This is the first of a series of interviews with DrawPJ course participants. In these interviews, these artists relate how the course has helped them improve their drawing and painting skills, and some of their experiences with art making. I really appreciate the dedication of these artists to perfect their drawing and painting skills, and would like to thank them for taking the time out for this DrawPJ Course Participant Series.


Interview with Artist Angela Deck


angela deck sedgwick county fairMy husband and I make our home in the mid-west region of the United States where we raise our 4 children. Our oldest is 14 and our youngest is 4 years old. Many of my hours are spent in educating them at home. A decision we made while living in the interior of Alaska.


[Angela with her ‘Grand Champion Award at the Sedgwick County Fair 2012]


I have always loved the creative side of life. In those few, free moments that I can find, I am usually creating something – a clay sculpture, a hand-sewn book cover, a painted canvas, a homemade loaf of bread. I just love to create, but most of all I enjoy drawing and painting.


“Why do you create art?”

I create art because it brings me joy. It allows me to stop, to sit, and to be quiet. Art gives me the ability to glorify my heavenly Father with my talents.


urban decor angela deck

Urban Décor” 
Medium: Graphite on paper.

This was a drawing I was excited to do. I loved the texture of the smooth, white cement against the rough, dark brick. It gave me a chance to explore all the techniques I had learned in regards to shading. This drawing took me over 50 hours to create.





“What goes through your mind while you draw or paint?”

In all honesty, I try not to think when I draw or paint. If I let the thoughts of the day crowd in, I get distracted. However, I have noticed that as I begin to shade my graphite drawings and to layer on the different tones, my thoughts begin to take on a new pattern. I find myself imagining what that object would feel like if I could run my hand across the surface. I feel this helps me to achieve the depth and dimensions that are required to make the drawing look realistic.


“How do you make time to include art in your life, do you have any suggestions to help others?”

When it comes to drawing, I would love to have the freedom to just get up in the morning and to spend my days drawing to my heart’s content. However, that is not a reality in our busy household. I have to be very purposeful and intentional. I used to put projects off, waiting for a break in my schedule, hoping to find a few good hours in which to draw. I soon found that this never happened, so now I try to take at least 30 minutes a day to work on my projects. Even if this means that I only pull out my papers and sharpen a few pencils, it is a better start than nothing at all.


shoe well travelled drawing

A Shoe Well Travelled
Medium: graphite on paper

Out of all the drawing projects, this one initially seemed the hardest to me. I didn’t know whether to cry of just give up, but once I picked up my pencil and started it went better than expected. This is when I really had to shut out any distractions and learn to listen to my “artist language”. I only tackled each section as I came to it, and did not try to think of the whole shoe.



“How has the ‘Complete Drawing and Painting Certificate Course’ helped you to learn how to draw and paint?”

It would not have been possible during this season of my life to take a drawing and painting class in our local community. The ‘Complete Drawing and Painting Course’ works perfectly for our schedule. I can access all the information I need any time of the day, and I don’t even have to leave my home.

I am continually amazed at how much I have been able to learn online from my home.  Looking back at what I drew on the very first day and comparing it to what I am now able to draw is unbelievable! This would not have been possible without the talented and encouraging instructors at DrawPJ.  My instructor, Brigitte, tailors each lesson to meet my needs, and she knows how to challenge me so that I can grow.  It has been a joy participating in the DrawPJ community.


“What goals do you have for your art?”

I am excited about all the possibilities that lie ahead in regards to my art. I started an illustrated journal two years ago to record the special moments that occur in my family. I want to continue this visual diary for years to come. I think it will be a wonderful treasure of our children and one they can pass on to their children.

I also hope to create art that incorporates scripture and maybe someday have a part in illustrating a children’s book, or just teaching others how to draw and paint. We will see?


self portrait before imageproject unit 4 self portrait

Note: The image on the left is an example of the drawing Angela completed before beginning the ‘Complete Drawing and Painting Certificate Course’ The image on the right is her self portrait she completed during the unit four part of the course.


“Have you entered any competitions or won any awards since studying your course with”

Yes, my graphite drawing ‘Urban Décor’ won Best Major Project Award at DrawPJ 2012

I entered my drawing of the ornamental pilaster, ‘Urban Décor’, at the Sedgwick County Fair 2012 and won Grand Champion in the Fine Arts division.

This same drawing was entered in the Kansas State Fair 2012 and won Second Place.


“Do you have any advice for other artists who are learning to draw and paint?”

Don’t give up and don’t be overly critical of your own work. I find this comes after spending too much time looking at other’s artwork and comparing it with my own. Above all else practice, practice, practice!


To learn more about DrawPJ, and how you can participate, please visit their website here:

Complete Drawing and Painting Certificate Course

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