these debates – which sometimes included harsh judgment from some for anyone who traced an outline – I felt a twinge of guilt.
I felt like I was not a “real” artist like those other artists who seemed to be capable of drawing perfectly with no mistakes on their own.
For a while, I hid the fact that I began my drawings this way, out of embarrassment. I thought wrongly that most artists must have a gift or quality that I didn’t possess and that I had a shameful secret; that I used shortcuts that other “real” artists didn’t need.
The truth came to light (for me) years later when I realized that many artists through the centuries and even today, use many methods (like tracing) that help them to be more accurate.
Man drawing a lute by Albrecht Dürer
It’s not shameful or cheating to use these methods.  They’re just helpful tools that help speed the process and help provide accurate proportions.
Imagine taking a traced outline to multiple people who are not artists and see how their drawings turn out. They would all be different, wouldn’t they?
The finished product would reveal the skill level of each artist involved. Continue reading

This is the biggest reason you haven’t been able to improve your drawing skills yet!

So, you want to draw like a professional, right?
But it seems like no matter what you do, you can’t seem to get your drawings to look like what you want them to.
You start drawing, then freak out inside because you make a mistake, and that mistake turns into another, and you just get so frustrated after a while that you just throw it out and angrily decide, “I’m just not meant to be an artist!”
Discouraged, you put the drawing supplies away and don’t even think about drawing again till weeks later.
You think, Obviously, I just don’t have the talent so what’s the point of even trying?
What’s the problem here? Are you actually lacking in talent or is something else the problem?
The truth is, there are no shortcuts to drawing well.
The reason you aren’t improving is because you’re not investing enough time in drawing! It’s really that simple.
When we expect to be able to produce amazing pieces of art without having put in much time to learn and develop our abilities, we will be disappointed every time.
Drawing is a skill that is acquired with lots and lots and lots of practice.
So here’s one thing you need to do to ensure that you’ll one day be able to draw just like the artists you admire so much: Continue reading

Why I created this blog

Very often, I hear people tell me these words, “Your work is so good! I can’t even draw a stick person!”.
While it feels good to be complimented in such a sincere way, as i kept hearing this reference to the “stick person”, I started to ponder on the meaning of the comment and wondered, do people really believe they are lacking in talent or that they could not do the same things that I am doing?

The statement, “I can’t even draw a stick person” seems to be a way to say, “You have talent, therefore you can draw. I do not have talent, and therefore I cannot.” Continue reading