Meet Joan Martin

Joan is teaching Make Your Mark starting Monday, August 6. Sign up now

What's your background?

I was born in Scotland, but have lived in South Africa from the age of seven. I call the tropical city of Durban on the east coast of South Africa home. I have always been involved in art since my mother entered me into a coloring-in competition at the age of four. I won the competition and was hooked. I studied Fine Arts after school and have been teaching art ever since at various state and private schools in Durban. 

 
 

How does your experience as an art teacher influence you as an artist?

I teach a wide variety of techniques and disciplines from art history to traditional drawing to contemporary art making practices like installations. This encourages me to be more experimental in my own approach to making art.

 
 

How would you describe your style?

My style has an illustrative linear quality, but also usually includes expressive marks and textures.

 
 

You encourage artists to "embrace the random" – what do you mean by that, and how did you learn to do it? 

When I was at university I found that when I used tools that made it difficult to control my drawing, the resulting artwork was more interesting and powerful. I have a tendency to overwork drawings and paintings and an approach that uses chance techniques helps me to avoid this issue.

 
 

You employ a lot of experimental techniques – have you ever had an experiment backfire on you?

I often mess up artwork. I have learnt to work over my mistakes. Too many people see art as a product instead of an experience. Experimentation and play are vital parts of learning. If you are not prepared to make mistakes you won’t learn.

 
 

What will people who sign up for Make Your Mark learn from the class?

To adopt a more playful, intuitive and brave approach to making art through a variety of experimental techniques using tools like pieces of cardboard, candles and textures found around the home.

Sign up for Make Your Mark in the Sktchy Shop

 

Meet Margriet Aasman

Margriet is sharing drawing tips and demo videos with Sktchy subscribers throughout July. Learn more

 
 

What's your background?

I went from designing logos and brochures to creative directing a team of designers in strategic brand communications.

During most of my career I did life drawing in my free time. I used large sheets of newsprint, pastels and conte crayons. I retired early to see if I could be the artist I always wanted to be. I started working with clay, being mentored by a local sculptor.

At the same time, I really wanted to keep a visual journal. I stumbled onto Danny Gregory and Sketchbook Skool. I took their Beginnings course and that’s where I met Roz Stendahl. Most of my tips are rooted in what I learned in Roz’s class, Drawing Live in Public Places. It was also through her that I discovered Sktchy almost a year ago.

I have loved the last three years of my creative journey and can hardly believe how much I have grown at this stage in life. 

 
 

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

I can say that after working decades on the computer, it is not digital. I am enjoying the feel of paper, the blobing of ink, the imperfections of a drawing because there is no undo option. So today, I can answer that I am experimenting with all kinds of paper and using pen, pencil and watercolour.

 
 

How did you build your creative habit?

I am not a person of routine, and I lack self-discipline. Taking a month long course that required daily postings really helped motivate me. Sktchy's 30-day challenges are also perfect for me.

It helps to carry around a sketchbook and everything needed to do a drawing anytime, anywhere. I put aside my fancy purse and got a sensibly sized over-the-shoulder outdoor bag that fits a 7”x 9” sketchbook, a pocket watercolour tin with half pans, water barrel brushes, pens and pencils.

The most important thing I did was learn to silence the inner critic that could shut me down just like that. I worked away at the words I used so that whenever I talked/thought about my work, it would always be expressed in positive language. I started to acknowledge my successes and became highly motivated to learn more.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of this to building a daily habit.

 
 

When you find yourself in a creative rut, how do you get out of it?

I do not believe in waiting for inspiration. It’s not about that. It is about making creativity an essential part of your day, and you just do it – like eating and exercise.

I work on keeping my daily habit and accepting whatever appears on the page for that day. I’m not perfect so if I miss a day or two — which happens sometimes — I do not berate myself. Once back to the daily routine, I carry on and don’t look back.

 
 

Which of your recent Sktchy artworks most expresses who you are now as an artist?

The last drawing I did of my husband is a culmination of what I am learning in Sktchy and what I learn from drawing from life. Sktchy’s wonderful muses and community of fabulous artists have taught me to slow down and really study what is in front of me. I would like to continue to transition what I learn here to real life. 

Get the Sktchy iPhone app to join Margriet on Sktchy, and subscribe in-app to learn drawing tips from herLearn more.

Meet Cameron Cundiff

Cameron is sharing drawing tips and demo videos with Sktchy subscribers throughout July. Learn more

 
 

What's your background?

I'm from Pasadena, California, living in Brooklyn, NY. I build software for a living, but I've loved to paint and draw as long as I can remember. I was lucky to have great teachers in grade school and high school, and went on to study Illustration and Fine Art in college.

 
 

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

I've been really into watercolor over the past few years. I used to paint in oils a lot, but moving to New York limited space. Watercolor gear is easy to store, setup and clean, and it takes up less space. They can also create really subtle and varied effects, and have a very luminous quality.

I use a kit I bought on Etsy, a mints tin with watercolor pans inset into it. I also use Koi watercolor brushes with a reservoir, as well as traditional short handle sable brushes.

 
 

How did you build your creative habit?

My biggest creativity hack is to work quickly. I try to finish a drawing or painting in one sitting. I'm resistant to pick up unfinished work because, for me, some of the initial inspiration may have faded. Having unfinished work around sometimes makes it less likely to start something new. If I finish whatever I start, quickly, I can keep a fluid practice.

To move quickly, I keep the format small. Usually I work in a sketchbook or paper less than 8 x 10 inches. I also use materials that are easy and require little setup, cleanup and drying. That's part of why I like watercolor, colored pencil and ink so much.

 
 

When you find yourself in a creative rut, how do you get out of it?

I draw circles with a colored pencil in my sketchbook. Once I draw the first circle, I'm going. It turns into a goofy or sometimes scary face, or just a colorful pattern.

Often, the drawings I create coming out of a rut are very raw and emotional, and carry a lot of power. The trick though is to keep it very low stakes and easy.

Try it now. Draw a little circle on a notecard or piece of paper, and see how it feels. Then keep going!

 
 

Which of your recent Sktchy artworks most expresses who you are now as an artist?

This portrait of Ruud is quick, raw and colorful. These are qualities that I look for when I make art lately. The drawing also has a lot of red, which I love.

Get the Sktchy iPhone app to join Cameron on Sktchy, and subscribe in-app to learn drawing tips from himLearn more.

Meet Lauren Arno

Lauren is sharing drawing tips and demo videos with Sktchy subscribers throughout July. Learn more

 
 

What's your background?

I am a resident of South Jersey, about 10 minutes from Philadelphia and two hours from NYC, so I have great art destinations so close to home. I have a teaching background and studied art education at TCNJ and special education at Rowan University.

I have been into drawing as soon as I could grip a crayon. My mother is an artist, so I have been surrounded with art supplies all my life. As part of my art education classes, I was exposed to many mediums and means of expression so that I have a broader perspective to offer to my students.

 
 

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

I personally have a knack for watercolor painting. I have never received any formal training in watercolor, but I feel it is in my blood. (Probably from all the times I accidentally drank my paint water or rinsed my brushes in my tea.)

I enjoy watercolor portraits because the translucent nature of the paints allow me to glaze with all the colors and tones that I see in skin. I feel that I can make someone’s personality glow with the right colors. Give me a thick sheet of cotton paper and a number 8 brush, and I am as happy as a piggie in mud.

 
 

How did you build your creative habit?

Sktchy has really helped me build my personal art habit. I have to create art a lot for work, but joining the community on Sktchy really helped me create art for myself.

Once I gained the experience and confidence from being an active part of the Sktchy community, I started branching out with commissions and even managed to land a solo portrait show. 

Sometimes when I feel that I am in a creative funk, I will listen to some crazy music, take a walk, browse the social media of inspiring artists, whine to my creative friends or practice some technical art exercises.

Doing some silly 30-day doodle challenges helps, too, or even drawing with my non dominant hand.

 
 

When you find yourself in a creative rut, how do you get out of it?

Committing to challenges definitely is a huge help. When I am given an external prompt, I think of it as a puzzle that I need to solve.  How can I put my personal style and creative twist on this challenge? Sometimes my students will make doodle challenges for me. It’s as if we are building a visual conversation together.

 
 

Which of your recent Sktchy artworks most expresses who you are now as an artist?

My recent watercolor portrait of Suzan Colon really sums up where I am as an artist. I really enjoy making and posting completed works with the process journaled along the way. I really utilized the community during the process, and the critiques I received helped me so much. Being able to stand back, take in other artists' words of advice and apply those changes is humbling. 

My painting depicts a woman in full bloom with the driving force of nature behind her. Yet her stern gaze holds grace and dignity. This is a portrait of what I strive to be.

Get the Sktchy iPhone app to join Lauren on Sktchy, and subscribe in-app to learn drawing tips from herLearn more.

Meet Manon Tremblay

Manon is sharing drawing tips and demo videos with Sktchy subscribers throughout July. Learn more

 
 

What's your background?

I'm from Québec, Canada. I was born way up in northern Quebec, but I now live in the Eastern Townships. As a kid, I was either drawing or reading. Career-wise, the reading took precedence, but I always kept drawing on the side, a constant friend.

 
 

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

I love pastels, charcoal and graphite, but will also use pen and ink, depending on how the subject inspires me. My favorite tools to work with are Palomino Blackwing pencils, white Conté pastel pencils, graphite powder and my trusted electric eraser! For my ink drawing, I mainly use microns and white gel pens.

 
 

How did you build your creative habit?

For me, drawing is a way to get away from the routine, so I made sure I had a small space in my home where I felt comfortable and could control what is happening.

I put music on, clean my working surface and sharpen my pencils (the smell of the wood and general order of things is quite soothing to me) and keep something to drink on the side.

It all helps make the experience so enjoyable that it's not difficult to motivate me to go there and work on a portrait.

 
 

When you find yourself in a creative rut, how do you get out of it?

When everything is good and I'm inspired, I take the time to save pictures I like in a folder, save lots of faces on Sktchy – I'm basically acting like a squirrel preparing for winter.

Sometimes I'll just google some art prompts and work from this, or just do exercises: straight lines, hatching, timed sketches and such. That way my hand remembers how fun it is to draw and most of the time my mind follows. 

 
 

Which of your recent Sktchy artworks most expresses who you are now as an artist?

I'd say my portrait of Destiny Roman is the one that illustrates my style the most. I have used my favorite tools on my favorite paper, and everything just clicked.

Although I love ink and trying new stuff like pastels and watersoluble graphite, what I feel when drawing like this on toned paper is a bit like coming home.

Get the Sktchy iPhone app to join Manon on Sktchy, and subscribe in-app to learn drawing tips from herLearn more.

Meet Lisa Filion

Lisa – aka Pixel Princess - is teaching Portraits in Procreate starting Monday, July 9. Sign up now

 
 

What's your background?

I've lived in Ontario, Canada, my whole life, but I enjoy traveling and experiencing new places as much as possible. I have been a high school visual arts teacher for the past 12 years and I have been creating art for as long as I can remember.

When I was a kid, I spent most of my time drawing cartoons and making crafts. I am thankful for my amazing parents who always supported my passion for art by finding the materials I needed when I got an idea.

I have an honours degree in Visual Arts and English from the University of Western Ontario as well as a degree in Education. My educational background is mostly in traditional media, especially in drawing and painting.

 
 

What do you love about the Procreate drawing app?

I love drawing in Procreate because it allows me to use every single drawing and painting medium anywhere, at anytime, and without the mess. I love traditional painting, too. But because I work in a messy art room all day, it is sometimes hard to get motivated to pull out my paints when I get home from work everyday.

When I use Procreate, I can more easily create art whenever I want to, even if I'm away from my studio. I also love how simple and yet powerful the tools in Procreate are. I've really enjoyed experimenting with creating my own brushes and patterns.

 
 

Did you ever struggle to create with digital tools?

When I first started drawing digitally, I struggled with creating art that I was proud of. I often felt that it didn't have the same random quality as I had come to expect from traditional mediums. It felt too digital.

When I started experimenting with brushes and techniques in Procreate, I began to incorporate more traditional methods of drawing and painting while using digital tools. I felt that Procreate allowed me to create work with the details, textures and unexpected nature of traditional mediums.

That being said, I still have off days when I cannot seem to achieve what I set out to do. My best advice is to just keep drawing whether that means moving on to another subject or coming back to the one you struggled with at a later date.

Also, I'm working on embracing my mistakes. Everything we do is part of our learning experience. When I look back on all of the work I have created on Sktchy over the past few years, I can see my successes as well as my failures and everything in between – and that's ok :)

 
 

How would you describe your style?

My style can be a bit eclectic, but over the past year it has evolved into something that is hopefully unique and recognizable. I would describe my most recent work as "portraiture with an abstract twist" – whether that be expressive line-work, paint splatters, vibrant colours or a bold pattern.

 
 

Which Procreate piece are you most proud of?

I really love a portrait I created a while back of Amelie Mcgarrell from Sktchy. The portrait is on a simple white canvas and the clothing is suggested by only a few expressive lines. The skin tone contains so many colours and the hair is made up of paint splatters. Compositionally, I like that it is asymmetrical and of course Amelie is an amazing model, so the pose is really dynamic. This portrait stands out to me because I see it as a turning point in the evolution of my style as a digital artist.

 
 

What is your go-to stylus?

This one is simple: the Apple Pencil! It is by far the most amazing stylus that I have ever used. When paired with iPad Pro, it has palm rejection, pressure sensitivity and it is amazingly responsive with zero lag. It feels like I am using a real pencil when I create digital art!


The Sktchy Subscription is Live

You love drawing. You want to draw every day. But life gets in the way. This is exactly why Sktchy launched an in-app subscription. 

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Each day, as a subscriber, you'll get everything you need to build a life-changing drawing habit, directly inside the Sktchy app:

  • A new drawing tip from an extraordinary Sktchy artist
  • An exclusive video of the artist demonstrating the tip
  • An inspiring, hand-picked reference photo to draw

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

Start for Free, Keep Going for $4.99/month

Your first three days as a subscriber are free of charge. After that, the subscription costs only $4.99/month (USD). That's less than the price of a good marker!

If you choose to remain a subscriber after the free trial, your subscription will automatically renew at the end of each month through your iTunes account. You can easily turn off auto-renew at any time from your iTunes account settings.

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. 

How to Subscribe

  1. Get the latest Sktchy update in the App Store
  2. Tap "Daily Tip" at the top of your Home feed
  3. Tap "Read more" under the first tip to start the sign-up process
 

Note: We updated this post on Saturday, June 23, to reflect a decrease in the price of the subscription.

Meet Carmel Green

Carmel is sharing drawing tips and demo videos with Sktchy subscribers throughout June. Learn more.

 
 

What's your background?

I was born in a small city called Wolverhampton, in England. I started drawing, painting and creating at a very early age. When I started school it was quite apparent that the other children were getting top marks for math whilst I was having my art work proudly displayed on the classroom walls.

As a teenager, I studied art and design at Wolverhampton college, though I naughtily dropped out after nine months. In the time I was there, I learnt a wide rage of creative subjects including pottery, textile design, graphics design, drawing and painting – my heart always stayed with painting.

 
 

Life started to move on. I worked in a music venue and had three young children. I made very little time for myself and neglected my love for painting.

After a large break, I discovered Sktchy. My first sketch was a far cry from what I was producing years before, but I was determined to make time for myself, to sit, relax and draw again.

After 166 Sktchy portraits, I still feel I am developing and improving with each portrait. But it is safe to say I have improved dramatically since that first Sktchy piece. 

 
 

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

I adore the opaque qualities of watercolour paints. As watercolours dry quickly, I find you can capture illustrative and detailed art works in a short period time.

I often start a piece with watercolours and go on to add other media. Recently I have experimented with mixed media, adding shadows and patterns with blendable pro markers. I find pencil crayons a fantastic tool to add detail to a watercolour painting, and I often use white acrylics to pick up white highlights around the eyes and nose.

 
 

How did you build your creative habit?

I am always on the hunt for inspiration. I mainly get this from fashion magazines, often cutting out faces or patterns I like the look of and storing them in a scrap book. The internet is also a massive source of inspiration for me. I have 822 photos saved in my Sktchy queue. If I like the look of a photo, I instantly save it ... just like an online scrapbook.

 
 

When you do find yourself in a creative rut, how do you get out of it?

Visiting galleries is my main inspiration when I am in a creative rut. It's amazing how looking at others' work makes you want to express yourself and create!

 
 

Which of your recent artworks most expresses who you are now as an artist?

I would have to say my Frida portrait. I have framed this piece, and it is proudly displayed on my wall. I was so happy with the vibrant colours, subtle patterns and details. I feel I have finally gained my own style with this painting. It shows to me just how far I’ve come from that first Sktchy painting in 2013. I am really pleased with my progression.

Get the Sktchy iPhone app to join Carmel on Sktchy, and subscribe in-app to learn drawing tips from her. Learn more.

Meet Vin Ganapathy

Vin is sharing drawing tips and demo videos with Sktchy subscribers throughout June. Learn more.

 
 

What's your background?

I'm from Connecticut and have lived in NYC for the past 20 years. I've called Brooklyn my home for the past 15 years.

I got into drawing comics in 6th grade and explored art throughout my developmental stages. More specifically, there was an older kid that had a photographic memory and could draw anything. He would draw comic panels like cars exploding or people running in perspective, and it made me want to practice drawing everything until I knew how to draw.

 
 

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

I prefer drawing straight with ink pens or brush pens. I like to mix up waterproof and non-waterproof inks. 

 
 

How did you build your creative habit?

I make it a point to draw something daily, even if it's just a doodle. I'm addicted to ink marks.

 
 

When you do find yourself in a creative rut, how do you get out of it?

I try different approaches to drawing subject matter. If I usually start at the eye for a drawing, I might try drawing the shoes first. Trying out different mediums or styles also helps me getting out of a rut.

If I'm just really stuck, I'll go for a walk around the city. I'm usually inspired by crowds and people watching.

 
 

Which of your recent artworks most expresses who you are now as an artist?

I suppose my life drawings have become a new part of my art identity. I've always enjoyed drawing live models, but adding the same discipline as my portrait drawings has added a new form of enjoyment to the process for me.

Get the Sktchy iPhone app to join Vin on Sktchy, and subscribe in-app to learn drawing tips from him. Learn more.

Meet McLovin Chen

McLovin is sharing drawing tips and demo videos with Sktchy subscribers throughout June. Learn more.

 
 

What's your background?

Hi all, this is McLovin Chen from Taiwan.

Since I was kid, my favorite thing to do is doodling in study books. Add some beard for that guy or try to draw some comic as yesterday's cartoon on TV – always more fun than boring teacher. I studied civil engineering at college, didn't have a chance to study real art at school.

After graduating, I had a chance to study game art with digital tools and join the game industry for surviving. I'm still learning today. So I want to improve my drawing skills like my art heroes, like Craig Mullins aka the godfather of digital painting.

 
 

When my ex-coworker showed me a PDF file, made by Atey Ghailan (Senior Illustrator at Riot Games), that showed 365 days of sketching, I was amazed. We thought, "This guy is married and really busy at work, and he still has time to do all this awesome stuff." From that point, I try to start a 365-day drawing challenge on my own.

In August 2016, I found the Sktchy app. It's a perfect app for me, to practice, to connect with other people from around the whole world. I've shared more than 600 drawings on Sktchy. It has become my favorite thing to do every day after day work.

 
 

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

I use mechanical pencil on paper before, but now I use digital tools–Photoshop and Wacom tablet–for speed.

 
 

How did you build your creative habit?

I really enjoy to draw everyday. When it becomes your favorite moment in a day, how could you stop it?

I draw very quick, in little time, about 30 mins a day. Totally focus. Then I take break. I think it's easier than working out for 30 mins a day? Or just for me?!

 
 

Which of your recent artworks most expresses who you are now as an artist?

I try to learn some realistic style and some cartoon style. And I like to draw something funny to make my Sktchy friends laugh. Maybe that's my style, who knows!

Get the Sktchy iPhone app to join McLovin on Sktchy, and subscribe in-app to learn drawing tips from him. Learn more.