Gestural & Drawing Practice for the Artist

2014-03-29 20.04.25

Life Drawing – A. Pistrucci

Gestural Drawing Practice for the Artist
Click link above for drawing practice at

I am a huge fan of artists drawing from life – I believe the practice inspires and builds artistic skill like no other. Saying that I find most artists today really struggle with finding the time to attend a figure drawing session in their local area. If you are an artist that is struggling with time and  just cannot fit it into your schedule the answer is HERE:! There is a site built just for you! AND it is great for working on your style, gestures, great tips and techniques as well as lots of different drawing examples. You can draw hands, feet, facial expression, nude figures, clothed figures and animals. The page is designed similar to a figure drawing session with timed subjects in different intervals of your choice 30second, 1 minute , 2 minute, 5-10 and so on! You have no idea how excited I was to discover that I could replace all that wasted facebook time with and really improve my drawing skills at the same time!!!!


Figurative life drawing with Kaye Smillie, Anne Jarvis and Sharron Campbell


Happy drawing Everyone!


Here is some life drawings from some amazing Artists from Vancouver Island BC showing a variety of different styles -


Gesture drawing by Peter Loebel artist Victoria BC Canada

You can view his work here:

Figurative Life Drawing by Kaye Smillie Vancouver Island Artist
Contact Kaye at her email for life drawing workshops

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Another amazing Vancouver Island Artist is Anne Jarvis

You can view her blog here:

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The Art of Classical details by Phillip Dodd


The Art of Classical details by Phillip Dodd

“In keeping with Artisanal Specs.’ love for and focus on the artisans, trades and specialty craftspeople that work thoroughly alongside architects, designers and builders to bring design to life, there is good reason we were so excited to cover The Art of Classical Details. Unlike many of the other wonderful books out on design, from the perspective of architecture, Phillip has worked with tender and extensive care to curate a publication that tells the story of contemporary classical architecture and design from the in-depth and multifaceted viewpoints of architects, designers, artists (himself), scholars and artisans and craftspeople; an opportune and rich perspective we do not often get to hear. With his own craftsman-like precision, Phillip has carved out a space to facilitate a discourse on design from an elevated and uniquely all- inclusive point of view. He brings to the table a pallet of voices that paint a larger picture of how and why it is worth carrying out the principles and practices of classical architecture in the modern world.” Alanna Bailey of Artisanal Specs Blog


Pistrucci Artworks -Attention to detail-

Pistrucci Artworks -Attention to detail-

Benedetto Pistrucci Waterloo medal detail

Benedetto Pistrucci
Waterloo medal detail


Small Dome with Frize Anyone would love to have a ceiling inspired with architectural details in their living room!

Small Dome with Frize
Anyone would love to have a ceiling inspired with architectural details in their living room!


Classical Architecture

Classical Architecture


A craftsman at work

A craftsman at work – pictured from the book Classical details


An Interior, with Dome circa 1810-27 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

An Interior, with Dome circa 1810-27 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

The Craftmanship of detail

The Craftmanship of detail



The Alchemy of Art

2014-02-28 14.25.29Conte/ Powder charcoal made with red iron oxide and yellow ochre mixture with an addition of kaolin whilte china clay/ DIY spray workable drawing fixative

Spray fixative for Drawings
1part Casein
2parts Vodka/alcohol
5parts distilled water
Mix well and strain in cheesecloth / pour strained liquid into a fine mist spray bottle.
Use as a workable fixative on pencil, pastel, conte or charcoal drawings.

Impasto painted Bluebirds made entirely from DIY paints:

While I am on a renaisance enlightened path to making your own art supplies I highly recommend taking a peak at this blog – two artists who enjoy sharing wonderful ways of creating their paintings from scratch.
The site link for the blog and the artists in Duncan David Gluck and his partner Kate Stone HERE -
David Gluck and Kate Stone
IF you really cannot bring yourself to be part of the new rennaisance of art supplies then you can have them made from natural materials by this wonderful company HERE:
Pigment suppliers that are less expensive than art stores Victoria Clay art but I prefer Vancouver island pottery in parksville  and
Seattle pottery supply  but will need to be ordered and shipped .  Also Greenbarn in surrey sells pigments.
For my blog PEEPS HERE IS THE LINK TO  suppliers such as the mason stain site

Also check out cement supply stores and cement pigment – I am not an expert but I believe it is the same as mason stains or artist pigments from the same suppliers.

ron red oxide & yellow ochre is less expensive to purchase at the pottery supply stores and makes the
orangey red conte artists  know and love.

The basic ingredients of pastels are simple: pigment, a filler, and a
binder. You start by dissolving the binder, mix in the pigment and binder,
get the consistency right, then roll out your pastels and leave them to dry.
It will take a bit of practice and experimenting, so keep records of what
you do so you can recreate your successes!

Cheap Pastels Recipe:
• Quarter cup of rolled or crushed oats (combined with the water to make a
• A quart (just over a liter) of water (preferably distilled so there isn’t
any chlorine in it)
• Two tablespoons of powdered tempera or poster paint (for pigment). Another
option is to collect leftover dust when using bought pastels and use them to
make new ones (the mixture of colors can give a beautiful grey)
• Half a cup of unscented talcum/baby powder (for filler)

Step 1: Put the water in a pot and set it on the stove to boil. Add the oats
and leave it to boil for five minutes.
Step 2: Pour the oats mixture through a fine sieve to strain out the oats.
You’ll be using the water only.
Step 3: Mix the talc with the paint powder, then add a teaspoon of the
strained oats water. You’re after a consistency like dough or putty
consistency, which sticks to itself not your fingers.
Step 4: Roll out into sausages, put on absorbent paper (newspaper is a cheap
option), then cut into pieces about two inches (6 cm) long.
Step 5: Leave to dry at room temperature, at least 24 hours.

• If your pastels are very crumbly, your binder was too weak; add some more
oats next time. If your pastels are very hard, your binder was too strong;
break up the pastel and dissolve it into some more binder.
• You could use diluted wallpaper paste as a binder.
• Create tints of a particular color by adding more filler or white pigment.

True Pastels Recipe:
• Gum arabic or gum tragacanth (binder)
• Distilled water
• Pigment
• Chalk or kaolin/China clay (filler)

Step 1: Dissolve the binder in the water in the ratio 1:20 (one part binder
to 20 parts water).
Step 2: Mix filler and pigment in the ratio 2:1 (two parts filler to one
part pigment).
Step 3: Add the binder liquid to the filler/pigment slowly, until it has the
consistency of dough or putty.
Step 4: Roll out and dry as described above.

• Gum arabic makes a harder pastel than gum tragacanth.
• Damar resin mixed with plenty of white spirit or turpentine can be used as
a binder.
Basic Pastel Recipe
1 part Gum Tragacanth
Alcohol or wine
30 parts distilled water (approx)
The making of pastels is fun, easy and surprisingly economical. It is felt
by many that handmade pastels are much better quality than the extruded type
typically sold to artists. One of the first pastel-works was Leonard de
Vinci’s “Portrait of Isabelle d’Este” in 1499.
Preferably used dry, these pastels may also be diluted with water providing
infinite nuances and ranges of permanent, non-fading color. An artist can
achieve varying effects by further working the pastels with his or her
fingers. The key to making pastels is the right balance between hardness and
softness, as this will affect its ability to adhere to the paper and to be
Prepare gum by placing it in a covered glass bottle or container. Begin by
pouring a small amount of alcohol (grain or denatured ethyl) to moisten the
gum, then add water and shake the container. Leave this solution for 1 or 2
days. Tragacanth can’t be rushed. It will not dissolve, but instead will
form into a gelatinous solution. When ready to mix with your pigments, warm
the tragacanth and strain it through cheesecloth. Mix the pigments with
distilled water to make a paste. You may wish to use the pigments alone, or
mix them with chalk, for example in a 1 part pigment to 2 parts Whiting
Chalk ratio. Crush the pigment paste with the gum solution until smooth and
evenly distributed.
Spread the wet pastel onto absorbent paper to help pull excess moisture from
the mixture. While it is damp before complete drying, cut or break into
shapes to work with. Test to see if the proportions are correct. If the
pastels crumble in your fingers, there is not enough gum. If they slide on
the paper without leaving color and texture, there is too much gum. In
addition, linseed oil or wax can be added to your preparation to make
pastels last longer.

Check out Pistrucci Artworks tile: Animal Kingdom line launching soon!

First Steps Old World Grey


Uniquity – The art of finding the unique YOU…

Uniquity – The art of becoming Inspirationally YOU…

A very inspirational post I found on the internet and absolutely needed to pass on I found this on the website – Artist Network– Here is the the link to their main site :


Uniquity: Discover It

(This excerpt was previously published in The Declaration of You! by Jessica Swift and Michelle Ward, copyright 2013. It is republished here courtesy of and North Light Books.)


Whether you’re an artist launching a new Etsy shop or a writer looking for a full-time gig or simply a person looking for her spark, being authentic is what makes you you and what will set you apart. Some will call it “branding,” but how boring is that? (And hello, what a way to bring on a case of the “shoulds!”) Your uniquity is what makes you interesting. Your uniquity is what others will relate to. Your uniquity is what will get you the sales, the clients, or the job. Your uniquity is why people will want to work with you. Your uniquity is you; it’s why you’re awesome.

Michelle says—
“The biggest thing I learned when I pounded the pavement as an actor was, well, what made me me—my uniquity, my spark, what made me different and where I thrived. From those post-college years, I learned that I loved (and got cast!) singing loud and funny; creating new, SNL-like characters; portraying multiple roles at once; and being quirky, enthusiastic, spunky and offbeat. Once I put those pieces together, the lightbulb went off over my head, and I made sure to bring my quirky, spunky, offbeat enthusiasm into the room the first time I entered, whether it was visually with a polka-dot dress (and matching headband) or audibly with the song I sang to show that I was both funny and loud! Allowing myself to be me let me be secure with bringing myself into the room and put me at ease almost instantly.

“I’ve been able to bring that into my coaching practice and pair it with what I know makes me spark (writing, speaking, coaching, collaborating, relationship building). I’m able to see what is in line with my authenticity because I know what makes me, um, me.”

But how do you find your uniquity? Some do it by making the big, fat mistake of comparing themselves to others who are doing similar things, which essentially lets the Comparison Vampire outta the coffin.

If you’re anything like us, searching and clicking onto the websites of those who are doing what you’re doing or what you want to be doing ends up being a one-way trip to Loser Land, with stops at She’sWayMoreTalentedThanMe City, ICanNeverBeAsSuccessfulAsSheIs Town, IfShe’sAlreadyDoingItWhyShouldI County and the big continent of What’sThePointAnyway. These are not fun places to visit, and yet some of us decide to live there!

How do you get a one-way ticket back from Loser Land? You don’t need to click your heels three times. Instead, all you have to do is realize IT’S A CHOICE! You don’t have to fall into the self-comparison trap! And yes, “it’s a choice” needed to be capitalized, italicized and bolded for extra effect. We’re learning that just because other people out there create and do things that we admire intensely does not mean for one second that we shouldn’t also be making and doing things we’re proud of.

Letting yourself play the comparison game, and then letting that game stop you from creating whatever it is that you know deep down you want to create, robs those people who are out there ready to admire and adore you and your unique brilliance.

People are amazing, aren’t they? You could probably list twenty people right now who you think are just the coolest and most talented people on earth. But here’s the thing: You’re amazing, too. We’re all amazing because we’re complex, beautiful, unique and flawed human beings—all of us, just because we’re alive. We read recently that only one in every ten billion living creatures on earth is a human. Isn’t that astounding? One in ten billion! We’re quite special.

It takes practice to be kind to ourselves. We hold all kinds of rules for ourselves and ideas about how we should be, and in reality we just picked them up along the way somewhere, thinking it was “the right way to do things,” and now it’s time to let them go. We need to be kinder to ourselves and listen to our own hearts; ask ourselves, “What do I want to do?” And then do that. Not according to how anyone else thinks you should do it, but however you want to do it, in a way that makes your heart sing and skip beats and jump up and down in your throat. Because why would you even want to compare when you feel that?

That’s joy, people. Tapping into your purpose.

Our purpose as humans is to be happy and to love one another. That can only stem from first loving and valuing ourselves. And let’s face it: We all have something unique to bring to the table. Even if your style of painting or photography or dancing is similar to someone else’s (that’s why broad categories like Pop Art and Modern Dance exist), it doesn’t mean that it’s a copy. It can’t be. If you see a still life exhibit, does every bowl of fruit contain the same fruits in the same order, or is it shot or painted the same way with the same colors and the same style? Of course not. It’s impossible, really.

So let’s just do what we usually do anyway—checking out/sizing up/building up the competition—but INSTEAD use it to stop at Motivation Junction, Inspiration Land and Uniquity County. Those places are much prettier.

OK, so here’s an exercise for you. First, think of three people who are doing what you strive to do. And no, these don’t all have to be big shots like Oprah or SARK, but they can be your friend who’s such a great mom or your own mom or your first boss who pulled out all the stops to teach, support and enthuse you. Got ’em? Good. Now write down the names of those three people in the spaces at the top of the Three Greats worksheet that follows. In the rows beneath the names, write down their attributes. If it’s difficult to pick them out, ask yourself:
• What do I admire about so-and-so?
• Why do I think so-and-so is so awesome?
• If I had to write so-and-so a letter and explain why she’s so inspiring, what would I say?
• Why am I attracted to this person (why do I always read her blog/buy her art/ask her to hang out)?

Three Greats

Now, let’s sum it up. If you needed to write one sentence explaining what these three people have in common that rocks your socks right off, what would you say?

These three people rock my socks because ___________________.

Here’s where it gets scary: We’re gonna focus on why YOU’RE awesome! Step out of your own shoes and into the shoes of someone whose socks you rock right off their feet. And don’t tell us that there’s nobody whose socks you rock. We don’t buy it. Own it—it’s OK!

Write this person’s name down in the blank space at the top of the Whose Socks I Rock worksheet. If you want, get a picture of ’em and put it nearby for extra effect.

For extra, extra effect, ask ’em to fill this out for you! We know it’s super scary, but you don’t have to watch.

Can you begin to see that the three people you wrote down on the Three People worksheet are just different from you? Not better, not worse, just different and unique?

Consider that you each have an audience of people who will resonate with you, and your intention is to find those people. Look at the attributes of your three people next to what makes you unique. Spend some time seeing the lists as descriptions of completely different individuals. It’s like comparing apples and oranges!

It’s time to become the owner of those unique gems that are shining inside of you, and declare what makes you sparkle below!

Whose Socks I Rock

(This excerpt was previously published in The Declaration of You! by Jessica Swift and Michelle Ward, copyright 2013. It is republished here courtesy of and North Light Books.)

Bas Relief, 3D and Experimental painting Workshops &classes by Pistrucci Artworks

Pistrucci Artworks Workshops 2014 -Bas Relief, Sculpture and mixed media for Artists

Email Angela Pistrucci if you are interested in facilitating a workshop in your area .


Current Course offerings -
Coast Collective
3221 Heatherbell Road
Victoria, BC
V9C 1Y8
Friday afternoons starting in March -”A Relief Sampler”
Contact: for more information and registration or
or myself at: for Registration, cost, supply list and dates.

Instructor: Angela Pistrucci
Website: http;//
Coast Collective Website:



Pistrucci1 034

Topic(s): Sculpture /Bas Relief for Mixed Media

Bas Relief, Sculpture and mixed media for Artists

A course designed with a focus on 3D Bas relief sculpture for Abstract, realism,Experimental painting, jewellery, mixed media, stampers, papercrafts, architectural ceramics, pottery and sculpture.
Instruction will include figurative, tessellation & designing repeating patterns, as well as a variety of subjects in clay relief. Artists will learn how to apply relief, texture, embellishments and accents to a variety of art projects. The focus will be on sculpting relief in a variety of materials. Clay, paperclay, air dry clays and molding mediums. Artists will experiment with many different sculpting mediums and substrates to achieve texture and relief in artistic practice.
A Focust will also be on understanding Art Materials for Experimental Painting:

Artists experiment with a variety of manufactured art products in their daily practice. Few truly understand the mediums they use and how to maximize their benefits. Understanding the materials, the ingredients and the techniques to use those mediums will benefit and enhance an artists practice. This course will invite artists to explore and experiment with making paint (watercolor, oil, conte, acrylic) textural mediums (coldwax , encaustic, molding mediums, air dry clays) and glazing mediums/other (damar varnish, pigment paste, resists -masking fluids, vaseline, gesso etc.) methods to thicken, alter and change existing paint. This class will teach the artist how to enhance experimental painting techniques and process with textures and relief on a variety of substrates. Understanding your medium can open artistic expression and allow artists to push their own process into exciting and new areas.

Course topics may include:
Understanding Artist materials -
Methods, raw materials, mediums & paint
3D sculpture and relief
Sculpture -Head study , body porportions, sketching for sculpture, Design and process.
Mixed media and experimental painting techniques -
Using drawing, painting, collage, and sculptural accents
Mold making for art tile, paper arts, painters and potters
Realist, Abstraction using texture
email for supply list and registration details
NOTE*****Estimated Course Costs are approximately $85.00 for a full day per student / student to bring own supplies and tools as per supply list.  Currently Registration is open for Mid March start dates in Victoria BC.

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Contact Angela Pistrucci at ph. 250-580-8884 for registration information or by email at Angela@pistrucciartworks.comImageImageImage