Posts by Paul Heaston

Paul Heaston was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He received his BFA in painting from the University of Texas, San Antonio in 2002 and his MFA from Montana State University in 2008, where he continued on as a faculty member. He is an obsessive sketchbook-keeper and spent 6 months between 2008 and 2009 meticulously drawing every building in downtown Bozeman, Montana in a pocket-sized sketchbook. Heaston is a correspondent for, an internationally known website showcasing visual journalism all over the world, and in addition maintains his own sketch blog, Three Letter Word for Art. He lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife Linda and their dog Freddie.

Fine Art Friday: Masters of the Watercolor Landscape

Watercolor LandscapeWatercolor is a medium that requires patience and dedication to master. Landscape painting is a discipline that requires the same thing. So painters of watercolor landscapes often have a doubly difficult time in their chosen field. If you find yourself in need of a little inspiration, take a look at some watercolor landscapes from the masters. Read more »

Fine Art Friday: Scumbling — An Essential Oil Painting Technique

Lucien Freud's Reflection (Self Portrait)Atmospheric. Translucent. Radiant. Painterly. Chances are if you've ever applied these descriptive terms to an oil painting, you were looking at some of the effects scumbling can give you. Scumbling, a must-have technique in any oil painter's bag of tricks, is where light layers of paint are dry brushed over darker layers. To understand scumbling, let's take a look at some examples. Read more »

Drawing a Child’s Face: Mastering Proportions

Child and Adult ProportionsIf you've drawn faces before, you know there are a lot of differences between a child's face and an adult's. It can be a challenge to make sure that a young person's face seems young or an older person's face appears old, especially when there aren't a lot of noticeable age-related characteristics, like wrinkles or facial hair. Proportion is the most important concept to consider when drawing a child's face. Here are some tips to help you better understand how proportion can help you when drawing children. Read more »

In the Fold: Tips for Painting Draped Fabric in Watercolor

Painting Fabric with WatercolorAny watercolorist is bound to encounter the challenge of painting fabric eventually, either on a figure, in the built environment or as part of a still life. The key to painting draped fabric is thinking about shape, shadow and texture. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you master painting fabric in watercolor. Read more »

Conquering the Coiffure: Keys to Drawing Realistic Hair

Drawing HairDrawing realistic hair can seem daunting because we artists sometimes get caught up in just how many strands of hair we can see, and lose sight of the big picture. The key to drawing great hair is to think about shape and value, and not always the finest details. Here's a tutorial to help you draw realistic hair. Read more »

Understanding Atmospheric Perspective: Painting Air

Drawing Atmospheric PerspectivePerspective is all about creating the illusion of space. An understanding of atmospheric perspective can make the difference between a good landscape painting and a great one. Let’s take a look at atmospheric perspective in action. Read more »

Drawing Media: Which Essentials Are You Missing?

Drawing MediaDrawing is a crucial skill for nearly every visual artform. Since every artist draws, every artist should have a good working knowledge of the essentials of drawing media. Whether you prefer charcoal over pencil or a vinyl eraser over a kneaded eraser, it’s important to know what’s out there so you can build your ultimate drawing toolkit. Discover the options here. Read more »

Explore the Painting Techniques of Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon Painting TechniquesFrancis Bacon was one of the most original and independent voices in 20th Century painting. His non-traditional approach to both the medium of oil paint and to the temporal qualities of portraiture have been called “disturbing” and “dreadful” by some, but he has nonetheless changed contemporary painting. If you’re not familiar with the paintings of Francis Bacon, here’s an overview of his work and techniques. Read more »

Hatching and Cross Hatching: 6 Basic Forms

Tick Hatching

One of the most important tools you can have at your disposal as an artist is a strong knowledge of hatching. Let’s take a look at six basic forms of hatching and crosshatching and the advantages of each.

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