I think all professions require constant learning and improving if you want to be good in them, and it’s especially important if you’re a self taught artist like me.
There are a lot of places on- and offline where you can learn and improve your skills like workshops, courses, books, and one of my fav places, YouTube.
Today I’ll share some of my favourite art YouTube channels that I follow.
I’ve just realised that almost all of these YouTubers create in realistic style. I guess the reason is that it’s easier to learn technical things from realist artists, as you can more easily compare the line art, the rendering, and the colors with the reference.
My own style is semi-realist, which means that I use realism as a starting point and base, which I build my own world on, so I feel the need to practise realism too, from time to time.
I often visit these channels when I need answers to technical questions, or when I don’t feel inspired to start an ‘own-piece’ and I just want to improve my skills.
1. Drawing and painting basics
When I started drawing again after the seven years long break I took from art, I started with simple sketching. I wanted to rebuild my basic drawing skills, and the first artist whose content I’ve found truly helpful on YouTube was Alphonso Dunn.
He helped me a lot at the start. He creates easy to follow videos based on very basic concepts of drawing. His explanations are easy to understand – I wish I had him as an art teacher when I was young. 🙂
Another wonderful channel is Drawing & Painting – The Virtual Instructor. It features a lot of drawing and painting art tutorials on a variety of subjects and media by Matt Fussell. I often visit this channel – especially when I start using a new medium, like I recently did with pastels.
Many artists think that watercolor is one of the most difficult media to master. You have to be very careful with it, because it’s very hard (or sometimes even impossible) to correct mistakes, and on the other hand it can be hard to control the paint depending on how you use it. You need to learn and practise several techniques like wet on wet, wet on dry, dry on dry, and so on. The paint is transparent, so every brushstroke you make will be more or less visible on the finished piece.
These things scared me when I just started using watercolors, but I’ve decided not to quit, because I’m a control freak, and I thought it would be good for me as an artist and also as a person to learn to be a bit more relaxed and to live with my mistakes.
Now I use watercolors with colored pencils, so I mix the unpredictable with the controlled – and I like it. 🙂
Steve Mitchell has been a professional designer and illustrator for 30+ years. On his channel, he shares tips and techniques, does product reviews, and offers challenges.
He mostly paints landscapes that I love. I also want to master landscape painting, but at the moment I just can’t – maybe because I spend 90% of my time inside my studio, where I cannot connect with nature. But that’s another story. 🙂 Steve Mitchell’s tutorials are great for those too who are not very interested in landscape painting, as he talks a lot about color mixing, materials and watercolor techniques as well.
Another wonderful watercolor artis is Lanovaan. He mostly creates watercolor portraits, tutorials, and manga drawings (which I’m not really interested in, but you might be. 🙂 ) He also talks about his experiences in art school, which is very interesting and can be useful for anyone thinking about following this path.
3. Colored pencils
My first huge love was colored pencils, especially when I found Faber-Castell Polychromos and Caran D’Ache Luminance pencils. I love that they look almost like oils but can draw the tiniest details too. The only backside of using them is it’s very time-consuming to fill big areas with color. This is why I like to use them on a watercolor background, or recently on top of pastels. You can also blend them with baby oil or paint thinner made for oil paints.
Bokkei is the mistress of colored pencils! I love the ways she mixes colors and creates her colorful, yet harmonic portraits. Though she doesn’t offer many tutorials, you can learn a lot from her time lapses.
I’ll have my first solo show this autumn (details are coming later), and I have only 5 months to create a good amount of works that are worth showing the world. It will be a huge challenge, especially because I usually work in small size, so my pieces are much more difficult to exhibit in a rather big space. So I’ve decided to create some bigger artworks this summer – and to do that I need a suitable media other than oil. (I’ll have oil paintings, but they take a long time to finish, so I won’t have too many of them). In my early 20’s I used pastels a lot, and loved them, so I’ve decided to have them back in my life. Naturally it will take time to refresh my knowledge, so I’ve started following two pastel artists on YouTube to make the process a bit faster, since I don’t have too much time.
Graciela Bombalova is a professional artist who’s been painting portraits for 20 years. Her pastel portraits are breathtakingly beautiful. I especially love the way she mixes colors (yes, color mixing is one of my favourite part of painting. 🙂 )
Sheshina Ekaterina is also a professional artist-designer using soft pastels. She uploads real-time or speed drawings/paintings video tutorials twice a week. She mostly creates landscapes and still lifes, and has a bit more painterly style that I really love even though my style is very different.
I hope you’ve found this post useful. If you have favourite YouTuber artists too, plz, feel free to share them in the comment section. I’m always looking for artists to learn from. 🙂
…and last but not least I have a coloring page for you!
This is not a ‘professional’ coloring page but a sketch I’ve created for a recent work of mine. (I don’t really like the very sterile look of the coloring pages anyway, they feel a bit heartless for me.)
Please, note that this page is for personal use only: you’re not allowed to use it for commercial purposes. If you post your finished piece online, give me credit, and use the hashtag #boszicoloring on Instagram. I’d love to see your version.
You can also check the finished piece on Instagram if you need help with the shading. 🙂
Click the preview image below to get the pdf file. (You’ll need a pdf reader to open and print it, of course. Fortunately, most browsers can do that these days. Note also, please, that the pdf’s file size is 646KB. Lastly, make sure to set your printer to shrink the image to the paper size you use.)
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Next week I’ll continue this topic, and talk about my favourite art tutorial books. I love books, so I have plenty of them. 🙂
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P.S.: AN IMPORTANT NOTICE
There’s a good chance you’ve heard about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) already. It’s a far-reaching EU law dealing primarily with privacy. It will come into effect on the 25th of May, 2018, and it will affect anyone and everyone in the world who deals with the data of EU citizens.
Unfortunately, as of today, wordpress.com (whose solution I use as a subscriber to run this site / blog) has not yet made it officially clear that it will be 100% GDPR compliant. 😮 Unless they do so before 25, May, I may be forced to take steps to avoid legal problems. The possible steps range from disabling comments and the contact page to – worst case scenario – practically deleting my site / blog (or at least turning it private for a while.)