Workbooking – a week of drawing lessons

As you know, I am rather lazy and always eager to get out of work. So don’t be deceived by the plethora of seemingly-fresh videos below.

Last year, when the original Art Before Breakfast came out, I made a bunch of quick videos to explain the principles behind the week of drawing lessons. As I have a similar week of instruction in the workbook, I am resharing those videos for you to follow here. Lazy, but effective.

Despite their vintage, the lessons still work.

Spend a week watching the videos and doing the exercises in the workbook, and, by the weekend, you’ll be ready for your first one-person show at the museum of your choice.

BTW, I filmed these in the winter and I think I was sick with something during a couple of them, so you’ll notice turtlenecks, sweater vest, pale skin and a red nose. Don’t be alarmed. I’m better now.






Inspiration Monday: watercolor lunch

This week, what I learned from Felix Scheinberger‘s klass on watercolor techniques. Actually, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I keep studying Felix’s work and learn more and more each time. As he says, watercolors are the fastest medium to paint with, but the longest one to learn.

 


PS I inadvertently posted this article twice. I have been sick for the past few days and am not my usual fastidious self. 

How to watercolor: In under 3 mins.

People often ask me, “Oooh, you use watercolors! Isn’t that really hard?” Short answer: No, silly. Slightly longer (2:40) answer: watch this video from Felix Scheinberger.

He lays out all you need to know succinctly and clearly. And in German! And it ends with him putting a flame to his painting!

Felix, BTW, is one of the world’s greatest masters of watercoloring. And even though he gives you all the basics in this video, he has sooo much more to teach. It took me over a year to get him, but now he’s finally on the fakulty at Sketchbook Skool. Starting tomorrow!

We have a few seats left but enrollment ends on Friday. Get a brush, some paints, and join us!

Art Before Breakfast: Deeper into negative space

Here’s the third of a series of simple videos I’ve made to walk you through the steps of seeing and drawing from my latest book, Art Before Breakfast. This one builds on the previous lesson with a different exercise in how to see negative space. That’s the space between things that helps us understand better what we are seeing and hence better how to draw.

If you’re new to drawing or are struggling with the basics, I hope this series will be helpful. (Here’re the past episodes, in case you missed any.)

Every Friday I work through an idea from Art Before Breakfast. It would be lovely if I could imagine you out there drawing along with me. This particular exercise comes from pages 26-7. If you decide to do it too, please share with me how it turned out! (Share the results on your own blog or on Facebook and post a link in my comments section. Use #artb4bkfst on Twitter or FB).

Art Before Breakfast: Negative Space.

Here’s the second of a series of simple videos I’ve made to walk you through the steps of seeing and drawing as I outline them in the first section of my book, Art Before Breakfast. This one describes an initially tricky concept  — drawing what isn’t there so you can do a better job of drawing what is. If you’re new to drawing or are struggling with the basics, I hope this series will be helpful. (Here’s the first one, in case you missed it.)

Every Friday I work through an idea from Art Before Breakfast. It would be lovely if I could imagine you out there drawing along with me. This particular exercise comes from pages 26-27. If you decide to do it too, please share with me how it turned out! (Share the results on your own blog or on Facebook and post a link in my comments section. Use #artb4bkfst on Twitter or FB).

No title. Really, that’s the title.

ArtistI think my mother was the first one to tell me, “You can’t call yourself an ‘artist’.  Other people will decide that for you. It’s pretentious to assume the title for yourself. It’s like calling yourself a  genius. Maybe you can say you’re a ‘painter’. But not an artist.”

My mum is humbling like that.

“Teacher” is another title I am loathe to assume. I don’t have a degree in teaching, I don’t work at a school. And I think teaching is one of the most important and difficult and unrecognized jobs around. I really do think that’s a title you have to earn.

But I guess I do spend a fair amount of time telling people stuff, instructing them on how to live, to drawn, to think. So I’m either a bullying bore or I am maybe a teacher. Not that the two are the same thing, of course. It’s just that if you walked into a bank and started criticizing people’s penmanship or cracking knuckles in your local Starbucks because people have poor posture and are chewing gum, well, that wouldn’t fly. Teachers get to know better because they do.

I’ve had loads of corporate titles and they all seemed sort of ridiculous. Yesterday, a guy gave me his business card and said, “There’s no title there because I still haven’t quite figured out what it is I do.” He was being modest (he was actually the boss of a really big company) but I liked his attitude.

Let me get to the point.

One of the biggest irons I had in the fire when I left my last titled job was to put together an online class.  I’ve alluded to it here a bunch of times since — but it never seemed quite right to me.  Maybe it’s because of those two titles, ”artist” and “teacher” and the even more daunting combo: “art teacher.”

A couple of weeks ago, everything changed.

As result of number of amazing conversations I had in Amsterdam, most importantly with Koosje Koene, a clear, bright path has opened up. I now know what I will be doing next and I think it will be amazing.

It combines everything I have been working on for the last decade. Making art; sharing with other people; meeting so many amazing “artists” and “teachers”; thinking about creativity and all of its gifts and obstacles; the Internet and the global nature of everything; Everyday Matters and what it has come to mean on Yahoo! and Facebook; the thousands of emails I have received from great people everywhere; my decades in advertising helping big companies tell their stories —  all of this mass of rich stuff lumped together in one beautiful stew that finally is really bubbling.

A group of us are working on something that I really think is fresh and fantastic. It’s an answer to all those people who have asked me to do more workshops or to teach online or to give them advice or make more Sketchbook Films, all the people who are interested in art and want to make it more a part of their lives. And I think it’s a great answer, like nothing out there.

We still have a lot more work to do but we think we will be ready to roll it out in March. Gulp

It’s a lesson that settling for an existing title or solution or direction may not always be as good as making up something brand new.

Which is what we are doing.

If you find this, whatever it is that I’m going on about, interesting, stay tuned.

And if you’d like me to update and include you in our project, send me an email. Please do. Even if you are only intrigued. Or vaguely interested. Or utterly confused. It’s gonna be big. And probably won’t involve titles.

.