The Contemporary Master of Drawing

In addition to being my very favorite pencil artist, Mike Sibley is internationally respected as a professional artist, art educator, author, and the master of graphite pencil drawing techniques. Most of all, I love discovering meticulously-created visual clues that tell me stories about the subjects of his drawings.


Mike enthusiastically shares his wealth of knowledge with aspiring artists all over the world. In his own words:

When I first began my art career, I was often astonished to find more experienced artists treating every technique as a “trade secret” and divulging little. I determined at that time not to emulate them but to be free with encouragement and advice.

Why should I expect less-experienced artists to have to learn those lessons the hard way, when I can provide short-cuts from my own experience? I can’t think of a single reason. And little gives me more pleasure than to see a novice artist take a giant step forward.  


My aim in my work is to emphasize character, tell a story, and display the intricacies of the subject’s creation by suggesting a sense of reality, while maintaining the feel of a hand-drawn work of art.


Realism in drawing brings out the Sherlock Holmes in you. No longer can you walk down a country lane without observing the variety of leaves and the insect life that lives upon them. You notice the way ivy clings to tree bark and the upturned wingtips of the crows that fly overhead.

Even in your own home, you can’t help studying the myriad patterns of reflected light that appear on your shiny kettle or toaster. I feel compelled to display even the smallest detail to viewers of my work, as if to say, “Do you see this? Do you really see this? Isn’t it beautiful, this marvel of Nature?” And, if I feel that just one person has finally been encouraged to “see” instead of look, I have done my job.


Mike teaches online classes for students of all levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Check back often to find out when new classes are accepting registrations.

You can view more of Mike’s work at:

About Brenda Hoddinott
Award-winning artist and author; illustrator, art educator, curriculum designer, co-owner of, owner of Drawspace Publishing, and retired forensic artist Brenda has developed art curricula and taught multidisciplinary arts since 1980. During her 25-year career as a forensic artist, Brenda worked with diverse criminal investigative agencies including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Department of National Defense, private investigative agencies, and municipal police departments. Brenda and her partner John live in the suburbs of Halifax, Nova Scotia with their two SPCA rescue dogs: Timber the Huskador and Katie the Pitweiler. Their blended human family includes five adult children and two grandchildren. Books by Brenda Hoddinott include: 2012: Introduction to Contour Lines (Drawspace Publishing) 2012: Introduction to Drawing (Drawspace Publishing) 2011: Illustrated Dictionary of Art-Related Terms (Drawspace Publishing) 2010: Getting Started with Drawing (Drawspace Publishing) 2004: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Drawing People Illustrated (Alpha Books) 2003: Drawing for Dummies (Wiley Publishing, Inc.)

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