instruction art


People often say to me: “You draw like some kind of inhuman machine.  If I eat your brain, will I gain your power?”  The answer is yes, but there is another way.

The key to precise drawing is building up muscle memory so that your arm/hand/fingers do the things you want them to do when you want them to do them.  Teaching yourself to draw a straight line or to make sweet curves is just a matter of practice and there are some exercises you can do to help improve.

If you’re going to be doodling in class or during meetings anyway, why not put that time to good use?

I made this years ago and taped it above my drawing table to remind me that not every drawing I make is going to be good and that’s ok. Remember that for every good drawing you see, especially on social media, there are thousands of bad ones that led up to it. The crazy thing is that even as you get better there’ll always be something that frustrates you and the only way to get through it is to draw draw draw!


#theArtfulTruth - Expressions & Emotions 

If you’re trying to get better at faces, expressions, eyes, noses, mouths, etc, one of the best exercises I can recommend is to create a grid of boxes labeled with whatever emotions you want and fill them in with SIMPLIFIED drawings. I got the sheet above from my former instructor Will Weston and filled it in using Disney animated movies. Here’s how you go about doing this:

1. Make your grid (you can use the clear one above, credit: Will Weston)

2. Label as many emotions/expressions that you want. Try to have a range.

3. Find some good source material. I recommend the book above by Mark Simon if you want real photos. You can also use cartoons and movies. Just put on a DVD and start watching. When you get to a scene where a character’s facial expression matches something you want, pause it and sketch out the basic shapes very SIMPLY. DO NOT try to copy the exact design of the character’s features, but instead try to see what the general expression is. It might be hard at first but keep trying to simplify. 

4. Rinse and repeat. You can make yours as realistic or as cartoony as possible. And don’t be afraid to change them. Looking back at my own sheet above, I don’t necessarily agree with my former self but that’s ok. We’re all constantly improving or at least we hope so :)

ONE LAST THING: Remember that there is no one single way to draw expressions. This should serve as a guide for when you’re stuck or just to get better in general. There’s probably a million ways to draw “Happy” so experiment and see what you learn. And if you feel like it, write me and tell me about it. I’d love to hear about your growth.

Happy Drawing!


This set of illustration were made for my first exploration project in ECA , “Pinch Penny Recipes”, a pictorial step-by-step cookbook. In Pince Penny Recipes, instructive illustrations are mainly employed to present the step-by-step cooking process. The concept is to let readers read less but watch more, by just following pictures chronologically arranged. Therefore, the key point of this book is to use illustrations to interpret and elucidate the recipes in every cooking process and this is going to be my first experimental pictorial cookbook for teenagers and adults.

A way to fix a feder with a rattle in the handle with limited hardware.

This method should be considered temporary. It will not substitute a proper tune-up but it will keep your fittings from rattling until you arrange a proper repair.

  1. Rattling fixtures are caused -usually- by the wooden core of the grip compressing or being otherwise damaged, creating a gap (B) between the crossbar (A) and the wood. When new, the whole hilt assembly is held together by compression.
  2. Before you begin you must push both sides of the crossbar (A) towards the point of the blade thus exposing as much of the gap (B) as possible.
  3. Take a length of cord (A) and wrap it once around the gap (B).
  4. Apply a little glue (A) to the string as you continue to wind it around (B). A more abused feder will require more turnings of the cord to build structure in the gap.
  5. Pull both ends of the cord as tightly as you can (A) - using pliers as a lever can help. Note (!) that very little cord should be visible and it should be driven as deeply into the gap as possible. If cord remains outside you have applied too much. Feel the crossbar, if it has stopped rattling you have wound the string enough. Cut the ends of the cord (B) and secure them with a good amount of glue.
  6. In some cases there may be a gap at the other end of the hilt between the pommel and the wooden core. This gap is likely to be much smaller than the first but applying cord here can help.