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Dean Kirkland

EmptyEasel.com

http://emptyeasel.com/

Located in Portland

Last update: April 24th, 2017 at 11:30 pm

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34 post clicks in the past 90 days

Painting Tips, Artist Reviews, Selling Art Online and more

When artists ask me how to market their art, the real question is often, “What do I have to do to get people to buy my art?” That’s a much better question. Why? Because the emphasis is on people buying, and not on you selling. True, if you fully engage in marketing your art, your [...]

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There IS a formula to improve your art skills. Are you using it? When people tell me they are bad at art, what they really mean is “I can’t draw realistically.” There’s also the feeling that if people ask you to draw on command in public, well, your ability to do so (and accurately no [...]

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Monday in Motivation – It’s time to debunk the myth that art is only for those with natural inclination, or talent. The truth is, ANYONE can learn to be an artist—and Carrie Brummer is here share how and why, tomorrow! Tuesday in General Art Advice – Art coach Aletta de Wal is back with a [...]

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Happy Easter, everyone! I hope your holiday weekend with friends and family is relaxing and blessed. If it’s sunny where you’re at, get out in it (I know I will!) We’ve just wrapped up a big project at Foliotwist, so there won’t be any new articles on EE this week. Instead, I’d love for you [..

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Some of you may recall my tutorial on brush illustration for beginners last year. That technique, using a brush marker with pressure and release, is how all my brush-lettering students begin. Most of them enjoy brush illustration so much that they think of other things to “draw” as well. Today’s tutorial shows you

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Every now and again I like to check the list of search engine terms and phrases that brought readers to my blog. Given that my focus is teaching colored pencil, you’d expect the usual things such as “blending colored pencils,” “drawing with colored pencil,” and so on. And generally, those ARE t

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Monday in Drawing Tips – Tomorrow, Vladimir London will post Part 8 of his ongoing portrait drawing series. We’ll learn how to finish drawing the mouth, as well as how to draw the ear in detail. Don’t miss it! Tuesday in Art Opinion – What are some advantages to drawing? How about disadvantages? Appa

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Welcome back for part 2 of a series on how stamps can embellish hand-lettered projects. (For more stamping information, refer to my first article in the series.) Although my stamp collection is mostly seasonal images, some (like alphabets or Asian characters) fall into less-defined categories. I place a special value on the

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Psychologists tell us that there are 2 main motivators in life—the fear of loss and the wish for gain. Depending on your socioeconomic past, one of those things will be the dominant driver for every action you take. Generally people who have seen true hardship do not need productivity tricks because they have already seen

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Last week, I shared a few of my favorite reference photo resources for artists. While that list is nowhere near extensive, I included enough paid and free websites to get you started if you’re looking for good reference photos online. But, if you’re the type of person that likes to take your own reference photos

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Before sharing this week’s upcoming articles, I want to talk about something a bit more personal, which I hope you’ll become just as excited and passionate about it as I am. :) For the next 7 days I’ll be participating in a special fundraising event by wearing a pair of The Shoe That Grows. They [...]

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While there is certainly great value in drawing from life, not all artists have the opportunity to study their subjects in person. In those cases, photographs can play a vital role in the creation process. “But,” you might say, “I stink at taking pictures. What should I do?” My guess is that all of the [...]

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Sandra Busby’s gorgeous still life paintings are clearly the product of careful planning and attention to detail—but as I looked deeper into her portfolio, I was pleased to find equal amounts of wit and humor that I enjoyed right along with her paintings. Take this first painting for example. A still life can be of

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As a calligrapher, I’m often looking for easy ways to accomplish design tasks. One project I repeat quite often is making name cards for students and events. It’s a nice way to welcome those attending because everyone enjoys seeing their name, but it does take time. I’ve also been an avid collector of rubber stamp

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Monday in Other Tutorials – Phawnda Moore is back with an excellent tutorial (part one of two!) on using rubber stamps to add decorative touches to your calligraphy projects. Don’t miss it! Tuesday in Featured Artists – Drop by for a look at three gorgeous still life paintings by the very talented Sandra B

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I’m taking the week off here at EE to finish a few projects (one home project, plus we’re finally back on track with our big Foliotwist update—I can’t wait to share that with everyone as soon as it’s finished!) Meanwhile, in this month’s New Artist Showcase. . . Please give a warm welcome to

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With so many different ways to sell art online, many artists are in the process of transitioning from hobby or casual artists to creative entrepreneurs. If that describes you, here are 7 useful tips to help you set up your business finances the right way: 1. Start a bookkeeping system Bookkeeping is NOT the monster [...]

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Self-taught portrait artist Cris D.K. proves the hands of a classical pianist can also excel when holding charcoal and pastel. During the day, this multi-talented piano professor teaches at the Academia de Música in Viana do Castelo—outside of work, he’s a tremendous visual artist as well! Take a look at a few of h

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Over the years I’ve shared many different step-by-step tutorials, both here at EE and at my own blog. They range in subject from how to blend colored pencils, to a full-on series describing how to paint with the Flemish method. I’ve also written articles on finding and using found texture to add visual interest

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In each of my previous lessons, I’ve shown you step-by-step how to “build” a portrait of your model, using classical drawing techniques. Let’s continue where we left off, and start adding some features of the mouth and lips: 31. How to place a mouth correctly Begin by placing a horizontal line to go

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Something about Michael G. Godfrey’s paintings immediately resonated with me, from the very first time I saw them. Maybe it’s the epic views so often depicted in his work. . . or perhaps it’s the solid, almost sculpted sense of mass that his subject matter retains, even on canvas. Whatever it is, I love it

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I’ve been an oil painter for years. Oil painting is the medium on which I cut my artistic teeth. My first paintings were oils and for many years, that was all I did. Portrait work also seemed like the thing I was meant to do. The first paintings I sold were portraits and for nearly [...]

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Monday in General Art Advice – Are you on the right path? How do you know when it’s time to change course? Tomorrow, Carrie Lewis will share some insight about being an artist and choosing to do what you love (even if it’s a big change). Don’t miss it! Tuesday in Featured Artists – Drop [...]

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As so many cities are experiencing right now, my own city of Charleston, South Carolina is under immense development—and one of the negative impacts is all the trash left behind on a daily basis. So I decided to do something about it. . . and you can too! As a self-taught artist, my creative process [...]

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Kansas City artist Tina Donovan’s works with a fascinating mix of patterns, upcycled stencils, and bright, hand-painted (or spray-painted) colors. It’s a style that clearly pays tribute to both collage and graphic stencil artwork, yet Tina still manages to be completely unique, creating cohesive abstract landsca

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Some time ago, I shared a list of fast, easy backgrounds for colored pencil drawings. The list included really simple things like using pre-colored papers or mat board, lightly tinting paper with colored pencil, and using other media with better covering power than pencils (watercolor, ink, etc). Since then, I’ve talk

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Monday in Drawing Tips – Tomorrow, Carrie Lewis will be sharing 5 more techniques for fast, easy backgrounds in colored pencil. (Want to catch up on her other tips? Read her first article on fast colored pencil backgrounds right here .) Tuesday in Featured Artists – Drop by for a look at Tina Donovan’s bea

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When we think of writing using computers, we typically imagine rows of fonts, smashing keys, and endless backspacing. Those actions go perfectly with the rigid nature of the digital world. Everything is precise and uniform, without the flair of personal expression. The delicate art of calligraphy is typically ignored when c

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When I first started dabbling with colored pencils, I’d already been oil painting for many years. I didn’t want a replacement medium, I just wanted a medium that was easier to travel with AND allowed me to create the kind of detailed work I was painting with oils. Colored pencils checked both those boxes. They [

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Monday we’ll be taking the day off for President’s Day here in the US. If you’re lucky enough to also get a three-day weekend, have a safe and happy holiday! Tuesday in Art Opinion – Drop in for a few great suggestions for colored pencil artists from Carrie Lewis (which also apply to aspiring colored

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