25 Amazing Resources to becoming a better artist

25+ Amazing Resources to learn to draw! You can do it, we believe in you!

I was very touched by all your answers for the skill question giveaway. So many of these skills are most definitely achievable in this lifetime, I do hope you explore some of these resources.  I have mentioned some of these resources in previous posts, but I figure if you decided you wanted to get started (it seems time is definitely a factor stopping a lot of us), then I should make it as easy as possible so you can just dive into learning your new skills. Maybe I shouldn’t have titled this ‘becoming a better artist’, because art is subjective, someone might think you are incredible right now, but I do understand that what most of you want to do is better develop your skills and I can say from experience that drawing emphatically is not a skill that you have to be born with to become great at (I’m not great by any stretch of the imagination but I  improved dramatically from stick figures to realistic animals in about 6 months time). You will need to devote some time, practice my friends seems to be the ‘secret’ to skill building. Below are some great resources for you to get started. I can’t wait to see what you all can accomplish!Read More



“Even a pancake has gesture. There is a gesture in the way a newspaper lies on the table or the way a curtain hangs.” Kimon Nicolaides

I’ve always admired those who could finesse delicate lines, controlled and concise with ease and grace. I am not one of those people, but I do subscribe to the idea that anyone can learn to draw. After all, drawing was a required school subject before cameras came around, and if kids from the 1800’s could learn to draw, so can we! Even if I never manage to draw an elegant line, I already know that looking for gesture helps me take better photos. What makes an image come alive? A line that pulls you in… the weight of a shadow, a suggestion of movement – that’s gesture!

Tristan and I are both wanting to work gesture drawing exercises in a bit more often, and there’s no more sure-fire way to get motivated than to ask others to join in. So…will you join us? Gesture drawing is meant to be a quick exercise, broad, loose, imperfect studies are the goal. What’s important is attempting to capture the essence of your subject: the movement, the weight, the energy. If you are brave and post your results on Instagram, feel free to tag us so we can take a look! #besottedblog

(ask yourself) “what is the subject doing?” Nathan Goldstein

Don’t know what to choose for your subject? You could take a page from Cy Twombly and attempt to capture the energy of the artist (that’s you!)  with an abstract approach!

A very special thank you to my brilliantly talented friend (and drawing teacher), Mary. She had this to say regarding the books she chose for you in the resources below:

“I have a great affection for The Natural Way to Draw by Kimon Nicolaides. Sections 1 (Contour and Gesture), and 2 (The Comprehension of Gesture) are good introductions. The Art of Responsive Drawing by Nathan Goldstein I like too. The first chapter is Gestural Expression (which refers to Nicolaides).”

painting by Cy Twombly 


The Natural Way to Draw

The Art of Responsive Drawing

Drawing paper sketchpad

Newsprint sketchpad (lots of room, inexpensive for guilt-free sketching).

Graphite pencil set

Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, and the co-creator of Foto Rx Premium Photoshop Actions. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.


Drawing to change your life

sally muir dog sketch via besotted blog

When Danny Gregory’s life was turned upside down by tragedy, he learned to cope by teaching himself to draw. The result was a complete transformation of his life, his priorities, his career, and the way he saw the world.

The title of this post may seem hyperbolic but drawing dramatically changed the life of prolific sketcher Danny Gregory and he has legions of fans/apostles that adopted his daily drawing habit and have had life changing experiences as well. One of the things that drew me into Danny Gregory’s work is that he didn’t start drawing until he was a middle aged adult, you really can start a new skill right now. Gregory’s book ‘The Creative License’ outlines his journey and is considered one of the pioneers of the visual journal. Gregory’s style is very ‘on the fly’ and loose. One of the things I loved reading about him was that his young son picked up the daily drawing habit. As I mentioned yesterday the only way to master a skill is to actually put in the practice, Gregory makes it seem almost plausible to do (maybe ask me when my toddler is a teenager about squeezing in a daily anything).

What about you? Do you have a daily sketching habit? If so how did you get started?


‘The Creative License’ by Danny Gregory

Danny Gregory Site

Sketchbook Skool

Artful Parent on daily sketching

Sally Muir Daily Dog Project

20 drawing blogs

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

Gesture drawing for creative ruts

Gesture drawing of horse by Amelie Hegardt via Besottedblog.com

I have been trying to teach myself how to draw for what seems a lifetime, I hope to pull together a list of resources that have helped me and I have had a modicum of success with. My problem is that I don’t practice and to successfully master a skill, you really must practice. I have a lot of excuses of why I don’t practice, some are stupider than the next, like I don’t have the right pencil or paper, or I don’t know what to draw, so many choices and on and on. Now of course there’s that little bit of not having any time, which is true but really I could figure out some time to practice, but alas I find myself often just admiring the work of artists from afar and wishing that I could draw (unfortunately that does not make for progress friends).

Lately, I have been reading a lot of Roald Dahl, he of  the”Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘James and the Giant Peach’, ‘Mathilda’ and too many titles to list fame. Most of his books were always accompanied by illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake and my envy rises with each new turn of the page. Mr. Blake’s drawings are so effortless, they are like rapid fire sketches that spilled from his brain to his pen. It got me interested in this ‘gesture drawing’ and looking into further. I mentioned it to Michelle and she said she took some lessons in gesture drawing and it was great fun. I can see where it would be, you need to rapidly draw/sketch your subject within a 30 second to 2 minute period.  Most of the masters used it to warm up, but I find that it’s perfect just as it is, as beautiful as a ‘finished’ work. There’s a whole movement going on right now utilizing this skill and I will discuss some more tomorrow, but for today I thought I would leave you with some quick resources to explore if you are feeling in a bit of a drawing or creative rut. You don’t need to be an artist or even know how to draw to do it, it’s very ‘loosey goosey’ and that’s the beauty of it (in fact the more raw and naive the better!)


Gesture Drawing Definition

Gesture drawing tutorial

Pose generator

illustration by amelie hegardt

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

How to Access Glyphs in Photoshop

How-to Access Hidden Font Features via Besotted

Did you know that there are secret extra characters built into many of the fonts we feature here? You can find everything from ligatures, to alternate characters, to fun ornaments – whatever the font designer felt necessary. These characters are collectively called glyphs, and they are not only fun to use, but they are the key to making a hand lettered or calligraphic font look realistic!

If you are a graphic designer, and glyphs are old hat, you may not know that the latest version of Photoshop (finally) has a glyphs panel! That’s right, you don’t have to open Illustrator, and your command C / command V fingers can take a well-deserved break if you are designing something for web.

View the tutorial after the jump! Read More