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Tools for Successful Fine Artists

The Artist Success Kit helps fine artists market, manage and organize their fine art business.


“For the first time, all my work is available to me in a moment. I know what I have going and what I still need to do.”
—Jane J. Jaquette, Brea, CA


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Periodically we’ll put a NEW tip here and archive the old tips.


Success Tip #5: Practice and Build Your Drawing Skills

Upside-down Drawing

Remember, drawing is the basis for everything else in art, and it’s worth the time and practice you put into it. Vincent Van Gogh said that he had jumped into painting before he really learned to draw. So, he put aside painting for six months and drew every day for that period. His drawing improved radically, and so will yours if you commit yourself to it.

First, find a line drawing done by another artist. It may be in an art book you have, or a drawing or cartoon in a magazine. Turn it upside down. Now, using a number two pencil, draw a box on your paper about an inch or two smaller than your paper. You may want to divide your box into quarters to help you judge distances. Begin drawing one line at a time, judging direction and length, and referring to your source drawing as you go. Continue until you complete the drawing upside down. Avoid the temptation to turn the drawing right side up while you are in the middle of doing the drawing.

The idea behind this type of drawing is that you disregard the subject matter, and are forced to draw what you see, not what you think you see, or what you know. When you’re done, turn your drawing right side up. You’ll most likely be quite surprised by how well you did. Repeat this exercise occasionally as a warm-up before you begin a larger project of your own.

Try to schedule a little bit of time to continue your drawing practice each day. You'll not only increase your drawing skills, but you'll be making time to get lost in the shear enjoyment of creating art.


Your Success Handbook has more information on the many other motivational techniques, and career building ideas. You can order the kit now .