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If you're learning to draw with online tutorials…

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This video is about teaching yourself to draw with online tutorials.

I noticed from the comments that I left a few things unclear:

Gouache is a type of paint that is much like watercolour but more opaque so it can be layered. These value studies are black and white paintings focused on light and dark. With watercolour, to achieve light areas, you’d normally use the white of the paper. With gouache, you can add layers on top of each other, so you can put down black, and then add white on top.

I love expressive watercolour landscapes, but I don’t have much experience with landscapes, so I started to teach myself online. I found an excellent course. I realised though that I would never be able to keep up with the pace of the weekly lessons.

I am acting as my own tutor, so I need to able to design an online learning experience that will push me but also keep me motivated. So that’s what this video is all about.

The landscape painting teacher I found was Nathan Fowkes:
We don’t have any relationship to Nathan Fowkes and we were not paid to promote him, I just think he’s a great teacher.

For more videos about the learning process and mindset, check out this playlist:

Mama’s Whisper by the 126ers, Way Out West by Chris Haugen, Missing My Girl by the 126ers

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  1. This was very enjoyable and you give such good advice in your videos in a calm manner. I've counted your uploads and I think they can fit in a 30-day drawing challenge for me starting tonight. Thank you for all your hard work. Nice painting, by the way!

  2. I just began the monthly installment at where Nathan teaches. I’m doing a figure drawing class first, boy, I’m not where I should be. But yes, thank you for saying we all are harder on ourselves than a good teacher would be. I need to remember that and get my mind headed a different way.

  3. Friendly tip: I think the reason you aren't loving your value studies is that you have far away objects painted in as your darkest value. Try making the darkest items in the foreground and the lightest values for the furthest item, using the highest contrast or natural lines in the composition to choose a focal point. This will create far more depth and the illusion of distance between items. This is because as atmospheric perspective makes things further away look lighter and lower in contrast. I learned this tip from a class I took by a film set designer and it's greatly improved my landscapes. Like most art 'rules' it can be broken and there are good paintings that don't follow this but generally, my favorite artists do follow this method. Enjoy!

  4. Thank you. You are bang on with what I have been experiencing. I have become overwhelmed and felt defeated. When someone that has skill and talent says the same things I have been experiencing gives me hope and encouragement. Well done!

  5. I find, and have been told, that when they advocate using a material then first try using that material in a piece of art you are good with.

    So if you are used to life drawing with charcoal and wanna start gouache landscapes then first learn gouache in life drawing style works.

  6. Yup, I'm basically having to go back and spend weeks and months on specific fundamentals to validate the 6 years of overloading myself with advanced tutorials and finished paintings. This approach seems to be working. I love Love Life Drawing.

  7. I think you're doing a great job! I just stumbled upon your channel and watched a couple of videos, but you already got my interest. One thing for sure is you're a good teacher and explain things really well. More power to your channel! ☺️

  8. Another great video Kenzo. Good advice about compartmentalizing tutorials. I also get either overwhelmed by all the great material out there or start bouncing between techniques and styles and have a hard time staying focused. I've done a couple of Will Kemp's courses and found them very helpful (@ Will Kemp Art School). Your videos are rapidly becoming my go to though!

  9. Hi kenzo, I've taken this course a year ago, and found too that I needed more time (1 extra month) because I decided to redo the hardest assignements, the ones I didn't quite get, like the busier scenes, there're 2 at a fair that I just couldn't do properly. I also took a lot, I mean a LOT of notes, so that if I want to do the course again on my own I can retrace the instruction. I also listened to a lot of the students critiques (not all, but the ones who were about the same level as me) and again took notes on Nathan's corrections and suggestions, trying to apply these to my next attempts. I don’t think there's anything wrong with taking more time to learn as long as you do the assignments daily, and I do insist on working every day. At Watts Atelier, another online school, students are actually expected to do the same courses over a couple of times or more until their abilities really improve. You can't move on to more complexity if you don't master the basics. So nothing wrong with repetition, it's the way we all learn. We just need to be patient with ourselves, and not cave in under unhealthy peer pressure or competitiveness. This summer I'm going to subscribe to Schoolism for 1 entire year, they have a special. Cheers ! & best wishes of success, Dominique.

  10. I'm also trying to learn from youtube and stuff, the biggest problem I have, other than lack of natural ability, is that I don't even know what type of art I want to do. When I watch watercolour tutorials on youtube, most of the artists already have a sketch on the paper and I'm like wtf, show me how to do that first if thats the first step, don't just start with the colouring in. I have started learning like a month ago and feel like I've improved but I find a lot of tutorials assume the viewer can already draw. Im lost.

  11. You have such self discipline! I have done quite a few online tutorials. I find I do best with the ones which have timed instalments so I can't binge watch all the tutorials at once. And even better if I am forced to do some homework before being allowed to watch more tutorials. This includes both art and non-art courses.

    I find when I binge watch all the tutorials at once, somewhere in the beginning or middle, I get to a stage where I am in awe and inspired, and almost tempted to try something practical, but then when I continue to binge watch I would finally reach a stage of fatigue or complacency and lose the motivation to do the exercises or actually try something out.

    Actually I have done an excellent free online course on 'Learning how to learn' by Coursera ( ). The course is backed up by a lot of science and research about learning, and very useful for both teachers and learners.

    The course does say that most learning work best when mixing passive learning with active learning (practicing). I know all that and more. Just have to actually do it, that's all!

    Thanks for posting this video!

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