Why is the Mona Lisa so Famous? And what is the big deal with it?

We paid a visit to the Louvre today and of course braved the crowds in the room that houses the Mona Lisa. For many people seeing this painting is a bucket list item but when they get to see it you can tell they are slightly disappointed. Not every one of course but you can sense they walk out wondering why is Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa considered to be one of the greatest portraits of all time? It is a global icon with rock star status that has been endlessly studied, copied, and parodied. But when many people see this small …

Free drawing lessons from the great master Hokusai

Katsushika Hokusai is well known for his iconic Great Wave off Kanagawa. He was a master in the true sense of the word. Hokusai also produced a three-volume series of books of drawing lessons. These are now online free. The title has been translated as Quick Lessons in Simplified Drawing. These books neatly demonstrate how drawing is taught today too! For instance, if you have ever done any basic drawing classes, you have probably been asked to draw a sphere, a cube, and a cone. It is a drawing exercise that many courses start out with. The idea is that many things …

A Egon Schiele sketch that rocked me to the core

When Austrian painter Egon Schiele died at 28, he left behind 3,000 drawings and more than 300 paintings. Schiele has been described as major figurative painter of the early 20th century but that is not what I shall talk about today. After my attempts at doing the the #OneWeek100People2018 challenge I have been thinking a lot about sketching people and about sketches of people I have seen that really moved me. I thought today I would share a sketch that rocked me to the core. I saw this image at the National Gallery, London in 2013 at an exhibition titled …