Hans Holbein the Younger

The drawings of Hans Holbein the Younger, who lived in the times of Henry VIII, capture so much personality that you feel you would know these people if you met them. I was showing some of his work to the drawing class – and thought you would also enjoy seeing this portrait of his. Here is a link to his “Portrait of Anne Cresacre“. (Find link on homepage of my blog if reading this in Facebook or elsewhere.) Notice the skillful use of value – how those dark touches in the eyes bring them to life, and are balanced by the dark in the headpiece and the more distant sleeve. Isn’t it amazing how few lines in the face capture so much personality? This drawing was done with black and coloured chalk. Perhaps you would have fun doing a drawing that you add just a hint of colour to? 

Special Ingredient

I had a question from someone who watched my 4 Horses video on YouTube. They wanted to know what was in the spray bottle that caused the colour to move and flow so much. Well, that special ingredient was – water! Fluid acrylics are formulated to respond to water, and there was a lot of wet paint still on the canvas I was spraying. For maximum flow, you can thin the fluid acrylic paint with water in a cup, before putting it onto the canvas. Squirting the paint right out of the bottle leaves a thicker consistency that takes more spraying to move, and still some lumps will remain. The ‘lumps’ became planets in that painting! Warning – this technique is highly addictive. 

Living Out Loud

I’ve come across this expression in a few different places lately. There’s something attractive about it, perhaps especially when applied to the arts. When you find the courage to come to an art class, to show someone your paintings, and eventually to hang them in an art show, you are living out loud with your art. In a way, we visual artists have it easier than those in the performance or music arts. Our creativity happens while we are on our own, and gets displayed later. The wonderful thing about living out loud with your art is, you may encourage someone else to find the strength to do the same. And when creativity is shared, the world gets a bit brighter for us all. 

Attitude Check

“Our attitude or mindset is what makes us who we are. Our outer lives are a reflection of our inner lives, our thoughts and prayers.” Alfred Muma – Did you know that your heart rules your life more than your mind does? Sure, the heart can be wrong, and needs the mind to correct it sometimes. But in long term battles for who you are and what you do, the heart most often wins. What things fill your heart? Are they positive, hopeful, worthwhile things? Every once in awhile, it’s good to do an attitude check. Your attitude is who you are, and who you are becoming too. 

Art Videos

I have updated the videos that are available on the homepage blog of my website ( You can now view my 3 most recent videos there: “The 4 Horses”, “Sunflower Drawing” and “Toward Abstract”. The time of each videos is short – from just over 1 minute to under 3 minutes – and this is a bit deceiving. “The 4 Horses” took several weeks to complete, the sunflower drawing about 20 minutes, and the abstract painting took 8 hours. Hope you have fun watching these!