November Artist Interview — Ursula Doughty

Meet Ursala Doughty, a self-taught artist based in Austria, Europe, who enjoys using Arteza Colored Pencils to create her hyper-realistic, yet whimsical, animal drawings. Ursula started drawing as a schoolgirl. Her biggest breakthrough as an artist came when she started posting her work on Instagram. Ursula loves watching her drawings come alive and believes the process of drawing, from the idea to the sketch and the final drawing, can be magical. Read more about what inspires Ursula and her journey as an artist.

- Hi, Ursula! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Ursula Doughty and I am a self-taught artist based in Austria, Europe. I'm 39 years old and the mother of two kids.

I started drawing when I was young and always enjoyed it. I remember annoying my teachers at high school by coloring my school desk (instead of learning). I'm sure my creativity is inherited as my mom used to teach art courses and my kids love drawing as well.

- What is your main media and why?

I started drawing with pencils and did a lot of black and white drawings — mainly Disney themed as I love to watch Walt Disney movies with my kids. But soon I went over to colored pencils and today I mainly draw in colors.

- How long ago did you start drawing? Do you have a story behind it?

I started drawing on a regular basis when I moved to Vienna about 13 years ago. I did some art auctions and vernissages but it was very hard to reach people and spread art at that time. So my biggest breakthrough as an artist was when I discovered Instagram and started to post my work online 5 years ago.

- Where do you find inspiration?

The Internet (especially Instagram and Pinterest) is a great help for inspiration and also for beginners to learn how to draw. I learned a lot by just looking at drawings and trying new skills. But the most important part is the daily practice.

- What do you like about drawing on music sheets?

The idea of drawing on music sheets was born one night at work. I am a teacher working at a boarding school with an Austrian boy's choir. I'm always surrounded by sheet music. During a night shift, I started drawing on a sonata (I don't remember whether it was Beethoven, Mozart, or Bach) to keep me awake.

- How did the idea of reimaging of the Starbucks logo come to you?

The idea of reimaging the Starbucks logo, for instance, was born on a train ride to Vienna (together with my daughter) where I enjoyed Starbucks coffee. I always have a pencil in my bag but I had no paper so I started drawing on my cup.

- What do you find the most challenging about the creative process?

For me, the most challenging about the creative process is to see a drawing come alive. The whole process from the idea to the sketch and the final drawing can be magical (as well as frustrating).

- Tell us a little secret - what artists should know if they want to draw a very look-alike character?

Accepting failures and taking breaks can be helpful especially when you learn to draw realistic art and very look-alike characters (like Walt Disney characters everybody knows). I definitely recommend coloring pages to learn techniques like shading and blending, as the results are often more motivating.

- What advice can you give to beginner artists?

My advice for beginner artists is practice daily (15 minutes a day might be enough to improve) and don't just copy the work of other artists. Always try to make it yours even if you just slightly change it. And try to find inspiration in your daily life as well (although the Internet offers a massive amount of artwork).

It's important to keep the focus on one step after the other. Lightboxes, transfer sheets, and grid techniques can help beginners to hit the proportions. The more you draw the more you train your eyes and your spatial perception and you soon won't need aid tools anymore.

- How often do you use Arteza?

I draw with Arteza products daily. I really enjoy working with the Arteza colored pencils as they combine smoothness with the ability to draw little details, where I needed to use different brands and products before.

- Favorite Arteza product and why?

My current favorite Arteza product is EverBlend Art Markers . The colors are very intense and I love to experience and get to know this art supply better.

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