Site Review:

Site Review:

A Holy Grail for Artists

By Richard Malinsky, Arts Editor
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Artists are constantly networking in search of information regarding new publications, technical tips, resources, and much more. For some, may be the Holy Grail. is a division of the F+W Media, Inc. Art Community, which offers art contests, art videos, online art classes, books, and resource information for artists. The company’s publications target hobbyists, enthusiasts, and professionals in categories such as writing, fine art, graphic design, and crafts. Their expansive list of art publications includes The Artist’s Magazine; Watercolor Artist; Pastel Journal; Drawing Magazine; Acrylic Artist; and North Light Books. Each of these publications is featured in the drop down menu of the “Publications” tab, with highlights from current and past issues.

At first glance the opening page seems overly crowded with information. Most prominent are the series of scrolling feature articles profiling artists, techniques, and varying styles represented in one of the above magazines. However, once you make a selection, the category is easily navigable.

Under “Figure Drawing Tips” I selected five figure drawing tips from “The Figure: The Best of Drawing,” featuring Dan Thompson conducting a figure drawing demonstration at the Art Students League of New York.

Dan Thompson shares his five steps in great detail. I found his accompanying drawings and diagrams informative and clearly illustrative of each step:

“Step 1.” Jason Franz, colored pencil.

1. In the beginning, there was a rectangle. 
2. Draw first, measure second. 
3. Draw with the entire arm.
4. Avoid “balloon torsos.”
5. Consider the clavicle. 

“Step 5.” Illustration Larry Withers.

I was particularly intrigued by step #3: Draw with the entire arm. Thompson describes how he sharpens his pencils to needle-sharp points, and holds them with thumb and forefinger. “I draw with my entire arm, not just with my fingers and wrists,” he explains. “You need to sit well back. All your measurements should be made with arm’s-length extension so that every time you make a sight measurement, the pencil is the same distance from your eye.”

The site offers an abundance of categories where one can find featured artists listed by media or subject; critiques; artist interviews; even video—the preview video “Exploring Acrylic: 10 Color Essentials” clearly demonstrates the effect of applying opaque vs. transparent color over an existing color as well as modulating color tone by overlaying a complimentary color.

Video demonstration.

Videos can be purchased on DVD or download, or watched on

F+W Media, Inc. Art Community has created a streamlined way to peruse information from all of their art publications in one source via to a broad art community.

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