5 McGraw Hill Products That Are Worth The Investment

5 McGraw Hill Products That Are Worth The Investment

If you’re looking to improve your productivity, there are few investments better than a good quality reference book.

Here are 5 McGraw Hill products that are definitely worth your money:

1. The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test

This guide is essential for anyone planning to take the TOEFL exam. It contains everything you need to know about the exam, including format, content, and scoring.

2. The McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Business and Economics

This comprehensive dictionary is a must-have for anyone studying business or economics. It covers all the major terms and concepts in both fields, and is an invaluable reference tool.

3. The McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology

This 10-volume set is an essential resource for anyone interested in science and technology. It covers a wide range of topics in both fields, and is an invaluable reference tool.

4. The McGraw-Hill Handbook of English Grammar and Usage

This handbook is a must-have for anyone who wants to improve their English grammar and usage. It covers all the major grammar rules, and is an essential reference tool.

5. The McGraw-Hill Guide to Effective Business Writing

This guide is essential for anyone who wants to improve their business writing skills. It covers all the major aspects of effective business writing, and is an invaluable reference tool.

1) The Official SAT Study Guide, 2018 Edition: This is the only study guide that comes from the test makers themselves. It includes 4 official SAT practice tests, hundreds of practice questions, and detailed answer explanations. If you’re serious about doing well on the SAT, this is the guide you need.

2) The College Panda’s SAT Math: Advanced Guide and Workbook: This guide goes way beyond the basics, providing detailed strategies and tips for tackling the most challenging SAT math problems. The accompanying workbook is packed with practice problems to help you master the material.

3) Cracking the AP Physics 1 Exam, 2017 Edition: This book from the Princeton Review provides concise review of all the material you need to know for the AP Physics 1 exam, including a full-length practice test.

4) 5 Steps to a 5 on the AP World History Exam, 2017 Edition: This popular study guide from McGraw Hill Education provides an easy-to-follow, step-by-step approach to preparing for the AP World History exam.

5) The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar: This comprehensive guide from Kaplan covers all the grammar rules you need to know for the SAT, with practice questions and detailed answer explanations.

Not Another Watercolour Painting Tutorial

Not Another Watercolour Painting Tutorial

Do We Need Another Watercolour Tutorial?

Need help with watercolour? In this short page, I hope to reveal how I use the process of sketching to develop an eye for a subject and a process for capturing what seems a limitless scene. Constant sketching and varying an approach just to see what something looks like will help all artists who are trying to capture landscapes in watercolour.

Do we need another watercolour tutorial? The easy answer is no! But of course there is always room for an experienced artist ( with a modest outlook) to pass on some of that experience to fellow artists who may just be starting out on a journey of discovery.

I intend to create a series of lenses about sketching subjects ( such as trees, skies, sunsets, sunrise and the use of colours) whilst these are taking shape this lens should be considered a work in progress – thanks.

The accompanying sketch shows a still life painted at a meeting of my art group. This and all other images below are sketched and photographed/scanned by myself.

Why Sketch?

shouldn’t you just go for a finished picture?

Even the great artists sketch…. and the more they do this the better they are likely to be. Turner left many sketches to the nation after his death. Even his skimpiest works show how he was approaching issues like skies and landscapes. The constant sketching will more than repay the investment in time for any artist.

A painting simply called watercolour beginning shows a simple Turner sketch which probably would have been completed in the fullness of time. There are many of these in books and galleries but I have not yet located a web link. ( In fact, a brochure from an exhibition of Turner’s works held at the Tate does have a few things to say about the watercolour beginnings). One other example of a sketch by Turner is shown in this Tate Gallery Blog post which also discusses the faded appearance of the watercolour sketch.

I often simply use up the remains of my palette to create sketches from my imagination – a little like doodling really but it does help to keep my pictorial vocabulary in use and growing. These sketches I call my “Turnerisms”, they show this simplistic doodling approach to landscape subjects. Not something I would frame and hang on the wall but “hey” they were done for fun and practice, and what is life without a little fun now and then. Just for reference they are all from a sketchbook which is about six inches wide, ( the longest dimesion in these sketches).

They were actually done on cartridge paper and so the effect of wet-into-wet washes is not very relevant but having fun and making marks is never a waste of time. In this series of lenses I hope to be showing you many more of my sketches, some in this vein, some looking more like finished works but all have the main objective of teaching me something.

As for the second question above, it is always worth sketching out one or two small thumbnail sketches to decide on compositional features prior to starting any major project/painting. Professionals do it, what makes any amateur think that they don’t need to? read about any major artist and the chances are that he will know what he is going to paint and how he is going to achieve any particular result before he starts. Why take a chance? Of course there are many instances of paintings being changed part way through but by and large even the masters will have made sketches of potential problem areas before the main work is started.

Some examples of what I am saying would be an obvious update to this lens, at the earliest opportunity. watch this space!

Art Glossary

Art Glossary

Explaining terminology from Art Forums

This art vocabulary glossary was made as an addition to /ic/’s Beginner’s Guide. It lists explanations of terms that are commonly used on art forums. We focus on visual art, namely paintings and drawings, in both the digital and traditional medium.

Note: work in progress. 🙂



Anatomy: the study of human and animal body structures. Artists study skeleton, muscles and fat distribution, as well as these functions in movement, in order to draw realistic looking figures or creatures.


Basic Shapes: the basic shapes are the sphere, the cube, the cone and the cilinder. Everything in life can be simplified to these basic shapes or variations of them.
When learning a new subject (proportions, perspective, lighting, …), it is useful to start with basic shapes.
Blending: mixing paint on canvas, mainly used in the context of painting digitally or with oils. This is an important part of rendering.
How to blend digitally


Chicken Scratch: the same as “hairy line”. Drawing a line consisting of multiple small scratches or going over a line multiple times to mask mistakes. Not to be confused with loose, sketchy lines. *example picture to be added
Canvas: the surface you paint on. For a traditional painter this is the fabric he works on. For digital artists, the canvas is the total image dimension he is working on. (better explanation for “digital canvas”?)
Color/Colour: considering painting techniques, colour refers to the whole of hue, value and saturation (also called chroma). This is an in depth guide to colour: The Dimensions of Colour.
Comfort Zone: keeping to the skills you already have and not trying new things due to fear of failure. For example, artist might restrain themselves to a single colour palette, or drawing the same subject over and over again.
Composition: arrangement of the elements in a pleasant manner. Or unpleasant, if you suck at composition. *explanatory video link to be added
Concept Art: mainly designing. Usually part of a larger process (creating a movie, game, …).
Construction: building the subject of the painting or drawing from a basic structure. This could be basic shapes which are later on refined, or the key elements of the subjects. For example, a very basic construction for the human figure might be composed of the head, torso and pelvis, with sticks for the joints.


Eyeballing: judging by eye, as opposed to measuring with rulers, drawing grids, colour picking, …


Fair Use: use of copyrighted works within legal limits.
Flatness (or flat drawing): the works lacks a sense of depth. In many cases, this is due to a poor value range or using strictly contour lines.
Flow: relaxed, zen-like work state of full concentration. For the photoshop tool “flow”, see this post.
Freelancer: self-employed professional.
Fundamentals: things you have to know before you can move on. The crawling before walking and running.
Figure Drawing: drawing humans.


Gesture: you probably heard before that non-verbal expressions are the most important element of conversation. That’s what gesture is about. The gesture of a figure, animal or even object can express a wild variety in emotions and actions. Gesture studies are a necessary complement to anatomy studies, to prevent your figures from becoming lifeless.
Graphic Design: the visual art that focuses on convey information. Fields like web design, logo design and typography are important to graphic design.
Grayscale/Greyscale: black-and-white. Consisting only of grey shades (from white to black). Sometimes short for “an image in grayscale”. Value painting/drawing.


Hairy Line: the same as “chicken scratch”. Drawing a line consisting of multiple small scratches or going over a line multiple times to mask mistakes. Not to be confused with loose, sketchy lines. *example picture to be added
colour hue Hue: this term is difficult to explain, as it corresponds to “colour” for those unfamiliar with colour theory. This is the third aspect of colour besides value and saturation. For example: red, green or blue are hues. Adding white or black will not change the hue.


Illustration: art accompanying another product. For example, illustrations in a book, on game cards, … Nonetheless, an illustration often has stand-alone artistic value.
Illustrator: artist making illustrations, either as a freelancer or employee.


Layer: in tradtional painting, this is literally a layer of paint. In digital painting, this is the layer in the painting program, on which one or more elements are kept. Painting on a single layer is also possible. Digital layers can be swapped, moved around and edited individually.
Life Drawing: also “drawing from life”. Drawing a real life object or person, as opposed to drawing from photo reference and drawing from imagination. The three most common life drawing practices are still lifes, model drawing and sketching people from life. The most beneficial aspect of life drawing is the increasing sense of value and 3D perception.
Loomis: usually heard in a phrase like “needs more Loomis”. This refers to the figure construction method as taught by the famous art teacher Andrew Loomis.


Master: an artist of great skill. An “old master” would be a great artist from the past, such as Rubens or Van Eyck. A “master work” is an artwork of high artistic and technical quality.
In the broadest sense, a master is any artist whose skill and accomplishments you admire. Doing a “master study” refers to studying the work of a master in order to learn from it.
Muddy drawing Muddiness (or a muddy drawing): the colours or values aren’t cleanly rendered. The most common causes are:
1. painting with a lot of short, small brush strokes instead of fluid large strokes.
2. Poor colour choice, for example shading by adding black.
3. Smudging.


Negative Space: the space surrounding the object of figure. Drawing negative space means focusing on the outer edge. This is most helpful to fix proportion errors.
Notan: balancing areas of light and dark in a harmonious whole. This concept is great importance in traditional ink paintings.




Pen Pressure: when using a tablet for digital art, you can turn pen pressure on. This responds to how firmly the stylus’ tip is pressed against the tablet surface.
It’s similar to how a pencil gives darker lines when pressed harder into the paper, but you can link pen pressure to a variety of settings. It is most commonly linked to line thickness and opacity.
Photo Study: doing a study using a photograph as a reference. The goal of the study can be anything from lighting to anatomy.
Professional: an artist earning full-time income from his craft. Also refered to as “pro”, though “pro” is sometimes used for any artist of great skill.


Quick Pose: figure sketching done whilst setting a timer for each pose. Most common are quick gesture sketches, using 30 to 60 seconds for each figure. The purpose of quick poses varies.





Self Portrait: drawing oneself in front of a mirror. Drawing yourself using a photo reference is usually regarded as a photo study.
Sketch: this is either an unfinished, rough drawing, or a drawing done as preparations for a bigger art work.
Sketchbook: there are physical sketchbooks with bound blank pages used to draw in, often done outside. “Sketchbook” could also reference to a regularly updated forum thread devoted to the art and progress of a single artist.
Skill: acquired technique and knowledge. The ability to do something.
Smudge: smudging is a blending process by rubbing with your finger or some material on the canvas. It is very common practice in pencil drawing, but often with poor results.
Speedpainting: a quick painting, usually between 30 minutes to 2 hours. Currently also used in the context of time lapse videos of the painting process.
Still Life: drawing or painting objects from life.
Study: drawing or painting a reference in order to learn from it. The goal is to acquire knowledge and skill to use in one’s own artworks. Methods vary wildly depending on the aspect focused on.
Symbol drawing: drawing one’s representation of something instead of a realistic depiction. For example, drawing an almond shape and a circle for an eye.


Talent: the notion that one’s skills aren’t acquired by practice or studying. By some used to indicate great skill, but keep in mind that this could be an affront to hard working artists.
Thumbnail: a small version of an image.
Tutorial: short instructive guide. A tutorial could be in any format, from video to plain text. Usually tutorials are a combination of step drawings and explanatory text.
Tracing: putting a transparent sheet or a new layer on top of a picture and directly drawing over the lines. On the ethics of tracing, check out this link.


Value: when putting the colour on greyscale, value is the range it falls in, with pure white being 0 and pure black being 100. As some programs use different numbers, the value can also be expressed as a percentage, for example 10% grey.
Value is regarded as the most basic and important quality of colour, and beginners are encouraged to start practicing in greyscale before moving on to full colour. The two other aspects of colour besides value are hue and saturation.

Must have resources for the figure drawing artist

Must have resources for the figure drawing artist

The Artwork of Lacy Chenault – from Heart people to Belly Dancers

I Believe I have always been an artist – from a very young age I remember having a huge interest in drawing things – but it’s always been one thing – Women – which started as heart people and evolved to women.

Through High School I got bad grades in everything but art class, even if I skipped a week of school I would always finish my art projects on time, and sometimes do other people’s projects as well. But I feel like my art is at its peak right now – though I secretly hope it isn’t – I would like this to just be the beginning of a mountain rather than it being all downhill from here.

A few years ago – right around the time I moved in with Mark I started to really pick it up again, and since then I have gotten much better. I started my very own website and found the people who really like my art. At least I think they do?

I think the biggest thing for me is when I just recently signed a contract – I will be receiving 12% royalties from a company selling my artwork on cross-stitch patterns, and sales at my cafepress shop seem to have taken off. I am not one to usually have an ego about things, but at the very least at this point I can say I am proud of myself.

I can look at my art now and really see that I have gotten better – sure it has taken years and many drawings have been thrown in the trash, but after all that it has actually gotten better…wow.

Earlier this year I had my first “Art Show” at a local coffee house – my art was up for one entire month. MY ART was the sole décor for this coffee house for all of the month of February – sure when it happened, I didn’t think I deserved it, but looking back – I did. I loved that people could see my art up close and personal – not only on the web – my scanner never does them justice anyway. It was really nice to see that people really did like my art – lets be truthful here – a lot of people lie on the internet, I can’t read their expressions when seeing my art, so I never really know what they think of it – that is of course, unless they buy it.

It started as just Fairies here and there, some Goddesses – then it grew to include the Zodiac collection, and just recently I started Drawing Belly Dancers, as I myself am now one – it has inspired me in so many ways with my art.

I draw dancers from my class whether they know it is them or now – they are at the very least my inspiration – I have drawn my teacher twice and I think she likes them. I take tons of pictures at every show – just to take them home at get ideas for my next drawing.

It is really ever evolving – you put the effort it and you will see results – it may take years – but it is always about patients – with anything you want to get good at.

Giovanni Civardi – Drawing the Female Nude

Lots of different poses, real looking women
For many years I have been drawing women, and only women. The female figure I think is just nicer to look at.

The problem I would always run into when starting a drawing is thinking of a pose, and actually pulling it off. That is why I purchased “Drawing the Female Nude” at my local Barnes and Noble. The only other option I could think of was to hire an actual model, and that’s just too expensive and awkward.

Drawing the Female Nude is written (and illustrated) by Giovanni Civardi, an Italian artist and instructor who also wrote and illustrated “Drawing Human Anatomy” and “Drawing the Male Nude”. His drawings are as realistic as they come, which is how I like it.

In this book he uses two models, one that is tall and has more boyish figure and one who is a bit womanlier in the hips and butt. Both of them are definitely European, you can tell by the furry armpits, which you can “edit out” in your own drawings easily, but it really doesn’t detract from the book at all unless you are tremendously shallow. That is also part of the reason I really like this book.

The women in this book look like real women. Their breasts are not super-round and perfect, their brows are not perfectly plucked, and they do not have washboard abs. I am not saying they are fat (I am probably bigger than them), they are real.

These two women are drawn in many different poses including standing, sitting, stretching, twisting, turning, lying, and even some yoga positions from just about every different angle. Each pose includes his own tips on pulling it off, and information on different techniques and materials. He uses charcoal and pencil to sketch out the women. There are also a few actual photographs of the models in this book.

I really like his tips on shading and shaping the muscles. He really teaches you a lot about the female muscular structure in this book too, which is something every artist should study a bit about to reach his or her full potential. He encourages every artist to find his or her own unique style, not just to copy.

This book was definitely worth the $14.95 I paid over three years ago. I still use this book as a reference, and I do feel that it has made me an improved artist. This book I think would be an excellent gift for all artists who like to draw real looking women, whether amature or professional

The Nude Figure – a visual reference for the artist

I know you will find what you want in this book. It is full of good poses, which are lit very well.
I browsed through this book at a Barnes & Nobles a few weeks ago, and almost immediately fell in love with it. But I did have to wait to go online as it was nearly 30.00 at B&N and I knew I could get it cheaper at amazon.com, which I did for a mere 22.00 with shipping.

Before “The Nude Figure” my best reference book was “Drawing the Female Nude” by Giovanni Civardi, which featured his drawings of two models in various poses. It is a great book for the beginner, but after five years of using it I needed something new – and Playboy just wasn’t working.

The Nude Figure by Mark Smith featured only photographs of various models and all kinds of different poses. All of the photographs are in black and white which is a definite plus in my mind, helping you to see the defining lines and edges. The poses are divided into chapters as follows:

Standing Poses – This chapter is full of your basic standing poses. Arms up, arms down, from the side, from the back.

Reclining Poses – All kinds of laying down positions, all from different perspectives. Some look quite easy to draw and others are quite hard.
The Figure on a stool – These I find quite difficult simply because of the stools – I am not good at any kind of still life, even if it has a woman sitting on it.

Bending Poses – Most of these look like stretching before a workout poses. I don’t se how they could be useful in a work, but for practice everything is good.

The Figure in motion – I am very happy with this section as I do a lot of fairies and it is full of people jumping up in the air – something you could never get a live model to hold.
The Pregnant Figure – There are only a few pages of this, and I’m glad they put in here. It’s not too often that you get to see a nude pregnant woman to draw from. I think this will come in handy someday.
Unusual Poses – Just like it sounds, many of these aren’t very practical, but very useful in learning how different muscles shift in different positions.

The bulk of the photo’s are in Standing, Seated, and reclining poses. Those fill up most of this book.

Also the people in this book are all pretty fit. There aren’t any fat people in here, not a big scope of different shapes. Again, I am happy with this as I don’t want to draw fat people, but other artist might be disappointed by this lack of diversity. Some of the women have hairy armpits though, and some don’t – that’s diverse enough for me.

Take More Risks – Dynamic Figure Drawing

I highly recommend this book for any artist who just wants to tweak what they already know.
The moment I browsed through this book I knew it could help me tremendously. Dynamic Figure Drawing is a book for the already knowledgeable artist, wanting to better understand the human anatomy – something very important in drawing the figure.

I would start out with a book such as “Drawing the Female (or male) nude” by Giovanni Civardi, which only has poses of women or men, and Giovanni is much easier to read, easier to understand as a beginner.

What I found most helpful is the artist examples drawings; he shows different ways of looking at the figure to get a good realistic drawing of it. I have found that breaking the body down into simple shapes makes it so much easier to put it all together, adding muscle structures and curves after. He also breaks down the perspective drawings quite nicely,

There aren’t many full poses in this book as he beaks most down to the parts. He has sections on feet, legs, arms, chests, etc. My hands have gotten so much better since practicing them with this book. But I definitely recommend using another book or source for getting you poses, then using this book for the parts you have a hard time with. I recommend “The Figure Nude”, which is full of photographs of both men and women nude in all sorts of poses. If not, a magazine is always a good alternative.

This book is in no way easy reading, in fact it seems like it should be in college art classes all over the place. It is very technical, and I usually have to read over the same section a few times to really get what he is trying to say. So, again, I don’t recommend this book for beginners at all.

For the figure drawing artist who’s been at it for a while, and just has a hard time with certain parts, or has a hard time putting more action into their poses, I can’t say enough good about this book. It has helped me out in so many ways in just the short time I have had it. You can see it in my most recent works (some are featured on my profile) such as Gaia – I would have never tried such a difficult pose before reading this book. I also am not afraid to show hands anymore, because he has made them so much simpler.

I have truly been inspired by this book, since getting it I have been much more creative with my art, and I take more risks. I am very pleased with what this book has done for me.

Jobs in the art field

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Graphic Artist
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Graphic Artist – Requisition ID 050503 USA… Solutions – STRATIS The Graphic Artist creates graphic designs, artwork, and documentation layout, for… …

Deals on not so new books
Soometimes it’s a good idea to go the cheap route
I know there are many starving artists out there as well (myself included) but art lesson/reference books aren’t the kind you want to just borrow from the library, it is a good idea to have them in your collection. Sometimes I open up my old books I haven’t looked at in years and it’s like I’ve never looked through them before – turn old inspiration into new – eBay is a good place to get good – and cheap art reference books.

How to Draw by Joy: Baby’s Portrait

How to Draw by Joy: Baby’s Portrait

Step by step baby portrait pencil drawing

I am presently working on drawing this little one at two years old in a illustrations for a children’s book I am creating. Two of the illustrations are included on this drawing tutorial below.

This is a free drawing tutorial by Joy. Pencil drawing is a skill, that to a degree, can be learned. Of course it helps if you have an eye for it, and a creative streak within you. However, the skill of drawing can be learned by anyone with the determination and discipline to practice.

Through drawing, I have improved my photography by learning to see the world around me differently. I have also learned to think “out of the box” and pay attention to the story being told with the drawings and the photos. This seemed to come once I did not have to focus on technique so much. After a while I have become comfortable knowing what to expect out of the pencils and other supplies used in drawing, and I do not have to put effort into trying to get them to do what I want them to do. Now, I seem to be able to focus more on the composition and seeing what I am drawing differently.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial. I have many others with various drawing subjects for you to explore when you are ready.

More Portrait Drawing by Joy

“I Am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” portrait drawing (Aug. 13, 2012)

I am presently working on writing and illustrating a children’s book. Here is the progress on the first illustration. Just click on the photo to go to “I am my Father’s Child” Squidoo lens to see more illustrations the children’s book I am working on creating.

By the way, this little girl is the baby in the drawing. She is now 2 !/2 years old.

Finished….updated portrait of same child as in baby drawing. – August 14, 2012

Where to begin drawing your baby portrait…

Personally, I began by looking up portraits that I considered well drawn on the internet and took a look the artists who drew them, there styles, the materials they tend to use, and if they had a tutorial on their website, I read it. Some of these included: J D Hillberry, Lee Hammond, Remi Engles, and Diane Cardaci. After studying this for a few days, I gathered my supplies, and began.

Here is a list of supplies I used: graphite pencils (F, 2B, B, mechanical .7mm 2B, mechanical .5mm HB), charcoal pencil (soft, medium), a carbon pencil, tortillions (various sizes), a gummy eraser, a typewriter eraser, a scanner/printer, photopaper (to print the reference photos), strathmoore 300 Bristol (smooth) paper, a sheet of tracing paper to keep over the drawing in progress so that it does not smudge (I tend to need to protect my drawings as I travel and draw at the same time). Most of these products can be purchased at your local hobby store or amazon.com.

Essential Drawing and Sketching supplies:

Here are my favorite basic supplies for pen and ink, graphite, charcoal, and carbon pencil drawing and sketching.

Step 1:
Reference photos and grid

A good reference photo without any blurring is essential. Once obtained, scan it into your computer. Crop it to the portion of the photo that you will be drawing. Print it out in a size that you can easily see well. Next, determine the size of the portrait you will draw. A good size to start is 8″ by 8″ or 8″ by 10″. Once you have practiced a while, drawing larger portraits will not be such a challenge.

After the final portrait drawing size is determined, print out a black and white (grayscale) of the reference photo at the same size you will be drawing.

On the black and white reference photo, draw a 1″ by 1″ grid directly on the reference photo. And, then draw the same grid very lightly with the F graphite pencil on the bristol paper.

From here, begin drawing just the outline of the reference photo, square by square onto the grid. Occasional step back and look at the line drawing as a whole, but for the most part you will draw what you see one square at a time. Draw in only an outline of the reference photo, and do not include detail. If there are major areas of shading or highlights, then dot them in lightly. Here is an example of what I did.

Step 2:

I am left-handed, so I usually begin in the upper right corner of the drawing. This is very important, because you do not want to smudge the drawing with your hands as your progress over the portrait. If you are right-hand, then choose the upper left side of the drawing to begin. I use the black and white reference photo under my hand to prevent smudging my line drawing.

I begin using my graphite pencils here and start shading using the tortillons of various sizes. To figure out where to shade, I pay close attention to the black and white reference photo. There are shading techniques that you can learn from tutorials of the above named artists on their websites or books they have written. If you pay very close attention to the details of the shading on the black and white reference photo, and play around with your totillions and pencils on a scratch paper as you go, you will develop your own technique of achieving the shading in the photo.

Step 3:
The hand and arm…

This proved to be the hardest part of the drawing for me. I had to learn not to draw lines to create the arm and hand. This one is not perfect, I still have work on developing my ability to draw this portion of the portrait. I did learn that I can kind of dot in the hand outline and use shading to bring it out. I closely followed the shading in the black and white reference photo (paying very close attention to each square of the grid, one square at a time). I drew mostly with the toritillions, not the pencil. I would just rub the end of the tortillion on the charcoal pencil and use it to shade according to the reference photo.
My Favorite Essential books for Drawing

In my opinion, anyone who loves drawing should have a copy of these books on their reference shelf. They are full of inspirational ideas and skills to enhance your own drawing performance.

Step 4:
hair and forehead

While I moved on to the hair and forehead, I went back to the blanket and arm and hand regularly, adding darkened areas with my charcoal pencil and carbon pencil. Be sure to do this sparingly, a little dark goes a long way :-).

I learned from the above listed artists that the hair must be built up in layers. So I used the F pencil to lay the foundation, making strokes that followed the hair in the reference photo, but also following the shape of the head. I alternated drawing with pencils, blending with tortillions, and drawing with my kneaded easer in hair-like strokes, until it appeared as close to the reference photo as I could get it. I shaded the forehead the same way as I did the hand and the arm, paying close attention to shading under the hairline, and highlights.

I then began to darken in the eyes, keeping in mind that to create a real eye, the eye is round inside the eyelids, and that the eyelids contain several layers to the edges with dots rather than just a solid line.

Step 5:
The nose and ear…

As I draw, I tend to go back a little at a time, fine tuning what I have already done and adding darks and lights to the drawing.

I continued down the face to the nose, paying particular attention to the fact that a nose is primarily shaded onto the face with very few hard lines. These hard lines are created by the shadows under the nose and around the nose rather than drawn in with the pencil. I primarily used a tortillion that I rubbed on the charcoal pencil as I went along.

I also began shading in the ear, paying very close attention to the dark shaded areas to create the lines rather than my drawing them in. I also added the hair over the fingers here, and began adding more detail to the hair and building the layers in it.

Triumphant – August 18, 2012

This one of her was so fun to draw. She has great facial expression. I also used a few new techniques to get the slide to come forward in the drawing.

Step 6:
Ear and Mouth

I am working my way down the face to the mouth now. I left out the bubbles from the reference photo on the mouth and began shading it in. Here I remembered from the artists listed above, that highlights are very important in creating a realistic mouth and also the deeper shading. I also paid close attention to the lines in the mouth begin careful to shade them in rather than draw them in.

The blanket was shaded in next in layers. The first layer was my 2B pencil, held like a wand and shaded in an up and down direction. Blended with a large tortillion, then shaded in with the same wand like method of holding the pencil, but this time in a side to side direction. Again, blended. Leaving the dots white and using a kneaded easer when the shading bled into it. I used the carbon pencil in spots to bring out the edges and shading in the edges. The charcoal pencils was used on the tortillion to shade in the darker folds of the blanket in the foreground.

Step 7:

In the final stage, I finished up the arm at the left bottom side, and went back to adjust the fingers a bit on the hand. I also went back with my carbon pencil and added a little dark here and there, and did the same thing with the typewriter eraser (very lightly) to add highlights here and there. The darks and the lights should be added sparingly. A little goes a long way. I will keep this drawing up on the easel with the reference photos for a while longer. This way as I see it from time to time, I can touch it up a bit here and there. When finished, I will spay with a fixative to keep it from smudging. Then have it framed and matted at a local store.

Don’t forget…

to have fun!!! Drawing a little bit everyday creates drastic improvements in your drawing. Draw what you enjoy. Post it on your own lens or FB and have fun with your drawing.

Joy Neasley — the Missionary and the Artist

I am a missionary and an artist. I was born in East Texas, but left at age 19. Eventually, I settled in Tennessee. Over the years, I have raised two children who now live in Tennessee. Missionary training began at RBTC in Oklahoma in September 2005, with graduation from the missions group after two years in May 2007. Then, after returning to my hometown, Clarksville, TN, I began preparations to head out to Northern China, which took place in May 2008.

Drawing is a new skill which started in Spring 2009. During a time of recuperating from an illness for several months, I found ample time to spend in prayer. Out of that prayer time, I began to draw and write cards for various people, in which, I was led to spend time in prayer. Before I was finished with these cards there were a little over 60 of them. They were very rough sketches, but none-the-less, what I was led to do. Through this process, I realized what He was doing, and I continued to draw and develop this skill, and still continue to grow and develop. These drawings are the result. As I travel through China for my primary purpose of ministry, I draw, creating a visual journal of what I see.

I really enjoy the drawing and the purposes for which God has placed this gift in my life. A whole new door has opened, and I am walking through that door, eagerly awaiting to see where the road beyond it leads.

In mid-May of 2009 I moved into Southern China. I love the people and the ministry work here. I still travel around China and work where needed in association with another ministry here, also. This year, to help share the people I meet with my friends and supporters back home I am working on The 110 Faces of China Drawing Project. I have six of these finished, and working hard to get more finished as time permits. I also have started a blog with regular updates about the people, myself, and the drawings. You can check out this and my blog,” What is it like to be a Missionary Today”, in the links on this Squidoo lens. I also have a Fine Arts America website (linked to this lens) where prints and cards of my drawings and photos are made available to everyone.

Thank you for your prayers and support!


joy neasley

P.S. – if you want to support this ministry, the fastest way is to make an Online Donation via www.WorldOutreach.org. Go to “Donate” and select Joy Neasley – Asia. The system can process USA and International cards. Or simply mail your gift to World Outreach Ministries, PO Box B, Marietta, GA 30061, and designate for Joy Neasley Fund.

Gift of God – July 28, 2012