Links & Resources

A collection of online resources and books I’ve found particularly useful or inspiring.

Tuition & Video Channels

Many of these are YouTube channels with frequently updated content, so if you have YouTube account it might be worth subscribing to any channel you find interesting to get all the new videos in one place. Warning: Some of the links go to pages with autoplay videos.

Proko

Videos covering the fundamentals of figure and portrait drawing. Everything from how to sharpen and hold a pencil to the Robo Bean. His ever-expanding collection of lessons go into detail about how to draw anatomy. Click the title to go directly to Proko.com or click here for a direct link to his video channel.

Draw Mix Paint

Videos showing in detail how to paint realism with oil. Even if you use a different medium or don’t follow the technique precisely there are valuable lessons in how to see colour and value. There is also an active forum and question & answer videos.

Learning to See

Paul Foxton’s site is full of valuable information about the core skills of drawing and painting: composition, values, colour perception, edge control, with practical exercises and some really useful advice about the process of learning.

Jeff Watts

Jeff Watts is one of those rare teachers who has great talent and can communicate what he’s doing as he’s doing it. Watch his Friday Night Live sessions to look over his shoulder as he discusses anything and everything to do with art training.

Will Kemp Art School

An introduction to the fundamentals of painting and drawing, including video demonstrations and exercises. He started me on the right track with his lessons on the basics of using acrylics.

Cesar Santos

Cesar has impressive technical skills in realist art and his videos cover all kinds of topics relating to art, from technical advice through to inspiration and motivation.

Cynthia Sheppard

Really useful and inspiring videos. Watch her introductory video for a summary.

Jennifer Marie Atelier Diary

A detailed week-by-week account of her experiences at a traditional atelier, with lots of progress reports on her current work and details about the lessons learnt and the thinking process behind her decisions

Florent Farges

A mixture of live streaming of Florent in his studio as he paints, lessons on specific topics and live stream analysis of specific artists.

Bradwynn Jones

The real-time Wake and Draw episodes are great to draw along with. A high-res reference photo is in the video description.

Karl Gnass Studios

Inspiring just to watch him draw. Watch him build up a figure from a basic structure using dynamic lines and a deep knowledge of anatomy. I found his course on New Masters Academy (subscription) very useful.

Ron Lemen

His Quick Sketch videos are particularly useful for showing the different ways to construct the figure.

Watch over his shoulder as he creates wonderfully fluid figure drawings and portratis in oil and charcoal. Many are short teasers, but there are some longer videos if you scroll to the bottom of the list.

Marshall Vandruff

Anything online connected to Marshall Vandruff is worth looking at. A natural teacher with the wisdom to get to the heart of the matter. His lectures on perspective (available for a small price on his website) are very useful.

Andrew Tischler

Lots of very useful and well-presented information on painting techniques. He has a YouTube channel, but you get bonus content if you also subscribe on his website.

Love Life Drawing

This channel run by Mayko and Kenzo is building up into an impressive collection of very informative and clearly presented videos about life drawing and general art instruction.

 

Figure Drawing Reference

New Masters Academy

Scroll down to the bottom for the figure reference videos. Nude and non-nude.

Draw This

Timed figure reference in real-time. Non-nude.

CroquisCafe

Lessons and real-time timed figure reference, regularly updated. Nudity.

 

Blogs

Gurney Journey

Updated daily with posts covering all aspects of art, this blog by James Gurney (author of the Dinotopia series) includes his own sketches with photos or video of the work in progress.

Terry Miura • Studio Notes

I love the way Terry Miura paints, and luckily he’s very open with his working methods. His posts go in to detail about the decisions he makes throughout the painting process.

Stapleton Kearns

Stapleton Kearns is a professional landscape painter who makes his living painting pictures. For about three years he wrote a daily post on his blog which has built up in to an art education in itself. Start from the early posts and move forward.

 

Podcasts

These tend to be long conversations. I find them ideal for playing in the background as I paint or draw. Sometimes I need silence, but often I find listening to speech helps me focus — better still, listening to people talk about art.

These are links to websites, but it’s more convenient to subscribe to the podcasts using iTunes (or similar).

Savvy Painter with Antrese Wood

Interviews with artists, updated every fortnight.

Suggested Donation

Artists Tony Curanaj and Edward Minoff talk art with a range of guests.

John Dalton — Gently Does It

More interviews with artists.

The Sculptor’s Funeral

Art history and interviews with figurative sculptors by Jason Arkles.

LensWork – Photography and the Creative Process

Brooks Jensen talks about photography with an emphasis on the creative process rather than cameras.

 

Books

Color and Light

James Gurney

Essential reading for anyone painting realism. Each two-page spread shows a new concept that is clearly presented with copious examples from his own work. Just buy it.

Imaginative Realism

James Gurney

The subtitle is ‘How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist’ and there are plenty of techniques showing you how to get an image from your imagination on to the canvas. I see it as a companion book to Color and Light and it’s presented in the same clear style. I found the chapters on composition, preliminary studies and procedure especially valuable.

Lessons in Classical Painting
Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier

Lessons in Classical Drawing
Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier

Classical Painting Atelier
A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice

Classical Drawing Atelier
A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice

Juliette Aristides

The books by Juliette Aristides are the ones I take from the shelves the most often. They’re all beautiful books in themselves, with reproductions from a wide range of realist painters. She runs her own atelier and the focus is on classical techniques.