Be sure to check out his website mydrawingtutorials.com
Tell us about yourself
My name is Ethan and I'm just a regular guy who likes to draw. I've been doing it since I was a kid, but I had to give it up for a long time ever since I got older. When I finally decided to get back into
it, I pretty much had to start from square one all over again. I went through a ton of courses and books and practise a lot. It took me a long time.
I'm still not the best artist in the world. Not by far :-)
But I feel like the fact that I had to learn all this stuff from scratch helps give me a lot of insight into the things that beginning artist really struggles with.
What inspired you to set up my drawing tutorials?
When I was learning, I was very frustrated with the lack of really good instructions out there. It was very hard to me to find really good, simple instructions to teach me what I need to know.
And so now I just want to share what I learnt with other people who might be struggling like I was.
I think a lot of art teachers are so skilled for so long that they forget what it's like to be a beginner and NOT know how to do something. So there's a lot of tendency to say, "Just do this..." or be really vague about their instructions.
Ironically, the fact that I'm not a great artist makes me a better teacher for beginning and intermediate artists, because I can relate more to the things they are struggling with.
Creating these videos and working on the website has been a really fun hobby. I love reading all the comments and emails and hearing that people are actually benefiting from the contents that I'm putting out.
What is the biggest difficulty you have faced with MyDrawingTutorials?
At first it was dealing with all the technical issues of setting up a website. But now, my main challenge is to find other teachers to help me create the lessons.
My goal is to make MyDrawingTutorials.com the go-to place for anyone who wants to learn how to draw and paint. But to do that, I need the help of other artist.
I know that my expertise is limited and there are areas of art (painting, for example) that I just can't teach every well.
But I've been finding it very difficult to find teachers who meet my standards. There are many extremely talented artist out there, but no many who can really break down how to do what they do into simple, easy to understand, instructions.
What makes a really good tutorial?
I think to make a good tutorial, the you have to always keep the student in mind. You have to really know the student and anticipate what questions and sticking points he or she might have an address them.
And also, you have to really understand the subject matter inside and out so you can really explain it clearly.
And lastly, you have to combine theory with practise. After you talk about the theory and techniques, you have to give the student clear instructions on how to practise and apply what they just learn.
Otherwise, no learning will take place.
A lot of books and videos out there is missing this last element, I think.
What has been your favourite tutorial so far?
My favourite tutorials so far is the "Hard Edge VS Soft Edge" video:
...and the "Drawing Exercise" video:
I'm really like these tutorials because they share a small tip or trick that is simple but gives the viewer a big improvement.
Where do you feel most amateur artists struggle most?
I think most beginner artists make the mistake of being too hard on themselves and being afraid to make mistake.
I know I made this mistake when I was learning. You get down on yourself and feel like you'll never get better and so you become discourage and stop practising.
Or you compare your work with other better artist and feel like you just don't have what it takes to be good like them.
That kind of mentality can really hurt your growth. Not just with art, but what everything in life.
And I think many people (myself included) are really guilty of this.
What do you recommend to help artists improve their work?
Be easier on yourself and give yourself permission to make mistakes. I think this is the key. Make mistakes. A lots of it.
You can not learn, you can not improve without mistakes.
The best artists in the world are the one who have made the most mistakes. Always.
Do you get any requests for tutorials?
I do get a lot of request and I try to accommodate them as best I can. But I'm so busy with so many things I that I can't get to them all.
That's another reason why I really want to find a teacher I can trust to help me create lessons.
How much art do you personally do?
I try to do a sketch here and there, but I've been so busy with working on the site that I don't have much time for drawing anymore. Other than when I draw to make a tutorial of course.
But to be honest, I don't mind all that much. Building this website and this community is sort of my creative outlet right now.
Have you got anything major in the works?
I am working on creating a course on figure drawing right now and hope to release it in March or April of 2013.
After that, I would like to create more courses and more free video lessons.
Finally is there anything you wish to promote?
If you are interested in learning how to draw or paint, you should join my free drawing newsletter. Just go to http://mydrawingtutorials.com/portrait-drawing-opt-in and enter your email into the new page.
Once you join, you get access to a series of free tutorials that will show you how to draw a realistic portrait step-by-step.
In addition, you'll also be updated on any new lessons that I come out with.