Sunday 15 October 2017

Walk Cycles

I'm just writing the section on walk cycles for the basic cartooning course, and it's impossible to forget the master, Preston Blair, not just a great cartoonist but a great teacher:

Keep an eye out for the Basic cartooning course coming soon to

Monday 25 September 2017

Supplementary and Complementary Colours


A basic colour wheel can help you understand the relationships between different colours. Two of these relationships are supplementary and complementary colours.

Supplementary Colours

Supplementary Colours are those that are next to each other on the color wheel. Together, they create a sense of calmness as they work well together.

An artwork with a lot of supplementary colours can seem peaceful and pleasant, as in this painting by Claude Monet which uses blues, greens and yellows, all supplementary colours.

Claude Monet, water Lillies

Complementary Colours

Complementary colours  come from the opposite side of the colour wheel. These colours bounce off of each other, that is, they have maximum colour impact. An artwork with a lot of complementary colours will look busy and striking.

You can see this in this painting by Van Gogh, where he use purples in the sky to bring the light out even more. the oranges in the sky bounce off their complement - blue.

Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night, c. 1889

Usually artists use a combination of these relationships to draw your eye towards certain parts. For example, a painting with a lot of greens, blues and purples might have a few yellows, reds and oranges added to really stand out.

You can see this in this beautiful painting of water lillies by Monet:

Claude Monet, Water Lillies, 1916

Keep an eye out for our colour course for more about colour! (Coming soon!)

Thursday 17 August 2017

Eraser Joke

Learn Wherever and Whenever it Suits You Best!

You can take our Basic Drawing course with you - out to coffee, on the train to work or learn after the kids go to sleep!

Our course will teach you how to analyse your subject matter, (what you see), simplify it, create a plan, measure it and shade it realistically. It covers perspective, tone, basic colour, the basic shapes, forms, light and shading, drawing materials, shading techniques, measuring and trouble-shooting!

Check it out at: Basic Drawing Course

Monday 14 August 2017

Learn to Draw!

Our Basic Drawing course is up and running and ready for enrolments!

 Learn HOW to draw in a hands-on course that teaches you the fundamentals of drawing and painting, including tone (light and dark), stroke, form, drawing materials, perspective and how to analyse your subject matter. This course has hands-on exercises, in order to train you to be your own artist, in addition to videos and written materials which will build up your skills slowly and progressively.

Check it out at Blueberry Beetle Courses.

Saturday 5 August 2017

We're Online!!

Yes, today we are up and running and offering Basic Drawing and the first of our Mini-courses! Let me teach you HOW to draw!!

Tuesday 1 August 2017

When You Are Ruffling Through Old Drawings...

I was looking through some old art school works and found this (: It brings back nice memories!

Lesson learnt - keep the old works - you may appreciate them more in the future!

Friday 28 July 2017

Latest Video for People Who Say They Can't Draw! Fairy (Magic) Mushrooms!

I hear this from a lot people - that they can't draw a stick figure! Well, here is a cute and fun drawing lesson that involves 0% drawing! (Only tracing around objects!) #drawinghack

This video lesson is not only fun, but it will also teach you about drawing! And who doesn't love fairy (magic) mushrooms!

Just follow this link!

Monday 24 July 2017

More Mini-Lessons

So here's a sample of the other mini-lessons available! Coming soon (really, I promise!)

New Mini-Lessons

In response to requests for written mini-lessons, i have been writing and drawing madly to make some new fun and easy how-to-draw lessons. Today, I just finished this one:

These will be available on really soon!

Friday 19 May 2017

How to Draw a Fairy Mushroom House

This is a cute video on how to to draw a fairy mushroom house with windows and an ornamental door. Great for kids and those who believe in a little magic at the bottom of the garden..

The Top 10 Mistakes that Most Artists Make

          1. Tonal Value
This is easily the most common mistake that I see as an Art Teacher, and it’s often a real shame. Artworks with beautiful colours and strokes and gorgeous details become overall flat and lifeless because they don’t have the right range of dark and light or don’t have them in the correct places. Incorrect tonal value has a bigger impact on realism or believability than any other element of a drawing or painting.

2. Contrast
Contrast – the difference between your lightest lights and darkest darks – would be the second biggest mistakes that artists make. If used well, it can draw attention to certain details or make some or all of your subject matter really pop out of the page or canvas. However, most artists overuse the tones in the middle.

3    3. Direction (‘Form’)
Understanding how a 3-dimensional form moves through space is key to creating a convincing illusion of it. To make an artwork believable, an artist has to think in terms of 3-dimensional space – to think about all parts of the object not just those they can see. This prevents an artwork seeming flat. Don’t worry folks – this can be taught! ;)

      4. Using White and Black to Lighten and Darken
There are so many reasons why you shouldn’t do this which I go into in my courses but the best reason is this – what do you get if you mix black and white? Grey. Say no to grey paintings and start creating beautiful colours.

           5. Mis-Using Warm and Cool Colours
Warm and cool colours are a system that each interacts best with those within the same system. You can mix across, but do it too much or in the wrong way and you risk making your picture really muddy and losing any freshness.

      6. Figure Perspective
It’s interesting how many artist know to apply perspective in their landscapes but don’t on their figures. This is especially the case in portraits or figure studies from a three quarter view, where you often see the furthest eye being drawn too big or too high or low. Portraiture and life drawing are the most challenging subjects in most art courses and it takes a while to understand the fundamentals, including perspective on a figure, which is more complex than the one-dimensional perspective most students are familiar with.

      7. Figure Proportions
Figure proportions are tricky when a figure is just standing there, let alone when they move around! As well, we get used to seeing variations in proportions through video games, comics and animations. This can make it hard to see the real thing correctly when we are creating life drawings and figure studies. Many artists make legs and arms too long or heads too small or large relative to the body.

      8. Textures
Many artists make one of two main mistakes with textures – either they get the detail right at the expense of the bigger picture, or the bigger picture right at the expense of the details. The trick to this is efficiency and technique – planning ahead so that you can create both at the same time. Most people struggle specifically with the texture of eyes and hairs – keep an eye out as I’ll give a tutorial on these soon.

      9. Specific Body Parts
Most artists find that there is one (or more!) body part that particularly confounds them, such as hands, feet, knees, ears or eyes. Or when they get it right, they can’t sit it within the context of the rest of the figure well. For example, you finally get beautiful eyes happening but they don’t work within the rest of the head. Some of this will come down to a knowledge of anatomy – there’s a reason classical artists are trained to learn the skeleton and muscles! The other part can usually be resolved with detailed studies of the problem areas and figure perspective.

      10. Shadows
The problem many artists have with shadows are not just about the relative darkness (a tonal value problem), but also the colour, size, details and edges. All of this requires a good understanding of the properties of light, which many artists haven’t had the chance to learn. Some of these problems also come down to understanding warm and cool colour systems, especially with warm toned subject matter.

Pretty much all of these mistakes or problem areas come back to training, and that is something we can help you with. Our Basic Drawing Course is coming online on June 10, and Intermediate and Advanced courses after that. These will teach you the practical skills and tricks you need to be a great artist and they are completely online!

In addition we have free video lessons on our Blueberry Beetle Youtube channel, which we are adding to all the time:

So check us out, subscribe and bookmark our Art School: We hope to see you soon!

How to Draw a Donut

This is one of my easiest (and most fun!) how to draw videos, featuring a frosted donut with sprinkles! It starts with an ellipse (a squished circle). This one is especially fun for kids.

Please let me know if you found it fun and want to see more!

How to Draw a Cupcake

I've uploaded a fun and simple video on how to draw a cupcake (not to mention with very groovy music!). This should help beginner drawers, those of you with a sweet tooth, those who want a basis for chibi characters and any of you who want to create advertising materials (a small token of my appreciation to cake decorators and bakers ;) ).

If you would like to see more of these, please subscribe to the Blueberry Beetle channel and like our videos! T

How to Videos - How to Draw a Floating Island

To show people the stages I go through when I am creating a drawing, even if it's one from my imagination, I've started recording them. The first of these is now on YouTube at:

 I hope that these will help students understand the process as well as being fun to watch :)

Please let me know what you think, or if there are specific drawings that you would like to see in the future.

Video Tutorial on Fixatives

Hi All, here is a link to our second video tutorial for Basic Materials, specifically on Fixatives.

This tutorial should be especially helpful for those of you who would like to work in graphite pencil, charcoal and chalk pastel.

Please check it out and let me know what you think!

Thursday 11 May 2017

First Video!!

Hi guys! Well, today I have hit a milestone - my first video post! Check it out on YouTube at:

 This will be the first of many so watch this space and please tell me what you think of my first ever video!

Saturday 15 April 2017

The Countdown Begins!!

Sharpen your pencils people, the Basic Drawing Course is nearly here! This course will focus on the HOW and WHY of drawing, the perfect basic for any journey into fine arts, from drawing to painting and even sculpture.

How to Make a Shadow Box Set Up for Still Life Work

(Note: for ages 12 +. Children will need to ask for an adult’s assistance with cutting).

Shadow boxes are a cheap and easy method of controlling the light that hits small subject matter for still life works. 

They cut out extra light sources that make the subject matter too complicated, and those light sources that will move through the day, such as sunlight from a window.
Shadow boxes are perfect when you are learning or when using media that take a long time (such as acrylics and oil paints).

You’ll need a cardboard box, serrated knife, scissors, a hanging cloth, pegs or clips, (packing tape), a lamp (preferably a study lamp that you can angle). Very generally, the cardboard box needs to be two to three times the size of the subject matter you want to draw, to leave some space around your subject matter.
Make that your shadow box is taped at the bottom, otherwise tape it with packing tape.

Step 1
Take your cardboard box and turn it on its side, placing the bottom of the box at the back (as this is the strongest side). Use your scissors to cut off or through any plastic or tape etc.
Step 2
Using a serrated knife, (I prefer steak knives), cut the cardboard flaps off. You may find it easier to start cuts with the scissors then continue using the knife. Remember to cut away from you.

Step 3
Cut out the top panel (only). You’ll find it easier if you cut through the folds as these are usually a bit thinner. This makes the standard shadow box. Don’t worry about the rough edges – they’ll be covered.

Step 4
Check out how this works for you. You make find it a little too closed in. You can choose to shape the box down at the front:

Step 5
Place your cloth into the box and spread it out. You don’t want it too lumpy at the bottom but a few folds will look elegant and interesting. Use the pegs or clips to keep it in place.
Orient your light as you would like and now you are ready for your still life study!