How I Reconnected With My Inner Michelangelo

Frida-Acrylics, charcoal, pastels.

Frida-Acrylics, charcoal, pastels.

I just completed a five week, summer art course. Draw And Paint What You Love, or as I like to call it, DAPWYL, taught by Pauline Agnew .


Pauline is an Irish based artist and teacher. Her online classes are some of THE best, I think. Not only does she make the process fun, she had us making art without even realizing that’s what we were doing!  Let me explain…


Her techniques include making playful marks (making marks) with charcoal, putting down layers or paint, charcoal, India inks, pastels, etc., and then taking away layers via erasers or other implements of art–or whatever, then putting more layers back, taking away, etc., until the painting or drawing you are working on emerges. It’s much like Michaelangelo seeing the figure of David in the slab of marble and then revealing it with his chisel. We also got a lesson in color from Melinda Cootsona ( that was very enlightening– or darkening–depending on where you were going with it.


“We’re just playing,”  “It’s just a painting,” and “Sometimes you have to let a particular area go–even if you really like it for the sake of the whole painting” (I’m paraphrasing on that last one—but you get the idea).  These are some Pauline’s most often-heard quotes to us eager students through her video tutorials. And, it helped us students, I think, stay in our bodies–as well as the body of the art work–rather than our heads, criticizing and judging it.


Some incredible “works” were made during this class.  I learned so much from Pauline, as well as her guest teacher, Melinda, another talented artist/teacher as well as the other artists –professional as well as us beginners.


Although I’ve done my share of drawing and painting in years past, I had let it slip away from me for quite a bit of time, but, with this class I found it coming back with ease as I let myself play. Kind of like riding a bike. It’s never really leaves you.


I’ve included some of my art projects here. Maybe “project”  isn’t the best word as it makes it all sound too much like work!  Although, as we were making art “works”, Pauline made the “work” feel like play. It’s a good lesson for any act of creation, whatever the endeavor, entrepreneurial, business, art…don’t you think?


**Here’s a link to Pauline’s website. She’s offering a free weekend workshop ( and she also will be starting up a new 5-week session in October ( She’s a marvelous teacher and, if you need any encouragement to give it a go, she’ll bring out the artist in you as she did and continuous to do with all of her students. Beginner, professional–or somehwhere in between–you’ll have loads of fun AND maybe even find your hidden Michel-angelo (or Michela-angelo) where you didn’t even know she existed.


Inspired by Marc Chall. India ink, acrylics

Inspired by Marc Chagall. India ink, acrylics

Color study (brights) pencil, acrylics

Color study (brights)
pencil, acrylics

Color study-muted/bright India ink, acrylics

Color study-muted/bright
India ink, acrylics

Figure study charcoal, eraser, acrylics

Figure study
charcoal, eraser, acrylics


Seasons "Fall" underpainting for "winter" (did same with Spring/Summer) watercolor, acrylics

Seasons “Fall”
underpainting for “winter”
(did same with Spring/Summer)
watercolor, acrylics


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