Dear members,

Good afternoon to you! Just wanted to let you know the re-furbished, revised and wholly updated YouCanDraw.com reference cyber-book has been uploaded. It's just waiting for you to give it a good look and maybe help you become the artist/caricaturist you know you are or could be!

What you'll find:

Easier to get around.

1) You'll find the whole site is much more navigable - you'll be able to get to any of the book's 238 web pages (and growing) within three clicks, four at the most - and not get lost doing so. (Incidentally, if you printed out the entire book, it would now print at close to 600 pages.)

All sections that need their own table of contents now have one. (Look for
the "Master Link Page" near the top of the left-hand column.)

Educational Animations

2) Animations. I've added animations to almost all the lessons. What a book can't do is feed you a lesson piece by piece actively, which has been shown to sharpen student's attention 90 -100 % over static reading. (I've been told that, I don't have a study to back that up those claims. But I know in my own experience, a moving picture pulls me in much more than a solitary static picture. See if this isn't true for you.)

Note on animations: Don't be frightened by large download sizes. (Some are
on the order of 100 kb.) A 100 kilobyte file that has 100+ frames works
out to about 1 kb per frame. A 28 baud modem can load 4 to 5 kilobytes of
information each second without a fuss. A 14 baud modem about half that. That means your modem and your computer shouldn't have any problem loading a 1 kilobyte graphic every second - and that's the rate the majority of frames are programmed to change in the animations.

More Depth in Critical Sections

3) You'll see the most amount of work done in Lessons 4 and 8. Lesson 4 is the section on Pure Contour drawing. This lesson is crucial since the key to getting you drawing anything is strengthening your brains' own "artistic-mode accessing skill". (That was a mouthful.) There's lots more explanation and graphics too that will help you really understand this key skill. You'll find an animation there too.

4) Exercises and homework. Almost all the lessons have expanded sections on homework with exercises that use photos or drawings. These are just a click away. There are 7 beautiful photographs for you to practice your pure contour drawings in Lesson 4. (They're not my work - so I can call them what hey are: gorgeous!)

There are on the order of 15 pictures in the negative space exercise for you to practice on. In the upside-down drawing exercise, Lesson 3, I broke the "Cowboy Guitarist" down into 9 separate, more manageable sections. So there's lots of material there for you to get you well into your drawing state of mind.

Things coming your way In the near future

1) To keep things light, fun and productive, I'll be adding a section on
cartooning to all the lessons involved with drawing the individual features (Lessons 10 - 14).

2) Lesson 8 will be rounded out with a more in-depth section on proportion.

3) Lesson 9, on the fourth skill of drawing, Light and Shadow, will be
uploaded shortly.

4) You'll see Lesson 15, the actual caricature case-study section, begin
building momentum. And that will be a ton of fun since all the groundwork
(the foundation and feature lessons) to make it work for you has paved the way.

5) And last but not least, drum roll please, we'll be re-starting the
bi-weekly caricatures and the e-communique ASAP, (formerly called the
"electronic magazine") - in the next couple weeks - hopefully sooner.

(Disclaimer: every time I give a date, I seem to be late or get delayed, so I'll just say ASAP and won't give a definite date. Do I make excuses or
what? I really am working as hard as I can to get this rolling folks.)

Still, your one year subscription "clock" will not start ticking until both the caricatures and the communiqué start coming. At that time, we'll have one year to dive into nothing but drawing and mastering caricatures.

So again, thank you all for your incredible patience, persistence, and input.

Warmly, and looking forward to hearing from you all,

Jeff Kasbohm
Executive Director


PS For those of you who've forgot or misplaced the password, here it is.
(Please, please keep it confidential.)

username: artists
password: aremade

Happy Drawing!

PSS On the near horizon. I've been exploring some new software that allows me to stuff all 600+ pages of the cyber-book into a program you can download on to your computer's hard drive. That means if you like what you've been getting, you'll have instant access to every page of the entire book. No more waiting to get on-line or wasting time waiting for one of my infamous monster-sized pages to download across the ever more crowded web. This should be available sometime this Fall.

Of course, that means all of this has to be good enough, and well written
enough, with tons of graphics, animations and illustrations for you to want it. That's where you can help me. Please send any suggestions or comments - constructive, critical, scathing - I welcome them all. Questions about technique, staying motivated, notices about other great sites, can be addressed in the e-communiqué and ultimately reflected in the lessons. Your feedback directs me - it gives me the critical information I need to make this worth your while.

Thanks again!