25 March 2002
Your March 25th, 2002
YouCanDraw.com Insider's Communiqué
In today's issue:
1) Member drawing: Suzy Voye of Tennessee
2) A call for drawings :-)
3) Pricing your drawings and member drawing: Chet Nowlen
1) Today you get to see what a couple of your fellow YouCanDraw.com student/artists
(and just plain artists) have been up to. We get a fair amount of email and from time
to time students send us their pictures. I just thought today I'd show you what two
members are doing.
For me, it’s very, very gratifying (and humbling), to see the kind of improvements and
progress people are making. That they’re even making an effort, and that we (at YCD),
can participate even just a little in their excitement is such a neat thing. Some of them
are into caricatures, some are more interested in realistic portraiture.
Draw what you love
Let’s lead off with Suzy Voye of Tennessee. She brings up such an important point:
draw what you’re interested in. Draw something you care about. Draw something
or someone you love. She sums it up so wonderfully in this January email:
“... Hi, Jeff,... this is probably the worst time to send you something with trying to move
and all.....BUT...I couldn't get interesting in drawing and I decided that I was bored with
flowers, vases, etc. What am I passionate about? My KIDS!! So here is my very first
portrait---it's of my daughter, Sara and I did it from a photograph. Anyway, I think you
are responsible for my even trying to do this. The kid inside me is jumping up and down
and running down the hallway screaming. I'm that excited about it!! Take a look and
see what you think...As always, SUZY”
Is that enthusiasm contagious or what? :-) I love it! (Suzy, that’s an amazing email.) I
think it’s a heroic thing when people muster the guts to both send me their work and
even more so to allow others to view it. We'll be going over parts of Suzy’s wonderful
drawing here shortly (in the next few weeks) to help her on just a couple areas of
detail. Keep up the great work Suzy and thank you for your willingness and courage.
Click here to see her drawing and the original- we'll be referring to this page in the
future for a more in depth look: http://www.youcandraw.com/showcase.htm
2) A call for drawings :-)
Would you be interested in seeing your work on a publicly accessible page? A
page where you can post a few words about your drawings, your drawing history,
your drawing ideas, even your web site? It'll be an open page you can send others
to without password access or any thing like that, and it won't be a sales page
I had this idea years ago but just didn't have the time to build it....and I don't have a
whole bunch more time now, but I'd like to do it anyway. You get to showcase what
you're doing, and indirectly YCD.com gets more traffic - but again it will NOT be a
There have been dozens and dozens of you who've sent me drawings and progress
notes and if you'd like to resend me your drawings and/or your permission (stating
you'd be willing to have them posted on a web page for others to be inspired) I'd be
tickled. I'd love to build that library. (Here's just a tiny smattering of names of those
who've sent me their drawings and web addresses: e.g., Elgin Bolling, Shamsudin
Ismail, Kristy Wells, Carlos A. López, Chet Nowlen, Luis AlbertoGarcia... to name
a few brave souls :-)
Show and tell
If you're interested, send me any emails and drawings (even if it's four or five over the
next 3, 6, 9, etc. months) titled "Showcase". (That way we can build a file and keep
it separate from other email .) Tell us what got you interested about drawing (and
caricaturing, or portrait drawing, or wildlife drawing, - anything!) and how you did
your drawing, your inspirations, favorite books, artists etc., even a web page if you
have one, an email address (if you're open to getting emails.) Any and all levels
are welcome. The more the merrier!
3) Secondly today:
A business question, actually a pricing question from artist number 2, Chet Nowlen:
A lady from work asked me if I would sketch her twins if she brought me the picture.
What do you think I should advise her the cost would be?
I've added some new sketches to my web page. Crystal Wilkerson is my latest and
I think my best so far. Let me know what you think:
great to see you're working hard at it! Pricing is a tough issue. Most people
come to you with the pre-set idea of not paying much more than what they
see them getting done for out at the mall, the county fair (like 5-10 dollars
a face). Of course if you're going to sit down and spend some serious time drawing
them, you need to let her know that too (that you spend more time and do
work of a higher quality when you work from the studio - some times people
Getting good photos
And all that assumes you have several really good pictures of the subject(s). I don't
know how many times I've dropped off drawings of people where the drawing
looked just like the photo, but the photo was a poor picture of the subject. And
the person who had me do the drawing is disappointed. (In those cases you have
to ask them if they think the drawing looks like the photo - it's a very interesting
thing how the brain projects so much into a photo that isn't in the photo and you,
who doesn't have that advantage, doesn't see what they do in the same photo. Yes
it's twilight zone kind of stuff.)
Unless you have really good pictures of the twins (and the faces on the photo
are at least 2 inches tall (and I mean the faces) it's tough to do a decent job (most
people bring in photos where the actual head of the person you have to draw is
about 1/2 to 1 inch tall in the photo. That's not enough to work with.
So how much?
So how much? If you're just starting out, and you just want the experience,
10 to 20 dollars a face is fair - though more than she probably plans on spending.
So it's your call Chet. If you're in demand, the sky is the limit. When I first
started I did them for free or for tips just to get the practice. You could just
say 25 dollars firm for the two of them and see how she reacts. If you over price you'll
feel the pressure. You have to feel good about what you ask too.
(*Other considerations: if you add frames - cardboard or high class, you need to
figure in that cost, and the cost of arranging for framing if that becomes an issue,
if there's a demand to get it done urgently - of course that's going to cost more too
- and last but most important you have to value what you do.)
Hope that helps Chet. Keep up the great work!
Great job on Crystal Wilkerson (and you can tell her I think she's a cutie pie :-)
All your pictures are excellent - I really life the "minimalist" drawing of Larry Horton,
and the cross hatching on Marc Goodner - you're experimenting. VERY good!
Warmly, and keep on drawing!
PS - We'll be taking a one issue Easter Holiday next week.
6920 Southdale Road
Minneapolis, MN 55435
"Once and for all getting you drawing faces and caricatures"