Sharpen Your Pencils – The Sktchy Subscription Launches June 4

 
 More drawing leads to more smiling (Pictured:  Sophie McPike )

More drawing leads to more smiling (Pictured: Sophie McPike)

 

It’s late, and your head just hit the pillow. As you work into a comfy sleeping position, you think about all of the things you did today. Emails, meetings, cooking, cleaning, scrolling, liking, tapping and scrolling some more.

Something’s missing. What is it? Ah, that’s right, you think, as you sink deeper into sleepiness. I never got to

In the morning, you wake to the sound of a new push notification. With a bright bing! it takes its place atop the stack of alerts that have piled up over night. 

Before your feet touch the floor, you’ve answered an email. Before your first sip of coffee, you’ve formed an opinion on Donald Trump’s latest tweet. As you wait for a YouTube ad to reach its skip point, you spot your sketchbook on the kitchen table. You recall that last, incomplete thought before you fell asleep: I never got to…draw.

 
 Studies link drawing to myriad positive outcomes including less stress, sharper focus and increased happiness (Pictured:  Burd Turd )

Studies link drawing to myriad positive outcomes including less stress, sharper focus and increased happiness (Pictured: Burd Turd)

 

The irony is that drawing is exactly what you need. Studies show it sharpens focus, boosts memory, improves communication skills, decreases stress and increases happiness.

Not that you need the hard sell: You love drawing. You want to draw every day. It’s just that–bing!–life gets in the way.

it's time to draw

This is exactly why Sktchy is launching an in-app subscription: to help you build a life-changing drawing habit, and keep it going.* Each day, as a subscriber, you will get everything you need to conquer the blank page, directly inside the Sktchy app:

  • A new drawing tip from an extraordinary Sktchy artist
  • A video that demonstrates the tip
  • An inspiring reference photo to draw

You will also be able to set a regular drawing reminder. So when the time comes, all you have to do is sit down and start sketching. 

 
 "Sktchy got me drawing and creating regularly more than I've ever done before" -  Danna Feintuch

"Sktchy got me drawing and creating regularly more than I've ever done before" - Danna Feintuch

 

Sktchy has helped thousands of artists around the world break through creative block and fill up their sketchbooks. With the launch of the in-app subscription, we’re taking this mission to a higher level. 

As an artist, you want to learn. You want to feel your artistic powers growing. You want to be part of a community that will inspire you to push through creative obstacles, pick you up when you’re in a rut and celebrate your breakthroughs. That’s what this subscription is all about.

 
 Subscribe to learn from extraordinary Sktchy artists (Pictured:  Nadyia Duff )

Subscribe to learn from extraordinary Sktchy artists (Pictured: Nadyia Duff)

 

Like yoga or meditation, drawing promotes incredibly positive outcomes and can work wonders on your well-being. This is why we’re so committed to helping you and people everywhere build a drawing habit. Together, we can sketch our way toward a happier, more creative world.

We’ll be sharing more information about the subscription before it launches on Monday, June 4. Stay tuned for more details on how to subscribe and the first group of featured artists.

In the meantime, sharpen your pencils.

*Sktchy will remain a free app that you can join and use at no cost. As an option, you will be able to register for the Sktchy Subscription via in-app purchase. Price TBA. 

Meet Maanvi Kapur

 

Maanvi will be sharing drawing tips and demo videos during Rise & Draw

 
 
 

What’s your background?

Art has always been a part of my life, and I have been painting for as long as I can remember. I grew up in Calcutta, India, and I received formal training in fine art and sculpture there. Even in school, it was always art over all other subjects.

In my family, my grandmother was my source of inspiration. I think I got a lot of learning from watching her paint and going to her exhibitions. Later on, growing up I was also introduced to the work of artists like Klimt, Kandinsky, Frida Kahlo, and it made me want to pursue art professionally.

That decision led me to Bangalore, where I did my undergrad in visual communication and illustration, and being in a design school opened up even more possibilities for my art – learning from faculty, peers – it just inspired me more and more to keep creating more art.

Even when I started working in advertising and my main focus became graphic design, I tried to include art in my life as much as possible, be it in my everyday work or as a way to unwind from it.

Trying to find more inspiration, and more ways to make art, I stumbled upon Sktchy. Once I joined such a huge community of like-minded (and AMAZING) artists, it encouraged me to create art on a daily basis, and I have been (mostly) successful in doing so for the past three years.

 
 

What do you look for in a reference photo on sktchy?

I love working with black and white photos with strong contrast of light and shadow, which I then paint in colour. 

 
 

What’s your medium of choice when you’re creating art?

I am most comfortable in watercolour, acrylics and ink. But at the moment I have been using watercolour quite a bit. 

 
 

What’s one quirk in your creative process?

I enjoy using colour and patterns as my medium to elevate the end result. 

I wouldn't say that I use watercolour in the most traditional way, which makes it more interesting, because it allows me to have more fun with it. Mostly I try to experiment with complimentary and tertiary colours, and try to go beyond traditional hues. I also enjoy adding my own spin on the clothing of my subject by adding interesting patterns and motifs, or simply using a contrasting colour which helps highlight the face, and adds a different dynamic to the end result.

 
 

Any words of advice for fellow artists?

Practice practice practice!

I think the key to drawing without any inhibitions is to not take your art too seriously. Instead, try to experiment and have fun with it. You can draw one face five times, in five different ways, and each time you will learn something new..

For me, Sktchy has made it so easy to find inspiration, that now I have made practicing my art a part of my daily routine. There are always distractions due to work, or life in general, but when you make sure that you sketch regularly, you end up seeing improvement. 

One way to practice regularly is to set small goals for yourself. Goals that might challenge you to try new approaches to your art. I find doing quick, timed sketches a good way to look at drawing from a new perspective.

Even focusing on certain aspects of your inspiration images, like only the eyes, hands or even nature drawing, might help you build the habit. Start easy, and build up to your challenges at your own pace.

Get the Sktchy iPhone app to join Maanvi on Sktchy

Meet Cindy Patrick

 

Cindy will be sharing drawing tips and demo videos during Rise & Draw

 
 
 

What’s your background?

I'm a professional photographer focusing primarily on weddings and portraits. I'm also very active in the mobile art and photography community. I've won many awards for my iPhone work, which has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the U.S., Canada and Europe. I offer workshops out of my studio in New Jersey, where I teach students how to create art in the palm of their hands with their iPhones or iPads.

In my spare time, I love to draw! Sktchy has rekindled my love of drawing, which I put aside in college when I took up photography instead of pursuing my dream of becoming a cartoonist and working for Disney.

Sktchy has led me to other forms of drawing as well, such as urban sketching, and I can honestly say that drawing has become an obsession! I am so grateful to be a part of this community of likeminded artists, all striving to improve their skills and to generously share their tips and advice with each other. Thank you, Sktchy!

 
 

What do you look for in a reference photo on sktchy?

Dramatic light usually catches my eye, and I also love a photo that offers something unique – a characteristic that I can sink my teeth into – a great expression, a cool beard or hair, someone wearing interesting glasses or a hat or holding a cigar/cigarette, or interesting patterns of some sort that I can play with.

 
 

What’s your medium of choice when you’re creating art?

My iPad Pro and Apple Pencil in the Procreate app. It's a killer combination! I've also been experimenting with pen and ink in sketchbooks, but it's hard to give up the iPad for drawing portraits. It's great for the way I work in layers.

 
 

What’s one quirk in your creative process?

Back when I was drawing a lot of cartoons in pen and ink, I had a process where I would start sketching very loosely on a sheet of paper and then, on a lightbox, I would trace over my loose sketch to refine it. I would repeat that over and over until I got a final version I was happy with. Sometimes, I would even cut out pieces from different stages and glue them onto my final piece!

I now do the same thing in Procreate on my iPad, which is probably why I like it so much. With the layers in Procreate, I can pretty much replicate this technique but it's much easier on the iPad! I can "cut" things out, such as an eye or nose, and resize them and move them around until I'm satisfied.

 
 

Any words of advice for fellow artists?

Try to draw every day. It is seriously the best way to improve. And post everything, even if you think it's a failure. Let your Sktchy gallery become a diary of your progress. It's fun to look back on where you started and how far you've come. It can be very instructional and will inspire you to keep going!

Get the Sktchy iPhone app to join Cindy on Sktchy

Meet Colin Dowden

 

Colin – aka Col Dow – will be sharing drawing tips and demo videos during Rise & Draw

 
 
 

What’s your background?

I was born drawing. Well, that's not strictly true, but it's always seemed that way to me.

School was a long, slow, boring process interrupted by these fantastic things called art lessons. After four years at art school in the UK, I started working in an advertising art studio. I then graduated from that to art directing for advertising agencies where I started specializing in storyboards. I've been doing that for a long time whilst, at the same time, trying to hone my more artistic drawing skills.

I now live in Australia and discovered Sktchy a couple of years ago, which was a real creative revelation. Who knows, I might die drawing or at least it just might seem like that.

 
 

What do you look for in a reference photo on sktchy?

At first I used to go for the most absurd pic which I could possibly find. I then would try, just for fun, to find the most boring pic available. I went through a period of choosing the first pic at the top of the pile whatever it was ... that was a real challenge.

These days I somehow know if it's a winner. It normally just chimes in with whatever medium I've decided to draw in on that day, whether I'm in a "digital" mood, "watercolour" mood or a "scribbling using coffee granules using my only my toes soaked in onions and vegetable oil" mood...whatever.

 
 

What’s your medium of choice when you’re creating art?

I genuinely do not really have a medium of choice. Anything goes in my book. The bottom line is, it has to involve drawing in some way, shape or form.

Lately I've been finding that digital allows me to do everything I want to do (and more) without the dirt and smells associated with traditional media. But...sometimes I love getting dirty, filthy and smelly...maybe that's just a personal thing.

Quite often I will start using charcoal or acrylic or watercolour and just drop the pic into the computer just for a few final touches. It has to be said that I love the feeling of power I often get when I put pencil to paper knowing that anything could happen next.

 
 

What’s one quirk in your creative process?

I try not to just copy and will attempt to do something which pulls the original out of the normal in some way. Maybe distortion or an unusual colour scheme or something odd which happens to occur to me whilst creating the image. Often I will get to the end of the painting and decide that it needs a shaking up and drop in a couple of odd splashes or something without visual logic. This makes the whole thing fun for me.

 
 

Any words of advice for fellow artists?

Which of course brings me to fun. Fun is what it's really all about. Likeness, draughtsmanship (or draughtswomanship for that matter), perspective or whatever medium you happen to be using – they're all important considerations, but none of these things are as important as enjoying yourself. You are after all the main person that you are creating these things for. Definitely not "likes," "wows" or being "picked" by Sktchy, nice though these things are.

Finally, I can't emphasize how much your drawing skills will grow if you can manage to find yourselves in some kind of life drawing situation. I personally love life drawing and you know what – it really is fun.

Get the Sktchy iPhone app to join Colin on Sktchy

Meet Margaret Fanning

 

Margaret will be sharing drawing tips and demo videos during Rise & Draw

 
 
 

What’s your background?

Growing up, I had a lot of people to inspire me artistically, but my number one source for inspiration would have to be my grandmother. She was an artist herself and some of my earliest memories are of us sitting in her studio with some cray-pas and colored paper.

I attended art school later on with the intention of majoring in sequential art (comic books and graphic novels), but quickly found my passion in painting so I switched majors. My strength is in figurative art. I've always found people so interesting to draw.  There's a connection there that you won't find in a floral drawing or a landscape.

 
 

What do you look for in a reference photo on sktchy?

I prefer snapshots to posed photographs. There is usually a narrative in those photos that speaks to me. Finding a story in the photograph is half the battle. 

Vintage photographs are my bread and butter – I love to paint them! When I travel, I like going to antique and flea markets in case they might have some old photographs to sell.

I do paint posed photographs as well. In these cases I like choosing images that are slightly confrontational.

 
 

What’s your medium of choice when you’re creating art?

I work with various media. I will sometimes look at a photograph and just know, "That's graphite!" or "That's charcoal!" It's a gut reaction to the photos. 

Mainly I like working in ink, watercolor, and oil. Ink is great for when I'm multi-tasking: I can sit down in front of the TV and ink for hours. You might have noticed that I post more ink drawings on Sktchy than any other media...

But my absolute favorite medium is watercolor. On the practical side, my brushes and paints (though a little pricey) can last forever. I have some sable brushes and watercolor paints that were my grandmother's and they work beautifully. The tubes of watercolor paint can harden and all you would need to do is cut it open and add water to activate it again.

Watercolor is also therapeutic in a way.  It forces you to slow down (which is great when you're trying to juggle several things during the day). I layer wash over wash and wait for it to dry before adding even more layers. The more I work with watercolor, the more control I seem to get in my process.

 
 

What’s one quirk in your creative process?

Mistakes are excellent for inspiration!

Recently, I bought an Ampersand panel and I was leaning it against the wall when it tipped over and fell onto a corner of a table. There's now a hole in the middle of the panel and, though I was frustrated at the time, now I'm brainstorming ideas to incorporate it into a painting. For instance, I can paint someone on a ladder who is attempting to plaster up the hole.

I can't dwell on what has happened – I can only move forward, and that's when the best ideas come!

 
 

Any words of advice for fellow artists?

Be stubborn. We artists all face rejection in some form or other. Whether it is friends or family telling you that art should be your hobby and not your livelihood, or perhaps a juror rejected your work from a show. It's disheartening. But why should someone else's mindset or bias affect your decisions? Ultimately, it's up to you.

Be stubborn. Be headstrong.

Get the Sktchy iPhone app to join Margaret on Sktchy

Meet Patrick Hochstenbach

 

Patrick will be sharing drawing tips and demo videos during Rise & Draw

 
 
 

What’s your background?

I drew a lot as kid and created comics for the college and university newspapers. After I graduated, I didn’t draw for 15 years. At 40 I rediscoverd the joy of drawing and took some classes in comics drawing. Using Sktchy I found out that creating portraits is even more fun.

 
 

What do you look for in a reference photo on sktchy?

I love gestures and people doing an action. When I look for inspiration, I always ask myself, “Which verb do I see?”

 
 

What’s your medium of choice when you’re creating art?

An H2 pencil and my TWSBI fountain pen

 
 

What’s one quirk in your creative process?

My penciling is more a first attempt to get some shapes on the paper. Inking is a continuation of sketching. Very often I ignore my pencil lines.

 
 

Any words of advice for fellow artists?

Exploit your weaknesses – this is what defines your personal style.

Get the Sktchy iPhone app to join Patrick on Sktchy

Meet France Van Stone

 

Follow France on Sktchy

 
 
 

What’s your background?

I am self taught in the realm of art

 
 

What do you look for in a reference photo on sktchy?

Photos with high contrast

 
 

What’s your medium of choice when you’re creating art?

Pen, pencil or iPad

 
 

What’s one quirk in your creative process?

I like using cheap materials – the cheaper, the better. Fancy things don’t make for better drawings. The exception to this is the use of my iPad and  Pencil.

 
 

Any words of advice for fellow artists?

Don’t sweat the resemblance. That’s the beauty of Sktchy – use it as a tool to get better and focus on rendering light and volume.

Get the Sktchy iPhone app to join France on Sktchy