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Artist Spotlight

Steven Pearce

The Art of Basic Drawing

Steven Pearce, famed artist and author of Drawing Still Lifes, has the type of personality that makes you want to invite him to join you for a cup of coffee and an afternoon of easy conversation. When speaking of his wife and grandkids, it is obvious he is a down-to-earth family man at heart.

Born into a home surrounded by creativity and artistic talent, Steven's passion for art is in his blood. His mother was an accomplished oil painter and graphite artist. His father graduated with a degree in art from Oklahoma University and still possesses a passion for woodcarving at the tender age of 92.

"Growing up, my parents were a big influence in my love for art."

While he had a wonderful high school art teacher, many would be surprised to know that Steven was unable to attend any formal art classes in college. Much of his technique and skill was self-taught through books, videos, workshops, informal classes, and old-fashioned hard work. Continually learning new and more challenging ways to create art is a core part of who Steven is as an artist.

One of his favorite artists is Mike Sibley from the UK. Steven says he also draws inspiration from his great friends, many of whom are artists themselves, and his family. To stay abreast of what is happening in the art world, he and his wife frequent art galleries as often as possible. While many of the pieces in his book, Drawing Still Lifes, center around inanimate objects, he also enjoys drawing animals.   

 "I draw a lot of different things. I love the challenge and learning experience of drawing many various subjects. But if I had to choose a favorite, it would be animals."

As seen below in his charcoal drawing of a wolf titled "Alert Eyes," Steven has a talent for photorealistic drawing, making his drawings appear as striking and detailed as a photograph.

Wolf pencil drawing by Steven Pearce

By Steven Pearce

Charcoal drawing of a wolf titled "Alert Eyes"

"I use photo references a lot because of the many hours it takes to do most of my drawings. A lot of times I will add or enhance what I see in my reference photo, such as sun reflecting off of glass or metal."

Graphite drawing of wine glass by Steven Pearce.

By Steven Pearce

"Wine Glass and Wood" (graphite drawing)

It is the detailed work that emerges through graphite drawing that excites Steven. While he tries to keep the overall composition fairly simple, he truly enjoys the freedom that comes with creating art with a pencil.

"My mother, who was very good at drawing, taught me so much and was very encouraging. I experimented with, and still do, other media over the years, but I seemed to have always loved the pencil, charcoal, and graphite."

Most of his drawings have become more detailed over the years, and he uses many different tools and techniques to achieve his finished works. However, he still loves to draw using a looser technique as well.

"As a graphic artist, I feel this method has a bit more drama to it and it is important to keep in touch with that part of my art."

Perfecting your skills is a continual process for any artist. Steven takes great pleasure in the learning process itself, but also understands that creating beautiful art is not without its share of frustrations. His advice to new artists is to learn the basic techniques first, and to take advantage of any available books, classes, and workshops that are offered.

"This is where you will get honest critiques and encouragement, which is very important. Visit art galleries and art shows. Never stop learning and experimenting!"

In addition to working as an artist, Steven retired as a fireman in 2011. These days, he spends most of his time practicing new methods and techniques to create his detailed drawings, getting involved in his community, and spending time with his loving family.

Graphite drawing of elephant by Steven Pearc.

By Steven Pearce

"Young Elephant" (graphite drawing)

To view more of Steven's art visit

Jessi Mitchelar

Jessi Mitchelar is Production Assistant for the Custom department at Walter Foster Publishing. At the beginning of the year, Jessi and her fiancé decided to trade in the brutal Chicago winters for a sunnier life in Southern California. They packed up their two cats and two dogs and drove the 2,000 miles to Orange County. Following a beautiful wedding on Laguna Beach and a blissful honeymoon in Maui, this newlywed now spends her time watching Alabama football with her husband, working on her novel, and exploring all that California has to offer. 

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