February 25, 2018

How to Practice Drawing

A while back, I thought I’d put down some practical ideas about how to practice to get better as an artist. It’s become one of my most popular articles, but since that time I’ve spent some more time workshopping my own process for self-improvement, and I’ve refined my approach to getting better at drawing There […]

In Defense of Snobbery

Okay, I’ve got a sure-fire formula that’s guaranteed to make you the most annoying guy (or gal) this weekend: after watching whatever movie you and your friends, your wife or your family wants to see, talk about why you hated it afterward. And don’t be general, make sure you go into all of the specific […]

Engage the Audience: Mystery

Although I don’t have a good citation for it, Carl Dreyer is supposed to have said that the primary role of a director it to engage the audience. What does it mean to engage the audience? It means to give them something that makes them want sit on the edge of their seat and keep […]

An Appeal for the Epic Character

The other day I watched Tim Burton’s adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and while there was much I enjoyed about the film (particularly Deep Roy) something just didn’t sit well. Although the visuals were stunning, it didn’t have the same feeling of awe and mystery that the book had. I think there were […]

Action Can Be Good: Part 2

As promised, this week we’ll be continuing our discussion on what makes a good action story. Last week we talked about the fundamentals: grounding the story, raising the stakes, and giving characters urgency. This week we’ll be talking a bit more about choice, as well as spectacle and slowing down. Let’s start with choice: 5. […]

Action Can Be Good: Part 1

Action stories don’t get proper respect. In academic circles they’re sometimes treated as a step above pornography, and even among the groundlings, the assumption is that action should be crappy. Inevitably, I find myself in the situation where I’m the party pooper at the movies because I can’t just sit back and enjoy a “mindless […]

Taking on Boredom

If you’re anything like me, an ideal work day would spent drawing monsters, robots and sexy babes-and then getting paid. There may a select few that are able to do this day-in and day-out, but the rest of us at one point or another are going to have to draw stuff that just isn’t our cup of tea. […]

The Two Devils

Okay, stay with me here. I promise this contains some practical advice on being a better artist. Have you ever read The Neverending Story? You’ve probably seen the movie, which is a watered down version of the first half of the book, and you might have seen the sequel which is a pathetic pastiche of […]

How to Tell a Story

I’m going to make an admission: I have no idea what “plot” means. It confuses me. Some movies are supposedly tightly plotted, others are supposedly plot-less. Personally, I find “plot” to be totally useless when trying to figure out how to tell a story. Instead, I prefer to focus on what every story has in […]

6 tips to get better at drawing

I can’t say that I’m the best artist out there, but I can certainly draw better than when I started this sketch blog. I’ve read a lot of advice about getting better at drawing over the years. Some advice has been very helpful and some advice just hasn’t worked for me. I want to share just […]