art lesson

Artists spend a lifetime perfecting their craft, but much of what they learn can be summarized in just a few seconds for those of you who love art yet want to spend your life doing something productive.

For instance, it took me years to learn how to draw a flower. It was a painstaking process because I needed to get it exactly right. Yes, like many artists, I, too, am a perfectionist. Finally, I did perfect it. My flowers are perfect, and thank you for thinking so yourself. Many people see a drawing of a flower I drew and reach out to touch it, wondering: Is that real? Perhaps you’re doing the same thing now, wondering how a real flower got into this magazine. I assure you, it only looks perfect and like a real flower, but it’s not. I drew it! How did I draw it? I reveal my secret here in four easy steps.

Whether you live in Asheville or Greenville, Wilmington or Winston-Salem, everyone who sees your drawing will say, “That’s a flower, right?” And you will be able to say, “Yes, it is.” Now go forth, and make art.

Daniel Wallace is a novelist and a professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Follow him on Twitter, @DHWallace, or visit for more drawing, writing, and news.

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