In my A is for Apple illustration today, my focus was on continuing to explore simple ways to convey moods, characters and ideas. And, as usual, I was looking to inject as many humorous touches as possible.

A is for Apple Illustration by Joana Miranda

A is for Apple Illustration by Joana Miranda

Advice for Aspiring Illustrators

Getting good at illustration takes lots of practice (and years of it.) And sometimes it also takes getting the outside advice of a great art mentor. But what if the cost of going to art school is prohibitive? Or, what if you’re in the midst of a pandemic and can’t attend a course even if you had the funds? That’s where online drawing courses and how-to books can really come in handy! I can’t say enough good about Mattias Adolfsson’s The Art of Sketching: Transform Your Doodles into Art course on Domestika. At under $12, it’s a true bargain. Not to mention that Mattias is on hand to offer encouragement and comments. (With over 69,000 students, that says a lot about his dedication and caring!)

Another great how-to resource (and at under $20, also a wonderful bargain!) is Quentin Blake’s Start with a Scribble book. The lessons in this book might seem simple or even frivolous, but if you take the time to do them, you’re bound to see your illustrations grow and develop.

Further Advice…

Keep a notebook of your drawings and sketches. I’m currently working on filling my third Moleskine art sketchbook. You can see my 1st Moleskine Sketchbook Tour here, and my 2nd Moleskine Sketchbook Tour here. While it might be tempting to try and create the “perfect” sketchbook, keep in mind that striving for perfection will likely stifle your creativity. Instead, think of each page as an opportunity to experiment and try something new.

The only rule I’ve set for myself – aside from filling each page – is that I finish each drawing. And yes, sometimes it’s hard to finish a drawing that’s taken a turn you didn’t intend. But if you give in and abandon the drawing, you’ll most likely miss out on the lessons to be learned from the mistakes you made.


“A drawing is simply a line going for a walk.”

Paul Klee


    • Joana says:

      Thank you, my dear! The funny thing was that I felt like I had to struggle to think of things that started with A. I drew a complete blank on musical instruments that start with A. Are there any? Air horn? Hee-hee!
      xox – Joana

        • Joana says:

          Is that a real instrument? I’ll have to look it up. 🙂
          We’re having dreary, rainy weather and it’s given me a headache. But dinner is just around the corner which will help. Plus, I’m not the Chef du Jour, so I get to sit back and be waited on for a change. Yippee!
          I hope you have a nice week. My aunt (living in an assistant living situation in S.C.) got the first dose of one of the vaccines so it’s for real.;-)
          xox – Joana

  1. Mehmeh says:

    Very good! Great idea, I, too, look forward to B and all the rest. (I KNOW what you are going to do for Z, hee hee!)

    • Joana says:

      Yes, Z will be for ZIGGY (and for all the time he spends Zzzzzzzzz-ing.) He’s currently fast asleep in my lap as I’m typing. 🙂
      xox – J

Leave a Reply