Lucy's Philosophy of Teaching


Drawing to Learn

The title Drawing to Learn is an intentional flip of the expected title: Learning to Draw. It grew out of a realization that drawing is a  learning process—about the piece being worked on, the activity of making art, or some personal revelation. We often set unreasonable goals when we set about learning to draw. Sometimes we miss what lovely things we've done because we're stuck on some other result idea.  Focusing on what can be learned frees up the mind to be less judgmental about the outcome and more accepting of the process as a journey. Lucy's unique approach combines short introductions to classic drawing skills followed by still life drawing where those skills can be applied in each student’s personal style. Students do “learn to draw”! But emphasis is not on “getting it right” or “making a masterpiece”. It's about how drawing opens up a world of wonder in the simplest things around us and how we all have a beautiful way of putting that down.

Drawing and Painting to Learn:
Portrait and the Figure

Classes I teach on portrait and the figure focus on the study of a posed model for portrait or general figure study. All media are welcome unless otherwise noted in the class notice. The model is clothed or unclothed, depending on the venue and interests of the students, and in the same pose for the whole series, usually three hour sessions of three to four weeks duration. Students have the opportunity to focus on anatomy and/or drapery or experiment with different techniques. Every artist works differently, and at different speeds. Some students like to use the whole time for one finished piece, carefully setting up their sketch and progressing to a completed painting or detailed drawing. Others enjoy doing several drawings or paintings, giving them an opportunity to improve  anatomical structure or more accurately express a mood.



Upcoming Events

Website under construction

This website is currently under construction and does not show Lucy Ellen's complete selection of artwork. To obtain information about recent pastel paintings or drawings please email


Drawings Available

Figure Studies and other drawings in vine charcoal, graphite, and conté crayon by Lucy Ellen Smith are now available for sale. Contact Lucy at for prices and more information.