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It’s fun to see a real life transformation, when a mediocre artist becomes a master . . especially when that happens really fast. In my home study art courses, I share a few common mistakes beginning artists have made and how you can avoid them.
Drawing Basics: What Masters DO that Amateurs DON’T
Carol Leather adores her granddaughter and wanted to freeze that young energetic spirit. But when she created a portrait of six-year-old Beth, it laid lifeless on the page, flat, out of proportion and missing the personality that this perky child exudes. It didn’t even look like a little girl; Carol had aged the portrait.
Here are the common drawing mistakes Carol made that you might be making, too:
1. She put the eyes in the center of the face, which isn’t where eyes line up on a child’s face.
• As people age, eyes move to different positions.
• Carol’s drawing proportions were off, so the likeness eluded her.
2. Carol used just two pencils for the hair, instead of a wide range multifarious tones found in natural hair.
• Even blonde hair has super dark values.
• In her final portrait she used 12-18 pencils to create depth in hair.
3. She used just one pencil for the skin tones, which makes the face look flat.
• In her second portrait, she used 12-18 pencils to help the face take on dimension.
4. She used white drawing paper.
• It takes 200% longer to draw portraits on white and results tend to be wimpy.
• Your portrait paper needs to be in harmony with skin tones.
• Clothing needs to be in harmony with the paper.
5. Her photo reference didn’t capture the child’s personality.
• It’s tricky to get great shots of a moving target, like kids, but there are some really cool ways to make that happen!
• In my online art workshops, I share numerous secrets for shooting better reference photos for GREAT portraits.
Carol’s birthday arrived shortly after she completed her disappointing portrait, so she decided to splurge on one of my online art workshops. Discovering drawing basics and secrets that masters use to make portraits dynamic and energetic, her work began to take a quantum leap.
Here you can see Carol’s finished drawing after learning drawing basics through my art workshop. This drawing, Best Friends, sold before she even finished it.
Within six months in my portrait drawing program, her drawings were so astonishing that clients were clamoring for her portraits. Soon she had seven lucrative commissions. How did that happen so fast? She bypassed the agony of experimentation and learned secrets that masters already invented. Join us in my new webinar where I will teach you more of the secrets that helped Carol move from amateur to master in less than a year.
In my online art workshops on drawing basics, we’ll take the pain out of portraiture!
About Sandra Angelo: Rhode Island School of Design Fellowship Award recipient, Sandra specializes in transforming absolute amateurs into amazing artists. Using Old Masters’ methods, Sandra’s super simple drawing lessons help you succeed . FAST.
Author of 50+ award-winning books, DVDs, Mail Order Courses Online Workshops, Sandra coaches art apprentices all over the world, daily.