Rule #3

Shadows are the fun part. Don't run away from them.

Shadows make shapes, edges, depth and drama. I could write several books just on shadows, they are that important.

If  you're a photographer, you avoid shady areas because the camera works best when it's given lots lof light.

You are not a camera. You are a sketcher, a smoosher of paint and a scribbler of pencils. Your eyes are way more sophisticated than a photographer's tools, and you can see in the shady bits just fine.

Look for the shadows first when you look for something to draw.


Elsewhere on the internets:


James Gurney's book Color and Light is the best I have ever read in regards to shadows... and light. Since, really, you can't have one without the other. Buy eet! You will love eet! (BTW, if you buy it through that link, Amazon gives me some pennies without adding on any cost to you. But I recommend you buy it even if you don't use that link. Or find it at your library. Or tell your prof to buy it and then borrow it from him and forget to return it. It's that good.)

Gurney's website is also chock-full of information. It's one of my always-read-first blogs and it's definitely worth digging through the archives.

Rule #2.

Drawing hair is really gross. Drawing hair I hate the most.

-Willy Wonka. (sort of.)

In case I haven't mentioned it this week, I'm not much of a fan of drawing hair.

You can over simplify things, in which case your subject will look like Ken.

Not everyone wants to look like Ken, people.

Or you can spend hours working on the fiddly little  details, reminding viewers that they need to pick up a bottle of drano and a new plunger so they can unclog their daughter's bathroom sink when they get home from work.

Drawing hair  means practicing your balance. Specifically, it requires will power to stay in there and get just enough detail to be believable, and not so much that it's a distraction.

Rule #1

Never paint tired. Or drunk.


It may seem like fun at the time, but you'll end up making sloppy mistakes and wasting a lot of paint.


If you absolutely must do the art thing in either of these states then work on something not-important. A life sketch or thumbnail ideas for compositions, but never, ever, ever times infinity- work on an important project while tired.


Save it for when your brain is functioning at 100%.