Print Munsell Color Charts at Home

content_image1Color references are often very pricey. In my blog post “Save hundreds on studio equipment!” I showed you how I made my own color charts which in the end can literally save you hundreds of (insert your currency here). And in “Mixing Neutrals” I showed how I made a neutral value scale based on my Munsell color chips from the Munsell Student book.

In the blog post “Munsell 101 for the Artist” I explain the Munsell Color System and how it can help you learn to see and mix colors.

Now I have another way of saving money on color charts – Just print them at home with your inkjet printer!

With the Print@HOME Color Charts package you can print your own color references – based on the Munsell Color System – without spending hundreds of Dollars like professional color charts cost.

And this is in the Package:

  • 40 printable color charts in CMYK color
  • 11 step value scale
  • Color Balance Card for Your Photos
  • Grey Background for Your Glass Palette
  • Instructions how to use the Charts
  • and more…

I hope this will serve you well in your Classical Atelier at Home!

Get me to the Color Charts!

The video below explains all in detail so click the Play button:


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Get the most out of your investment

3 for 1 – Buy one face cast and get three!

I know, plaster casts – expecially the busts – are a very expensive investment. And what if you would like to make two cast drawings with a face?

As a student you don’t really need the decorative aspect that a bust brings but rather serving as a reference to practise. So in the end you need the bust only once and when you are done with your cast drawing you won’t need it anymore.

To get the most out of your investment, why not buying two or more busts at once for the price of one?

“What? Who is selling this?” are you saying?

Instead of drawing from a classical bust which has only one face to draw you can buy reliefs with 2 or 3 faces.

Look at this face of an old man. I know, this guy looks creepy but it serves its purpose very well.

Click the image to buy this at

And what’s with this one? It is one face of a boy and one face of a man plus additional folds to practise.

Click the image to buy this at

While I researched for this blog post about face references to draw from I stumbled across the same vendor who has very good references for figures:

Click the image to buy this at

Click the image to buy this at

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The IKEA HISTORISK Sketch book

They not only have furniture


I often use the HISTORISK Sketch book from IKEA for it has a slightly tinted and smooth paper, which I like very much. IKEA has them in two sizes (20 x 15 cm and 14 x 10 cm). They come in different cover colors and have nice ink illustrations on the front and back and so do the other HISTORISK products.

If you are interested in it, check if your IKEA has it. I don’t know which country has it in the program but I bought me a couple of these just in case they will be discontinued in Germany.


Here are some drawings I did with an HB Faber Castel mechanical pencil and a kneaded eraser. The sphere is from imagination, the bust is a drawing I did around the corner last year. The muscle man is Eugen Sandow – father of Bodybuilding. He presented his body powdered in chalk and posed to look like Greek statues. If you are thinking that you have seen this guy on this blog before you are right. A photograph of him served as my post image for the article “Learning anatomy through Bodybuilding“.

The last is a Bouguereau portrait. Also here I solely worked with the HB Faber Castel mechanical pencil and the kneaded eraser. The lettering was done with a PICMA MICRON 02.

And what is the IKEA pencil good for?

Well, an IKEA pencil is not the best you can use but it fulfills its purpose. Obviously they are meant to be used only once but don’t we all have them at home from our last furniture shopping? The IKEA pencil has a hard lead which is very sharp. One needs to be careful not to scratch the paper or push too hard.

Just for fun I drew this setup with the pencil in the HISTORISK Sketch book the other day:


What I used: a plaster sphere which I sell in my Online Shop, a plain white paper under the sphere, the HISTORISK Sketch book, the free IKEA Pencil, a kneaded eraser and the IKEA NOT lamp with its spot light (not shown on the photo).

Sphere drawing IKEA pencil

Look how shiny the paper has become. The IKEA pencil is simply too hard to get some dark tones on paper. You can try but you will scratch the paper.

Last year I drew a self portrait for fun with this pencil on a regular printer paper. You can tell from my facial expression that I did not really enjoy drawing with it and how it turned out.

Self portrait IKEA pencil

Do you use any IKEA materials for your art? Write me in the comments.

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Learning anatomy through Bodybuilding


Weight training and Bodybuilding play an important role for me as long as I can remember, so I early learned about muscular anatomy through the magazines and my own experience. Bodybuilders and artists have a lot in common – both strive for an aesthetic beauty through painstaking work.

As I wrote in my post about learning anatomy and anatomy apps looking for Bodybuilding sources can be beneficial for your art education.

“A Google search on Bodybuilder or Bodybuilder Anatomy will bring you many, many results from which you can learn from. Bodybuilders have such exagerated muscles and nearly no subcutaneous fat that it is very easy to learn about anatomy from them.”

What you need to know as an artist is not so much the full medical anatomy with the nerve system, cardio-vascular system, intestines ect. but more the anatomy of the superficial muscles and how they act under the skin.

Here is a series of videos by which will show you Anatomy and Biomechanics.

Arms                                                                   Chest


Legs                                                                    Shoulders

Abdominals                                                      Back


In my post about my Écorché figure I posted the sculpting videos by Julian Kohr which served as my reference for my own sculpt. Julian shows every muscle and how it’s situated in the humand body in 34 free videos:

The videos on your screen aren’t close enough for you to see the body’s muscles?

Go visit the Bodyworlds exhibition.
Here is a Google images search for Bodyworlds: << Google images: Bodyworld>>

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Sculpt your own anatomy reference

Joseph Duplessis - Christophe Gabriel Allegrain, Sculptor - WGA06874The classical ateliers also offer – besides drawing and painting classes – sculpting classes where you are taught anatomy either with an écorché figure or a nude figure (see here their Facebook photos with lots of sculpures!).

Écorché simply means flaying/skinning. An écorché figure is a sculpture where the bones and muscles are visible. Here I’ve already talked about some anatomy learning apps for your smart device.

Drawings and paintings are two dimensional representations of a three dimensional reference. Beeing able to make this transfer from three dimensions to a flat surface is the skill you are aiming for in becoming a painter. That’s why you do cast drawings and – in the best case – figure drawings as a preparation for going into colors.

I’ve already shown you how to make your own – and very inexpensive – plaster casts, but now I’m going to talk about how you can make your own reference sculpture without having to buy a large italian marble block and chissels. What you will learn is a three dimensional understanding of form (and patience!). That’s why the painting academies also teach sculpting.


How to start

Today’s materials are superior to those used by the old sculptors – like marble or clay. Marble allows no errors and clay would dry out too fast for a novice sculptor and it has to be baked at temperatures much higher than a regular kitchen oven.

Super Sculpey is an oven curing synthetic clay which you can knead just like putty. After you are finished with your work, you can bake it in the oven so that it gets hard enough for finer improvements like carving details or sanding to a super smooth surface.

After having watched some Youtube videos (see the videos at the end of this post) I started to make a wire skeleton first and then built up an écorché figure.

Now comes the part where the story gets a little complicated for you as a reader but in brief: I made an écorché figure with Super Sculpey. Baked it, made a silicone mold, the figure broke and it looked awful, I made a new figure which is larger.

ecorche figures

From left to right:
1. first figure in Super Sculpey with broken arm
2. first cast with broken hands
3. second figure in Super Sculpey with broken leg
4. perfect cast with Artestone

Super Sculpey has a skin color but in case you’d like to work with a grey clay like I did you can either do it by mixing one part of black FIMO with 20 parts of Super Sculpey or you can use Super Sculpey Firm.

So here are the process pictures of my Super Sculpey 1:6 ecorché figure with skin on its right left side and skinned on its left side:


And this is how it turned out after one week of pure sculpture work and one week for molding/casting:

Anatomy Reference Écorché Figure

Anatomy Reference Écorché Figure


You would like to start now?

Here are the videos I watched prior to my project. Julian Khor’s channel has many many many videos, showing start to finish. You’ll learn a lot about anatomy, since Julian is building his figures from the bones up to every muscle.

Super Sculpey Ecorche Figurine Sculpting-Part 02/34

Unfortunately there is no Part 1 – but here is part one of Julian’s Hercules Ecorche figure:

Go to Julian’s video channel on YouTube: click here

Clay Écorché in 5 minutes:

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