Newbie from Canada

Retired from the military after 36 years of service. Suffer from PTSD, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis and a severe case of too much time on my hands. For several years I have been needle felting but had to stop recently because I could no longer handle needles safely. So, I turned to drawing back in April and looooooove it. So far I have tried graphite and pastel and am now learning to use color pencils. My goal is to be proficient enough to create animal and human drawings for friends and family. I am utterly impressed by what I see here fr0om everyone. Looking forward to exchange tricks of the trade to become a worthy animal artist.

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Hello Guy, greetings from accross the pond, UK here. I can relate to your arthritis issues. I used to be a knitter/crochet, jewelry maker and macrame. Sadly, as we age so does our dexterity, but hey there is always something new to learn right? Down below a small proof of how great these lessons are and what can be achieved. I have never had any formal training in art. All I know now is from Matt and Ashley. All the best and keep posting, hope to see you on live sessions.


Hi Guy - a big welcome to The Virtual Instructor and to this community. I think you will find us to be a very friendly group who love to share our art, challenges, ask questions, etc. We also have a really broad range of experience and skills which makes it fun to watch as everyone continues to grow as artists.

A couple of recommendations to you and other new members . . . once a week Matt has a segment called Critique / Members Minute. They go back for several years. I make a point to watch these every week. You will learn a lot. It’s also fun to send in your own original art and have it critiqued. Then if you have time, go back and watch the older ones too. To watch weekly only takes a half hour and it’s worth every minute.

The other suggestion is to tune into the live lessons. They are on live on Wednesday evenings for about an hour. The projects are taught either by Matt or Ashley. They usually are completed over a 6 to 10 week period of time. Many members of the forum post their progress here. You can watch these as recorded lessons, but if you watch when they are live you can ask any art related question thru the chat box and the questions get answered as you listen.

Final words, the more practice you get, the better your art will become. Remember to have fun in the process.

Terri Robichon

OMG my favorite bird! I neeeeeed to do a bluejay! Your rendition is so beautiful I find it hard to believe it is created with color pencils. Thanks for sharing.