Laura hadn’t drawn since she was 16. She used to love art at school and decided why not try something new? She tried our free course, had amazing results instantly and was hooked.
We chatted with Laura to find out more about her journey and what she has learned since joining Colin Bradley Art.
How long have you been drawing for?
I started drawing in August 2018 when I stumbled upon Colinbradleyart.com looking for some guidance on how to draw with pastels. I had a set of some oil pastels that I had gotten a while back just sitting in a drawer. I had not done any drawing since she was 16, but I loved art class back then and thought, hey why not give something new a try.
Why do you like to draw?
The reasons I have taken to drawing now as an adult are two fold. One is that I’ve discovered I truly enjoy being able to finish something creative that I can look back on and admire knowing I made it. And two, to alleviate the stress after the daily workday.
I can lose myself in my art and forget all about everything like no other hobby. Before I know it, it’s far later than it should be and I have to force myself away from the art wishing I could stay up all night to complete it. It’s an excitement that can only be compared to being a little kid wanting to stay up late.
What first attracted you to Colin’s courses?
The reason I came to Colin’s courses was being able to try the Free options using his teaching method before committing to signing up for any of the courses.
I did every single one of the free tutorials he offered and could not believe I had stumbled upon such a gold mine. Colin’s teaching method was brilliant, easy to follow and so user friendly for even the beginner to pick up.
I committed to a month, was further hooked less than 2 weeks into it. Before long I was signed up for a year. I also chose the ALL IN option because I wanted to learn everything that he offered and not just limit myself to one particular type of drawing style.
I loved the option for “all in” because it allowed me to jump around between the different categories and pick subjects that really appealed to me most at the moment.
I also loved that the courses are categorized into Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. It helped me know what to expect and let me have a smoother progression as far as my skill level so I could apply each of the prior lesson’s techniques on top of each other.
Did you have any fears or struggles before you started? If so, do you still have them now and how did you overcome them?
I did not have them before I started, but I did have them early on. My biggest struggle was in thinking that I had to do every tutorial 100% exactly like Colin’s picture. That used to stress me out at first because I thought that if I didn’t follow him exactly that it would not turn out well.
I did pictures from every style offered, animals, still life, landscapes. And the more I did, the more I realized that with each picture I was learning something that I could apply to the next one. From that, I got the confidence to just “know” that I was capable of doing the pictures even when Colin didn’t explain every little exact part.
I started to realize that with what he did explain, and all the techniques I had learned from earlier tutorials, I could complete the finished picture on my own sometimes filling in the blanks if needed.
How much have you learnt from doing Colin’s courses?
I have learned an immense amount from Colin’s courses. I chose to do more than just the pastel courses offered, when I discovered the other styles that he teaches on his site.
I did the Aquarelle graphite courses, and even the Cartoon modules that taught drawing and inking art. Believe it or not, with the square drawing method and from doing all the cartoons, I started gaining even more confidence.
Those little modules taught me that I could actually draw if I followed the basic rules of his square drawing method. This was a giant revelation for me. Once I learned that, I started applying the method to doing my own graphite art pieces.
I could not believe that I was actually “free hand” drawing so to speak by applying that simple lesson to my own work. I also realized that I could take all of what I learned from colored pastel pencils regarding shading to use just a few graphite pencils and create my own art in black and white. This has become a super useful skill to me because there are many times that I am traveling and want to be able to draw by packing just a few simple tools along. A few graphite pencils, some paper, a couple erasers and all that I learned so far from Colin.
In fact, the picture attached (graphite glass mug) was literally done on a camping trip in an RV. At times I had to use a flashlight to get enough lighting to see what I was doing, since the light in an RV is not exactly set up for a proper art studio. I did this just after completing Colin’s daffodil in glass vase tutorial which gave me the confidence to try it in graphite.
What are some of the other things you’ve gained?
I have certainly picked up a great new hobby that I am truly hooked. I not only have gained confidence in my drawing ability, but also in my drawing aspirations.
I used to look at some of my artist “heroes” and think I could never do that. Now, when I look at the artists’ work I truly admire, I am inspired rather than intimidated. I see how far I have come in such a short time following Colin’s lessons, and now my thoughts are that if I put in enough time and practice, I will someday be able to create something comparable.
If you had any advice for someone considering whether to give it a go, what would you tell them?
I would give a few pieces of advice.
- Don’t give up when you first start drawing. There is a huge learning curve and if you keep at it, you will get better. It’s guaranteed.
- When you first start a picture, there is what I call the ugly stage. Push through that because the big picture is what makes the art beautiful, not a couple of parts here and there. Never judge your picture too early.
- If you become frustrated with a picture and think it is not coming out good, don’t ever trash it. Walk away and come back. Fresh eyes make it easier to rationally see your artwork and you usually will see it was not nearly as terrible as you made it out to be in your head.
- Try not to pigeon hole yourself into only doing one style of drawing. Jump around from category to category. Start with the ones that appeal to you most. If you enjoy the subject matter you have chosen, you will have that excitement to want to complete the picture rather than dreading it, even if it gets tough.
If you are on the fence about this course, I can’t recommend it enough.
Try the free ones out first and get a taste of what is offered. It is fairly priced, and you will not be disappointed with all that is included.
I think that Colin Bradley is one of the best instructors out there and I literally had no experience and never considered that I could ever draw. I feel really lucky that I found the website and I guarantee that you will feel the same after trying the courses.
I would have to recommend the ALL IN package on the website for the best learning experience. Try a few from each category type because every picture you do builds on something you’ll find in another one.
Even though the cartoon modules are geared toward a younger audience, you will learn a ton from them including the confidence to learn to draw no matter what your skill level.
The other thing I would suggest is to go back and listen to the Podcasts. They are not only entertaining but are super helpful and you can learn so much from them.
To see my full art journey portfolio since starting my training under Colin Bradley, you can find it under: https://www.instagram.com/laura.m.art/