Claire Osborne in the studio

Claire Osborne in the studio

Claire has always loved art and creativity, but it was only in her 40’s that she finally had the time and space in her life to follow her artistic dream.

Claire is a graduate of the Complete Online Drawing Course mentored by DrawPj instructor Tannis Trydal.

I asked Claire to chat with me about how she got started, her artworks, her DrawPj experience and plans for the future. Here’s what Claire had to say.

Interview with Claire Osborne by Cindy Wider

Tico by Claire Osborne

“Tico” by Claire Osborne from reference by Janruss

Where it all Started

Q. Hi Claire, please can you tell us a little about yourself and where you are from.

A. I am originally from Winnipeg, Canada. I always really enjoyed art/drawing and anything crafty as a child. That is pretty much as far as it went. I never studied art or even did anything art related after probably age 10 until I started back in my late 40’s. It was then that I found myself in a place in my life where I indulge that childhood love. The passion to be an artist though has been with me for as long as I can remember.

I live in Statham, GA which is essentially Athens. Athens is home to the University of Georgia. It is a wonderful college town with so much emphasis on the arts, truly an awesome place to live. Athens is about about 75 miles from Atlanta. Aside from art my husband and I enjoy socializing with our friends and neighbors. I also love exercising, reading and most of all traveling.

After the Dance by Claire Osborne

“After the Dance” by Claire Osborne

Q. Claire, what you are doing in your life right now with your drawings?

A. I have been increasingly taking my art to the next level professionally, entering more competitions (watercolor so far, but perhaps soon with drawings as well.) I now have gallery representation for my paintings which is such an honor and accomplishment for me.

The other most rewarding things about becoming an artist is that it has allowed me to fulfil my other passion which is supporting the work of animal welfare charities and anti-cruelty/humane organizations. With every work sold I donate a portion of my proceeds.

Q. When did you first seriously decide you wanted to draw and what was your motivation?

A. I have always had this lifelong desire to really learn, once and for all, how to really draw properly. I had been dabbling at that in a very inconsistent way and was so frustrated because some of the free online drawing videos only demonstrate how to draw an individual object such as a rose, but the correct approach is learning the fundamentals which is the foundation that teaches one how to approach drawing anything. Then I hit gold two years ago when I discovered DrawPJ.

Pumpkin Mania by Claire Osborne from photo by Joanne Gustilo

“Pumpkin Mania” by Claire Osborne from reference by Kathleen Dallara

Discovering DrawPj

Q. How did you discover DrawPj.com?

A. I discovered DrawPj while I was doing an internet search on “best online drawing courses”.

Q. How would you rate your drawing and art skills before you began studying?

A. I would rate my drawing skills as beginner though I already had a bit of theoretical knowledge about graphite and shading principles.

Temptation by Claire Osborne from photo by Coralie Swaney

“Temptation” by Claire Osborne from reference by Coralie Swaney

Q. When you started my course you created a pre-instruction drawing. What do you think when you look at that drawing now?

A. I am absolutely amazed at how far my drawing skills have advanced. Stunned really.

Claire’s Style

Q. What kind of artworks are you creating now?

A. Watercolor paintings will always be my main focus, but now that I have learned so much from DrawPj and have advanced my skills with the dry mediums of graphite and charcoal, I am definitely planning to incorporate more of these into my body of work. My favorite subject matter to paint is transparent and reflective objects though I am also captivated by painting nature.

Heard it Thru by Claire Osborne from photo by June Irwin

“Heard it Thru” by Claire Osborne from reference by June Irwin

Q. How would you describe your drawing style?

A. I’d describe my drawing style as expressive realism.

Claire’s Favourites

Q. What’s your favourite drawing that you’ve created?

A. My favorite drawing is the one I’m currently working on… my most challenging to date – a portrait in charcoal. This felt like a major accomplishment as portraiture is undoubtedly the most difficult subject matter. My other favorite drawing is the one of the ballet slippers. I still marvel at how I was able to render the satin slippers to gleam and all their folds and creases along with the delicate ribbon ties.

"Lily" in-progress images by Claire Osborne from photo by Russ Bridges

“Lily” in-progress images by Claire Osborne from reference by Russ Bridges

Q. What’s your favourite piece of drawing equipment?

A. My favorite piece of drawing equipment is the kneaded eraser. It’s amazing what effects can be created by removing graphite and charcoal. For instance the kneaded eraser can dab out cloud shapes or create very fine lines such as grass blades or whiskers. It is drawing using the subtraction method. Pretty handy for mistakes too haha!

Q. What kind of pencils and paper do you prefer?

A. I have been very pleased with the Derwent pencils that you recommend. For graphite work I like Arches HP, Canson Bristol Smooth and L’Aquarelle Canson Heritage. For charcoal the Canson Mi-teintes paper.

Shelf Life by Claire Osborne from photo by Shawn

“Shelf Life” by Claire Osborne from reference by Shawn

Studying with DrawPj

Q. How did the DrawPj course help you to achieve the standard of artworks that you are creating now?

A. There is no question that DrawPj and my drawing mentor Tannis Trydal have not only taught me all the basics, but has accelerated my skills in a way I am quite sure I wouldn’t have learned on my own or if I had, it would have been a far longer process for sure. The reason is that with having a mentor, a student gets constant feedback and recommendations for improvement. It is truly like having a second set of fresh eyes, but those instructor’s eyes (unlike the student’s) have years and years of experience and laser-like focus on what is correct and what is wrong. Invaluable.

Q. What’s been your favourite thing about studying with DrawPj?

A. Without a doubt my favorite thing is having constant access to my wonderful drawing mentor and also help from you yourself. You’ve generously and consistently commented on students’ posted work in the DrawPj FB groups, offering tips, guidance and making helpful suggestions. I always see that you’re also very active on a daily basis in all your FB groups.

Opening Day by Claire Osborne from photo by Joanne Gustilo

“Opening Day” by Claire Osborne from reference by Joanne Gustilo

Q. Is there a lesson or word of wisdom that you’ve learned from the instructor team, the course or myself that has been particularly helpful to you?

A: Yes! Two things: believe in yourself and practice, practice, practice!!! Show up at the (drawing) table consistently and no question there will be improvement.

Claire’s Drawing Super Power

Q. If you were a drawing superhero what would your special drawing super-power be?

A. Ha! well I’m not up on superheroes, but I think I’d draw a super-hero who would brandish a brush or pencil as not a weapon, but as a way of creating beauty everywhere in the world. Painting the imaginary with the ability to make those drawings and paintings then come alive.

Fifty Shades of Flamingo by Claire Osborne from photo by Cindy Fry

“Fifty Shades of Flamingo” by Claire Osborne from reference by Cindy Fry

Advice for Beginner Artists

Q. What words of advice would you give to a beginner student who is just starting out?

A. You are capable of more than you may believe. Drawing isn’t an inherent talent as many people think. It is a learned skill honed with practice.

Claire’s Plans for the Future

Q. What are your plans for your drawing and art in the future?

A. First and foremost I always paint and draw for my own pleasure. I have done and will continue to do commissions on a limited basis. I really like to do my own thing by setting personal challenges for myself in terms of subject matter and genre. Definitely will pursue entering more competitions though. In reality it is all about competing against myself. There is no better feeling in the world than self satisfaction in one’s own abilities…to sit back and say “I created that…WOW”!!

More from Claire

Q. Where can we see more of your drawings and artwork?

More about the DrawPj Mentoring Program

Find out more here or just contact us.