Top Art Techniques & Tips

Bring new life to your work with our wide selection of art demonstrations, techniques and tips. A new painting pointer, drawing trick or art tool might make the difference in your next still life or portrait. Now you can paint with knives or learn how to scumble. Art techniques can stretch across media, so whether you work with watercolor, oil, colored pencil or pastel you’ll find something to advance your art.

How to draw

The Beauty of a Block-In

Focusing on details early in the process is a lot of fun, but it invariably turns out a drawing that doesn’t look right. You have to start big and work small, which is why most skilled artists always start their drawings with a block-in.

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Pastel Pointers | Making New Friends

Sometimes the experience of painting can feel more like a battle than a party. I once overheard an artist describe it as a roller coaster ride. We go up and then we go down—back and forth until the ride stops. At a recent workshop, a dear artist friend of mine, Kathy Detrano, had a...

Painted Bunting colored pencil painting by David Dooley

The Potent Power of Using Colored Paper

Sandra Angelo, a well-known instructor with Artists Network, has offered to share three ways that she likes to use colored paper to make her colored pencil paintings pop. See what she has to say, and consider which technique you might take advantage of in your next drawing.

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Practicing Intuition | 9 Underpainting Exercises

Whenever I'm demonstrating an underpainting technique, someone—at some point—will ask: Why did you put that color/value in that area? It's a tough question to answer since so much of what I'm doing is responding to the current painting situation with an anticipation of what will be done with the over-layers of pastel to come.

Mixed media abstract art

Rebels Against the Grain of Society

With 40 years of painting and teaching under his belt, Dean Nimmer has recently come out with a book that speaks to those of us who look at things a little more deeply than some. Creating Abstract Art: Ideas and Inspirations for Passionate Art-Making, includes exercises on abstract art for beginners (and those with...