Why Your Art Needs a Background

Do you rationalize to yourself why your artwork doesn’t need a background? Time to stop making excuses and see the immense potential that backgrounds can have on your artwork, regardless of the media you work in. Backgrounds are not just visually rich and dynamic, but they contribute tremendously toward communicating a narrative, atmosphere or tone […]

Drawing a Female Back Torso in Pencil

See a drawing demo which explains the anatomy of the back while also showing pencil drawing techniques to achieve a convincing sense of realistic form. Anatomical landmarks shown include the scapula, pelvis, centerline, the Posterior Superior Iliac Spine, and more. Techniques for creating tone are shown using graphite powder, a white plastic eraser, a kneaded […]

10 min. Art Prompts

This videos provides simple art prompts that can be done in literally 10 minutes so self-taught artists can jump start their studio art practice. These are prompts are easy, accessible, and quick to start with bare bones art supplies. Sometimes the toughest part of the creative process is getting started. These prompts will get your […]

Art Prof Timed Drawing Videos

Practice your drawing skills with our timed drawing session videos! These videos makes drawing practice easy: get your drawing supplies and follow along as each pose plays with a timer. The videos have a variety of pose lengths, anything from 2 min. to 20 min. Want to do a longer drawing from one of these […]

Artist Books: Lotus & Meandering Folds

Handmade artist books are lovely objects that can be very three-dimensional with techniques like the lotus fold and meandering fold. This video demonstrates these two book folding techniques, which include book covers, archival book glue, paper, specialized tools like a bone folder, and more. The end result is a beautiful handmade artist book which you […]

Visual Journaling

Visual Journaling is an easy, effective visual exercise. You can do it on a regular basis as a refreshing way to renew your artistic thinking and process. This video talks about different techniques for creating mixed media collages in a visual journal. It includes: searching for imagery in art magazines, using photo copies from books, […]

Gelli Plate Monotype Prints

You don’t need a press to create monotypes, all you need is a gelli plate, some water based Akua printmaking inks, and printmaking paper! demonstrate every step of the process, showing wiping techniques, brush techniques, registration, and the printing process to create a monochromatic monotype. Demo led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Guest Teaching […]

Drawing in China

The Art Prof team travels to Guangzhou, China where they draw on site using alcohol based markers, water based brush pens, felt tip pens, and mixed media collage to show the urban sketching process from beginning to end. Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artists Eloise Sherrid, Casey Roonan, and Lauryn Welch discuss the challenges […]

Drawing a Portrait in Oil Pastel

See a demo of oil pastel techniques that will show how to create a compelling portrait. Various techniques are explained, that can be used to build up vibrant colors and three dimensional volume with oil pastels including layering, blending, creating a diverse range of textures and marks, and more. Demo led by Art Prof Clara […]

Pen & Ink Wash Illustration

Teaching Artist Alex Rowe shows how to brainstorm, research, sketch, and complete an illustration based on a historical event from the colonial era in America. Alex talks about how to come up with an idea for an illustration. He takes a trip to the library to research a story about sheep in colonial America. Another […]

Painting Curriculum 3: Tools

This video is a comprehensive look at the broad range of tools, both traditional and unconventional that can be used in oil, acrylic, ink, watercolor, and gouache. Brush shapes & types, palette knives, cleaning tools, and more are explained. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Alex Rowe. Video Walkthrough How much […]

Dip Pen Drawing with Ink & Markers

Dip pens and ink can create a beautiful effect when combined with layers of markers and white gesso. This video demos a unique technique with these art supplies that produce a drawing with delicate line work and subtle colors. Tips for how to draw with a dip pen using cross-hatching techniques are explained, as well […]

Art Prompts List

Animation Prompts Sketchbook Prompts 3D Prompts Drawing Prompts Painting Prompts Photo & Film Prompts Character Design Prompts Collage & Printmaking Animation Prompts Ball Bounce Charcoal Animation Pig Animation Snail Animation Sketchbook Prompts Blind Contour Portrait Hand Gesture Drawings Horse Gesture Drawings Markmaking: Lines Mind Maps Muybridge Animals: Gesture Drawings Muybridge Figures: Gesture Drawings Text Message […]

Painting Basics TRACK: Lesson 6

Prompt Choose an underwater creature: fish, crabs, lobsters, and more. Aim to capture a three-dimensional feeling of form and a wide range of textures and colors. Consider the background as well, is your creature in a specific environment, or do you want to do a close up view which minimizes the background? reference images We […]

Painting Basics TRACK: Lesson 5

Prompt Create a painting of 1-3 roses. Observe & investigate the forms and spaces inside the rose(s). Aim to capture 1) the gesture of the rose as if it were a figure and to 2) establish a mood for the painting. (example: a “sad” rose vs. a “perky” rose) Recommended media Any paint medium: watercolor, gouache, acryl gouache, oils, water […]

Artistic Anatomy Lecture: Feet

This video comprehensively explains the anatomical structure of the feet, with an emphasis on the bones. Bones and landmarks covered include Achilles tendon, calcaneus, phalanges, metatarsals, wrinkles, and veins. Other topics, such as how the stance of the feet affect the entire gesture of a figure, are also explored. Lecture by Art Prof Clara Lieu. […]

Painting Basics TRACK: Lesson 4

Prompt Choose a sound effect, and create an abstract painting as a reaction to that sound effect. You can use 1 sound effect for 1 painting, or combine & layer several sound effects for 1 painting. Watch Prof Lieu‘s demo of this prompt here. sound effects We recommend the free YouTube audio library to find […]

Painting Basics TRACK: Lesson 3

Prompt Set up a still life using only white objects and create a painting from that still life. Recommended media Any paint media: watercolor, gouache, acryl gouache, oils, water mixable oils, acrylics. We recommend using the same paint media for the entire track. Process Step by step instructions & examples Artists for inspiration Giorgio Morandi, Lois Dodd Examples Artworks by Triplegem, Brittany […]

Painting Basics TRACK: Lesson 2

Prompt Create a painting of a sky which shows a broad range of colors and textures. Aim to show depth in the sky, with some parts of the sky coming forward, while others push back. Recommended media Use any paint medium: watercolor, gouache, acryl gouache, oils, water mixable oils, acrylics. We recommend using the same paint medium for the entire track. […]

Painting Basics TRACK: Lesson 1

Prompt Choose a painting from art history or contemporary art and create a mastercopy of that painting. We recommend choosing a painting that is very different from how you usually paint so you can expand on your painting vocabulary. Try to use the same paint medium used in the original painting. Example: use watercolor to […]

Watercolor in Utah: Widstoe Cemetery

This video demos watercolor techniques for plein air landscape painting in a cemetery in Widstoe, Utah. The process is explained step by step, from the sketching process into finalizing the details in the paintings. Watercolor is combined with alcohol based brush pen markers to blend and create dramatic color effects. Demo led by Art Prof […]

Painting Bread: Watercolor

See the process of watercolor painting AND baking sourdough bread! This video weaves together how a grandmother baking sourdough bread inspired a watercolor painting. By showing and explaining the painting process, the artist comes to see that the bread is much more that just a loaf of bread. Demo led by Art Prof Clara Lieu. […]

Watercolor Effects & Tricks

This video shows a wide range of materials, techniques and tools for creating diverse effects in watercolor. You’ll learn how to create many visual effects in watercolor. Like how to achieve various textures, lines, and strokes. How to use other, unconventional tools. All of these techniques can be used to create a visual language for […]

Drawing Basics TRACK

The Drawing Basics Track is a great way to learn fundamental skills in drawing. You’ll develop versatility in drawing by practicing everything from a two minute gesture drawing to drawings that take several hours to complete! A broad range of subject matter is spread out in the track as well, providing opportunities to expand your […]

Drawing Basics TRACK: Lesson 6

Prompt Create an 18″ x 24″ wet charcoal drawing, using a landscape reference photo as a very loose reference. You can use any landscape images you find anywhere or, you can choose a landscape image from our free reference photo collection on Flickr. experiment Before starting on the final drawing, spend at least an hour […]

Drawing Basics TRACK: Lesson 5

Prompt Create a chiaroscuro self-portrait. Chiaroscuro is a lighting effefct which uses bold shadows and highlights that allows subjects to emerge from a dark background. Setting up the mirror and light Begin by setting up a mirror and light to create dramatic lighting on your face. Watch this segment on how to set up your […]

Drawing Basics TRACK: Lesson 4

Prompt Choose a manmade object, or an object from nature that has visible texture. Consider how dramatic and tactile the texture of the object is. For example, an apple wouldn’t be a good choice for this prompt because the surface is too smooth. Thumbnail sketches Start by drawing a minimum of six thumbnail sketches to […]

Drawing Basics TRACK: Lesson 3

Prompt Make a viewfinder by cutting a rectangular window into a piece of cardboard. Walk around your living space, looking through the window to find “scenes” that interest you. Play with getting up close vs standing further back, and aim for a broad variety of scenes. goal Create twelve thumbnail sketches based on the areas […]

Drawing Basics TRACK: Lesson 2

Prompt Complete six hours in total of gesture drawings of human figures. We recommend that each drawing session is a minimum of one hour so you have time to warm up and sharpen your skills. Use a timer and make two, five, and ten minute drawings. Start with the two minute ones and progressively increase […]

Drawing Basics TRACK: Lesson 1

Prompt Complete six hours in total of gesture drawings of animals. We recommend that each drawing session is a minimum of one hour so you have time to warm up and sharpen your skills. Using a timer make two, five, and ten minute drawings. Start with the two minute ones and progressively increase to ten […]

Drawing Basics TRACK: Ongoing

Ongoing Assignment + Weekly Assignments This ongoing assignment is to be done simultaneously with the weekly assignments. However, if your schedule doesn’t fit well with this, and you want to do the ongoing assignment at a separate time than the weekly assignments, our suggestion is to do the ongoing assignment for 3 weeks straight. The […]

Table of Contents for Tutorials by Topic

Index Abstraction  Animals  Character Design  Figure  Illustration  Landscape  Portrait  Still Life Travel Abstraction Animals Character Design Figure  Illustration  Landscape  Portrait  Still Life Travel