Workshops - CANADA


Mike Sibley
A professional artist for almost 40 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
realistic animal 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.

A long weekend of uninterrupted drawing! You'll quickly travel through the basics, slide into techniques for drawing hair, move on to other aspects of drawing animals, and finish with a final drawing, which you're not expected to complete. We'll cover a variety of techniques along the way, including the use of references and how to use them for animal studies. And no lectures! I prefer to work with you individually or in small groups.

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 me and your fellow artists. This is my second time in Ottawa. It's unlikely I will return for some time so I hope we meet and get to work together.

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Studio workshop, October 2011 Drawing realistic domestic or wild animals? This is the workshop for you. I'll share almost 40 years of professional experience. We'll explore the best ways to draw hair, how to tell a simple story, the use of triggers for chosen emotional responses, practical advice on photographing your subjects, building composite scenes, and anything else you request.

These informal workshops are 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.

Any drawing, however complex, can be broken down into easily manageable parts. Apply simple step-by-step techniques and you'll be able to draw them believably.

You'll begin with the basics and travel through to a final drawing. Along the way, we'll cover a variety of techniques, and you'll learn how realism is achieved by closely studying textures, and then mastering the ways to interpret and commit them to paper.

I'll have a couple of my original drawings with me, and a selection prints you can view and study in close detail. And please feel free to bring examples of your own work along for critique or advice.

Facebook post by Jane Kinroy Facebook post by Jane Kinroy

Duration :  
3 days, 10 am to 5 pm daily
Dates :  
August 17th to 19th, 2018 (Friday to Sunday)
Location :  
Venue :  
Combined Baffin and Clancy rooms (ground floor)
Seats :  
Limited to  artists to ensure individual attention
Cost :  
•convert currency

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Price includes Equipment Pack comprising:
  • Sheets of Conqueror 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
Drawing Animals : Itinerary

The workshop, which is flexible to take into account your present level of ability, features exercises, practical experience, tuition on techniques for drawing hair, and explores many other invaluable aspects of portraying animals - even if it's a hairless turtle! And you'll learn how to expand your portraiture into fully-fledged scenic compositions. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

And, as always, I'll explain both the 'How' and the more important 'Why' as I take you through:
  • The initial exercises
  • Techniques of drawing believable hair
  • Dividing work into easily manageable sections
  • Working from background to foreground
  • Creating tapered lines and solid form
  • Using "drawing breaks"
And we'll cover:
  • White hair
  • Black hair
  • Any other hair or texture you request
  • and lots more...
This workshop can be whatever you want it to be. What the workshop explores is up to you - ask questions and I'll do my best to answer and demonstrate. Your questions will determine the additional subjects we cover.

I'll show you how you can take an animal, or any subject, apart and rebuild it section by section. That allows you to concentrate on building, for example, the nose while not thinking about hair - because trying to draw two things at once can reduce your understanding of both.

This workshop is currently being rewritten - I'm trying to fit more in!

DAY 1:
In the morning, as you work through the initial drawing exercises, I will advise you on using a chisel point, blending versus layering, erasing, and forming tapered lines. These exercises will also will help you to get used to working on Conqueror paper and my way of working. Then you'll move on to a series of exercises that begin with the basic method of drawing waves in hair and progress to multiple curves - an essential hair-drawing tool.

In the afternoon, the previous exercise will be expanded into the drawing of white and black hair - that respectively depend on shadows and highlights. Then a final exercise, with my assistance, will study ways of breaking a drawing down into easily manageable sections. Finally, there will be an exercise on the basic techniques involved with layering hair and using the layers to break the drawing down into ever smaller sections, which promotes both ease and injecting a sense of reality.

All these exercises are designed to encourage questions from you. This workshop can cover as many aspects of drawing any animals that you want it to - as long as you ask the questions!

DAY 2:
To begin the day I'll analyse the composition of one of my drawings that uses a wide range of reference sources. To follow will be two exercises built around constructing dogs' noses and eyes - but the techniques are equally applicable to other animals and human eyes. During the day I'll give you some tips of photographing animals, creating composite scenes, generating appropriate emotions in your subjects, and successfully portraying "colours" in monochrome. And, of course, I'll also help you with any other aspect of drawing that you would like me to cover.

DAY 3:
The final day is loosely structured to give me time to respond to all your questions or requests for assistance on anything drawing-related. You'll be introduced to the final drawing and have a choice of subject. You're welcome to bring your own project too, if you prefer to work on that. You are not expected to have completed the drawing by the end of the day... if you wish to complete it later at home, post it to my 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!

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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.
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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