A Mixture of Awe, Inspiration and Frustration | Drawing Basics

I’m usually pretty good at keeping secrets, but Sarah Parks has one that’s too good not to share. Actually, she has several, and they all involve one thing: drawing basics.

We’ll get to that in a moment, but first I want to tell you that Sarah’s Drawing Secrets Revealed is part of an exclusive Master Portrait Painting and Drawing digital collection of step-by-step drawing lessons, exercises, and techniques. Order today, and you’ll receive the following resources:
• Drawing Secrets Revealed (eBook)
• The Art of Portrait Drawing (eBook)
• Drawing Realistic Clothing and People (eBook)
• Painting Beautiful Skin Tones with Color and Light (eBook)
• Painting Classic Portraits  (eBook) and
• Top 10 Art Techniques: Portraits (DVD)

Back to Sarah’s drawing ideas and her secret to simple drawings. Here’s what she has to say about being an artist and feeling a range of emotions throughout your experience. Keep reading to discover one of her drawing secrets, and learn how you can win two drawing books and a five-year annual CD from The Artist’s Magazine.

Drawing basics with Sarah Parks | ArtistsNetwork.com

‘The Shawl’ (graphite and charcoal on paper, 14×11) by Sarah Parks

“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. Drawing basics with Sarah Parks | ArtistsNetwork.com

“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.”

Secret #5 From Sarah Parks’s 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.

Now for more fun–for your chance to WIN* a copy of Lee Hammond’s Lifelike Drawing and Lifelike Drawing in Colored Pencil books, plus a CD with five years’ worth of The Artist’s Magazine, comment on this blog post and tell me a painting or drawing that always leaves you awestruck.

Stay inspired,
Cherie Haas, online editor
*Fine print: Contest ends January 18, 2016. Winner must be a U.S. resident due to international contest rules and regulations.

**Subscribe to the Artists Network newsletter for inspiration, instruction, and ideas, and score a free download > Drawing Sketches: Free Sketching Techniques and Expert Tips.


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16 thoughts on “A Mixture of Awe, Inspiration and Frustration | Drawing Basics

  1. MTLisa

    The painting titled “Ocean Breeze” by Steve Henderson always takes my breath away. The mixture of mood, light and atmosphere is so engrossing! I always feel as though I am standing there, feeling & smelling the ocean…

    My drawing skills always need work! How many times I have pictured an image in my mind to draw or paint, then am just not able to execute it the way I imagine…how frustrating!

    I will use the mirror trick on my paintings – thank you! And thank you for the opportunity to win the books & CD, I greatly appreciate it!

  2. Shanti

    I feel the awe and inspiration and the frustration of not having the answers. I know it takes practice,but one does need an excellent source and there are plenty to be found yet it seems daunting.
    I love the sketch and have no real experience in figure drawing. My drawing is lacking as well. Let’s see if I win and improve.

  3. enthusiastic_crafter

    I am always amazed by portrait paintings and paintings of the human body, particularly Rembrandt because he uses abstract storkes of paint to create things that are very realistic. I also love the paintings in which they use lots of different colors to paint the skin in an abstract way.

  4. simplymichele

    This is my first time posting so I’m going to try to make it short. I want to thank every unselfish artist that shares their techniques that have cost them years and hard work to accomplish so that it may help other artists like myself better ourselves!! All of you are my Awe and Inspiration, you leave me feeling that if you can draw or paint something the way you do then so can I and so much more with your tips, lessons, advice and techniques! I’m 43 years old and ever since I was a little girl I have always loved to draw. Unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to go to art school or college to develop or acquire all the do’s and don’ts in art, but some people are born with the talent and just need the tips, techniques and experience of others to develop and perfect their God given talents. Thank you for the work you do, now I have the help that I needed at the tip of my fingers. Your experience, talent and advice are so very much appreciated!! 😉

  5. sgmjolson

    Great blog. I use the mirror to evaluate my painting and it is amazing how problems “jump” out at you. I really enjoy the painting of Sisley. The atmospheric feelings he evokes always amaze my!

  6. ddosser

    The mirror tip is great. Thank you for that! I had always turned mine upside down at times to check it so the mirror will certainly help. Da Vinci has always inspired me. The study drawing for The Battle of Anghiari and his grotesque drawings absolutely amaze me. The Adoration of the Magi is another that makes me want to draw every day. The fact that he was able to achieve his works during that time period (1400’s to 1519), without modern art supplies and equipment and without using some sort of reference is astonishing.

  7. tinabina

    This is a wonderful tip! I paint and wonder if it would help in the same way! I am in love with works from Picasso! I do love to draw, but have not made that my main focus, but would love to learn more!