Many thanks to all of you that participated in the Drawing Academy Survey.
The survey’s winner has been awarded with the full Drawing Academy Course!
More than 100 participants asked academy tutors their most pressing questions about art, how to improve their drawing skills, and the Drawing Academy course itself. We did our best to answer all of them via email.
Below are our answers to 43 selected questions you might find interesting and helpful…
Questions from David P.
I’ve been enrolled in the Drawing Academy for a month now and I’ve learned so much. Your first month’s lessons alone have helped me tremendously with my concept art.
I’m going to an art college right now; it’s okay, but I hate the 5 pencil method. It’s too sophisticated and confusing. I mean, I don’t know anyone who uses it, and I know it’s just not for me…
Question from Jeremy H.
In the Drawing Academy video lessons 26 & 43 you cover drawing a tree which is great, however I am finding I am having difficulty getting a variety of different tree types to look correct as I see them in nature… or my trees kinda all look the same.
Painting trees is so much easier than drawing them! Help! …
Question from Stephan, Drawing Academy student
I love and appreciate the Traditional multi-layer oil painting approach of the old masters. So much so, that I intend to create a body of work utilising this approach.
My question is: Where can I source such oil paints and purchase them? Any particular website or Company that possess these oils that are of good, professional Artist’s quality? These oils to venture into this approach could not be found locally. Please provide me with some legitimate source…
I watched your video presentation on ‘Drawing from Photos vs Drawing from Life‘. I am thinking of enrolling in the Drawing Academy course.
My question is, through your course, students are learning from video lessons – two-dimensional examples, not drawing from live models. How will you reconcile these two?…
Question from jhehn13
In the Drawing Academy video lessons am I supposed to pause the video at the beginning and attempt to draw what the lesson is about or (and this is my assumption) try to draw something similar, or does it matter?
I see the value in drawing from life to help achieve the goal of drawing from imagination.
I have been creative since I was young, off and on (mostly off) I would create art, drawing, painting, etc. Though I have never taken a class save a few in high school and now more than 20 years later I am now pursuing art education (rather than relying on my innate talents) in most of my free time to better myself because I love drawing and art! It brings me peace and pleasure, especially when I look at it and don’t think, something wrong I can’t quite put my finger on it. I am highly interested in drawing people as I have thought this was something I couldn’t do in the past, but now I am beginning to see that was a preconceived notion on my part.
So far I am really enjoying the lessons I look forward to the entire course…
Question from Jasmine
I am very interested in figurative art. There are works of Art that have a great deal of emotional impact, you can almost see the soul of the model(s). They make you wonder who they are or what their story is. And there are other works that just leave you cold, no matter how skillfully they are done.
What makes the difference? Is it merely in the facial expression or is there more? How should an artist convey emotions in his or her work without being too obvious?
What about narrative portraits? How many clues should you give the viewer about what is going on without killing the mystery?…
Question from Erica
What colors and techniques should I use for the beautiful, rich, dark backgrounds – like Sargent’s chiaroscuro look?..
Question from Yuri Magalhaes, Drawing Academy Student
In the video “How to Hold a Pencil“, you talk about the “writing grip”. That’s what I use, since I focus more on small pieces. For the rendering, should I hatch with bent fingers like you show, or is it acceptable to make each stroke from the wrist?
I notice my rendering gets too dark right from the beginning of the work, and I don’t know if it is because of the hand-finger movement that I haven’t been able to master the line weight.
Is there any exercise other than filling up an entire sketchbook with hatching practice to master the technique?…
Question from Ryan
I have a question regarding ergonomics when sketching or drawing using a drawing board. Prior to doing the Drawing Academy course I was only used to drawing on a flat surface using the three-finger writing grip. I have a somewhat shaky hand and tend to grip quite tight on my pencil, and I constantly have to rest my hand or arm whilst drawing.
Not sure if this is a bad habit developed from childhood or a hyperextension issue. I find such a grip quite restrictive, especially when bringing the stroke to my body.
Since completing the Drawing Academy course, I have found that drawing on my easel in more vertical positions has so many advantages, such as being able to work larger, creating broader strokes with a wider gamut, and being able to step back and view the work. It’s easier to check perspective and mistakes, so that’s a huge bonus.
When I watch you drawing in each video, no matter what grip or what media you use, you have complete control and mastery of your craft.
I hope I can resolve this problem as I feel it’s the number one issue that’s stopping my progression. I’m thinking of buying a good drafting table to see if this will help, or maybe I just need to practice more often. Not sure if any other students have these issues or if it is just me – any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated…