Teaching Thursday: Perspective Drawing

It’s time to gain some perspective. Ha! That was a terrible joke. But it doesn’t negate the fact that a solid understanding of perspective is essential to artists, even if you want to paint like Picasso. You need to know the rules before you can break them and these tutorials will give you a head start. Perspective drawing is definitely a skill I need to work on, so let’s go!

One Point Perspective Drawing by Student Art Guide

Student Art Guide is an indispensably valuable resource for young artists that I stumbled across a few months ago. It is based on school curriculum and on helping high school art students to build their portfolios. This article is for those who have never tried perspective drawing before and includes several videos and exercises.

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Teaching Thursday: Food Styling

Hello everyone! A week passes so quickly and it’s time for yet another Teaching Thursday post. Today’s topic was inspired by some research I did for my pairing book project, for which I needed to photograph ten different kinds of hot chocolate and cookie pairings. After several hours of heating and reheating hot chocolate, lying in sprinkles, and wiping up maple syrup, I had gained a lot of respect for food stylists and photographers. So if you’d like to show off some of your culinary creations or just take better photos of your lunch for Instagram, check out some of these tutorials!

Digital Photography School Tutorials

This website features several articles about the art of food styling and photography. The ones that I found most helpful were Food Photography – An Introduction, 10 Tips to Improve Your Food Photography Styling, and Food Photography Techniques and Tips. They also publish an ebook called Snapn Food if you’re willing to spend a few dollars.

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Teaching Thursday: Inking Lineart

Over the past few days I’ve been working on an animated book trailer project for Illustration class. The approach I have been taking is to sketch out the rough scenes and then use a light table to ink lineart on a new piece of paper. Then I scan them in and piece them together in Photoshop before colouring. One thought that has stayed with me throughout this process is, “Man, I need to get better at inking lineart.” Today’s Teaching Thursday post features tutorials that I’ll be studying in order to improve–they might even help you too!

Ink Techniques with Francis Vallejo

First things first: let’s get inspired. This is a video in which illustrator Francis Vallejo demonstrates three different ways to ink traditionally–pen, brush, and a combination of the two. I’ve often heard people lament that inking takes the life out of a drawing, but Vallejo’s gorgeous finished artwork proves that wrong. Even if you’re not interested in learning how to ink, watch this video to see a unique style and a beautiful artistic process.

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Teaching Thursday: Watercolours

Happy Thursday everyone! A couple of months ago I purchased a new set of Koi Sakura watercolour paints and have been occasionally dabbling in painting ever since. However, learning how to paint with watercolours isn’t as easy as just wetting a brush and swiping it across a pan of pigment. I am still very much a beginner so for today’s Teaching Thursday I have gathered some of the best watercolour tutorials on the internet. I hope this inspires you to give this very fun medium a try, even if you don’t consider yourself an artist!

The Alison Show with Yao

Photo from thealisonshow.com

My favourite beginner tutorial for learning watercolours is by an artist named Yao, who was featured on a blog called The Alison Show. This is a five-part series that covers the basics, like which tools to use, as well as topics like blending and mark making. I love the beautiful photos and straightforward writing style of these articles. You can find a list of all five tutorials here.

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Ask an Expert: Writing Tips with Rebecca van Leeuwen on The Conquering Zero

Ask an Expert: Writing Tips with Wendy van Leeuwen

This post marks the beginning of a new series on this blog, Ask an Expert. Our first expert is Wendy van Leeuwen. She is a high school teacher and published author who is currently pursuing a Certificate in Technical and Business Writing. She also has the distinction of being my mother! I may be a bit biased, but I think her answers to my questions contain some great advice about how to become a better writer.


Why is it important for students to learn to use proper grammar and to proofread their copy?
In the same way that a plate of food is more appetizing when it is beautifully presented, your written communication will be more appealing and easier to digest for your reader if it is organized and presented clearly. Well-written, error-free copy demonstrates to an instructor, employer or potential client that you know how to pay attention to detail and can put together a high-quality professional product. Spell check and grammar check programs do not pick up every error and cannot be relied upon to do your proofreading for you.

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