Tag Archives: advice for artists

Do you need talent or be an artist to be able to draw?

Do you need to be an “artist” to be able to draw? NO!

Everyone can draw – You CAN draw – you just may not have had a lot of practice and tuition – unlike when you learned to write. After all, writing is just a form of drawing. If you managed to learn to write, you can learn the SKILL of drawing because you already half way there!

Being an artist is something else – that’s about ideas.

In this video I talk about the difference between the everyday skill of drawing and how being an Artist is like being possessed by an idea. How you deal with that situation comes down to temperament, talent and sheer hard graft, which may never, ever be appreciated or understood, one of the reasons that the life of an artist can be unhappy.

I think I need to talk more about managing the the expectations of being an artist! stay tuned.

Huion L4S LED USB Light Pad Review

I was asked to review the Huion L4S led usb light pad by the people at Huion, so I thought I would do that and show you some of my illustration techniques too.

A light pad is a great tool for tracing and redrawing. I use it for finished drawings. I do rough pencil sketches and then place a new sheet of paper over the top. Then I do the finished drawing on the new sheet. This helps with watercolour painting as you don’t need to erase pencil marks, which often roughens up the surface of the paper.

I was very happy to do this review as I though the Usb connection would be really useful. I think it’s great so many things are now using Usb for charging and connecting. I have not been paid to make this video and it contains my honest opinion.

The board is really slim and of a great quality build. The flat usb plug fits snugly in the side. The old type of power connector was prone to put a lot of pressure on the socket, weakening the connection. The cable is a flat too which makes for less pressure on the board connection too.

When you press the on switch at the top left, the board “comes alive” the light fades up and then fades down when you switch it off. That is very satisfying! You can also hold the button until you reach a level of brightness you are happy with. When you take your finger off, then it stays at that level.

It’s light and bright and well constructed. If you are looking to get a light pad, then I can happily recommend this one.

See inside my Wigtown Book Festival Sketchbook


In September of 2016, I went to the Wigtown Book Festival in Scotland and painted this sketchbook while watching author sessions and other entertainments. Just drawing the people and what they were talking about.

I was going to make a printed book like I did last year, but I was so busy making a mural for the school that I ran out of time ad so I cancelled the kickstarter project to make it.

You can find out more at the Cancelled Kickstarter page :


This tells you all about the previous year’s successful sketchbook project