…or maybe you haven’t thought about in a while.   A lot of these are from comments people have made to me about my work or while watching me work.

1) I can’t draw.  Yes, you can!  Think back to when you were a child.  Did you draw because you wanted your paper to look just like Peter or Suzy’s or because the world is such an interesting place and you want to process it through your crayons?

2) I can draw, but I can’t draw faces.  Everything improves with practice.  So even though you may be no genius at something, if you really want to do it and don’t like what you see, just keep practicing.  Also, there are helpful rules of thumb you can apply to every face.  For starters, we usually underestimate how big the forehead is.  I think the eyes are literally halfway down the face.  Weird, huh?

3)  That looks so relaxing.  Well, with faces, ‘filling in’ blocks of color is relaxing, but tweaking and teasing can be a little stressful.  This guy who sat next to me in art class at Mead High exemplified this beautifully.  He would draw for a little bit then get up and pace and whine and fidget.  Drawing or painting or any sake of creating for its own sake is more relaxing than trying to produce a certain outcome, which is why it’s important to have a little of each.

4)  You do that so FAST!  Yeah, well, see #3.  Parts of the process go fast.  Also, sometimes you get lucky and can hit the nail on the head the first time.  I do this random scribbly thing and I’m like hey!  That looks like them!  Other times I have to fight for it, pencil stroke at a time. By the way, I have to do a little plug for caricature artists.  To embody and exaggerate a face in as few strokes as possible is quite a feat.

5) You’re using old school paints!  Pretty much…although I recommend Yarka pan paints.  I really do, even for kids, but just get one of the cheaper, smaller versions.  I painted for years and years with my old crappy pan paints and there is something about this Yarka brand: the pigments are deeper and more clear and a little paint goes a long way.  There are also tubes of watercolor paints and I own quite a few.  These come in all colors, too, and experiment with these sometimes.  My comfort zone are the pan paints, though, and sometimes I mix in a little bit of a tube of white paint to make a pastel color.

6)  You need to raise your prices!  After you do a painting for me.  A lot of artists get too big for their britches too soon and start charging too much and don’t sell anything.  I charge what the market will support. 🙂