Charcoal Portrait Sketch after Anders Zorn

A portrait sketch made this morning in vine charcoal, after an oil painting by Anders Zorn. It’s essentially just two tones. A mid-tone was laid in, breaking light and shadow, and then a darker shadow tone. This was blended to some degree with a tissue, but it’s still quite rough and granular. To compensate for […]

Carlo Brancaccio Paris sketch (pencil / watercolor)

Carlo Brancaccio (born 1861, died 1920) was an Italian impressionist, who left his pursuit of maths to start painting at the age of twenty-two. Brancaccio’s mentor was Eduardo Dalbono who was a professor of painting at the Naples Academy. This is a quick 4inch by 6inch pencil/watercolour sketch (made on the flip side of yesterday’s […]

Rue Montmartre, Paris, Childe Hassam sketch

Childe Hassam was a renowned American impressionist whose early work in illustration paid enough for a Paris apartment near Place Pigalle, where he fully embraced Parisian life. At one point he even sub-let Renoir’s old studio. Whilst he studied at the Académie Julian, he was not swayed by the academic approach to art, and preferred […]

Sketching Paris, ballpoint pen and basic toning

These are a couple of quick, small sketches of Paris – ballpoint pen on copy paper with basic toning using vine charcoal and a 2B pencil. They’re made after paintings by the former Parisian artist Luigi Loir. The biro forces you to commit your lines, and you can vary the depth of tone to some […]

Water soluble pencil sketching after Wilhelm Busch

Wilhelm Martin Busch was probably one of the most brilliant sketchers and draftsman I’ve come across, with a wonderful imagination and command of line, able to draw almost anything that came into his imagination. Before Busch passed away in 1987, he had illustrated some 300 books. To properly appreciate Wilhelm Busch’s abilities and wonderful treatment […]

The Art of Thumbnail Sketching and Compositional Value Studies

Self-taught artists have the arduous task of planning their own routes. Usually there isn’t a great deal of methodology, so stumbling around in circles and getting lost in inefficient pursuits is the usual norm, before discovering which paths lead to the most efficient means in which to gain forward momentum. If I could turn back […]

Durer Playmobil and the Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

When a friend returned from a trip to Spain bearing a gift for my young son, bemusement and a smidgen of jealousy fell upon me. Little did I know that Playmobil produced none other than Albrecht Dürer, the famous Nuremberg painter. Cruel parent that I am, I’ve temporarily taken him into protective custody and he’s […]

Learn how to draw trees effectively

Undoubtedly trees can be tricky to draw. Their organic, seemingly haphazard forms demand attention and perhaps more crucial still is incorporating these organic masses into a well-balanced, compositional drawing. Even the best drawn trees will suffer if the overall design of the drawing is not well considered; sometimes that means playing with references (whether from […]

Drawing Pine Trees in Charcoal

ArtGraphica has been a champion of charcoal in its use for drawing for many years. Its speed, tone, and malleability are hard to rival. Even the hardest up of artists (and as we all know artists are generally pretty skint!) can usually afford to purchase a few sticks, or failing that you can always go […]

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