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Bring your sketchbooks and sharpen your pencils for this demonstration! Local Camas artist and Guild member, Ariel, will be giving a tutorial on how to draw the human body at the general Guild Meeting on January 23rd. She describes her presentation below:

"Human anatomy is a core skill for any artist, even for those that don't create representational art. Knowing how the body works and moves is an important core skill, just like knowing the elements of art. I'm going to take members through the basics, including common mistakes, how to avoid them, and some valuable resources for poses."

Ariel has a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts with a minor in Art History from Pacific University. She got her start in traditional pencils and inks, but now spends a lot of her time with digital art.

We hope to see you there!

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As an artist, you will often be required to submit your artwork online. Since it is the first and perhaps only impression the juries will see, it is important that it is an accurate representation of your work.

I would like to share with you the process and lighting setup of using an actual camera as well as using natural lighting with your phone camera to achieve the best results.

Digital Camera

  1. Position artwork parallel to your camera.

  2. Use a tripod.

  3. f you are photographing art that is already framed behind glass, you will need to angle the light source to minimize glare as well as diffuse light with a diffusion fabric. It is best to photograph art before framing if possible.

  4. Properly Light your artwork.

Equipment: 2 lamps or bulbs, stands, clamps, diffusion fabric, tripod, and camera.

You can purchase inexpensive lights housed in a bracket that has a built-in clamp at Home Depot or Lowes. You can use any type of white fabric as diffusion, pillowcase works great. The idea is to just soften the light to prevent glare, especially when photographing canvas.

A) Artificial Light – You can use lamps or strobes. Do not use flash.

Use Daylight Bulbs if you can. As they are the most natural spectrum, this is important because you don’t want the temperature of the light to affect the colors in your artwork.


Place the 2 lights on separate stands at a 45degree angle from the artwork you are photographing. One on each side with your camera in the center of the two lights. Place diffusion material over the front of the bulbs (careful not to place it directly on the


Camera Settings:

  1. Be sure your camera is set to an ISO of 100 as this will allow the proper sensitivity of light entering the camera's light sensor and will not become grainy, or pixilated. If you use a high ISO you will have a pixilated image.

  2. When photographing on manual mode you want to adjust the f-stop or aperture, of your DSLR camera. This controls the amount of light the lens lets into the camera’s light sensor. Typically an aperture of f8-f10 will create the sharpest image.

  3. The sharpness of the image is directly related to too wide of an aperture and camera shake. Camera shake can be avoided by using a tripod and setting your camera’s timer to four or five seconds so that when you press the shutter button it doesn’t cause a shake in your image. The aperture should not be open farther than an f8 or some of the elements in the image will become blurred, this is known as depth of field. If you’re photographing with your camera on auto just be sure you don’t have any of the filters on as they can interfere with your artwork colors.

  4. Position the camera on the tripod to ensure maximum sharpness. Make sure that your camera is parallel to the artwork. The lens should be aimed in the center of the artwork. Use all focus points/autofocus.

  5. Be sure to fill the entire frame with your image. This will avoid unnecessary editing and too much cropping, which will change pixels size in your image, sometimes rendering it too small to print or display properly.

5. Avoid Keystone Angles. This skews the image. Hold the camera straight and parallel to the image.

6. Photographing 3D or Sculpture Artwork.

7. Select a neutral background. Make a background with a curved piece of paper taped to a wall. Place the sculpture on top of the paper to photograph. This will isolate the object from distractions of a horizontal line from the wall or unwanted textures.

B) Natural Light

Equipment: Diffused light inside, open shade outside. Camera/Tripod

  1. When photographing inside with natural light, select a room with lots of window light, and if you have blinds that diffuse the light these work really well. However, don’t close the blinds or curtains if they block the light entirely and darken the room. Face the artwork toward the window light and place your camera between the window and your artwork. Avoid direct sunlight on art

  2. Turn off any fluorescent and incandescent lighting, as this will cause a blue or yellow tint respectively.

  3. Photographing in outdoor light is an option. Just be sure to find a spot that is not windy.

  4. Avoid direct sunlight as it causes too much contrast and creates unwanted shadows.

  5. Open shade is the best. Open shade is found anywhere you find shade, but the sun is still present around you. For example a covered patio or deck, a deep door well, an umbrella (just be careful if it is colored as you will get color cast onto your artwork.) between buildings, etc. Just be aware of going into a total deep shade with no surrounding light as this will cause the temperature of the light to be much cooler.

  6. The sunlight should be behind you if you are unable to find open shade.

  7. Avoid dappled light.


  1. Hang art on the wall inside of a room with good window light.

  2. Turn off incandescent and fluorescent lighting, as this will cause a yellow or blue color cast respectively.

  3. Use a tripod if you have one

  4. Position artwork parallel to your camera phone.

  5. Use the Grid on your Camera A) Camera Settings: Launch Settings-Switch Grid On-Close Settings-Open camera app.

  6. On the viewfinder, you will see two crosshairs (yellow and white), if you are not level with the image angle. Adjust until you see only one yellow crosshair. If the edges are curved you will need to move farther away from the artwork.

  7. Take multiple images. Also, turn Live off.

  8. Crop image

A) Edit-Crop (icon)-straighten-pull corners-done

Additional Editing. It is not advisable to edit with any type of a filter when photographing your artwork as it will not be an authentic representation of your work. However, it may be necessary to slightly boost contrast or exposure or sharpen an image without changing it’s integrity. You can use an app like Adobe Lightroom or just use the settings for these small tweaks on your phone's camera settings. Be very light-handed, you don’t want someone to be disappointed when they see your actual work and it doesn’t match your digital image.

9. Avoid Keystone Angles as this skews the image. Hold phone straight and parallel to artwork.

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Do you feel like your art processes are too routine; like the wheels are just spinning around without direction? Perhaps some contemplative planning is just what you need.

Try this four-step process for thoughtful ART planning for the season ahead!

STEP ONE: Create a master calendar for 2022 and consider all your current obligations; review possibilities. Dream. Imagine. Think differently than you have in the past.

STEP TWO: Make a commitment to new focus projects. Select up to three focus projects to undertake over the next several months.

STEP THREE: Start planning your first focus project by thinking through all of the details of the plan. How will you implement it? If it requires marketing, create an advertising plan to get exposure, (either through social media, free earned media, and/or other forms of advertising). Treat the focus project like a business plan; chart what you expect to spend monetarily, how much time resource you will invest, and what income you may possibly derive from it. Repeat for each focus project.

STEP FOUR: Draft a plan from start to finish to successfully implement each of your new focus projects. Be sure to include all the details. Review, refine and then execute!


Organize a specialty art class, plan a Plein air event with other artists at your home or some other location, apply to participate in an art festival that’s new to you, and explore a new art medium. Take a class to learn new techniques in your chosen medium.

Remember to dream, breathe, and then dream some more. Put your dreams into action. Hold yourself accountable to your dreams!

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