Drawing tools

In this video post I’m talking all about the tools that I use to do my drawings. I go through a lot of drawing phases, and sometimes I change things up. But for right now these are the tools I use.

People come up to me often and ask me, what paper do I use, what type of pencils do I use. And It’s really not as important as you think. If I’m doing some quick sketching, I’ve been known to use printer paper and a pencil out of my sons backpack.

If I’m going to be drawing something like a finished portrait drawing, custom drawing, commissioned drawing, or whatever, something that will end up in a frame. I may use some different tools, but mostly, at that point it’s really just the paper that needs to be improved. Check out the video and let me know what you guys think.


You Can Get Better at Drawing

Whenever I have an exhibition, I have people walk up to me and constantly say “Oh my, I wish I could draw like that”  or I hear,  “Oh, I suck at drawing, I could never do that.”  I always want to say to them.  YES YOU CAN!!!   I swear, I used to say the same thing.

I remember taking a figure drawing class when I was 18 or 19 years old for the first time in my life.  drawing beside me was a woman (in her 40’s) that was a career artist.  She would draw these amazing pictures.  Breathtaking drawings, in half the time it took me to draw childish amateur disproportionate drawings.

My drawing teacher was a chain smoker and he would have a smoke break every half hour during this 3 hour class.  One day I walked out with him and started asking him about the potential of becoming a famous artist.  He told me that it’s not easy and that my talent level wasn’t quite high enough.   I remember being deflated, and feeling that my alternative degree, elementary education, should be the path that I take.   So I did, I became an elementary school teacher bouncing from kindergarten to highschool,  Amongst all this time I never stopped drawing.  I practiced, and took the occasional drawing and painting class, I read books, and googled drawing tips and techniques.  After a while, I started producing some really nice drawings.  All it took, was a little instruction, and a whole lot of practice.  I said to myself, what if I can recreate a regime of drawing that is similar to a real university level.  I became a self taught artist.  But I never expected it to take off like it did.I have turned my hobby of drawing into a real career, drawing custom portraits and commissioned drawings for people all over the country.   I’m still not where I’d like to be, and I feel like I missed out on some really powerful art instruction, because I was intimidated and scared of the ‘starving artist’ stereotype.  Being an artist is as risky as many other professions.  Many people decide to open up their own business,  many different types of businesses from providing services, to selling goods.  I like to think of an artist in the same way.  and since you’re producing a service/product that I create myeslf, it requires a very small investment.   I love drawing, and I wish someone would have encouraged me to practice more, and take more classes.

I’d like to provide as many people as I can with some free drawing tutorials, and drawing critiques,  You will be able to submit drawings and artwork for critique.  I also have 2 artist friends that are very successful and can help provide some valuable feedback on your artwork.  keep your eyes out and we will start posting more and more videos.  Thanks for your support and keep your eyes out on all different types of tutorials, from eyes to mouths, to learning how to become a freelance artist, doing custom portraits, couples portraits, any type of custom drawings.  Keep your eyes out and get ready for some awesome artwork. 

Drawing tutorials?

My wife and I are still on vacation (or as I like to call it ‘unemployed’) as we await the beginning of the next school year.  My bank account is empty, as per usual, and I do not currently have any drawing projects going on.  What am I going to do with all this time now….. and then suddenly it came to me.  … … … I will start a drawing tutorial website.  I mean, why not right?  I’ll start with wordpress, and I’ll be teaching little lessons (video instruction) on my absolute favorite things to draw.  custom Portraits, child portraits, car portraits, custom drawings, custom art.  any type of artwork that people are interested in buying because it helps personalize their world.   When someone wants to buy a personalized portrait or drawing of their car, they don’t care as much about the style of the artist.  I’ve never had someone say,  “that doesn’t really look like my son, but the style is amazing so I’ll take it.”  occasionally I have people mention that they love the style of my custom portrait drawings,  but the comment I hear most often is, “WOW! that looks just like my son or daughter, you did a great job.”

Alright, that’s what I want to help you guys draw.  Custom drawings, accurate portrait art.  Not only is it easier to sell custom art, but it’s fun for me.  I love drawing eyes, I love drawing many facial features.  I love the human figure, and I love drawing cars.  Really, I love looking at a photo or still life, and recreating it as a drawing.  It’s almost like someone working on a jigsaw puzzle or something.  I put little pieces together until the big picture starts to come together.   I’ll keep everyone updated.   Videos coming later today.  Thanks again and don’t forget to visit http://www.andrewspencil.com to see more custom portraits that I’ve done.

oh, also, I will open up a link that will let you submit photos of your work for a free critique.  That’s right, I will critique your art. 

Freelance artist. am I a business owner www.andrewspencil.com

There’s a weird pattern to getting jobs.  one week I woke up every morning to find a new job request in my email.  It was such a rewarding feeling.  Commission drawings, custom portrait, draw my classic car, car portraits and car drawings.  Yea I know, lot’s of exciting buzz words, it’s my dream coming true.   I felt like there was a flood of work.  Although, that dried up quick, and I haven’t had a job in a few weeks. 

It’s the 4th week into summer and, needless to say, I haven’t been teaching.   A lot of people look at me and say, ‘Oh, enjoy your summer vacation.’  Okay, so for the record, I don’t get paid during the summer months, so instead of calling it a vacation, just call it a ‘temporary unemployment.’  I am moving fast and getting lot’s of portrait drawings done.  I just hope that I can start paying my bills so I can continue doing what I love, drawing and making custom art.

Teacher who has turned into an artist…. custom art, portraiture, drawings, design; I draw cars, I draw pets, I draw people. Accurate affordable drawings done by a professional artist!

Summertime is right around the corner.  “Summertime, and the living’s easy.”    Although, I can’t be too lazy!  I have a lot of commissions to wrap up and also, I landed a pretty interesting summer job. I’m going to be promoting “Art Instruction School.”   It’s a pretty neat school. It offers a lot of unique classes.  and it’s very personal, students work from home.   A lot of famous artists went there.    … one more week and my current job is over.   … and my co-worker just bought me a burrito from the local mexican restaurant.   Today is a very good day! 

I have been doing a lot of custom art lately.  Many portraits and drawings are available on the website, but also on etsy, art galleries, and the downtown art walks.    All of this exposure has kept me pretty busy.  Which is an incredibly rewarding feeling.    I did a custom drawing for my brother recently of Data from star trek dressed as Sherlock Holmes.  He loved the drawing, I just asked him to let me hang on to it for another day or two while I touch it up.  well, during the art walk last week….. This woman begged me to sell it.  I told her that I wouldn’t.  …I couldn’t….     …. …. But I did.  I caved.  She loved it so much, and it made me feel so good, how could I deny her the geeky satisfaction she would get from owning a drawing done of Data dressed as Sherlock.  

Okay, I have got to run.  But I have so much more to say.  I’ll be back.    Just remember I do lot’s of custom drawings, portrait art, and many more styles.   custom art, portraiture, drawings, design;  I draw cars, I draw pets, I draw people.    Accurate affordable drawings done by a professional artist!  But for now enjoy this drawing of data~!


MESA art walk tonight. wedding portraits, drawings and custom art.

I’ve been working on some fan art lately that has brought back some good memories.  I really miss gaming all the time, reading graphic novels, and being part of that community.  Some of the games and comics get a little cheesy sometimes.    I just got on youtube and browsed some old games and music.  It made me feel very nastalgic.  it gave me goosebumps and made me feel empowered.  music from musicians like Apocolyptica and two steps from hell,  ignore the name, because the music is very classical sounding.  It’s a very specific genre and style that I really miss.  …What happened to me!  Somehow it’s about 10 years later, and now I’m a responsible adult and parent.   HOW BORING.  heh, all kidding aside, I love my family and the life I have created.  It’s been exhausting but also very rewarding.    Now, I have more time on my hands.  My kids have school and homework and lots of activities that keep them busy and productive.  So, I have been pursuing my art as a career.  It has been a blast, and I have been spending a lot more time in the comic book stores, working on computers, playing games and feeling like my young nerdy self again.   what a blast!  

Tonight is the second friday of the month and every second friday, Downtown Mesa AZ has an art walk.  I have a booth displaying my artwork and i hope to get some commissions going to.   I am very excited about tonight’s evening.  Wish me luck! Time to get to work with some drawing. I want to do some car drawing today, maybe a portrait of my child

Bobble heads custom portrait artist

So the comic book convention is right around the corner, and this year I have purchased a booth at the event.  As a full time teacher I really struggle with finding the time to make new art.   I was hoping to have somewhere around 10 original pieces and about 15 types of prints for sale.   I have about 6 original images at the moment, and those could easily be made into prints.   I have about 2 weeks left before I  need to wrap up my drawings, start making prints, mat and frame, make cards, fliers and pretty much just organizing everything.  Within these next 2 weeks, I must start coming up with some unique ideas, but not only that, I must execute them well.  Coming up with original ideas can be pretty hard. Although, as I have been brainstorming about concepts I thought about bobble heads;  this sounds silly,  but I love drawing portraiture, and how can I draw portraiture without it looking boring or just another drawing of a celebrity or character.  Well, bobble heads might be my answer.  This way I get to draw a nice size portrait of my favorite character (full of details) and then attach it to a very generic looking, silly, small boddy.  I’m gonna start with the actor who plays Sheldon Cooper on the Big Bang Theory.   Then I thought,  greeting cards!  I could create greeting cards with images of these characters (and others as well).  I can scan the images into photoshop and place little word bubbles in each drawing; ‘get well soon,’ “Hulk say Happy Birthday”  etc.    The more I think about it, the more excited I become, I better get to work! 

Portrait artist, custom drawings and design.

So, I suppose I should start with an introduction.  I am 28 years old, a teacher at a high school, and as of this moment, a first time blogger.    Most of my time is spent obsessing over visual arts.  Not so much 3 dimensional, but more or less, drawings and paintings.   I love drawing portraits!  I love drawing cars,  Custom drawings!  oh yea!  that’s what I’m good at so that’s what I do.  But when it comes to my appreciation for art, it is always something conceptual.  Artwork that is creative, fantastic, even science fiction…. (well, that last comment should have said “Especially” science fiction, but I also want to save myself some dignity as an artist).  

I have been teaching for 2 years in public schools.   I taught Kindergarten for a year, that was interesting, to say the least. Currently I’m finishing up teaching at a high school level, and I’d like to transition out of being a full time teacher and turning my art into a full time job. Maybe I’ll substitute teach to make some extra money on the side. Either way I can’t wait until I turn my art into a full time career!

I started painting during my second year of college.  It was amazing, the texture, the colors, and all the creativity.  I fell in love.  But it’s been a struggle too,  mostly because I didn’t have enough time to devote to art.  I wanted to paint everyday, but I also needed to practice sketching and drawing to improve my skill and refine my style.   I don’t want to spend a day trying to paint eyes when I should be done with the eyes and working on the creativity and composition of the piece.

After College I started teaching and working in public schools.  This made me abandon my art.  I was so overwhelmed as a first year teacher that I forgot all about my paintings.   Until,  about mid November of that year, someone asked me to do a portrait.  I struggled with the likeness, I struggled with the whole piece.  I thought to myself, this isn’t fun.  this is ugly.   I went to the store that night, I bought a 20 dollar hard cover sketchbook, and I started drawing.    I said too myself, that I will draw everyday, rigorously practicing my portraiture and other drawings as well.

Well.  …It wasn’t until that summer that I really started drawing rigorously.  I started to draw around an hour a day, which quickly turned into 4 or 5 hours a day.  It was all I thought about.  I started watching tutorials and obsessing over animators and fantasy artists like Glen Keane, Jim Lee, even museum artists like Alphonse Muccha or Norman Rockwell. I want to be like these people. But in this competitive career where raw talent combined with practice can still leave you very unsuccessful. What am I to do.

I continued drawing everyday and it’s been about a year and a half. I developed a website which has several portrait drawings on it ( http://www.Andrewspencil.com ). On this website I promote myself as an artist. I can do Custom drawings, Custom portraits, portrait art, and classic car drawings. I have also been trying to promote myself in the community. I’ve been going to events such as downtown art walks and purchasing booths at car shows and the upcoming Comic book convention at the Phoenix convention center.

But now I am stuck. I don’t know what the next move should be. I have tried advertising online through google. I have had very little success. Although, I’m not quite ready to start blaming my artwork. I need to find a way to get some more exposure and some new clients. Otherwise, I will be signing another contract for another school year and abandoning my art again. Which I refuse to do, so… I better figure something out. Well… if you’ve read this far, I must have captured your attention, somehow, so spread the word. let everyone know that I do custom drawings, Custom portraits, Car drawings, animal portraits, and much much more. all at a pretty affordable price. And if you really did make it to the end of my very first blog post, drop me a line, and I’ll discount one portrait for you. 🙂