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[Drawing] Addicts
September 21, 2009

Are you addicted to drawing sites? I know I am!

Recently, I joined a site called "Stumbleupon". Once you join, you get a Stumble button on your Toolbar and you click it to get transported to random sites. Of course, I chose Art sites only!

I have had a great time stumbling into all these different artistic places.

However, I was really surprised when I stumbled onto a technique that is being used to produce painted pictures.

The artist simply has to enlarge a photo, trace it, and copy that tracing to canvas. Then, they paint it. Apparently, this is being done to save time when an artist has a few orders to fulfill.

I used to be impressed by how realistic some paintings are. I feel differently now that I'm aware they are probably traced.

I feel sad that this technique is being used. I know I'll be looking for imperfections and some wonky lines before I admire the next painting!

Surely these artists would feel unsatisfied when they viewed their work? They've gone to all the trouble to mix colors and apply them. Yes, that's a skill in itself, but what happened to their originality? The two should go hand in hand.

It really doesn't matter how long it takes to produce any type of artwork. The end result is usually spectacular when the artist applies his/her heart and soul. That's where the attraction is.

I'm not in a position to judge the artists who do this, if they are satisfied then so be it. It's just sad, that's all.

Most of us use tracing to help us learn, don't feel ashamed or embarrassed to do that. We simply need to remember that the reward is in what we can eventually produce from within.

What's New at

I have done a list all of the free drawing programs, that I know, use and love.

I use each program for something different - that's only because I haven't taken the time to learn one thoroughly!

I want to reassure you that I don't tinker with my drawings on the site. What you see is what I drew. I wouldn't be satisfied with my drawings if I improved them via an image program. That's not me.

If I find a tutorial on how to add text to an image, or something else along those lines, I usually download the program so I can follow the tutorial.

Anyway, as you will see, I have quite a few favorites.

Mostly, they all do similar things but each is good in its own right. I thought it would be good to share them with you.

I hope you enjoy having a fiddle with them!

If you want to find a drawing, use the Google search bar on my site. That search bar is also found on most pages of

The Drawings Blog is available too, it shows 20 of the latest pages to be added to the site.

Your Feedback

Thank you for writing to me last month, the response was overwhelming, and each email was beautiful.

Mif (aka Carl) sent me a good analogy that I want to share, I think it is so appropriate.

He said: "What is "A real artist" anyway? That's a bit like saying someone isn't a real pilot, because they only fly a light aircraft for fun as opposed to someone who pilots British Airways. Just because you don't fit every definition of "artist" doesn't mean you aren't one."

Thanks Mif, that is so right.

I also came away from reading all of those emails, reassured that most of you are learning something from my site. I am so proud to be surrounded by such wonderful people.

In summary of last month's newsletter, I need you to know that I wasn't offended by the comment. I am happy wearing a coat that says "Hobby Artist", that suits me fine.

Tip of the Month

Here's another trick you can use to improve your drawing skills. If you are right-handed, try drawing with your left hand, and vice versa.

It really helps your hand-eye co-ordination.

Once you start to get the hang of that, put a pencil in both hands and practice being ambidextrous. Try to draw symmetrical forms like a vase, where one side is a mirror of the other. I found it helped to mark some guide lines on my paper first.

This tip will certainly get your artistic brain into gear!

If you get frustrated too easily, just try it for a couple of minutes at a time.

I really enjoy doing this, and sometimes I even impress myself. Of course, I always make a note underneath the drawing to say that it was done with my left hand! I don't want to give myself a heart attack when I look back at my work.

Remember, whatever you do, just have fun.

Do you have a question about drawing? Before you write to ask that question, you'll probably find the answer in the frequently asked questions.

, thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read this issue.

You are welcome to reply to this email if you want to get in touch with me.

I hope you are well and happy,


"Art although produced by man's hands, is something not created by hands alone, but something which wells up from a deeper source out of our soul." - Vincent Van Gogh

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