Art and Painting Tips: Artistic Advice and In-depth Art Tutorials for Artists

For some people, planning your next abstract artwork comes easy. . . for others, it can be torturous. And even the best artists get stuck once in a while! If you’re feeling like you just can’t get started on your next abstract piece, here are several methods I use to jumpstart my. . . read more
“Colored pencil drawing is like mowing a lawn with a pair of scissors.” That’s what I tell people when they ask about the differences between oil painting and colored pencil drawing. It’s especially true if you like a lot of detail and texture in your drawings. Luckily,. . . read more
This week, I’m taking a break from my normal colored pencil demonstrations to answer a few questions. These are the questions that I always asked when I was learning to use colored pencils, and I often hear them asked by other new artists, too. I’ve been doing colored pencil many years,. . . read more
One of the worst things you can do to a landscape painting is pair it with a clear blue sky. That flat expanse overhead can bring even the most detailed painting down to just plain “boring.” The answer? Add some luminous, cotton-candy clouds! “But. . . clouds are so hard to. . . read more
One of the beautiful characteristics of soft pastels is the way they can be manipulated to create soft, smeared effects when painting. Today I’ll be sharing my own step-by-step method of using soft pastels, with an emphasis on smudging. NOTE: “Smearing” is also commonly known as. . . read more
If you’re like most artists, you’ve probably experienced how difficult it is to apply a good varnish finish to your paintings. (I’m no exception!) But lately I’ve found a system that works for me, and makes it possible to create a 100% perfect finish at all viewing. . . read more
Every drawing should be more than just a pretty piece of art. . . it should also represent your progress as an artist. Ideally, a look back at your work should tell a story of the lessons you’ve learned and the skills you’ve gained. These lessons don’t even need to be. . . read more
NOTE: Special thanks to Craftsy for letting me review “Sketching Landscapes in Pen, Ink & Watercolor” for free, and reducing the price to $14.99 for EmptyEasel readers through June 30th, 2015. All links included in this article are affiliate links, and help support; any. . . read more
A grisaille (pronounced, gree-zay) is a form of drawing or painting that involves a detailed, monochromatic image, often created entirely in shades of black and white. In many cases, the next step is to glaze color over the grisaille, to create a finished drawing or painting. But grisailles. . . read more
Paintings are like children: they grow up, eventually, and move out of the house (hopefully). Along the way, they need to find their own place to live. That’s what a picture frame is, to my way of thinking—a home for the painting. The basic function of a frame is to keep the. . . read more
NOTE: Special thanks to Craftsy for giving us free access to review “Sketching People in Motion” and for creating a 50% discount on this class for EmptyEasel readers (good through June 15th, 2015). All links included in this article are affiliate links, and help support. . . read more
I’ve always enjoyed making my own stamps (which I use in many of my mixed media pieces) so today I thought it would be fun to demonstrate my process, and explain exactly how easy it is. The video below starts off by listing all the materials you’ll need, and then gives. . . read more
Previously, I’ve explained how to use rubbing alcohol to blend colored pencils, and yes, rubbing alcohol is great for light blending. BUT. . . what if you want a more thorough blend? Or to blend heavier layers of color? In that case, you need rubber cement thinner! Not only is rubber. . . read more
Welcome back to my two-part series on drawing realistic, “true black” hues with colored pencils. If you missed my earlier post on this topic, or if you’d like a review, feel free to read Part 1 here. Now, here’s the drawing I’m using as a demonstration piece,. . . read more

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