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Recently Added Video Lessons

Mark demonstrates an approach called underpainting or imprimatura, wherein the first layer of paint on the canvas serves as a base tone for the rest of the forms painted on top. In this lesson, Mark shows you how to apply your understanding of the planes of the head and the laws of light to make even the simplest of paintings “ring true.” In this case, he paints a portrait of the notoriously bullish financier J.P. Morgan.

Mark begins with some general rules and tips for monochrome drawings– designing the shapes, the values we assign to them, and the edges between them. He then moves on to draw three shadow patterns on three heads based on the Reilly Abstraction. He incorporates three different lighting scenarios on these heads: form lighting, ambient lighting, and rim lighting.

Mark introduces Frank Reilly’s abstraction: a rhythmical representation of the shapes and forms of the head. Internalizing this model will give you an excellent starting point for any portrait or head drawing. Mark first explains a little bit of the history behind this abstraction, then moves on to show you how it can be applied to any given drawing or photo. Following that, he uses the abstraction and some tracing paper to demonstrate some portraits from the NMA and Drawthis! model reference libraries.

Join the NMA production team as they go on-location to capture the magnificent Glenn Vilppu drawing his horses, dogs, goats, sheep, llamas, and chickens at his California ranch! He begins by lecturing on the fundamental structural differences between species. Conceptualizing an animals anatomy will aid you in understanding their behaviors– this is important because you’re […]