Are you ready for the Holiday Season?

I find holiday art to be a fun and relaxing way to get myself into the Christmas mood! This month on YouTube I created a holiday art tutorial showing you how I painted a Christmas Candle for the purpose of an gift tag. I am also offering a free downloadable image on my Patreon site (Reese Osborne Studios) of my initial sketch that you can use to transfer and try to paint along while you watch my video. I will be offering a new tutorial twice a week till Christmas. Come hang out, drink some hot cocoa and have fun!

YouTube with a Few Videos Under My Belt

I’m still working on my video project and I’ve been posting regularly for the past six months. Growth is slow and steady which is kind of perfect since I am still trying to develop a style as well as my video editing skills. To be honest, it’s not easy exposing one’s self to the public, but I had to decide if I wanted to be an artist and a teacher or not because in this modern era you have to be seen as an artist and at least a teacher online.

YouTube New Beginnings

Its always good to learn new things. This past year I applied for a job I badly wanted. While I didn’t get the job, it prompted me to finally get my FAA drone pilots license last December. In turn, after spending so much time down the YouTube rabbit hole, I started becoming interested in sharing my artwork, my love of nature, and nature journaling on YouTube. So finally last month I posted my first edited video on my channel, . So I’m learning how to film on my dslr and my drone and to edit my footage. While I don’t know if these efforts will lead anywhere, I am really enjoying the process. I hope you will join me on this exploratory journey. Check out the channel or my Instagram site both named Reese Osborne Studios, like videos and subscribe (its free) to follow my progress and my adventures with Sasha!


Current times are certainly a challenge! Life has radically changed for so much of us. A respite away from the virus, home schooling and being quarantined however is our creative abilities. So, with that said I’m offering an opportunity to join me in trying to draw or paint a provided reference image. I’m going to be painting or drawing the same image from life so you can see my process and progress on Instagram at @reeseosbornestudios. Feel free to ask questions…maybe I’ll share them on my Instagram account too! If all goes well we’ll do more, maybe weekly for a bit! I’m sharing this first photo.. then next Sunday afternoon or Monday I’ll post a new challenge! Here’s the image I’m working on this week!!!! …..oh and materials…..draw or paint on whatever you have or order my suggested panel. you can even paint on thick gessoed watercolor paper. paints…I’m using Windsor and Newton right now… titanium white,  raw umber, burnt umber,  cad yellow pale, ultramarine blue, and paynes grey by Rembrandt…with turpinoid… that’s it!!! GOOD LUCK!!

Here is a pdf as well nest

Where we begin…

My class starts this week. I’ve put together all my materials and created a plan. All the preparations have me thinking about my own art education. Sometimes we don’t receive great direction from every art teacher we have in our lives. I am personally especially cautious of art teachers that don’t show their own work and ability to draw and or paint. In addition, often in grade schools and colleges, most teachers aren’t motivated by accuracy or art training due to the adulteration and almost demise of the study of classical art in the early 1900’s (The Twilight of Painting by R.H. Ives Gammell). The trend for a long time has been to push just being creative or that both the foundations and being creative are equally important from inception. In every other tradition, however, you must know your craft first before you can creatively perform. Imagine a violinist with no training playing in a concert. Where there is no foundation there is nothing to stand on and certainly nothing to support creativity. While some will quickly mention successful modern artists at this point, I would say yes there are some happy accidents, most are the product of modern art critics attention and promotion. However, statistically speaking a well trained artist has the odds in their favor to do well.

So, my suggestion is to question everyone and don’t assume that any one really has all the answers that you will need to reach your goal of being the best artist you can be. Constantly seek knowledge on your own, practice every day and work towards growing as an artist. I wish I had this wisdom earlier on in my artistic life.

For me and this class…this is where we begin.

An Artist’s Strong Foundation

Like every good building, drawing needs a solid foundation. The foundation begins with what I call the TARP principles. Before even beginning down the path of Classical Atelier style training in painting and drawing, a student must begin with Tenacity, Attitude, Repetition and Patience. Without this, it will be difficult for an artist to improve.

Tenacity will ensure you that you won’t give up no matter how many times you receive negative feedback or reviews of your work. It won’t hinder you from moving forward towards your goals. Attitude is what feeds your tenacity. A student needs to have an attitude of intention of meeting the goal of achieving whatever level you set your mind to. Repetition is the act of continuously drawing and painting on a daily basis. It will be needed to practice as you learn and grow, which never ends for an artist regardless how successful they become. The act of repetition will embed your drawing skills into your minds muscle memory so that you eventually won’t even have to look at a form to draw it. Finally Patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day and most likely an artist won’t pick up a pencil and be a master at first stroke. In order to gain the skills needed to draw like the old masters patience is key.

With these principles in hand, begin… Keep a sketchpad with you everywhere you go. Draw every day from life especially. Even if it’s your coffee cup at work, a leaf you found outside. With these principles in your back pocket, your foundation is set in stone.


Looking Deeper

When we begin to draw, we focus on conquering the line. Often we are driven by  popular artistic influences in our youthful lives to draw the strong contours of comic book heroes, Japanese anime or maybe our favorite computer game warrior. If you are older, maybe you struggled to copy the works of science fiction artists like Frank Franzetta or Boris Vallejo. While these images appeal to a young mind, it’s really hard to ever consider that there would be other options or even a method to improve an artists skill set. Very few of us have received or even knew about proper classical drawing practices especially while at a public school. If you are past high school, the first solution would be to find the closest Drawing Atelier and get started learning correctly. Even if you are still in school some ateliers offer programs for youths. You may even be fortunate to find a life drawing class at a local art school or community college. Regardless, what if you don’t have the luxury of having an atelier or any art school that teaches classical drawing and painting methods close to you?

As I mentioned in the previous post, it’s time to become disciplined and really start looking for opportunities to grow even on your own. How can you do that? Draw! Draw every day. Draw even when you are on your lunch, on a break or on vacation. If you haven’t trained yourself to do that yet, maybe make yourself a daily schedule and try to stick to it until its intuitive. As I’ve mentioned before, when you are on the go, make sure you carry a sketchbook with you. When you are at home draw anything you can get your hands on. At first stick to simple objects like an apple or an orange. Then move on to vases, coffee cups, lamps, etc.

Now that you are drawing, it’s important to start to go beyond your comfort zone, that warm fuzzy outline, and look deeper at what is in front of you. Try not to draw from photographs at first. For me personally, I like to concentrate on small objects that i can really observe the subtle changes in the values that model an image. I really enjoy leaves, but how about a simple egg to start? Before you even begin though, don’t think about the outline of that object. Really look at it. Look at where the highlight is and then allow you eyes to explore how that light indicates the subtle changes in the form as it turns away from the light. Almost allow your mind to feel that object for you with those clues. Look at the shadow. Look at how dark it is where the object rests on a surface. As you follow the shadow you can see how the shadow becomes lighter as it moves further away from the covering of the object and into the light. At the edges of the shadow it softens till it gives way to the light.  Now that you’ve looked at it maybe try to sketch the values first before you ever even make a line. You practice of these observations can be the portal to your success. You are the master of your fate.

Regardless of where you think you are in your abilities, constantly challenge yourself to grow and improve your skills. This is a study I’ve been working on to try to recreate the values of a portion of this famous sculpture.  I did use a photograph as a reference in this situation only due to not being able to study it in person. Regardless, I alternate between studies of life and photographs. I would only do this when you are beginning to become more advanced in your drawing skills. Happy drawing everyone!


Bringing Atelier Practices to your Sketchbook

For the past few years I’ve been practicing the site size method to improve my drawing skills. If you aren’t familiar, its the methods used by master artists for centuries. It allows an artist to improve their abilities to accurately see what they are drawing or painting.

The easiest way to explain it is that objects are lined up to equal in size regardless if it is an image right next to your drawing or the model or object in front of you. You use this line of sight to mark the top as well as the bottom of the object for the height. You also begin to build a relationship of distance and space to identify the angle and location of each element.


In modern ateliers, this method is often taught using Bargue plates which was a set of lithographs used to teach students in the 19th century. The plate is placed beside the students drawing and the goal is to copy the image and all the values reproducing it as accurately as possible. Plaster casts are also used as the student graduated to drawing and painting figures.

In our modern times though, finding a master artist or even atelier near you can be daunting. So, I’ve taken my practice along with me in my sketchbook. It may take some tweaking, but it’s doable. If you want to use bargue plates there are many that can be found on the web for free to copy and paste in your sketchook. Another application that I use is to find common objects, like leaves. A flat leaf is easy to find and is easy to carry in a sketchbook. You can also use other common objects found around you in your home, objects in nature or on your desk at work like scissors. For a society on the run, this is a great way to supplement your practice at work, on vacation or just at your favorite coffee shop.

In my next post I’ll show some of my tools and setups that I use. Grab your sketchbook!leaves

 Creative Space

Here’s a glimpse of my creative space. I’ve  gathered my favorite things for inspiration. It’s not a very large space, but I’ve tried to make it beautiful and functional.

it can be messy at times…

 My favorite color inspires my space….

 One of my favorite books, Rebecca, my small painting of a birds nest, and some of my favorite things I have collected for still life paintings.

 A whimsical bird made by Ann Wood.

 A beautiful screen print by Jen Hewett.❤

And..a local character artist, Paula Large, gave me this quick sketch she did in drawing class one day… I was in the habit of bringing slurpies to class at that time. 😊… These are just a few of my treasures I have to inspire me. What inspires you in your creative space?