The Ultimate Drawing Class for Beginners!

Are you a beginner artist? Do you want to learn how to draw but feel overwhelmed about which method to try? Contour drawing, blind contour drawing, drawing upside down, constructing with shapes, etc. Then my class, Drawing for the Absolute Beginner is perfect for you! I will offer you guided instruction focusing on specific drawing methods every week, such as Contour drawing, blind contour drawing, drawing upside down, etc. Trying a variety of drawing methods can help you find the one that suits you best! This course is inspired by Betty Edwards’s book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. To learn more, visit https://delaplaine.org/instruction/.

And if this class is full, try your hand at another course I am offering, Classic Drawing, and also at the Delaplaine. This course is also a great fit for beginners, or artists who are rusty in their drawing skills and want a brush-up. This course has a slightly different focus. We will be focusing here on specific elements of art, such as line, shape, form, and texture. I will alternate the class projects with step-by-step handouts and drawing from observation. The focus here will be on applying each element of art every week to your exercises and projects to build more aesthetically pleasing artwork. Whichever class you take, learning the skill of drawing, or improving your drawing skills is a fundamental tool in your artistic toolbox and will greatly improve your artwork, whatever medium you choose, whether it’s: collage, painting, sculpture, pastel, etc! I’ve been drawing and painting for many years (since about age 2) and find that drawing weekly keeps me to tackle any painting with confidence!

Day 1, an upside-down drawing from my course Drawing for the Absolute Beginner.
Contour Drawing and Constructing with Shapes, an exercise from my course, Drawing for the Absolute Beginner.
A project from my course, Drawing for the Absolute Beginner, Uses a toned ground and a picture plane viewfinder.
A Negative Space exercise, from my Classic Drawing course.
Project from my course, Drawing for the Absolute Beginner.
A contour drawing exercise from my course, Classic Drawing.
The final project for my course, Classic Drawing.

Update: Summer Courses I am Teaching at the Delaplaine

Hello friends, fans, and family,

This summer I am teaching two great art courses at the Delaplaine Art Center in Frederick, MD! The first course begins on June 22nd, and it’s called, Drawing into Calm: A mixed media survey course. In this course, you will learn how to work in a variety of media from watercolor and pen to acrylic and pastel. We will explore which media are compatible, such as watercolor and ink pen, and gain inspiration from a variety of famous artists, such as Monet, Paul Klee, and Odilon Redon, among others! It’s a course that is perfect for beginner artists and will explore both drawing demonstrations and painting demonstrations, as well as collages. If you want to try new media or love art history, this might be the perfect course for you! Visit the Delaplaine website at: https://delaplaine.org/, to register or learn more.

The other course I am teaching is called, Continuing Landscapes in Pastel, and it’s perfect for experienced pastel artists who would like to learn more about color and value in the context of the four seasons. This course is geared toward more experienced artists who have some drawing experience. The four seasons, summer, autumn, winter, and spring will provide a context for exploring the elements of art, value, and color, such as using cool colors like blue or violet to depict snow, and warmer color palettes to illustrate fall foliage. Both courses are designed for adults. To learn more, visit https://delaplaine.org/instruction/classes-workshops/.

Harmonizing on a Line, Mixed media collage, Jodie Schmidt, 2022.
Mixed Media Cow Collage, Mixed Media: torn papers, metallic wrapper, painted papers, watercolor, crayon, ink, and colored pencils, Jodie Schmidt, 2022.
Odilon Redon Knock off, Pastel on paper, Jodie Schmidt, 2022.
Pizza Painting, Acrylic Paint on canvas board, Jodie Schmidt, 2022.
Mosaic Magazine Collage: Grand Canyon, Magazine papers, and pastel on paper, 2022, Jodie Schmidt.
Child at the Beach, Pastel on paper, Jodie Schmidt after Rebecca Le Mendonca, 2022.
Creating Depth, Jodie Schmidt after Marla Bagetta, Pastel on paper, Jodie Schmidt, 2022.
Rocky Tor, Jodie Schmidt after Rebecca Le Mendonca, Pastel on paper, 2020.
The Birches, Jodie Schmidt after Rebecca Le Mendonca, Pastel on paper, 2022.

Blog Post: Art of Schmidt

Artists: What kind of Artist Are You-Amateur, Hobbyist, or Professional?

My Biography, Mixed Media, 2022, Jodie Schmidt.

Pictured is a work in progress, which I plan to use to advertise my upcoming mixed media narrative course at the Adams County Arts Council in Gettysburg, PA.

Wine and Cheese, After Steven Pearce, pencil on paper, 2022, Jodie Schmidt.

This is an example of a final project for my Classic Drawing course, which focuses on teaching beginners the fundamentals of drawing, such as line, shape, and form as well as shading techniques to simulate a variety of textures in still life. I will be offering this course in April at the Delaplaine Art Center April! Visit: https://delaplaine.org/class/?id=22-4-DR02 to learn more!

My Rendition of Monet’s Haystacks, Pastel and acrylic on paper, 2021, Jodie Schmidt.

Here is a photo of a mixed media piece from my course, Drawing Calm: A mixed Media survey, which will be offered again at the Delaplaine Art Center in April of this year. Click on the link to learn more: https://delaplaine.org/class/?id=22-4-DR03

Wooded Road, After Nathan Rohlander, soft pastel on paper, 2020, Jodie Schmidt.

This is a sample of the demonstrations which I plan to teach in my Continuing Landscapes course at the Delaplaine Art Center in Frederick, MD this April! Click here to learn more: https://delaplaine.org/class/?id=22-4-DR04.

Why I decided to Write about Artist Types

It’s been a while since I last posted on this blog, and I have debated off and on within myself, whether to continue blogging about the series I started in May called and famous failures. However, at the end of the day, I decided that I would switch gears and write about a more arts-based topic. Instead, I decided to examine the topic of different artist types and the pros and cons of each type. It’s my belief that there is no superior type of artist, and that it is all about what type works best for you. However, I do think that it takes a very unique person to be able to combine the roles of both artist and entrepreneur.

In my opinion, such individuals must be extremely dedicated to making art their life’s work, no matter what it takes, or how much time they have to invest in learning their craft and other business skills to make a profit. On the contrary, not every artist has that sort of drive or wants their art to be consumed by the public as a commodity. Perhaps for some, art is an outlet for their feelings and experiences and they would rather keep that private, which is perfectly fine. Meanwhile, there are other artists who find themselves somewhere in the middle between hobbyists and amateur artists.  These artists, sometimes called, “double jobbers,” want to take their art to a more professional level, but also work a day job, such as the British artist described in the article, “The Double Jobbers, Making a Living into eh Arts, by Kathy B. Sweeney, posted on The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2012/jul/29/living-working-in-the-arts. Consequently, they are not pressured to make a living from their art.

On the other hand, there are artists who cannot imagine doing anything else with their lives and spend almost all of their time marketing and making their artwork, such as Elizabeth St. Hillaire, Kelly Wynne, and many others. The three types of artists which I will discuss in this blog post are hobbyist, amateur, and professional artists, along with the pros and cons of each type.

Why is it important to know what type of artist you are?

I picked this topic because I have been wrestling with the question about what category I fall into as an artist: Amateur, Hobbyist, or Professional? In my opinion, it’s important to know which category of artist you fall into because there are specific actions that you need to take if you want to go beyond making artwork for pleasure and start making it with a business mindset. According to the author, Alyson Stanfield, who wrote the art business book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio, it is not enough just to make art, you need to learn about how to market and sell your art, as well as to sharpen your artistic skills and creating a specific body of work that showcases your unique style as n artist. (Sources: Artwork Archive, “Alyson Stanfield Shares Her 10 Best Marketing Tips,” https://www.artworkarchive.com/blog/alyson-stanfield-shares-her-10-best-art-marketing-tips, accessed on 06/14/18, and Alyson Stanfield, I’d Rather Be in the Studio!, preface, pg. 1, 2008, Pentas Press, Golden. Colorado, and Aletta de Wal, “Hobbyist, Amateur or Profefessional Artist: Which Are You?” http://emptyeasel.com/2011/02/01/hobbyist-amateur-or-professional-artist-which-are-you, accessed on June 6, 2018. )

My Journey as an Emerging Artist

After my father died in 2011, I realized that I wanted to make the most of the time I had left. I wanted to live without regrets about pursuing art to the highest extent possible. For as long as I can remember, it has been my dream to be an artist.  In fact, my grandmother reported in her scrapbook that I began drawing at the age of 3. When I first started making art with the intention of selling it, back in 2011, my catalyst for making art was that I needed an avenue to express my grief.

Deciding what level of involvement in art that I want to have in my life has modified my choices and informed my decisions about my career, how I spend my time, and how I spend my money. I’ve gone from being a wide-eyed dreamer of a someday art career, as an art student, who lived amongst the bubble of the art community, to living life after college with all its startling reality. This world I now live in includes: bills, student loan debt, working as much as I can on my art while balancing a night job, experiencing frequent rejections for art shows, and feeling unrelenting and crushing self-doubt about my abilities as an artist.  I feel I have been drifting without many purposes in my quest to be a professional artist, and it’s making me wonder whether this is the life I really want.

Making the Jump from Hobbyist Artist to Amateur Artist

In more recent years, I have really stepped up my activity to bring my art to a more professional level, such as: creating profit and loss sheets in Excel, designing an art catalog of inventory, launching an artist website, blogging about art, participating in more frequent art shows, hosting studio sale events at my home, producing custom art, and starting commerce shops on Etsy and Red Bubble, etc. However, all of this activity has been challenging and sometimes disappointing. It seems to me that no matter how hard I try, I am still struggling to sell my art consistently. I have also made efforts to connect with people on a personal level through writing blog posts, and producing artist newsletters.

 However, I am still not making a profit, and instead, I find myself falling into debt to pay for framing, art supplies, and marketing expenses. Even more importantly, I feel I have lost the joy of making art in the midst of all this business-related activity. Consequently, I’ve had severe doubts about whether I want to be a professional artist, because of the amount of work, time, emotion, skill, and unflagging confidence a professional artist must have to survive. I wonder, are any other artists are struggling with this situation? And I’m also asking myself, do I really want to be a professional artist, or not? If not, then what type of artist do I want to be?

Since writing this post, I am now adding a new dimension to my identity as an artist, as a teaching artist, and I now teach art classes at Delaplaine Art Center, Frederick Community College, and the Adams County Arts Council. This new role, which I began in 2019, has informed my studio practice in a way that challenges me to keep learning new skills, and techniques so that I have fresh new content to offer my students and to inspire my own personal work, which is becoming more and more content-based, i.e. art that is meant to be a personal expression of my thoughts, memories, poems that inspire, etc. My favorite new place to continue my education as an artist and teacher is youtube, which is chock full of free art tutorials, such as The Virtual Instructor, Rapid Fire Art, and my favorite pastel artist, Karen Margulis, to name a few! To learn more about my current class offerings in pastel, mixed media, and drawing, please visit www.delaplaine.org. I am also working on a new art course about mixed media narratives at the Adams County Arts Council. I will update that information as soon as it becomes available.

What are some Specific Types of Artists?

To investigate and to define the different types of artists that anyone can be, I read an article entitled, “Hobbyist, Amateur, or Professional Artist-Which are you?” written by Aletta de Wall on the website, Empty Easel, at http://emptyeasel.com/2011/02/01hobbyist-amateur-or-professional-artist-which-are-you. The author, De Wall, states that there are three categories of artists and they are: Hobbyist, Amateur, and Professional and that each type is distinctly different. (Source: ibid)

The Hobby Artist

For example, hobby artists are not trying to make a living from their art, and they may only make art when the creative bug bites. (Source: ibid) In addition, hobby artists may study for many years and hone their craft by taking classes and workshops, but they may not ever receive the recognition that their work deserves because they are not taking actions that would promote their art effectively, such as having a business or marketing plan. (Source: ibid) On the other hand, an advantage of being a hobby artist is that there is no pressure on them to cater to a specific audience or make a profit, so they are free to experiment with a variety of media and subject matter and styles and techniques. They may also have more time to make art because there is no imperative to make a profit and engage in business-related activities such as marketing, bookkeeping, or sales.

The Amateur Artist

Another category of artist types is an amateur artist. This type of artist has started to play with the idea of making their art into a profession. (Source: ibid) Perhaps they have started to think that they need to start selling their art to help foot the bill for their art supplies and to start being able to deduct their art expenses from taxes. (Source: ibid) An important distinction between hobby artists and amateurs is that amateurs are willing to give up their personal time in order to learn how to sell their art and create new works. (Source: ibid) However, they may be uncertain about how to turn their passion into a viable business. (Source: ibid)

The Professional Artist

Finally, the last category of artists that this article discussed is professional artists. This type of artist is distinguished from the other two types of hobby artists and amateur artists because they consider art to be their profession. (Source: ibid, and Drew Kimble, “9 Warning Signs of an Amateur Artist,” https://skinnyartist.com/9-warning-signs-of-an-amateur-artist, accessed on June 7, 2018. )

 These types of artists want to make a profit from their art, build a following, and continue to build their business skills at the same time. They have an intense level of dedication for their art and are willing to sacrifice time, money, sleep, and do whatever it takes to make a profit. (Source: ibid, and Drew Kimble) They might work another day job to help support their business or eventually quit their day job when they are able so that they can devote more time to making art and learning how to sell it.

Other activities that they engage in are: making studio time a daily habit, applying for grants, writing artist newsletters,  submitting their artwork for review at galleries and art fairs, writing business plans, extending their knowledge of effective business practices by attending art business workshops, etc. (Source: ibid, and Hayley Roberts, “Twelve Things No One Ever Tells You About Being An Artist,” The Huffington Post, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/hayleyroberst/twleve-things-no-one-tell.html. accessed on June 7, 2018.) They also promote their artwork online and offline through social media, their artist website, and in real-life artist events, such as art gallery openings, art festivals, etc.  (Source: ibid)Some may also make a living by teaching their craft to others. (Source: Aletta De Wal, “Hobbyist, Amateur, or Professional Artist-Which are you?”, and Hayley Roberts, “Twelve Things No One Ever Tells You About Being An Artist,” ) .

These artists may receive more recognition for their artwork, but they may also experience more criticism and rejection than the two other types because they are more aggressively pursuing art gallery representation, etc. In addition, they may have less time for making artwork because they have to balance making art with business-related duties. Furthermore, they may struggle to sell their art or make consistent income and they may face stiff competition from other artists because it is such a saturated field.  It is a long road for these artists towards building a following and making a success from their art, but they are dedicated for the long haul. (Source: Drew Kimble, “9 Warning Signs of an Amateur Artist,” https://skinnyartist.com/9-warning-signs-of-an-amateur-artist, accessed on June 7, 2018. )

What about You? What Type of Artist are you?

So what about you, reader? What type of artist are you? I would love to hear about your dreams and hopes with regard to making art. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read this. Next week, I will be talking about this topic of artist types in more detail, with a slight twist. The twist will be a more in-depth look at what it really means to be a professional artist and why it has been traditionally so difficult to be successful in this field.

A sneak Peek at my Pastel Course

Hello friends, fans, and family,

I am teaching a beginner pastel art course at Adams County Arts Council starting on February 25th! To learn more, click here: https://www.adamsarts.org/portfolio-item/introduction-to-pastel/.

To watch a sample tutorial art video, you can click on the link for my youtube channel, Art of Schmidt: https://studio.youtube.com/video/_NLUVxpCJQ8/edit. In this lesson, I teach you how to make a color wheel with soft pastels. A color wheel is an integral tool for artists to learn how to use, no matter what medium, whether it’s watercolor, acrylic, oil, pastel, etc. It will help you learn how to mix colors and find color harmonies that will create a more cohesive piece. Thanks for stopping by!

Winter Course Update: Adams County Arts Council, Gettysburg, PA

Have you ever wondered if there is a way to combine drawing and painting into one art medium? There is, and it’s called soft pastel! This medium allows you to combine the linear effects of drawing with the brilliant color and depth you can get with oil and acrylic painting! This wonderfully flexible media was used by Impressionist artists to great effects, such as Degas, Mary Cassatt, and many others! Join me this winter at the Adams County Arts Council in Gettysburg, PA to begin or continue your creative journey! Click the link to learn more: https://www.adamsarts.org/portfolio-item/introduction-to-pastel/.

Winter Courses Update: Adams County Arts Council

I am back to teaching after several months’ long breaks. This month I will be teaching a beginner class about soft pastels. I will guide you through the basic elements of art such as value, color, and shape to show you how all these elements form the building blocks for success in your own artwork! Class size is limited, register as soon as possible at: https://www.adamsarts.org/classes/. The course starts on: February 23rd, 2022.

Update: Winter Art Courses I am Teaching

I wanted to share with you that I am teaching art classes at a variety of locations this winter! My first venue is at the Adams County Arts Council, where I will be teaching Classic Drawing and Introduction to Pastel. Both are beginner classes, but Classic Drawing focuses more on value than color mixtures, which I focus on in the Introduction to Pastel course. Click here to learn more about these classes, https://www.adamsarts.org/classes/.

I will also be teaching at the Delaplaine Art Center in February. Here is a link for that course: https://delaplaine.org/instruction/classes-workshops/.

Why Artists Should Make Drawing a Daily Practice

About a century ago (well I exaggerate a little); I was a college student studying art at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. I had a brilliant and successful art teacher named Steve, who demonstrated how the practice of art-making and the hatching of new ideas could be brought to life.  He taught me many useful things, such as how to keep an art sketchbook pasted with photos of artwork by artists I admired, and how to write about my art in a way that expressed my unique artistic voice. Above all, his most important advice was that I should draw every day. At the time, that task seemed quite difficult. I was always an impatient artist as a student and I often rushed through the drawing stage to hurry up and get to the painting, the “good part.” Now that many years have passed since my graduation from McDaniel, I can truly see the wisdom of his advice.

With hindsight, I realize that he was so right about drawing every day. I no longer rush artwork and I have learned to love drawing, whether it becomes a painting or not. In fact, I have embraced his advice of a daily drawing habit and I have worked on several art challenges for both human portraiture and pet portraits on my Instagram account. One of these challenges is called 100 faces in 100 days, in which I drew a pre-selected photo of a celebrity using only pencil and paper. I did not add in a lot of detail or shading and I limited myself to 45 minutes a day. My latest art challenges were in October, in which I participated in Inktober, and also in December when I challenged myself to draw figures and portraits every day for about 3 weeks, with a pencil or whatever other media I felt drawn to use for the challenge.

The most important takeaway I can say about drawing and getting good at it is that it really helps your art practice to flourish. For instance, once you have the drawing and composition mastered, you can enjoy the next step more fully, whether it’s collage, painting, or some other art form such as graphic design or sculpture. With an accurate drawing, you won’t have to worry about continuing to fix it and can fully embrace your next steps.

In conclusion, I am currently preparing myself to teach a beginner’s drawing course at the Adams County Arts Council in Gettysburg, PA this winter, and the drawing practice has been great practice. To learn more about the course, Classic Drawing, please visit http://www.adamsart.org.  I am realizing just how fundamental those drawing techniques of using basic shapes and practicing observing what I see, whether it’s a photo or a real-life object, are so important for accurate drawing. Here are some examples of the drawing exercises and projects I have been working on to prepare for this class. Enjoy! Thanks for reading!

Anatomy of a Shadow with Value Scale, pencil on paper with printed value scale, 2020, Jodie Schmidt.
Here is a photo of the textbook I have used in the past to teach my Classic Drawing course, at Frederick Community College, and now at the Adams County Arts Council in Gettysburg, PA.
Angela Lansbury, colored pencil on gray paper, 2021, Jodie Schmidt.
Emily Dickinson: A Song of Service, pastel on paper, 2021, Jodie Schmidt.
Eric Liddell Figure Study, pencil on paper, 2021, Jodie Schmidt.
My Broken Home, pastel on paper, 2021, Jodie Schmidt.

Update on New Art Classes: Winter 2022

Hello Friends, Family, Visitors, and potential Students,

I will be teaching a number of classes at the Delaplaine Art Center starting in February. In February, I will be teaching a Beginning Pastels Course, where I will guide you through basic techniques of pastel, such as broken color, shading, and simple drawing skills, such as working with basic shapes. We will gradually work our way through these skills and learn to work from black and white gray scales to full color with gradient scales, gradients, and color wheels. As a final project, we will copy Monet’s haystacks series in which we will apply broken color techniques and color mixing to replicate the style of the Impressionists. To learn more about this course, or to sign up, please visit https://delaplaine.org/instruction/classes-workshops/drawing/.