Practice makes best

Andrew – 1

Practice actually helped

They say “practice makes best”, and today was proved this is absolutely right. After 2.5 months summer break, and a considerable amount of “homework”, I went back to the life drawing classes. With a new model and new poses, I had the chance to put in practice what I learned during our break. I was very pleased and I finished the class satisfied with my performance. Here is how these Tutorials helped me.

Continue reading “Practice makes best”



Exploring the muscles of the head

Reading this article is possible because someone is working hard for you at the moment, without you even noticing. Your head muscles not only support your head but also allow you to turn around or even eat your delicious sandwich. It comes as no surprise we have numerous facial muscles to help us with all these facial expressions, however the head muscles are equally important for anatomic reasons as well from an artistic perspective. Today we will have a quick look at these hard working parts of our body and see how they affect our portraits and figures.




An introduction to facial muscles

Looking natural is fundamental for any portrait that wants to be called “realistic”. To be able to achieve this, showing the skin creases or stretches is necessary. The best way to learn how to draw them accurately is by having at least a broad understanding of the structure of facial muscles. Since we are not aiming for “medical level” studies we will only quickly go through groups of facial muscles and follow a very simplistic method to draw and memorise them.


Continue reading “THIS WILL MAKE YOU SMILE”



How to draw a Skull in 3D

This article brings together knowledge from the last 2 tutorials dealing with the skull. However, we focus on the volume and perspective rather than details of sketching the face or the side of the skull (we dealt with those in detail here: IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD and THE BRIGHT SIDE). This is the last one of the “Skull” series and attempts to create a very simple and quick method of sketching the skull in 3 dimensions. While the previous articles helped you memorise the proportions of the skull and its various components, here we will see how all these things connect to each other and work together to form the skull.

Continue reading “SKULL IN A BOX”

Perspective – Try a different angle

Try a different angle

Simple shapes in perspective

Date: 18/07/2018

Author: CHROMA

Time: 1.5h

Why would you read this article?

If you wish you could draw realistically then the first step you should make is learn the basics of perspective. Start with very simple shapes – a cube and a cylinder are a good starting point. Perspective, when broken down to simple steps is genuinely very easy. This tutorial will show you how to draw your first simple shapes; then it’s up to you to practice and experiment with more complicated objects.

Continue reading “Perspective – Try a different angle”



The Skull – Side

It is very cool being able to draw the front part of the skull; we used to do that since we were in school. If you want to understand though the volume of the skull, the structure of the bones and mainly how all these affect the proportions and arrangement of the facial features, then you really need to be looking at the side of the skull too. It is important to know what the proportions are and this is exactly what we are going to study today. As always, this drawing might not be 100% accurate, but it will definitely be a good starting point for you to understand and expand your knowledge in the long run.

37069946_1265074486959644_465367656506064896_n - Αντίγραφο

Continue reading “THE BRIGHT SIDE”

Drawing loosely

Jane – 4

Finally loosened up

Date: 09/07/2018

Author: Iasonas Bakas

Time: 3h



  • Step 1: Stepping on Object
  • Step 2: Pushing the Object
  • Step 3: Standing Pose
  • Step 4: Sitting Pose
  • Step 5: Long pose
  • Step 6: An extra one



1. Charcoal Sticks
2. Kneadable Eraser
3. Measuring Needle, Pencil, Ruler or anything straight to measure proportions
4. A few blank sheets

What happened today?

This time I went to class about 10min late. This is enough for everyone to find their spots, to set up their easels and start drawing the first quick pose. This is the bit I missed; and I am so glad I missed it! The reason is I didn’t have time to set up my easel, I just sat down and immediately started drawing the quick pose loosely. This helped me a lot to avoid my usual “technical” sketches. I ll go through each on of the poses in detail below.

Step 1: Stepping on Object

The first pose (which was set up before I went to class) was quite interesting. The model (Jane) had her one knee bend on the object we were using last time. Her other leg was stretched, touching the floor. The interesting part of this pose was that the leg muscles were stretched and the models tummy and breast were hanging, offering some very well-defined shapes for us to draw. Another element that I found nice was the model’s hair, falling downwards covering part her of head and face. I worked on this one for about 3-5 min. (See the bottom right sketch of the following picture).

Step 2: Pushing the Object

The second short pose was again of interest for similar reasons as the previous one. Jane now was pretending to be pushing the object. To avoid sketching similar elements and perspective (and since I didn’t have an easel…) I just grabbed my drawing board and sat at another corner of the room. I found this one a bit trickier for some reason and that why I didn’t add too much detail. I am pleased though I managed to capture the flow of the lines and the general shape. (See the top figure of the picture above).

Step 3: Standing Pose

Main drive for this pose was to give Jane a small break. The previous poses were quite tiring for her so now our tutor chose something quite easy for the model. She was literally stood still looking straight and slightly upwards. I was sat at the same position. For me it was a good exercise looking at the model’s back. I think one of the next elements to study will be the spine and the shoulder blades. (See the bottom left sketch of the previous picture).

Step 4: Sitting Pose

The last short pose was a sitting one, not too different from the one we kept as a long pose. The model was literally just sat on the object. Her one hand was resting on her knee. The second arm, I couldn’t see at all. Here I think I sketched the head slightly too big, but again I was not too worried as these quick poses mainly served as a warm up for the long pose.

Step 5: Long pose

The model went back to last week’s long pose position. She was sat on the object with one foot touching the ground and the other one resting on the object. She had her hands “hugging” her knee.

As usually, I changed my position to give myself a chance to practice more with something new. This time I had a better view of the model’s side along with a relatively fine view of her back. I started sketching her back; took me some time to get the proportions right of the bits either side of the spine. The next element was her front leg and side. Once that was roughly sketched I tried to quickly sketch the front arm, before we went out for tea break.

After break, I roughly sketched the fingers and how they folded around the model’s knee. I spent some time sketching the second leg which I couldn’t quite understand as the other knee was in the way. Finally, I decided it was not worth spending ages getting the second leg absolutely perfect…I couldn’t see that well anyway.

I moved on adding tone. This step helped me avoid adding my contours (I added those recently). I managed to give volume to my sketch by adding shadows and tones. That was quite helpful to define planes and show what is in fornt of other bits.

The head is only roughly sketched just to complete the drawing.

Step 6: An extra one

I had ten minutes left before the end of the session. I knew that trying to improve my main drawing wouldn’t make much difference so I started a quick “dummy” sketch. I was inspired by our models pose for the bottom part of the body but then the upper structure literally emerged from my imagination. I d love being able to draw figures without looking at a model and I am so I happy I managed to this even the last few minutes of this session.

Brief Summary

Generally, a nice session. The biggest lesson learnt was that when you loosen up then this is translated into nice lines that flow on the paper. No attention to detail is required at that stage. Capturing the energy and movement of the model is enough! I hope you enjoy your painting and sketching!

The Artist says:

“It is so amazing when you start studying the human anatomy before you go to the next class. You gain an understanding of how things work together and then instead of just sketching individual shapes and planes you understand how the body structure works as a whole!”

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…


Love Sketching & Painting


JANE – 3

Jane 3

Life Drawing Session


This week the session ran very smoothly without any big surprises (except for the unbearable heat…there is not much you can do about it though). Our model, Jane again, got ready very quickly and we set up the first couple of poses in no time. The model did three short poses out of which we picked the most interesting one to be our long pose. The first two were standing poses and the third one was a sitting pose.

Step 1: Standing Poses

As mentioned, for the first two poses the model was standing. The tutor provided a small ply pier for the model to lean against. The well defined volume of the pier was very interesting actually in comparison with the much more “fluid” shape of the model. Also, for me it was the first time having a composition of a human figure with a considerably solid object.

During these two first poses I let myself free to experiment with different charcoal marks, I “broke” the rule of the light marks and I actually highlighted my sketches by pressing my charcoal stick a lot more than usually. I am actually very pleased with the shape, and flow of my lines here.

Step 2: Short Sitting Pose

In the last short pose we find the model sat one the ply pier. The pier was laid flat and Jane sat on it with one leg on the pier and the second touching the floor. Her hands were folded around her knee and her upper body was slightly leaning backwards. I tried to sketch quickly, paying some attention to proportions of limbs compared to the torso and the solid object. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to add tone, however I managed to draw some “contours” which help me visualise the volumes of the body. Obviously, in the final case these have to be erased.

Step 3: Long Pose

We spent the second half of the session working on the long pose. The majority decided that the third (sitting) pose was preferable . To be honest I wanted to draw one of the standing poses but that would have probably been a bit trickier for Jane. Anyway, I was quite happy with the standing pose too.

I generally did alright with this drawing. I managed to show the upper body structure leaning backwards. I also kept consistent with the body proportions and sizes. What I slightly got wrong was the model’s chest (the line between breasts). That was slightly off place but finally I observed a bit better and put it right.

Unfortunately, the head falls outside my page, however I made an effort to show as much as possible. I am quite happy as I got the volume right.

Step 4: The structure of the head

To practice my recently acquired knowledge on the structure of the skull, I decided to spend the last few minutes of the session quickly sketching Jane’s head. Of course the models head looks nothing like my sketches, however I am very happy I managed to get proportions, volume and relationship between different parts of the skull right. I ll keep practicing on that and hopefully next time I ll be able to sketch the head 3D (still not quite close to starting portraiture properly though….)

Brief Summary

Closing this session, I was quite please to have managed to sketch adequately and within time. I didn’t manage to add tone but I am ok with this as I spent some time sketching the head. I will try practicing the side of the head before next class and I will try to pick an angle where I can view the models side.

Until then have fun!

The Artist says:

“It is so amazing when you start studying the human anatomy before you go to the next class. You gain an understanding of how things work together and then instead of just sketching individual shapes and planes you understand how the body structure works as a whole!”



Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…


Love Sketching & Painting



Human Anatomy

The Skull – Front

You are so into starting painting portraits but after trying a couple of times…things didn’t quite work. Yes, I know…I ve been there myself. Here you will find just the right amount of information to get you started – simplified, and easy to follow.

Why you should read this article

If you want to make some progress you need to follow a method; and trust me, there is no better tactic than understanding what lies underneath. Having a good grasp of the skull will help you gradually build your skill drawing and painting portraits.  In this article we will look at the structure of the front side of the skull (next article will be about the side view).

Continue reading “IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD”

Colour Theory – Exercise 1



We recently looked through some very basic colour theory. I am writing these posts as I study too so I guess it must be quite helpful for absolute beginners. Even if not everything is absolutely clear; at least these articles should be providing a starting point for further research and study. Also I am aiming to create an organised file of articles for someone to follow; then it’s up to you to further expand your knowledge.

Today we will do our first exercise, applying the knowledge we obtained about the Colour Wheel and Complementary Colours. If you haven’t read these articles yet, I strongly recommend you do before starting with this exercise. It will be much easier for you to understand what we are doing and why things happening.

Quick Summary:

  • Step 1: Starting the Exercise: Outlines
  • Step 2: Adding Background
  • Step 3: Base paint for the fruit
  • Step 4: Adding secondary and complementary colours
  • Step 5: Adding Shadows
  • Step 6: Adding highlights

Some advice before you start painting; be patient between steps and let layers dry before applying the next ones.

What will you need?

  • Acrylic Paints: Blue, Yellow, Red and a tiny amount of White.
  • Pencil and Eraser.
  • Canvas (canvas board or some thick paper will do alternatively) and brushes.
  • Finally, it will be very helpful for you to have a reference photo. I literally put two bananas a tomato and a green apple on my kitchen’s counter, used some spot light and click a picture. If you can’t do this…feel free to use this photograph below:DSC_0074f.jpg

Step 1: Starting the Exercise: Outlines

First of all you will have to roughly sketch the shapes of your fruit. Use your pencil for this. No need to spend ages detailing the fruit; remember, everything will be covered in paint anyway. What is important though is to double-check that your proportions are correct. Make sure that your tomato is not very small compared to the apple or the bananas too long compared to the other fruit. No need for precision but be proportionally correct. Allow for 20min maximum (if you spend much more than that you will start overworking the outlines which you don’t want).


Step 2: Adding Background

With your outlines roughly sketched we are ready to start painting! Grab a thin round brush and load it with some diluted blue paint. Draw a lines which separates your background from you foreground. Again, you can experiment and see where you like it more. Once you have made this decision you can start blocking in with colour the surrounds of the fruit. Remember, the background will be darker than the foreground. You can apply more than one layers of colour until you achieve the desired density and thickness.


Step 3: Base paint for the fruit

The background and the foreground are now ready and the separation with the fruit is already obvious. We need to provide a nice light base colour for the fruit. I have chosen yellow for the bananas and the apple as it is very easily covered by any other colour. For the tomato use directly red…


Step 4: Adding secondary and complementary colours

For secondary colours have a look here. Mix some blue with some yellow to create a vibrant green. In reality there is no right and wrong amount of colour. Add a little bit of both until your green satisfies you.  Paint your apple with that and also paint the edges of your bananas. It is important at this stage to define the different planes (top of bananas, sides  bananas). To do this just add a little bit of green to the side of the banana-this difference in light will immediately inform your eye that this is a different plane. Read below for the shadows.


Step 5: Adding Shadows

If you are aware of the complementary colours,  adding shadows on the fruit is actually very simple. (If you haven’t heard the theory do take a look here). Take some green and mix it with a tiny bit of red  This will create a darker green which you can use to add a shadow to your apple. Similarly, take a small quantity of green and mix it with red. This will create a dark, muted red (adjust the amounts of paint to achieve the desired dark colour-you might need bigger amount of green here). Use this one to add shadow to your tomato. The green darker areas you have used on the bananas will serve as shadows. A trick here is that you can add some orange on the bananas, reflecting the red colour of the tomato. (See photo above).

We also need to add shadows on the table behind the fruit. To do this simply mix some purple. Again do not go crazy. Adjust your colours as you don’t want a very deep dark shadow behind a small tomato which is lit uniformly.  Similar for the bananas. Be careful with the proportions of the shadows too. Don’t make them huge or too small; they are connected to the size of your fruit.


Step 6: Adding highlights

This is the final detail and here is where we will need the small amount of white. Before you apply pure white for the highlight we need to brighten the areas around that dot of light. For your apple you can mix some of your green with some extra yellow and little bit of white (mixing with white will be looked at later. If interested you can read the theory here). Do the same for your tomato; mix some red with a little yellow and white.. You only need small amounts and you don’t want to make it stand out too much; just prepare the ground for the light. Finally, drop a touch of pure white for the light concentration reflection.


As mentioned above, this is an exercise…do not expect to create the most beautiful painting of your artistic career! Focus on learning and applying the theory!


The Artist says:

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“I have been passionate about painting since I remember myself. I started by just eexperimenting with colours, colour mixing and colour application. However , it’s not always easy to achieve what you want unless you know exactly what you are doing. Techniques are different for different media; colour theory though is the basis of painting and is the same for everything! I decided to teach myself the basics; and here I am sharing that with you!

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…


Love Sketching & Painting