What can I say about Mike Sibley? When I first started drawing, I became a frequent visitor to his site but I did not read a thing. I was so consumed with the quality of his drawings that all I could do was go to that site and just stare for hours and hours and I MEAN hours. I would try to reproduce his drawings but would stumble and tumble over piece after piece. I just could NOT get it right.
So, I went away for a few months and then wandered (because that is what you really do on the internet) into Wet Canvas and there he was again, a member of this group. Well, I settled down and buckled down to learn to draw and I started going back to his site and this time I read every single word and then I bought his book which, in my opinion, is the BIBLE of drawing and I discovered along the way that Mike is not only a talented artist but he is one solid Joe (Mike in the US that is a good thing)—he is willing to talk about and share his craft with us rank beginners and with the oldest of the talented timers. What can I say about Mike Sibley? Let’s not and let the man speak for himself:
Mike Sibley was born in 1948 in the small
country village of Orsett in Essex, England.
After moving to Cheshire, he attended Sale
Grammar School, where he showed an early talent for
monochrome work, often illustrating his essays with
ballpoint pen drawings. He graduated in nine subjects
including Art and Pottery.
Aged eighteen years, Mike attended the Manchester
College of Art and Design and, from 1967-70, the
Leeds College of Art and Design, where he was
awarded his Diploma in Art and Design in Fine Art
(Dip.A.D.), which is now the BA honours degree.
Mike met his wife Jenny in 1977, and she encouraged
him to draw her dogs as a logo design for her Kennel
Club pedigree forms. Jenny never got those drawings,
but it was the start of Mike’s successful transition to
the professional art world. Drawing commissions by
day, and working as a taxi driver at night, the demand
for commission work soon meant that he could give
up cab driving and concentrate on art alone.
Prints of Mike’s work soon followed, and in 1980 he
became one of the World’s few professional graphite
artists. His highly successful range of canine head
studies became the UK’s best selling series of prints
in the 1980’s. Achieving worldwide acceptance, this
range is still in print today. His first limited edition
print, an edition of 50 Irish Water Spaniel prints, sold
out at its Crufts 1990 release in just three and a half
Mike, who uses only graphite pencil for his work,
will often spend over two hundred hours on a single
drawing, and he is renowned for his fine detail and
In 1991 Mike and Jenny returned to the countryside,
buying a four-acre smallholding in Yorkshire, where
they still reside. Here they are surrounded by their
horses, cats, chickens, sheep, goats, and, of course,
dogs. When Mike's not drawing he's usually to be
found working with his tractor, welding in his
workshop, or exploring Nature along the two-mile
farm track on which they live. The beauty of the
Yorkshire countryside and his many farmyard
animals make a regular appearance in his work.
Mike designed and built his well known website
) in 2001 and the Starving-
Artists.net site, where artists can showcase their work.
He also hosts his own drawing forum at ArtPapa.com.
He continues to write the well-known artists tutorials
for SibleyFineArt.com, and it was from these tutorials
that his book "Drawing from Line to Life" began its life.
And back to Jay:
And there you have it folks, don’t miss this class and if you don’t believe me go here
And by the way, this is the man who will be your tutor for the next couple of weeks: