Enter the February Art Dare!

2017-feb-art-dare

“RAPID FIRE DRAWING”
When Prof Lieu’s daughter was in 1st grade, she would come home with these drawing charts. This month, draw responses for each word on one (or more) of our charts!

child-example_006    child-example_002    child-example_004    child-example_005


Requirements
Print a hard copy of a chart from below. Draw directly on the hard copy chart with any 2D media.  You must fill in every box on at least 1 chart to qualify, brownie points for doing more than 1!

Art Prof February Art Dare Chart  chart_002  chart_003  chart_004  chart_005
chart_006  chart_007  chart_008  chart_009  chart_010


To Submit
Post your chart on Instagram, tag us @art.prof  w/ #artprofdare. Or, post your chart on our Facebook page.  Use #artprofwip and one of our staff may stop by and give you feedback!

 We feature your submissions on our Instagram and Facebook page too!
Submissions close Tues., Feb. 28 @ 11:59pm EST
Questions?  Comment below or Email us.

Subscribe to the Art Dares email list and be notified on the first day of each month!

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Artist Prizes
We award prizes in categories based on the submissions we receive. In the past, prizes we’ve given have included “Tremendous Improvement,” “Innovative Brainstorming,” and Honorable Mentions. To be eligible for a prize, your artwork must be created specifically for this Art Dare, and follow all guidelines.

Prize winners receive: Prof Lieu’s book Learn, Create and Teach + a 10 min. Q&A audio response to 1-2 questions about any art related topic. Your audio will be from 2 Art Prof Teaching Assistants.  Honorable mentions will win an Art Prof sticker set.

cover      4_stickers


Art Teacher’s Prize
Art Teachers: assign this Art Dare to one of your classes!
For your class to be eligible, each student must complete at least 3 charts. 

One class will win a large Art Prof sticker for each student, and a class video critique from Prof Lieu. (watch below) In the class video critique, each student will receive a 1 minute critique on an artwork of their choice. Limit of 25 students. Grades 8 and up are eligible.

Submission Guidelines for Art Teachers
If you have an Instagram for your classroom, post your students’ responses there. Encourage your students to post on their own accounts as well!
For each submission, tag us @art.prof w/ #artprofdare.

You can also submit via DropBox or Google Drive.  Place your students’ artworks in a folder, and then share the folder to Prof Lieu‘s email.


Related Articles
How Do You Begin to Think Conceptually as a Visual Artist?
How Do Visual Artists Come Up with Ideas for their Art?
How to Brainstorm
When Should a Visual Artist Let Go of an Idea?


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts which provides equal access to art education for people of all ages and means.

Be notified of our early 2017 site launch by subscribing to our email list.

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Portfolio Video Critiques for Art Students & Artists
Prof Clara Lieu offers 30 minute video critiques on 8-20 artworks for students working on a portfolio for art school admission, and for artists of any age working on their artwork. Watch a sample below, and get more info here.

ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories, and post select submissions on our Instagram  and other sites throughout the month. Use #artprofwip and Prof Clara Lieu might just stop by and give you some feedback! We have a special prize for art teachers who assign the Art Dare to one of their classes. More info is here.


Ask the Art Prof Live was a weekly live video broadcast on our Facebook page where Prof Clara Lieu provided professional advice for art students and professional artists. Ask the Art Prof began as a written column in 2013 and was featured in the Huffington Post from 2013-2015.  See the full archive of columns here. Prof Lieu discussed being an artist today, art technique & materials, work strategies for artists, career advice, teaching art, and more.


October Art Dare: Brainstorming Submissions

Part 1: Follow the video above for how to get started brainstorming an idea for our October Art Dare:  “Your Future Self.” Create your own mind map in response to “Your Future Self”, and it counts as a submission!  This simple and quick brainstorming exercise is a terrific way to jump start any creative endeavor. More videos to guide you through this Art Dare are coming!  We hope you’ll follow along and complete this month’s Art Dare with us.

Submit on Instagram using #artprofdare and tag us @art.prof. If you don’t have Instagram, you can post your image on our Facebook page. Get more info on the October Art Dare/prizes/tips here.


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts which provides equal access to high quality art education for people of all ages and means. Imagine all of the resources here on our blog, except exponentially bigger, in greater quantity, and in more detail. Our Kickstarter hit its $30k goal on July 19, 2016.  Get info on our early 2017 site launch by subscribing to our email list.

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New Equipment, Brainstorming, and Learning Together

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by Clara Lieu

This past weekend, I got together with Art Prof Teaching Assistants Casey Roonan, Deepti Menon, and Lauryn Welch for an intensive weekend of shooting video, brainstorming, and preparation for the upcoming Art Prof site launch.  Thanks to our Kickstarter campaign, we have been able to purchase essential lighting and sound equipment, and most importantly-a new laptop for me which operates at the speed of light compared to my old laptop which had the functionality of a brick.  This equipment has probably quadrupled our productivity level in terms of shooting high quality video footage.

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Although we have been working on Art Prof for two full years now, it’s incredible the way the project keeps growing and progressing.  This past weekend, we learned so much about what we are capable of with this new equipment. While we’re far from a Hollywood movie production, we were really pleased with the quality and quantity of video footage we were able to produce in a short period of time.  We shot intro videos for various sections of the new website, Crit Quads, and clips for our upcoming site launch preview video.

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The first budget that Tom and I put together over a year ago was $35,000 a month.  At that point we had a very, very different vision of what we needed to produce the content-this included staff like a professional cameraman and editor, etc.  Now that my Premiere skills are half decent, and with my husband Alex Hart on hand for technical support on set, we’ve learned that on the contrary, we can be very self sufficient with producing the videos-priceless.

We don’t have exact numbers yet, but a super rough estimate is that we will likely be able to produce Art Prof for a fraction of that $35,000 per month that we initially projected, which is huge in terms of keeping Art Prof free. That’s still a bare bones budget that is far from cushy, and we will still have to cut corners in many places,  but what that means is that it’s looking really likely that Art Prof will be able to be free much longer than we initially thought.

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We brainstormed like crazy all weekend, it was a rare opportunity for a group of us to get together in person and discuss future events, our site launch, and ideas for future content. Most of the time, our communication between our staff is largely online, and it’s incredible how much faster and efficient things go when you can work together in person.

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Shooting in a group is terrific, you can bounce ideas off each other in between takes, get feedback, and come up with spontaneous improvements that we could never have anticipated in advance. Most of the time, many of us shoot videos by ourselves, and we had so much fun this weekend working together. And boy, did we do our share of uncontrollable laughing on set.  (keep an eye out for a Casey blooper reel in the near future!)

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In other news, our September Art Dare was an incredible success! We had 56 submissions from artists, and 4 art teachers who assigned the Art Dare to one of their classes. Many artists followed my charcoal drawing tutorial and posted their works in progress as they developed their drawings. We are thrilled with this outcome, check out our October Art Dare!  We would love to see you participate.

For those of you in the Boston area, we are hosting a free portfolio review event in Concord, MA on Sunday, Oct. 23 from 12-4pm. Artists who attend will receive several 15 minute, one-on-one portfolio reviews with our staff. Many artists tell me how difficult it is to find trusted, professional feedback on their artwork, so consider joining us!  This event is free, but advance registration is required to be guaranteed a spot. More info here.

concord_instagram2


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

FB    Youtube    Pinterest     Instagram    Twitter    email    etsy


PORTFOLIO VIDEO CRITIQUES
Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.


ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.

Enter the October Art Dare!

Art Prof October Art Dare

“YOUR FUTURE SELF”
(Drawing above by Prof Clara Lieu. Watch her drawing process here)

There are infinite ways to interpret this theme! You could portray what you desire your future self to be, what you fear your future self could become, etc. We’re excited because this theme has the potential to be tragic, hilarious, odd, melodramatic, serious, and more.

Requirement
No human faces in your drawing
Why?  Because many people default to the cliche of drawing their physical appearance to show themselves.  We’re challenging you to find a more unusual approach!


Subscribe to the Art Dares email list and be notified on the first day of each month!

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Watch this tutorial by Prof Clara Lieu below for how to brainstorm, sketch, and begin your final drawing. A mind map and thumbnail sketches counts as a submission!


Media
Any drawing media on black paper. (no paint) Drawings can be in black & white or color. Tip: If you draw with white media on the black paper, your black media is your “eraser”!
Suggestions below, but really, any drawing media is game!
Caran d’Ache crayons, conte crayons, pastel pencils, white china markerscolored pencils, chalk pastels, oil pastels.

Check out these examples of drawings done on black paper:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To Submit
Post your artwork on Instagram, tag us @art.prof  w/ #artprofdare.
Or, post your artwork on our Facebook page.

Use #artprofwip, and Prof Clara Lieu might drop by and give feedback on your in progress artwork. We feature submissions on our Instagram and Facebook page during the month!

Submissions close Mon., Oct. 31 @ 11:59pm EST
Questions?  Comment below or Email us.


Artist Prizes
We award prizes in categories based on the submissions we receive. In the past, prizes we’ve given have included “Tremendous Improvement,” “Innovative Brainstorming,” and Honorable Mentions. The prize winners receive: Prof Lieu’s book Learn, Create and Teach and a 10 min. video critique on 3-5 artworks from Prof Lieu.
Honorable mentions will win an Art Prof sticker set.

cover     Dessery Dai, Art School Admissions Art Portfolio Art Prof art supply stickers designed by Janice Chun


Art Teacher’s Prize
Art Teachers: assign this Art Dare to one of your classes! One class will win a large Art Prof sticker for each student, and a class video critique from Prof Lieu. (watch below) In the class video critique, each student will receive a 1 minute critique on an artwork of their choice. Limit of 25 students. Grades 8 and up are eligible to enter.

Submission Guidelines for Art Teachers
If you have an Instagram for your classroom, you can post your students’ artwork there. Encourage your students to post their submissions on their own accounts as well! For each submission, tag us @art.prof w/ #artprofdare. Use #artprofwip, and Prof Lieu might drop by and give feedback to your students!

Your official class submission must be done via DropBox or Google Drive.  Place your students’ artworks in a folder, and then share the folder to Prof Lieu‘s email.

To be eligible for a prize, your artwork must be created specifically for this Art Dare, and must follow all guidelines.


Related Videos
Charcoal Drawing Tutorial:  Line Thumbnails, Part 4 of 20
Charcoal Drawing Tutorial:  Tone Thumbnails, Part 5 of 20
Charcoal Drawing Tutorial:  Finishing, Part 20 of 20
Ask the Art Prof Live #4:  Oversaturation, Brainstorming, Beginning a Series
Ask the Art Prof Live #3:  Personal Themes, Never Too Late to Start Drawing
Crit Quickie #13: Figure Drawing on Black Paper

Related Articles
“How do you begin to think conceptually as a visual artist?”
“How does an artist come up with ideas?”
“How do you know when to stop working?”How To Brainstorm
How to Create a Dynamic Composition
“How do artists manage to get their soul out into images?”
“How do you develop an idea from a sketch to a finished work?”
“When do you let go of an idea?”
“When and how should you use photo references to draw?”


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

FB    Youtube    Pinterest     Instagram    Twitter    email    etsy

Ask the Art Prof Live #4: Oversaturation, Brainstorming, Beginning a Series

 

02:31
Balancing periods of absorption and periods of isolation.


04:55
Go to the library and look at art books!
Mentioned: Caravaggio, August Edouart’s Silhouettes of Eminent Americans

Caravaggio, Oil Painting, The Doubting of St. Thomas    August Edouarte's Silhouettes


09:01
Non-art related influences
Mentioned:  Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto, Being Mortal, Oliver Sacks, Awakenings, The Lost Art Of Healing by Bernard Lown

Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto   Atul Gawande, Being Mortal   Awakenings by Oliver Sacks   The Lost Art of Healing, by Dr. Bernard Lown


11:01
Brainstorming: keep “barfing”

Below is a video tutorial on how to brainstorm, sketch, and create a drawing from beginning to end based on our October Art Dare.









17:01
Starting an art series:  striking a balance between consistency and variety
Mentioned: Quantum Leap, TV series

Quantum Leap


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

FB    Youtube    Pinterest     Instagram    Twitter    email    etsy


PORTFOLIO VIDEO CRITIQUES
Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.


ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.


Related Live Videos
#8: Should I do the Starving Artist Phase in New York City?
#7: How do I Improve My Art?  How do I Find My Artistic Style?
#6: Teaching High School Art, Teaching Color
#5:  Starting Art School, Avoiding Cliches
#3:  Personal Themes, Never Too Late to Start Drawing
#2:  Aches While Drawing, Professional Artwork vs. Student Artwork
#1:  Graduate MFA Programs

Ask the Art Prof: How Can I Balance Planning and Spontaneity in My Artwork?

Chipboard Personality Sculptures

“I paint based on my intuition, and I usually do not know what the message of the painting is until the draft is down. This usually evolves over a few weeks, with new insights and connections happening. I feel rather out of control, and my tutors say I should finalize a plan and then execute it. Instead, I modify during execution. Is there some balance between planning and going on impulse that is ideal? “

The key is to strike a balance so that planning and spontaneity are mutually supportive. You can maximize the benefits of both by organizing your time and fostering work habits that will allow these two approaches to complement each other. I organize my time so that I have periods that are dedicated to loose experimentation that are balanced by periods of executing finished pieces. Managing these periods in this way keeps me focused and provides a well-rounded experience.

The ability to think and work in an unpredictable manner is most useful in the beginning stages of an artwork. This approach significantly expands the range of work you can create, and is especially critical when brainstorming ideas for your artwork. From a practical standpoint, it’s crucial to limit the physical execution of the artwork to small scale sketches. This strategy allows you to quickly make fundamental, sweeping changes without the consequences of wasting expensive art materials or needing to start over a time-consuming piece. You can explore many options without investing large amounts of time.

At this early stage, spill everything on paper and entertain every option without passing judgment prematurely. Maintaining flexibility is hugely important; you have to give yourself the freedom to react to anything that arises and then run with it. If you are too fixated and on your first ideas and unwilling to make impromptu changes, you will shut down potential options that might have been great.

An impulsive approach can lead to fresh and exciting ideas that might otherwise not come up. Excessive planning and thinking can sometimes paralyze your creativity. The equivalent would be a baseball player who ruminates about how to hit the ball, when really, no amount of thinking will help when the ball is being thrown at you at 85 mph. I frequently tell my students to turn off their brains and just touch the paper with the charcoal. Start a physical action and then let yourself react to those actions in the moment. This approach will get your creative juices pumping and push your progress forward.

However, you can’t do this forever, and ultimately you have to arrive at a cohesive vision. At a certain point, you will start feeling scattered and overwhelmed. When jumping around becomes detrimental to your process, it’s a signal that it’s time to start making decisions and nailing down what you want to do.

If the preparatory stages of your work was substantial and exhaustive, fabricating the final pieces should be fairly straightforward and smooth. In my own artwork, executing the final pieces always takes much less time than the planning stage. Frequently I spend months, sometimes even up to a year brainstorming and sketching. As a result, I reap many rewards; my preliminary work is comprehensive enough that by the time I’m ready to make the final pieces, I’ve anticipated and ironed out almost all of the problems. I can concentrate exclusively on the technical aspects of interacting with my art materials. This allows me to work without the distraction of troubleshooting unresolved issues.

Keep in mind that fundamental, sweeping changes at the execution stage can be disruptive, expensive, and impractical. You can waste a lot of time and art materials, and end up doing a lot unnecessary backtracking. Once you’ve spent $300 on canvas and paints, and invested 12 hours working on the painting, it can be painful to discover that deep into the process, you want to scrap everything and create a pastel drawing instead. Once in a while, the situation can be so dire that starting over really is the only solution. After all, no one wants to squander their time beating a dead horse. So, be thorough in the brainstorming stage, and avoid this situation if you can.

I’m not saying you can’t make changes while you execute the final work. Inevitably, new challenges emerge that you couldn’t predict, and you have to build in room for adjustments. Modifications made at this point should be minor, so that they enhance the overall work without sabotaging your progress.

Sometimes major changes are just not possible because of a professional commitment you’ve made. When I’ve spent a year creating a body of artwork for a solo exhibition, I cannot make hasty decisions one month before the exhibition opens. Despite a burning desire to investigate a new idea, I’ve had to immediately reject radical changes because it was just too late. Running with a last-minute idea at that point would have been foolish, and I couldn’t risk everything I had accomplished.

Take the initiative to exercise both spontaneous and planned approaches in your work process. If you limit yourself to only one way of working, you’re missing out on everything the other has to offer. Let these methods influence each other in a positive manner, and you’ll begin to achieve a balance that will make your overall studio practice more fluid and coherent.


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

FB    Youtube    Pinterest     Instagram    Twitter    email    etsy


PORTFOLIO VIDEO CRITIQUES
Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.


ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.


Related articles
“How do you keep pushing yourself to get to that next level?”
“Would you improve more if you took art classes than just studying on your own?”
“How do you break out of your comfort zone?”
“How do you get out of thinking you can’t get any better?”
“How do you develop patience for learning curves?”
“When do you let go of an idea?”
“How do I help my daughter reach her potential in art?”
“How can I study to become a professional artist on my own?”
“How do you begin to think conceptually as a visual artist?”

How to Brainstorm

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There is always a wide range of skills in the students who enter my Freshman Drawing course at RISD. Some students have never worked with charcoal before, others have a strong grasp of composition, while others struggle with gesture drawing, and so forth. For most of us, it’s easier and much more satisfying to just keep indulging in the skills we’re already good at. After all, who doesn’t enjoy success? As a contrast against that natural impulse, I encourage my students to directly confront their weaknesses in order to exercise the muscles they’ve been ignoring, or didn’t even know existed.

While every student has their weaknesses they’re working on, the one skill that none of my students seem to have across the board is brainstorming. Even strong students who have exceptional drawing skills struggle tremendously with brainstorming.   In fact, many of these students have an even tougher time because they’ve been using their drawing skills as a crutch to compensate for their lack of thinking.

Below is a video tutorial on how to brainstorm, sketch, and create a drawing from beginning to end based on our October Art Dare.


In the past, when I’ve asked individual students about what actions they are taking when brainstorming, I have to admit that I am frequently appalled by their work habits. One student told me that when he’s brainstorming he looks at Tumblr, while another student said that they listen to music and eat. I’ve watched students in my classes during work sessions literally sit in a chair, tap their fingers on the table, and quietly grumble to themselves.

Without fail, the three top brainstorming problems that I see in my students every semester are:

1) Choosing your first idea. 
I am always surprised when students tell me that they are certain that their first idea is the best one. When there is literally no means of comparison, how can you be so sure? This is the equivalent of going to a buffet, tasting one dish, and then deciding to eat only that one dish for the rest of the meal. I honestly can’t remember ever going with my first idea; most of the time the first idea is cliche, obvious, and literal.

2) Staying stuck in your head.
Students frequently judge an idea in their mind, and then they eliminate that idea in their head before that idea even hits the paper. You have to literally see an idea down on paper to be able to clearly judge whether an idea has any potential. There have been so many instances where I thought that an idea was stupid, and then realized after seeing it on paper that it actually did have merit.  On the other hand, there have been many occasions where I was so convinced that an idea was great, only to discover later that the idea was no good when I saw it on paper. There’s no way to predict the outcome of an idea, and you’re just choking yourself if you never give the idea a chance to come to fruition.

3) Ending the brainstorming process prematurely.
In the second half of the semester, I shift gears with my homework assignments and give my students two weeks to work on one drawing. (prior assignments are only one week long) For many students, their first impulse is to assume that with double the time for the assignment, everything will be so much easier.  Consequently, they blow off the first week, which is supposed to be dedicated entirely on brainstorming and sketching.  Most learn the hard way that there are major consequences to doing minimal work in the first week; these students essentially double their work load in the second week of the assignment because they severely underestimated the kind of investment the brainstorming process demands.  Ideas take time to evolve, they require persistence and tenacity to fully mature.

JH6

There is a common misconception that to get a good idea, it’s just a matter of waiting around to be struck by a moment of inspiration. I strongly disagree, innovative ideas don’t just magically pop out of nowhere, you have to be tenacious and push for those ideas. Brainstorming is not a passive action, you have to be aggressive to get results.

I once had a student who was having an extremely hard time coming up with an idea for an assignment where I ask students to create a drawing based on one of their routines. I exchanged several emails with her over the course of the week. In her first email, she kept insisting that she had no ideas at all.  I asked her to list routines she had, but the ones she listed were generic and vague, such as going for a walk, and sleeping. I kept telling her that the ideas were thin and boring, but she continued to reply with more routines that were again, too general. Then, after about the sixth email, she flooded her email with eight dense paragraphs, describing several routines associated with serious issues she had during adolescence. The ideas were there all along, but she had to dig deep over a period of time to unearth them. The final drawing she created for this assignment was one of her most poignant, compelling pieces of the semester.

VL6

So what are the actions you need to take to effectively brainstorm?

1) Put everything on paper.
Resist the temptation to judge your ideas as you write.  Let yourself throw up on paper, and then edit your ideas later.

2) Divide your brainstorming over several days.
This allows you to return to your ideas with a fresh eye. Avoid marathon sessions.

3) Play word association

4) Look up related words in the dictionary.
I am frequently surprised by dictionary definitions, especially of common words that I assume I understand. Dictionary definitions can stimulate other thinking strategies.

5) Talk out your ideas with a friend.
Having to verbalize your ideas out loud to someone else will motivate you to distill your ideas in a coherent manner.

6) Turn off the Internet.
Music is fine, but otherwise, brainstorming should be: you, a piece of paper, a pencil, and your thoughts.


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

FB    Youtube    Pinterest     Instagram    Twitter    email    etsy


PORTFOLIO VIDEO CRITIQUES
Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.


ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.


Related Videos
Youtube Playlist: Video Critiques on Art School Admissions Portfolios
Youtube Playlist:  How to Draw a Portrait with Charcoal and Cross-Hatching
Youtube Playlist:  Crit Quickies, 1 min. critiques on artworks


Related Articles
“How do you develop an idea from a sketch to a finished work?”
“How do you work in a series?”
“How do artists manage to get their soul out into images?”
“How do you develop an idea from a sketch to a finished work?”
“How do you begin to think conceptually as a visual artist?”