Pencil Kings | Inspiring Artist Interviews with Today's Best Artists








June 2017
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Full show notes at:


Are you looking for a way to learn figure drawing...

but have been put off in the past by scary math formulas and endless anatomy diagrams?

Or perhaps you're just looking for a way to put the fun back into drawing and create sketches full of life and action?

As a teacher with more than 20 years' experience, Mike Mattesi has seen the struggles aspiring artists go through and the hurdles they face.

And that's why he developed Drawing With Force - his own unique method of drawing figures which captures all the dynamism of the human body...without getting all bogged down in the science and technical stuff.

So, if you've been looking for a way to capture movement and form using just the power and beauty of line, we think you'll find this week's interview super interesting...

And the best part? You won't need anything more than the cheapest art materials you can find to get started!

Interview Chapters


Introduction and Career Overview

Your host, Mitch Bowler, introduces today's guest, Mike Mattesi, who gives you an overview of his career as an artist, tutor and senior art director at Zynga games. You'll also find out what Mike decided to develop his Drawing Force method to help other artists.


How did Mike Mattesi Develop his Drawing Force method and get it Published?

Mike Mattesi launched his Drawing Force method 10 years ago, but how did he develop this unique way of drawing and make it accessible to artists of all abilities? In this chapter, you'll learn about how his book came to be published...and the impact it's had upon the lives of artists and art education ever since.


How is Drawing With Force Different to Other Figure Drawing Methods?

Drawing with force is very different to many other figure drawing methods you may have seen. In this chapter, Mike explains what excites him about drawing figures this way...and why using these techniques can really help you understand how the human body works.


Why Mike Believes Making Art Should Always be Fun

One of the key elements of the Drawing Force technique is having fun. In his many years of teaching, Mike observed that students learn best when they feel truly engaged in a subject, so that's exactly what he decided to incorporate in his own techniques.


How Can Drawing With Force Help Animation or Concept Artists?

Mike's Drawing Force methods may seem like they come from a strictly fine art background, but these techniques actually work really well for artists working in all kinds of industries. In this chapter, Mike explains why teaching his students these techniques has helped them go on to have rewarding careers as concept artists, animators, and many more roles.


What do you Need to get Started Using the Drawing Force Method?

Unlike some art programs, you don't need expensive materials to get started with the Drawing Force method. In fact, all you need is a soft, stubby pencil and cheap newsprint paper! In this chapter, Mike explains why he feels the cost of materials is a real issue for many beginner artists, and why he's committed to making art accessible to all.


Why Mike Mattesi Still Loves Figure Drawing More Than Anything Else

Despite having taught for more than 20 years and worked at some of the biggest art and gaming studios, Mike still loves drawing figures more than anything else. So what is it about life drawing that really gets him excited? And how can you take the first steps towards getting that same sense of excitement from making art? Also in this chapter, you'll hear how to take advantage of Mike's exclusive discount for listeners to the Pencil Kings podcast!


Where to Find Mike Online and Learn More About Drawing Force

Mitch wraps up today's interview by letting you know where to find Mike online and learn more about his Drawing Force program. You'll also hear about Evolve - an exciting new art program which you can sign up to and get early access!


Direct download: PK_Episode_142_Michael_Mattesi.mp3
Category:arts -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Shownotes at

To many aspiring artists, Stan Prokopenko, aka Proko, needs no introduction. Already an established artist inn his own right, Proko has built up a huge following on YouTube for his fun and incredibly useful tutorial videos which show people how to draw figures and anatomy.

In this inspiring interview, we discuss the reasons WHY you make art and do our best to tackle any hurdles that might be holding you back. You'll hear about Proko's background as an artist and teacher, and why even an experienced artist like him never ever stops learning.

You'll also hear his thoughts on the future of online education, and how technology could present all kinds of exciting opportunities for artists in the very near future.

And, as if that wasn't enough, there's a coupon code at the end of this podcast that gets you 20% off everything on Proko's site!

Interview Chapters:

Introduction (00:00-02:27)

Mitch introduces today's guest, Stan Prokopenko, who gives a quick overview of his art career and what inspires him.

How Does Proko Help Artists Who Get Stuck? (02:27-08:41)

Proko has attracted a huge following on YouTube thanks to his fun yet detailed art tutorials which help people learn the skills necessary to progress as an artist. But what are the main sticking points he comes across time and time again?

And how can aspiring artists get past these and start getting the results they're really looking for? In this chapter, Proko reveals why cross-training is the key to developing your creative skills...and why even he finds himself struggling with what direction to take his art in next.

What is Proko's Reason Why? (10:24-12:22)

It's always fascinating to hear an established artist talk about their own creativity. And, in this chapter, Proko reveals the soul-searching he's had to do as a creative to get the best results from his own art.

What Would Proko's Advice to his Younger Self be? (16:05-18:20)

Proko has been making and studying art since he was a kid, but what would he do differently if he could go back in time? In this chapter, he looks at his own art journey and reveals some fascinating insights into the areas of art he wishes he'd devoted more time to.

What was Proko's own art Education like? (18:33-19:47)

These days, Proko is a highly respected art teacher and educator, but what was his own experience of art school like? In this chapter, Proko looks back on his school days and reveals how his interest in several different areas helped him develop his own unique style as an artist and inform his teaching methods.

Did Proko Learn Art Purely by Observation? (20:39-25:08)

Some artists learn by drawing from observation, while other draw from their imagination. So how did Proko learn his art skills? And what advice does he have for people just starting out as artists?

What Can People Learn on Proko's New Caricature Drawing Course? (27:51-37:29)

Proko's latest course, a collaboration with artist Court Jones, aims to help aspiring caricature artists achieve a true likeness of their subjects while exaggerating their features as much as possible. Find out more about the exciting teaching methods used in this course in this chapter.

What Will Art Education Look Like in 5 Years' Time? (38:36-44:25)

What does the future look like for online art education? In this chapter, Proko talks about recent developments in technology and how innovations such as virtual reality could transform the way we learn art and other subjects.

Conclusion (45:18-46:48)

Where can you find Proko online and take advantage of his special Pencil Kings promo code to get 20% off all his products? You'll find out in this final chapter.....

Direct download: PK_Episode_134_Stan_Prokopenko.mp3
Category:arts -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

It's one thing to create a beautiful work of art that's rendered to perfection, but it's an entirely different challenge to express complex ideas with your art.

Today we talk with Dorian Vallejo and explore how he approaches his paintings and the thought process that goes into applying deeper meaning to your art.

We'll also touch on why being comfortable in a career can hold you back, and what it really means to live a fully-engaged life as an artist.

Direct download: PK_Episode_108_Dorian_Vallejo.mp3
Category:art -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Today we break down the path that artist and illustrator Cale took to get his freelance career off the ground.

One of the things you'll learn is just how far Cale is willing to go to make sure that his work is always getting into the hands of the right people.

He even tells the stories of how many times he's been rejected and why he sees those as a badge of honor instead of being disappointed.

Direct download: PK_Episode_090_Cale_Atkinson.mp3
Category:art -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Jon deMartin has spent the last 20 years exploring figure drawing and he's just released a book on how to draw figures using the same techniques as the classical artists.

In this episode you'll learn about Jon's approach to figure drawing and how it's much different than the path most people take.

Direct download: PK_Episode_077_Jon_deMartin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Today's story is extremely inspiring and shows you just how far you can take an opportunity when you really go for it.  

Direct download: PK_Episode_062_Dane_Hallett.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Michael Grills talks about finding bliss as an artist and how he discovered his fresh new art style.

Direct download: PK_Episode_012_Mike_Grills.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Andrew Sides has been exploring taking his art to a whole new audience with the help of 3D printing.

Direct download: PK_Episode_008_Andrew_Dinosaurs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Darren Yeow talks about his successful Kickstarter launch where he created a new kind of shoulder bag built specifically for artists.

Direct download: PK_Episode_007_Darren_Kickstarter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Lazaro Ruiz enlightens us on what it's like to be a toy designer and the steps you should take if you want to create your own toys.

Direct download: PK_Episode_006_Lazaro_Toys.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT