Online Sketchbook: Latest Entry
Life Portrait of Robbie Ellis
About The Practicing Artist
When I'm drawing out in public it's very common for someone to approach me and say, "I wish I could draw." My response is always, "Then draw. Draw a lot." While many artists have that elusive thing called natural talent, drawing is like anything else: it takes practice to get good. If you're like me, it takes a lot of practice.
I always loved drawing but I was never the "artistically gifted kid." I wasn't the most talented person in my grade school, junior high, or high school. I didn't take to drawing materials and techniques intuitively. Despite this I decided to go to art school where I wasn't the most talented person in my college classes either. After receiving my BFA in Illustration, I went into the graphic and web design field because I didn't have the confidence to be a professional artist and there were more opportunities for graphic designers than illustrators.
I kept drawing and would take on the occasional illustration job but never gave much consideration to pursuing fine art professionally. Then in 2001 I moved to Portland, Maine and sold my first portrait commission. That gave me the confidence to start pursuing portraiture as a possible profession.
I dedicated myself to studying drawing as well as sketching and drawing from life as much as possible to continuously improve as an artist.
I decided to put my sketches, experiments, and the occasional commission online in hopes that my own journey of hard work and constant practice might inspire others who always wished they could draw but felt their lack of natural talent was holding them back.