Top Schools for Artists

Posted in Techniques

If you’re an artist, there are virtually limitless options for schooling. A vast majority of colleges in the United States offer comprehensive fine arts programs – many students believe that the only place to major in art is at an art school. Some of the most well-known colleges also have some of the top art programs. Of course, it’s always a fantastic idea to go to an art-focused school! Here are some of the top schools in the country for artists.

Yale University: This may be surprising, but Yale is consistently ranked in the top colleges for art programs. Many people think of Yale and think of a literature degree, or history, or mathematics, but Yale is a top-tier destination for talented artists. Yale is located in New Haven, CT, and is one of the toughest schools in the world to get into.

Yale University ranks in the top three for painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, and graphic design – no matter what you’re interested in, you can get a world-class art education here.

Rhode Island School of Design:
If you want a school that focuses solely on art, the Rhode Island School of Design is the best option for you – you won’t find a better art school than this. This amazing school is located in Providence, RI.

In the most recent rankings by U.S. News this school was ranked first in Graphic Design, Industrial Design, and Printmaking. It was ranked second in Painting, Drawing, and Fine Arts overall.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago:
This is another art-focused school that you can’t ignore. As one of the top art schools in the world, you’ll have everything you need for your art education. It is also in a very art-centered city, with multiple world-famous art museums that call Chicago home.

If you’re looking for an art school but want to stick close to the Midwest, this is the place for you. It consistently ranks in the top ten in all art categories, and was most recently ranked number three in Painting and Drawing.

University of California – Los Angeles:
This may be another surprising one on the list as it is famous for its sports teams and great location. However, UCLA boasts one of the top art programs in the country. It was ranked by U.S. News as number four in the country overall and number six in the country for Painting and Drawing. You also won’t find a school with a better location.

Virginia Commonwealth University: Located in Richmond, VA, Virginia Commonwealth University is tied with UCLA for the number four position. It has a wide range of art programs to choose from, and some of the best professors in the country. It is ranked number one in sculpture and number seven in Painting and Drawing.

As you can see, there are plenty of amazing school options, and no matter where in the country you want to go, you can be sure that you will be able to find the perfect art school for you. These are just a few of the dozens of options for great art schooling.

What are Graphite Pencils?

Posted in Techniques

Unlike to commonly used writing pencils, graphite pencils are simply an art medium particularly designed drawing. These pencils are made with graphite that is also known as plumbago or black lead mixed with clay. They are usually rated by hardness and this means that the less graphite mixed with clay the harder the pencil it becomes and vice versa. Many popular artists across the world mostly use these type of drawing pencils.

Features of a Graphite Drawing Pencil

1. Technique

These pencils share techniques with some other drawing media. For instance, hatching, outlining, stippling, and crosshatching are some of the techniques used. The possibility of mixing media and a wide variety of leads extend the wide range of possibilities.

2. Hardness

There are basically two systems of pencil-rating which include a European and US pencil-rating systems. The European system is based-on lettering and it’s the one used for artist’s pencils, while the US system is generally numerical. In the full range, there are about twenty ratings of graphite pencils for drawing, though several manufacturers provide sets with only a range of 18, or selected drawing pencils from within the full range. By typically varying the clay to graphite ratio, pencil manufacturers effectively adjust the hardness of the core, commonly identified by letters (HB, H, 2B, or F) or a number (2, 2-1/2 or 3).

3. Variations

Woodless graphite is simply a pencil-shaped tool for drawing only made of the clay mix/graphite, with just a thin paper-wrapper. Graphite drawing pencil comes in different variations in terms of hardness and color. Some available variations include HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, 8B, and 9B. A wrapper can be removed to offer a very nice, broad drawing surface. The colored graphite drawing pencils are used in two ways; when used while dry can give very subtle colors, but when used while wet, they give a more vivid color.

4. Accessories

These types of drawing pencils also come with some accessories and among them is the pencil lengthener. This is a device used to slip onto one end of the pencil, thus making it easier for gripping and allowing the small tip to be used instead of throwing it away. Additionally, there are pencil caps to offer protection to the lead and pencil grips for decreasing writing fatigue. Sharpeners and erasers are also vital accessories that come with graphite pencils. Vinyl erasers are best known to be most effective when it comes to erasing a variety of graphite marks from a range of surfaces.

These features simply describe what graphite pencils are and what makes them most preferable and favorite among other type of pencils.

Raphael’s ‘Head of an Apostle’ is the Most Expensive Sketch

Posted in Interesting

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino also known as Raphael had gained a lot of importance due to his charismatic art. He was born on 6 April 1483 and lived till 6 April 1520. Despite his short life he created a huge collection of Renaissance Art that is being appreciated till now. He is counted among the legends like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. He has a grand stature in the artistic world and is known for describing Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur in a flawless manner. Though most people admire his Madonnas and art of the Vatican, his other works are also being appreciated by the art lovers of our century.

The Auction

The appreciation he has been getting this years has been increasing steadily. Recently at Sotheby’s sale of “Old Master & British Paintings Raphael’s ‘Head of an Apostle’ was sold for a grand amount of $47.9 million. This bid was made at the display organized at the Vatican Museum. The bid was made after 117 minutes of tension in which 4 bidders have tried to acquire the same piece of art. Only one bidder won however and he completed the bid via a phone. It is noteworthy to add that the amount of $47.9 million offered for any work of art is a new record in the history of art. Thus it has made people curious about not only Raphael’s ‘Head of an Apostle’ but his other works as well.

Details on the Artwork

Head of Appostle

If you are also curious about what is so unique about this sketching that it has secured such a huge amount of money then you must have a look at it once. Here is an attempt from our side to describe this amazing art a little. Head of an Apostle is basically a sketch that has been created with the help of a black chalk. It measures around 15 inches by 11 inches and has succeeded in attracting the attention and appreciation of several modern artists and the art lovers alike. People from all over the globe have witnessed the masterpiece and praised it with love and passion.

Head of an Apostle is a part of the Devonshire Collection at Chatsworth which was the ancestral home of the 12th Duke of Devonshire. It is being assumed that the proceeds of the sale will go towards the upkeep of the estate. This great piece of art is also a part of Raphael’s Transfiguration which is unquestionably one of the greatest of all Renaissance paintings. Raphael’s Transfiguration is now increasing its value by being present at the Vatican Museum, Rome. It is also important to add that when Raphael died, his body was laid out in state in his studio and the Transfiguration was left hanging at his head.

A Brief on Raphael’s Life

It is pertinent to add that Raphael learned the skill of creating fantastic art pieces under the guidance of his father, Giorgio Vasari who was a painter himself but did not achieve the success his son achieved in life. Raphael was influenced by several artists of Rome and Florence and started displaying his artistic abilities at the tender age of 11. Then he underwent an apprenticeship under Umbrian master Pietro Perugino. He produced his first work in 1501. His work is generally categorized in 3 phases, 1st was mostly influenced by the work of his teacher, 2nd
was known as Florentine period in which he explored the city for four years and lastly his final years in which he produced most of his best works. He also managed a workshop of 50 students and assistants.

Raphael’s Work has been making Records since Last 50 Years

Most of the art lovers who are fan of Raphael’s great work are aware of the fact that the Head of a Young Apostle is actually the third piece of work by Raphael that has been sold in the last half century. Incidentally all of these three paintings made a new record in the bidding and achieved a huge amount of money. The last one that made a new record due to its high price was Head of a Muse that collected a huge amount of $47.9 million. Head of Muse is also a sketch made up with the help of a black chalk was sold by Christie in the year 2009.

3D Drawing Video

Posted in Techniques

Here’s an interesting tutorial 3D drawing. If you’d like to learn more, there’s a plethora of videos and tutorials on the net. I enjoyed this one b/c the music was pretty relaxing. Enjoy!

Funny Stock Broker Comics and My Thoughts on Investing

Posted in Funny

I’ve recently gotten into the stock market w/o a broker. Thanks to the lists of companies out there willing to help you trade online (scottrade, etrade, TD Ameritrade), you can pretty much invest for yourself online. All it takes is a bit of modest research and monitoring of your portfolio and you can be earning a nice return on your investments. However, having a professional stock broker can be helpful if you find out you can’t make the time necessary to keep an eye on your investments. They will help you with a variety of things like planning, retirement funds, annuities or even life insurance. The terms stock broker and financial planner can be interchangeable. Anyways, here are a few comics related to the stock broker profession. Enjoy!


This comic seems to reflect on the risks associated with jumping into the stock market. One of the biggest key factors in being successful in this area is diversification. If you spread your investments across different areas in the market then you’re less likely to have your portfolio wiped out by a downturn in the market. You’ll want your portfolio to cover many different industries. Sometimes it’s a wise move to have opposing industries that you invest in. For instance, you can put your money into a company that uses processes fossil fuels like crude oil refineries and at the same time put your money into a bio-technology company that produces eco-friendly products that help lower carbon emissions.

stock broker comics

This is another comic that seems to make fun of the risky nature of investing in the stock broker. Also, perhaps, it is covering this latest economic downturn we’ve experienced with the housing bubble in 2008. As far as a stock broker begging on the streets searching for food, that’s a bit far-fetched. Stock brokers earn a nice living and can weather an economic downturn quite well. Especially if they’ve built quite a client base and are therefore earning commissions as well as a salary. If you’d like to delve in deeper into this profession, you can get more information by searching the web.


Of course, as taxpayers, we all have to pick up the tab with wall street tumbles which is why there is such animosity between the two realities. It can be a challenge for everyday Americans to build enough wealth to maintain a decent quality of life. However, those individuals who work a large financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, aren’t subjected to the same realities we are. And with those on Wall Street with great influence and power, when they use that power to take advantage of the little guy, it can be very frustrating and simply increase the friction between these two sides of American life.

Again, regarding becoming a stock broker, you can always view more details on this subject by searching the web.

How to Make Money Off your Artwork Online

Posted in Making a Living

For those who are interested on how to make money off your artwork online, the good news is that there are numerous ways available today, in the web 2.0 world. Many of these methods work well for both photos and crafts, but most of them are focused on selling illustration and traditional canvas art. Both simple illustration and fine art can make you an online income by two ways, licensing it or selling it outright. There are many websites that are specialized in one of these two methods.

Your own website

One of the ways of making an inline income with your artwork is developing your own website where you can present and sell your creations. On such a website you can showcase your portfolio and promote yourself. Your website can also act as a home base or hub for linking with social media networks, to display art, and provide information about yourself. You may integrate a good ecommerce platform on your website from which you can directly sell your artworks. Some of the recommended ecommerce platforms you may use are Storenvy and Shopify. You may host your website with Godaddy, Bluehost, or self-host it with Tumblr or WordPress.


There are many websites where you can to sell your art:

  • eBay – makes a great place for selling art, even it is not specialized in art.
  • – it’s a website specialized in handmade things where you can sell your porcelain bowls, canvas, illustrations and fine art.
  • – is an auction site where you can also sell art.
  • Artiscle – is a community based open platform for artists where you can sell your creations.
  • 20×200 – is one of the major selling sites specialized exclusively on art.

Art Licensing

Licensing is another good way of making money off your art online. With licensing you keep the original but sell the rights to reproduce images of your art and get royalty from sales.

  • – is one of the websites specialized in licensing limited editions of fine art.
  • – is among the biggest licensing websites.
  • – is a website similar to Cafepress, which allows you to license your art.

Other websites that function on the same principles as Zazzle and CafePress are:

Art Marketing

Even if you use one of the above art selling platforms, you still have to market your art. You may study more about online marketing on Web resources such as

On you will find an online artists community where you can promote your works if your art has a certain underground style.

Social Media Networking

You may also promote your artistic creations on social media networks such as Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and The Fancy. You may post links to your online portfolio, slideshows, or video showcasing your artwork.

What is Scribble Drawing?

Posted in Techniques

When the word “scribbling” comes to mind, more often than not we think of the unruly child or person that can’t keep there head in the game of life, lost within the confines of their imagination and the sheet of paper on which they are drawing. It is the mustache drawn onto a magazine covers face or the toothless grin drawn upon a random picture by a assumed inattentive individual. Scribbling is a drawing is that is created from abstract lines and random strokes without the writing tool ever being pulled away from the page for thinking or premeditating how the drawing should end up, it is almost like what stream of consciousness is with writing.

There is certainly an artform employed with this type of drawing and it’s ultimate purpose is to catch the moment in the drawing subject’s gestures or body language, frozen in time. To actually place the concept in general terms is not without struggle, because individuals who create their art through the expression may find trouble due to the end results concept never becoming fully realized with detail.

face sketches

Scribbling can be done with any old pencil and pen, the ones even with bite marks, but the most effective way to approach this artform with the best results, these tools should be used:

  • Soft graphite (6B or 4B)
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Scraps of paper
  • Cotton swabs or Black India ink

The key to properly nail scribbling at it’s best, is to never let go of that unrestrained inspiration, the liberation of structure. Below will be some constructive ideas on how to approach this form of art and the capturing of gestures.

Convey the subjects emotions

morgan freeman

When you scribbling, try to capture how you think the character is feeling at that given moment and incorporate that into the work at hand. At the same time however, try not to confine yourself with too many rules, feel free.

Never let up

Scribbling should be an instantaneous action that should consist of one to two minutes. Drawing loosely and spontaneously capturing the gestures through undetailed strokes of your instrument.


Always contain the subject

It is important to keep the whole object of the scribbling within the sheet of paper, never having any part of the subject left outside of the given space. By instilling this concept, you will get into the proper habits for which you will obtain a proper sense of proportions and size compositions.

A Fun Artform that Opens New worlds to You

When you capture the gestures of people and animals, there is an undeniable reward that naturally comes from it. You are capturing the spirit of your subject and it’s emotions. It could be through a smile, maybe an action that sprouts from the figures body but never fully concentrating on the lifeless details such as the setting. Not only can this be applied to practice but it can be a simple finished piece of work in it’s own right and with boundless enjoyment you could get from it, that’s a beautiful piece of work.

Images by Vince Low

Benefits of showcasing your work on

Posted in Making a Living

Behance is an online platform to showcase and discover creative works. It is also a good place to find industry jobs. It was established in 2006 by Scott Belsky and Matias Corea. Since its founding, Behance has become a popular place where leading artists, designers, illustrators and art directors, among others share their work. Behance was acquired by Adobe in 2012 and integrated into the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Why showcase your work on

1) Increase your visibility: Instead of keeping your work in your own computer where no one sees it, keep them on Behance. A lot of people visit Behance daily and somebody looking for talent may come across your creative work. Behance therefore serves as a repository of your artwork and increases your visibility.

2) Get inspiration: There is a lot of creative work on Take some time to browse through what other artists are doing. You will discover new ideas and get inspired from others.

3) Feedback channel: Behance provides a channel to receive feedback on your projects whether completed or not. The inbuilt social interaction features allows personal friends as well as professional colleagues to give real-time feedback on your artwork.

4) Network: This is a great networking platform to stay in touch with people you already know and make new contacts.

5) Income source: This platform is a potential income source because you can sell your artwork and get hired by clients.

How to get the most from Behance

1) Publish only your best work for people to see.

2) Upload projects you are working on using the “Your Work in Progress- (WIP)” feature to obtain feedback from members of the community.

3) Use the numerous features on Behance to present your work well.

4) Join the Curated Galleries so that schools and organizations can find you easily to feature your work.

5) Use the Statistics feature to make better-informed decisions on how to spend your time on the site, and which kind of projects perform well.

6) Use the other social networking sites for feedback. Upload your artwork to Instagram, Facebook
or Twitter and see the reaction.

7) Link your Behance account with the other social media platforms so that when you publish your new work, it is automatically published to the other networks too.

8) Follow as many talented artists as possible to discover new ideas and draw inspiration. It is also important to appreciate the good work of other artists.

9) Install Behance’s Mobile Apps to interact with the community when you are not on your desk and to showcase your projects during client presentations.

10) Update your profile and include adequate contact details so that potential clients find you easily.

Best Sites to Visit When Learning How to Sketch

Posted in Techniques

Generally speaking, whether you are looking to be a professional artist or just drawing for fun, the internet is the right place for you to learn the basics or develop the talent you have already established. The following are some best sites to visit when learning how to sketch.


The latest and free software offered by Google allows you to easily create 3D models of anything you want to sketch. This site also allows you to share your 3D models to the public through Google. In the website, there are a variety of video tutorials providing you with step-by-step and easy to follow instructions on how to sketch just anything in 3D. It’s actually the best tool to use if you are determined to get your artwork into the next level.


This is one of the most comprehensive websites currently available for learning how to draw. In this site, there is great information for everyone. Whether you are just a beginner or an expert, there is enough information covering all types of illustrations. These include shading, perspectives, color basics, caricatures, cartoons, faces and figures, just to mention a few. This website is, however, invaluable.

How to Draw Cartoons Online

This site offers a wide range of techniques and styles for drawing cartoons. In fact, this website is better than just anything else about cartooning is more likely to find. The site is user friendly and easy to navigate around, making it easier to learn faster on how to become a cartoonist. The lessons and information are also presented with humor, energy, clarity and excitement.


Even though this site offers various programs for price, there is a bit of free lessons and instructions too. In this website, you can learn how to sketch, draw and paint just anything. Even if you don’t want to go professional, this is a must and great site for everyone, including a newbie.


This is a great website for young and budding artist. The site offers very easy to follow drawing tutorials just for cartoons. It is very easy to navigate around and even children can indulge their drawing talents in an engaging and fun way sketching all each character on the website. It’s a great site for kids to spend some hours drawing along with this website and enjoy doing it.

These are some of the great sites that can help you to develop into a professional artist in almost every art field available out there. Most of these sites are free to register and use, but there are those that offer courses for purchase.