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A Mixture of Awe, Inspiration: The Drawing Basics

If you’re like most new artists,” Sarah says, “you see a beautiful finished sketch or drawing and you think, I want to do that! But you may have no idea just how that was achieved. A host of questions need to be answered to be able to create something like that yourself, but how do you know what questions to ask? And where do you go for the answers? Few of us want to search 100 different sources just to get a foundation of understanding.

And what if you’re a more experienced artist who has been drawing and painting for years? You may often look at a lovely drawing or painting and have that mixture of awe, inspiration and . . . frustration. When you look at your own work and can see how far you’ve come but there’s still something missing, that’s when you pick up a book like Drawing Secrets Revealed.”

“I have a full-length mirror placed behind me while I work at my easel so I can see both the sitter and my painting in a single view. If you don’t have a full-length mirror, use a hand mirror often throughout your drawing sessions to check your work. Turn away from your drawing, hold up a mirror over your shoulder and twist a little so you can see both your drawing and the subject in its reflection. Then compare the two back and forth. Make sure the mirror is parallel to the drawing to reduce visual distortion. You’ll be astonished at how many flaws jump out at you in the mirror that hide from you when you look straight at your drawing. Staring at one thing for a long time habituates your eyes to it so that you can’t distinguish weaknesses as readily. Using a hand mirror will achieve the same result as if you left your drawing for a day and came back with fresh eyes.”

What a great way to see your work with a new perspective! I hope you take advantage of this drawing secret, starting today. You’ll find many more tips for drawing basics with the Master Portrait Painting and Drawing digital collection. Put it to use and leave your own viewers in awe.

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