Workshops - CANADA

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Mike Sibley
A professional artist for over 30 years, and author of the drawing bible "Drawing from Line to Life", Mike now passes on his knowledge through international workshops and online courses.
'Done Balin' graphite pencil drawing by Mike Sibley

Learn the secrets of
successful realistic drawing

I'll show you how you can break down any drawing into easily manageable parts, and apply simple step-by-step techniques to draw them believably.

Three days of uninterrupted drawing! You'll travel from the basics right through to a final drawing, covering a variety of techniques along the way, including the use of references and how to use them for composition. And no lectures! I prefer to work with you individually.

Drawing is fun! I run friendly and flexible workshops, built around a schedule that can be tuned to individual needs, and the final day is unstructured so I can cover anything you personally request.

Don't miss this opportunity to join a group of like-minded artists of all ages and abilities - and all the materials are provided.
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Mississauga workshop 2014 This informal workshop is designed for artists of all abilities, from novice to advanced, and who have a desire to take their drawing to a new level of realism.

Every drawing, no matter how complex, can be broken down into simple areas and layers. You'll learn how to not overload your brain by dividing your work into manageable parts and then applying easy step-by-step techniques that will produce realistic results.

I'll show you how realism is achieved by closely studying textures, and then mastering the ways to interpret them and commit them to paper. These workshops will provide you with a greater ability to explore and understand textures, the techniques required to render them in a believable way, and you will learn both the "how" and the "why". Whatever your present ability, you will leave with a new-found knowledge of how to draw and use textures to the benefit of your work.

Paper, pencils and all other necessary supplies are included. However, if you prefer to use your own favourite pencils and tools, please bring them with you. Outside of the UK I cannot provide table-top drawing boards so please bring your own. It can be as simple as a sheet of MDF or Masonite - as long as it is hard and smooth.

I'll have a couple of my original drawings with me, and prints will be available for you to study in close detail. I'll be will be happy answer all queries and demonstrate specific techniques used. And please feel free to bring examples of your own work along for critique or advice.

Dates :
July 22 - 24, 2016
Times : 
10 am to 5 pm daily
Location : 
Swinton's Art studios, 7160 Fisher Street SE, Calgary
Seats : 
Limited to 20 students to ensure individual attention

Cost : 

Deposit : 
- Secure your seat now


Price includes Equipment Pack comprising:
  • Sheets of Mellotex plate-finish paper (12" x 16") as required
  • 1 each Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils - 4B, 2B, H, 2H, 4H
  • 1 Staedtler vinyl art eraser
  • 1 pack Blu-Tack
  • 1 Pencil sharpener
  • 1 Blending tortillon

This workshop is flexible to take into account your present level of ability and would suit beginners to those with some experience. It's mainly technique based and the typical daily itinerary is as follows:
  • Basic techniques - shading, blending, and erasing
  • Using the Tapered Line
  • Shading in layers
  • Negative Drawing
  • Working from background to foreground
  • Using a variety of sources in one composition
  • Understanding and drawing textures (including hair, rust and wood)
DAY 1:
In the morning, as you work through the initial drawing exercises, I'll offer instruction and assistance on drawing techniques that will help you to get used to working on Mellotex and my way of working.

In the afternoon, you will begin a second series of exercises involving small, manageable drawings that put the earlier techniques to use, and introduce more advanced ones that centre around the spontaneous drawing of background elements.

DAY 2:
To begin the day I'll analyse the composition of one of my drawings that used a wide range of reference sources. You get to try out a background technique included in the study that is based on Negative Drawing. A second exercise, involving three-dimensional understanding, the reversing of lighting, will be followed by the creation of old gnarled trees in a dark forest using a logical plan.

In the afternoon you will be exploring textures with a variety of options to choose from - try one or all, it's your choice. Late in the day you, and your fellow artists, will be introduced to tomorrow's work. You will be working on identical drawings (photos and guideline drawing provided) that feature many of the techniques explored during the two days. If you prefer to work on something of your own, that's OK too.

DAY 3:
Drawing of the final study will commence, interspersed with question and answer sessions (coffee breaks!) and advice and assistance with drawing all elements will be available at all times.

This day is more loosely structured and I'll be pleased to demonstrate any techniques that you request, or answer any art related questions. I'll also offer personal tuition throughout the day as required. If you are unsure of anything please let me know so I can assist - it's no good telling me on the way out!

There is no pressure to complete the final drawing, so take it home and complete it at leisure. You can post it at any time to the Workshop Plus page to receive a critique - or assistance if you need to post it in stages. The workshop does not stop when you leave the venue!

'Early Morn at Witton Marsh' by Mike Sibley
'Just Thinking' by Mike Sibley

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Calgary, Alberta   July 22nd - 24th, 2016
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'Bindweed and Hoverfly' by Mike Sibley

At no time did you make me, or anyone else there, feel it was beyond our reach. Your demonstrations were so informative.
Thank you for an outstanding workshop. Truly I learned more from you in three days than I learned in two semesters at the community college. And it was fun too!
Thank you for another great workshop weekend. Once again I came away with more knowledge and some great tips to help me with my drawings.
I cannot begin to describe what a wonderful experience San Antonio was! I highly recommend Mike's workshops - I learned more technique in 3 days than I learned in a year in a local art class. Mike and his wife Jenny are so friendly and fun! Mike is quite a teacher - he explained and demonstrated his techniques in a manner that we could all understand and immediately integrate into our own drawings.
Thanks for everything, I had a great time and learned a lot from you. I'll rank your workshop as five stars.
Thank you for a super workshop. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I learned so much and you have me hooked on graphite!
Fantastic workshop! A lot of "ah ha" moments! A wonderful experience! Thank you Mike for making it such a fun weekend!
I've been an artist almost all my life and have quite a bit of experience, but I really learned a lot in your workshop to better my work. I go to at least one workshop a year, and I believe yours was the best so far.
I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and feel completely inspired. Thank you for taking the time to work with us all and share some of your incredible gift.
As a teacher, I appreciated your format, one-on-one assistance, concrete examples, etc. I am glad you shared your expertise with us. It was a memory-maker weekend.
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