FAQ and Tutorials

7 min read

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How long have you been drawing?
I've been drawing since I was a kid! (30 now) I've always kept a sketchbook and pencil with me and I've always loved art. I got really into drawing several years ago though when I joined dA back in 2006.

Have you taken any art classes? How do I get better at art? 
Yes, over the past few years I've taken art classes in portrait, figure, still life, and landscape drawing and painting. These have been extremely helpful! Before I started taking classes though, I practiced a lot on my own. I think it's so important to do both of these things if you really want to improve in art though. At a certain point, you're going to reach the limit of your natural knowledge, and at that point you have to teach your brain more information. So I take classes, read art books & I watch art tutorials online to keep my brain learning new things. Then I can gain more knowledge about color, light, design, form, good composition, etc. Once I learn something new, I try to put it into practice in my next project!

So basically: Learn and Apply. Watch a tutorial, take a class, read a book and then practice, practice, practice. This will level you up and grow you in your skills.

How long does it take you to complete a drawing?
Anywhere from an hour to 5 lately on portraits. But it really depends on the detail and size.

What size paper do you use/ What size do you work digitally?
In traditional mediums, I usually work on 9" x 12"- 18" by 24" and all sizes in between those. Digitally, my canvas starts at 9" by 12" and 300pixels/inch and then the canvas usually grows or gets cropped from there as I work. 

What do you use to make your digital works?
Here are my favorite digital drawing tools

How do you blend?!
I try to draw with smooth gradations in value when I shade. Then if it's a traditional medium I can blend, I will use my finger, tissues, stumps, mop brushes, or cotton swabs.

Do you take commissions?
I am currently closed for commissions. 

Do you draw from photos?
If I am drawing a realistic portrait I will either work from life with the model posing in front of me or I will work from a good photo reference.
If I'm drawing more stylized, I will often use a reference as a loose guide or draw from my imagination/muscle memory.

May I draw from one of your drawings?
If you'd like to practice by drawing from one of my works, I am fine with that. I think that is actually a good way to learn. (Glad you like it ;)) If you post online, I would just ask for credit and a link back to my dA or website wherever you post it.

What materials do you use when you draw?
Check out my Materials Lists on my website here. :D

:star:ART LESSONS::star:

Currently I teach art classes over at Skillshare and I'd love if you joined in! :D I'm adding new classes all the time and I'd be happy to help you with your art. Skillshare is a really cool platform- it's a subscription service. So you'll have access to my classes (and all others on the platform) for as long as you are a premium member. Skillshare makes learning a new skill easy, fun, and affordable! It's an awesome learning community and I'm happy to be a part of it! :D

I also offer my classes and other resources for lifetime access on Gumroad!

I also have some free tutorials here:)


:bulletpink: PRACTICE! :D It is the best way to improve.  Keep a sketchbook and draw in it as much as you can. Draw from life, photo references, and your imagination and you will improve! Then also grow your skill like I mentioned above by learning from people whose art you admire, then come back and practice again!

:bulletpink: Buy the best materials you can comfortably afford. Of course, practice is key, but having the good stuff can't hurt. 
Check out my recommended materials lists here. :D

:bulletpink: Put a piece of paper under your drawing hand while you work. This really helps prevent smudging.

:bulletpink: If possible, have your reference be the same size as your drawing or painting. This will help a lot when you need to take measurements to get proportions correct.

:bulletpink: Write out a sort of "Inspiration List" that contains words, themes, and ideas that inspire you.  This will come in handy if you ever have an art block.  Also look on dA at other art to get you inspired and utilize dA's search box to put in inspiring words and find some great art! Pinterest is also great for this. Check out my Inspiration class here too. :)

:bulletpink: Don't be afraid to try different mediums :) You may like it!

:bulletpink: Join contests and get involved with the community! It will give you exposure and help you to meet other artists.

:bulletpink: Never give up!! Be patient and practice as often as you can. Don’t beat yourself up! As artists, we want to do this. We are often very emotional people lol. If you are feeling bad about your art, just walk away from it. Go do something else fun like spend time with family and friends. Live life. Don’t talk bad to yourself or discourage yourself because you are not where you want to be with your art. It’s easy to fall down that hole. (Trust me!) Instead, walk away and do something else that you enjoy. Then come at it well rested again tomorrow. You won't see the difference over night, but in time you will. ;) Maybe this will give you a little hope. :giggle:

Happy arting! :D
© 2011 - 2021 GabrielleBrickey
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diananemesu's avatar
*waves* I totally recommend her art lessons to anyone who wants to draw!
I can honestly say that my years in art college were a waste, I've learned more since I started taking online lessons, haha. :D :D
GabrielleBrickey's avatar
Thank you! :D Really appreciate this :) Happy drawing to you! :D
danksmemes's avatar
what photoshop brushes do you use? :^o
GabrielleBrickey's avatar
I share a couple of my favorites here- www.dropbox.com/sh/cp1w0kctfy8… and I also share them with patrons www.patreon.com/artwork
Lots of the best brushes I've found though are from artists offering them free here on dA :)
Liquinn's avatar
You, a girl from the US, David Hockney and a few others inspire me. =)
Liquinn's avatar
I'm going to keep trying... I'm using colour now and it looks a hell of a lot more like the photo than when I did it in black and white. Should I do colour portraits if that's what I prefer to do? Thanks!
GabrielleBrickey's avatar
Of course you should! :)
Liquinn's avatar
Other people say my art is good but I respect other peoples work so much :) 
Liquinn's avatar
Why is it I can draw amazing female eyes (without the rest of the body) but when I draw the whole face my eyes don't look nearly as good as they do separately? 
GabrielleBrickey's avatar
Probably because you are naturally best at drawing eyes. When I first started drawing, I drew the eyes better than anything else. And I think most people are like this. Think about it, we look at eyes all day when we talk to people or if we look at ourselves in the mirror. I would say our brains know them better than any other feature bc we've looked at so many pairs. To get the other features your drawing at the same level it will take practice, but also learning of new skills. I would recommend looking for tutorials on drawing the nose and mouth, as well as the face and portrait in general. You may also want to try a master copy. Try copying an artist like Sargent or any artist you admire online. Just don't repost the image you made if it's someone online. Just use it for your own practice to improve your skills. When you practice enough, with many many many drawings, you will improve those areas and then your portraits will be better on the whole. Best wishes!
Liquinn's avatar
I see. I'll try and improve. :) Yeah - I find drawing from life more hard, idk why. :) Your words and support mean a lot. I'll get there. :) Thank you! (Why do I always want to draw girls - this is normal right - I'm a guy) :) D:
Liquinn's avatar
It's weird... when I look at other peoples work it just always look better :(
Elliana3440's avatar
You inspire me so much! Thank you!!! I will take all of your advice!!!! <3 :D 
Elliana3440's avatar
kreativemente's avatar
I just purchased a few of your Gumroad tutorials. Great stuff!! 
GabrielleBrickey's avatar
Thanks! Let me know if you need any help or have any questions :)
kreativemente's avatar
Will do. So far so good! Will you be creating more painting videos (traditional)?? Also do you ever work in acrylics??
GabrielleBrickey's avatar
Yes, I'd like to! I don't paint with acrylics though, but oil paints :) 
dedee567's avatar
thxs this will help me a lot.:)
shelbynight's avatar
I think that this helped me quite a bit, I was just wondering, do you know of any digital art programs that dont cost anything that are quite good? 
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