Blog

These articles are linking to Sophie’s main blog on sophieploeg.com.

When you click an article you will be taken there. Enjoy the read and do not hesitate to leave a comment or ask a question!

  • Art School Critiques: Do They Help?
    by Sophie on December 14, 2020 at 11:30

    Many art schools use art critiques as an important part of their teaching. And I am sure it works very well in that context. But in my online art school I don’t offer critiques and I’d like to explain why. I believe that in an online situation and with many complete beginners in art attending, The post Art School Critiques: Do They Help? appeared first on Sophie Ploeg.

  • How to Paint a Portrait in Oils
    by Sophie on October 26, 2020 at 12:21

    Painting a portrait in oils can seem daunting but if you follow a thorough method you will avoid many pitfalls. Below I set out my process of painting a portrait in oils, from meeting your model, to the first sketches and the final marks. Positioning Your Model First things first; you need a model and The post How to Paint a Portrait in Oils appeared first on Sophie Ploeg.

  • A Mayor Commission
    by Sophie on September 26, 2020 at 14:00

    Recently I was commissioned to paint a formal portrait of Cllr Harry Bramer – then Mayor of Ross-on-Wye. Of course I was delighted with such a treat. To paint a large oil portrait like this takes time (and paint) and a few sittings, but we are both very pleased with the results. In order to The post A Mayor Commission appeared first on Sophie Ploeg.

  • NHS Heroes Portrait
    by Sophie on September 7, 2020 at 15:11

    Early this year we were all shocked by the spreading pandemic. Many of us were put into some form of lockdown, which meant we were staying at home, not going out, not going to work, except for essentials like food and medicine. Everyone’s world turned upside down. For many it was a complete change of The post NHS Heroes Portrait appeared first on Sophie Ploeg.

  • Tudor Inspiration: Pregnancy Portraits and the Boleyn Canopy
    by Sophie on September 6, 2020 at 09:15

    The Long WaitI have been intrigued by the portraits of pregnant women, such as the ones painted by Marcus Gheeraerts. Pregnancy is nowadays a much more private affair, but the wonder of new life has hopefully not changed. There is a stunning portrait of an unknown lady by Gheeraerts in which her face is depicted The post Tudor Inspiration: Pregnancy Portraits and the Boleyn Canopy appeared first on Sophie Ploeg.

  • Seeing your Art with Fresh Eyes
    by Sophie on August 31, 2020 at 18:38

    So often we think that learning new techniques, getting new (and better) materials and signing up to the next course will help us get better at our art. And hopefully some if it will help. I sure hope my courses are helping out my students. But increasingly I realise that so much of it comes The post Seeing your Art with Fresh Eyes appeared first on Sophie Ploeg.

  • Painting And Parenting
    by Sophie on August 21, 2020 at 10:57

    There are so many people (I mean women artists) asking me this. “How do you do it?” "How do you combine your art with taking care of the children?" Many of them are at their wits end and fearing they will never see a paint brush again. I don’t know why they think I I’ve The post Painting And Parenting appeared first on Sophie Ploeg.

  • Sophie’s Art School End of Year Show 2020
    by Sophie on August 2, 2020 at 08:54

    I am proud to present the End of Year Show 2020 of Sophie's Art School! Our school is an online school and so our end of year show is an online event as well. Please scroll down below to enjoy the fantastic art works created by the students in the past year.  Each student was The post Sophie’s Art School End of Year Show 2020 appeared first on Sophie Ploeg.

  • Painting Techniques are your Toolbox to Create your Vision
    by Sophie on July 15, 2020 at 10:46

    I never considered painting to consist of separate different skills until I started teaching. Not that I missed knowing about them. I was applying lots of different techniques and methods without realising it. I still struggle seeing painting as a set of different, and separate techniques. I have said it so often, painting is not The post Painting Techniques are your Toolbox to Create your Vision appeared first on Sophie Ploeg.

  • How to Paint with Soft Pastel
    by Sophie on June 20, 2020 at 07:10

    Soft pastel is one of the most exciting and versatile painting mediums I know. It has a long history of varying popularity but pastel is here to stay. Pastel societies around the world have sprung up and remain popular. Professional and hobby artists enjoy soft pastel for its unique looks and application methods. But some The post How to Paint with Soft Pastel appeared first on Sophie Ploeg.