Rex’s Sketchbook – Lot’s of Pencil Mileage

Rex’s Sketchbook – Lot’s of Pencil Mileage

Rex is a student currently enrolled in my foundation drawing class at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan New York. Rex is from Shanghai China. Her story is pretty unbelievable.

She was a physics major in hight school, not an art major. Considering how good she is at drawing it’s pretty incredible to witness her raw talent. Rex’s sketchbook shows her very raw talent and I thank her very much for sharing it.

Her talent combined her tireless work ethic is a lethal combination for success. During the first couple of classes I had a hard time convincing Rex to draw in a big 18 x 24 drawing pad. She actually said she didn’t want to waste the paper.

That really made me smile. I immediately said Rex please, I will buy you a pad, you have to draw in a big drawing pad during class. She agreed and for the rest of the semester she has really shined.

I hope you enjoyed looking through Rex’s sketchbook. The video was a little shaky but totally worth it.

Thanks for watching!

How To Draw A Portrait Likeness

How To Draw A Portrait Likeness

I just finished up filming the weekly critiques over at This one critique really stood out. Cara has been struggling with being able to draw a likeness. We’ve all been there. I know I’ve struggled with being able to capture a likeness on many occasions.

What I’ve discovered over the years is that being able to match values plays such an important role in capturing a likeness. Even if you are able to draw all of the measurements of the models head correctly, if the values are off, the likeness won’t be there.

If you struggle with likeness take a step back. Practice matching values as shown in the video below. Be patient with yourself. It took me years to be able to match subtle values.  Especially with color.

Take your time with this, practice with a pencil first. Then move on to color and or paint.

Don’t have a value scale. Head on down to your local paint store. Grab a bunch of paint swatches within the black and white value range and get started today.

Thanks for watching!

Pheobe’s Sketchbook Part II – Character Design Crazy

Pheobe’s Sketchbook Part II – Character Design Crazy

Pheobe was enrolled in my drawing class for the Fall/Spring 2015 – 2016 semesters. After going back home to China, then taking a Summer class at Cal-Arts she came back to visit. I’ve been seeing Pheobe’s work all Summer on Facebook so when she came back to visit I had to look in her sketchbook. Wow did she improve!

Pheobe is one of the hardest working students ever. I know I say that a lot, but Pheobe is the real deal. Her work ethic is bar none, her passion comes through in her character designs.

So after I saw her sketchbook I had to ask, hey Pheobe, do you want to film another sketchbook video? Thankfully she said yes. I wanted everyone to see her work. She is so young with so much direction and focus.

I was so inspired by her new sketchbook that I had to try something different, I had to try a Q & A. I’ll be adding that this week to this post. Moving forward I think I’ll be filming a Q & A with every sketchbook video victim.

Let me know what you think about her work. Let me know what you think about the whole Q & A thing too.

Thanks so much for reading. Look for new sketchbook video to trickle out soon.


Take a moment to check out Pheobe’s Tumblr.

Mike’s Sketchbook Video

Mike’s Sketchbook Video

Mike was a student enrolled in my drawing class for the Fall/Spring 2015 – 2016 semesters. Mike is such a nice guy with a crazy sense of humor. I really appreciated how Mike’s drawings stood out from everyone else in class. His work is truly unique. There is so much potential in Mike’s work.

His work is so graphic. Mike’s work can be used just about anywhere. Tattoo studios, graphic design, cartooning, on skateboards, the list goes on and on.

I trust Mike will find his way as the years pass at the School Of Visual Arts. I hope he will come back and visit. Of course with a tee shirt with some of his drawings all over it.


Take a moment to check out Mike’s Instagram.

Character Design Via Crayola

If you love drawing zany characters with lot’s of color watching Emily’s sketchbook video is a must. Emily is extremely creative. She draws with just about anything she can find including lot’s of Crayola crayons. Emily is completely unconventional when it comes to figure drawing as well. She exaggerates everything.

From an instructors point of view Emily is a dream student to have in class. She has so much to offer the more conventional students. She offers up an approach which says take chances, be creative, be different. I love that.

School starts once again in three weeks. I look forward to meeting a whole new group of students. At the same time I thank my lucky stars that Emily joined my class last year half way through the semester.

She definitely added a whole new dimension to class.

You can find more of Emily’s work at