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Artist Spotlight

Diane Cardaci

Talented artist Diane Cardaci has been drawing for as long as she can remember. "I think I really fell in love with it when I was about nine years old," Diane recalls. She attended a local art class for children taught by a sweet elderly couple. "We began with crayons and graduated to pastels and watercolors. I remember being in awe of the older kids that were painting with easels and oil paints," Diane says. She continued to draw through her school years but it wasn't until she was an adult and attended medical school for two years in Italy that she realized she wanted to commit to Art as a career, rather than medicine.

For Diane, inspiration has always come from the greatest of teachers—the Old Masters. "I love to just look at their work and allow myself to soak it up like a sponge. I can spend hours looking at a book of paintings of an Old Master and love to go to museums." She's even been told, on more than one occasion, by museum guards to please step away from the painting! Living in New York City when she was younger, Diane came across many wonderful art instructors at the Art Students League and the New York Academy of Art. "I feel particularly fortunate to have been able to sit in some artistic anatomy classes with Robert Beverly Hale," says Diane.

diane cardaci art

Diane works primarily in pencil and water-soluble oils, but also likes to experiment with colored pencils and pastels. Recently, she's even begun to explore watercolor. Diane admits that she really loves to draw anything and everything—but her favorite subjects are people, animals, flowers, and landscapes.

Diane's newest book, Drawing Landscapes & Vistas releases this month from Walter Foster and is an exciting new addition to the How to Draw series. 

When it comes to art, composition is a key element to the success of the piece. For Diane, her technique in approaching composition is rather intuitive. "I'll try cropping a sketch or photo in different ways and see what feels ‘right'to me. I also do small thumbnails, changing around elements and again, seeing what looks and feels right."

Art isn't always about technique, however. Diane says that the biggest development in her art is she focuses less on technique now, and more on the love of what she is drawing or painting. "I have always loved to draw and paint in a very realistic style, but now I allow my feelings to drive the process, rather than worrying about perfection."

diane cardaci landscape

Aside from her passion for art, Diane shares a love for travel with her husband. "We have an addiction to Italy," says Diane." We were spending more and more time in this fascinating country every year, so last year we finally decided to move and live year-round in our home in central Italy. It is a constant inspiration for me to be surrounded every day by both the beauty and incredible art history of Umbria and Tuscany."

Even in a place like Italy, artist's block is bound to hit at some point. To stay motivated and inspired, Diane always tries to approach her work in a relaxed state. "I do a lot of sketching, which I believe is the key to staying connected to the subjects I like to draw." In addition, Diane spends time looking at other artists' work, including contemporary artists that she admires.

For artists just starting out, Diane offers some wonderful advice:

"Sketch, sketch, and more sketching from life. Bring your sketchbook everywhere and don't let a day go by without at least a few minutes of working in it. Study from the Old Masters—I am still learning from works of art that have ‘stood the test of time.'"

diane cardaci drawing

All artwork © Diane Cardaci

Diane also encourages new artists to draw and paint the subjects that they love.

"Art is the tool that communicates this love to others."

Perhaps most importantly, Diane reminds artists of all ages and levels that "art is a lifelong journey of learning and growing—you never arrive."

To learn more about Diane and see additional artwork, visit

Stephanie Meissner

Stephanie is Senior Editor at Walter Foster Publishing. A lifelong bibliophile, Stephanie also loves photography, design, typography, and cooking. She blogs about her artistic endeavors and creative adventures at

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