july-thunderheadSchool seems to begin earlier every year. This year, the kids of Newton returned to class on August 14. I don’t know about you, but the summer’s still only half over. It’s far too early for pencils and books.

But I’ve returned to school, too; after a fashion. Late in July, I began teaching myself to draw clouds in graphite. The first EmptyEasel article below describes part of that process.

The remaining articles for August focus on colored pencil work, including answers to frequently asked questions. Click on the links to read the full articles, then come back and share your thoughts.

As always, thanks for reading!

How to Draw Perfect, Luminous Clouds with Graphite Pencils
One of the worst things you can do to a landscape painting is pair it with a clear blue sky. That flat expanse overhead can bring even the most detailed painting down to just plain “boring.” The answer? Add some luminous, cotton-candy clouds! “But. . . clouds are so hard to get right!” Well, I used to think so too, but then I discovered a fairly simple way to draw perfect, fluffy clouds, in just a few easy steps. Read More

My Answers to 3 Very Common Colored Pencil Questions
This week, I’m taking a break from my normal colored pencil demonstrations to answer a few questions. These are the questions that I always asked when I was learning to use colored pencils, and I often hear them asked by other new artists, too. I’ve been doing colored pencil many years, now, so I thought I’d share my answers with the hope of helping others: Read More

How to Build a Texture Library for Your Colored Pencil Drawings
“Colored pencil drawing is like mowing a lawn with a pair of scissors.” That’s what I tell people when they ask about the differences between oil painting and colored pencil drawing. It’s especially true if you like a lot of detail and texture in your drawings. Luckily, there’s way to create texture without having to draw every detail. . . using found texture! Read More