You may have seen the notices and links to my “new” edition of the Portrait-Artist.org book. Finally, after over a decade, a second edition!
I dragged my feet on getting this edition finally done! But now I’m happy that it’s finally completed and ready to go.
It’s been up on Amazon for about a month, both paperback and eBook. Amazon allows me to run a promo now and then, and it’s on NOW! The eBook is only 0.99 cents (USA Amazon.com only) for a limited time.
The eBook has been priced at $3.99 USD since it was released in November 2015 on a limited time, short term basis. My plan is to raise the price after this 99 cent promo. It’s a very large book, with a large file size (that raises its production cost).
The book cover graphic links to a special page which tells you more about the book. In summary, it is “inspired” by the content in the main website portrait-artist.org. Some of the graphics and lessons are taken straight from the site. A lot of editing was done in the book version, however. I added a lot of new content, rewrote a lot of passages, switched out some of the artwork for new drawings, and basically retooled the whole thing.
While I’m here, I’d also like to encourage you to sign up for my newly-formed mailing list! I’m not going to spam you or pester you with useless junk; I just thought it would be nice to have a way to connect with the site visitors, keep you updated, and so forth. I am giving away a freebie 11-page mini eBook entitled “Seven Ways You Can Do NOW to Improve Your Art” to anyone who signs up for the mailing list: http://eepurl.com/bIIwMv
Yeah, I have a lengthy, windbaggy post about tracing and grids on my main site (here).
I stumbled upon some other blogs which talk about this, and thought I’d bang out a bit more about this topic on my blog. Just because I feel like it.
As I say on my main tutorial site, getting into the habit of tracing photos (instead of getting proficient in freehand drawing) can be something that an artist can regret later. Or, they’ll always feel a bit on the defensive about it. It’s controversial. Each time I see a debate online about it, we have some purse-swinging, butthurt, argumentative people, on both sides of the aisle.
Why is that? Well, I think a few reasons.
First, I believe that there is an ingrained instinct in many of us to dislike a faker, a poser, someone who is passing themselves off as something they’re not. And whether it’s intentional or not, that’s what a lot of “tracers” seem to be doing. They show some artwork with beautiful accuracy, and onlookers are so impressed and call the artist “talented,” and exclaim, “I could never draw like that!” But the artist didn’t draw it! They may have shaded it, colored it, and those things are worthy of admiration too. But they didn’t get the proportions accurate themselves. But they never admit that, and keep on letting everyone gush to them about how well they “drew” it. Continue reading More thoughts about drawing, tracing, grids
Recently on this site’s Facebook page, an artist named Tony asked about why it was important to draw from life, since what he’s doing is cartooning (drawing in his own stylized way). I explained as best I could, but wanted to expound a bit on the subject.
Art students are often told to “draw from life” (as opposed to drawing from photos, or your imagination) because our art should, even if it’s highly stylized, emulate life. You can’t make a convincing “cartoon hand” if you don’t know what a real one looks like. Your stylized, artistically modified drawings look more convincing (even if they are not remotely “realistic” anymore) when you understand what you’re stylizing.
First, the “drawing from life” part. (As contrasted with drawing from photos.)
I drew a lot of portraits from photos, starting when I was a young teenager. I’d draw my favorite actors and actresses. (Like a lot of kids do.) That meant drawing from photos. I became pretty good at it, for my age. I occasionally drew from life (my friends would pose for me) but not nearly as much as from photos.
When I first took a Life Drawing class (drawing the figure) in college, it was extremely difficult at first. A serious adjustment, and a grave blow to my ego at the beginning! I had always assumed that I drew pretty well, because I was doing a decent job of it with photos. But I still had a long way to go in developing my drawing skills. Continue reading Why Drawing From Life (and Studying “Realism”) is Important
Sailor Moon, a very popular anime character—so well-known that even I have heard of her!
Your kid and anime:
Oy! Since I first started this site (TEN YEARS AGO as I write this) the anime thing has really taken off. And I’ve heard all sorts of pros and cons about kids wanting to draw anime. So here I weigh in with my opinion, and it’s actually very simple and uncomplicated (but with some caveats). Continue reading Parents: Your kid and anime
I started drawing an eye, and then filled in the rest of the face from there. I really don’t recommend drawing portraits this way, since so often something gets crooked or wonky. This woman is drawn from my imagination and looks kind of sad. (Hmmm . . . is the drawing “sad,” as in, not very well done? Or do I mean that her expression is sad? Well, maybe both!)