Scott came to DrawPj and my courses having already attended art courses at a community college, but felt that his art skills were missing something, and that his drawings lacked depth and interest. He needed something that provided structure and feedback to improve and that’s when he discovered my courses.
I asked Scott to chat with me about how he got started, his artworks, DrawPj experience and plans for the future. Here’s what Scott had to say.
Interview with Scott Kunkle by Cindy Wider
Q. Hi Scott, please can you Tell us a little about yourself and where you are from.
A. I was born in Western Pennsylvania and shortly after moved to the Florida Gulf coast. I would draw off and on and did some painting, influenced by my mother who also liked oil and watercolor painting. My father did architectural drawing and wood working/bird carving in his free time. I took art classes in high school and continued to draw now and then. I decided to enroll in art courses at the community college, but later transferred to Trinity Bible College.
My wife and I live in rural Western North Carolina surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. I enjoy being able to go fly fishing or taking our dog for walks. I’m retired from the school system where I worked as a high school counselor. Presently, Annie our elderly 14 year old Airedale terrier keeps my attention.
Where it all Started
Q. So Scott, when did you first seriously decide you wanted to draw and what was your motivation?
A. I was always interested in art and drawing but would plateau and quit. Theres a verse in the book of proverbs that says: ‘If a person chops wood with a dull ax, it takes more time and is more difficult”.
I already had enough college to last the rest of my life and was looking for specific instruction. I was at a point personally and artistically where I was ready to explore what else I could learn to improve my skills. I found DrawPj online and contacted you by email and started your course back in 2000.
Q. How would you rate your drawing and art skills before you began studying with DrawPj?
A. My art skill was missing something but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I could draw ok and had some abilities but lacked depth and interest. I needed something that provided structure and feedback to identify and improve not just weaknesses, but also improve the strengths I already had.
The pre-instruction drawing helps to confirm the course was necessary if I was going to improve my drawing skill, or just keep using dull tools. It was a worthwhile choice and I enjoyed the positive model you provided.
What’s Scott Creating Now?
Q. What kind of artworks are you creating now?
A. I eventually moved into pastels after discovering that I had a natural ability for that medium. The DrawPj class was given an assignment to draw a self portrait and I realized I liked the medium of charcoal which later grew into pastel. Also, I like the wide variety of available colors that I don’t have to mix. I’ve painted over 30 dogs and several commissioned acrylic paintings.
“Pursuit of Faith” was a commission finished in November of last year. It’s hanging in the lobby of the Bethel Colony Women’s Campus where the women will be checking in when they first arrive.
I’m presently painting in brighter pastel colors of pets, in a semi-realistic style. Also, I like portraiture work which I have 3 planned for the first half of this year. I like something about most of the drawings and paintings I’ve done but recently my neighbor’s black lab in pastel. I like the bright colors and capturing shapes and facial features seems to reveal what I’m trying to convey and have learned up to this point in time.
Q. What’s your favourite piece of drawing equipment?
A. I continually keep changing my drawing boards but have recently modified it again by making it more portable to hold pencils, catch dust, being lightweight and durable. My dog isn’t physically able to go downstairs so I draw/paint upstairs while she lies on the couch. She’s also my reference for eyes or other details if needed.
Q. What kind of pencils and paper do you prefer?
A. I like Sennelier, Great American and Blue Earth pastels and Stabillo Carbothello pastel pencils. In graphite, I like clutch pencils because of the incredible detail and control they can provide.
I like UART paper because of its surface consistency, durability and reliable paper quality. I mount the paper on aluminium panels or foam board.
Studying with DrawPj
Q. How did DrawPj and my courses help you to achieve the standard of artworks that you are creating now?
A. The DrawPj course helped to establish a foundation (knowledge) and direction which helped to create the confidence that I needed to keep being creative in a productive way, rather than a hit and miss, quit cycle. For me it wasn’t about just the course content, but the positive encouragement and interaction in the group I experienced. I wanted to learn but the people part was important to me, which I enjoyed.
Advice for Beginners
Q. What words of advice would you give to a beginner student who is just starting out?
A. Don’t compare your self to others in the group or to other artists. This attitude will short circuit your enthusiasm. We don’t have to be the greatest artist just be your best. Give yourself time to learn and grow and focus on encouraging someone, rather than being too hard on your self.
There is plenty of pie for everyone. Just draw or paint that picture you invision and there will be someone who will buy it. Resist the fear to create what you enjoy, trust yourself and don’t give up.
Don’t take flattery very seriously. If someone tells you’re a great artist, why don’t you do this professionally? Say thank you and remember, what they most of the time are really saying is: you can draw better than they can. I only really pay attention if another artist is speaking I respect.
Set realistic goals for yourself and what you want to accomplish. This helps take personal ownership and from being tempted to falling into the comparison trap.
What’s Next for Scott?
Q. What are your plans for your drawing and art in the future?
A. My plans for the near future are to keep developing my personal style through pastels. Continue to grow by attending workshops, studying other artists. Enter some works in our state pastel contest. Take a limited number of commissions this year to build a body of work for shows.
See More From Scott
Q. Where can we see more of your work?
A. I keep the better work I do on my facebook page which I leave open to the public. https://www.facebook.com/scott.kunkle.399
I tend to get enough work through word of mouth that keeps me busy and still leaves time to do paintings I like.