Teachers of a Self-Guided Artist: Sean Cheetham

This is the sixth in a series of portraits called Teachers of a Self-Guided Artist. Check out the intro post The Self-Taught Myth to read more about it.


Sean Cheetham has the dubious honour of being the only teacher in this series (so far) who I’ve actually met and studied from in real life.

I think I might have first heard of Sean when he was a guest artist in Jason Seiler’s The Complete Artist book, back in 2013. I started following him on Instagram, and every time he posted one of his demo portraits I thought I really need to learn how he does that. But I was always disappointed to find he didn’t have any online demos available, and his method remained a mystery to me for several years.

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Teachers of a Self-Guided Artist: Stan Prokopenko

This is the fifth in a series of portraits called Teachers of a Self-Guided Artist. Check out the intro post The Self-Taught Myth to read more about it.


In early 2017 I decided I needed to get better at drawing. I was always ok at it, but I never practiced that much, and when I did go to the occasional figure drawing session, I would always leave slightly disappointed with what I had produced.

One day I was browsing some artist forums looking for recommendations, and I saw several people raving about these YouTube tutorials from ‘Proko’. I checked out one of the videos, on How to Draw the Head from Any Angle, and at first I thought the video was kind of cheesy, with the animation and comedy elements, but the content seemed promising, and piqued my interest. After a few more videos I was hooked, and even started to enjoy the cheesy elements, like Skelly, the animated skeleton. So I proceeded to make my way through all the free content on the site (there’s a lot!)

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Teachers of a Self-Guided Artist: David Jamieson

This is the fourth in a series of portraits called Teachers of a Self-Guided Artist. Check out the intro post The Self-Taught Myth to read more about it.


At the end of 2015, I had been painting mainly landscapes for a couple of years, and I wanted to get back into portraiture, but I felt really out of practice and wanted to refresh my skills.

I happened to come into contact with David Jamieson through my day job, and found that he was teaching an online course in portrait drawing that sounded like just what I needed!

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Teachers of a Self-Guided Artist: Carol Marine

This is the third in a series of portraits called Teachers of a Self-Guided Artist. Check out the intro post The Self-Taught Myth to read more about it.


In early 2015, I was struggling with procrastination, often going weeks or months between paintings because I felt some sense of pressure around starting something new, and worried that every attempt had to turn out perfect.

Out of the blue, a book came up in my Amazon recommendations – Daily Painting by Carol Marine. I liked the look of it, so I bought it, and over the following three weeks I completed thirteen paintings!

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Teachers of a Self-Guided Artist: Richard Schmid

This is the second in a series of portraits called Teachers of a Self-Guided Artist. Check out the intro post The Self-Taught Myth to read more about it.


I recently started talking to a fellow painter about Richard Schmid, and was surprised to find they had never heard of him. I had started to think he was somehow known to all painters, but I realise there has to be a first time you heard of anyone, and I started trying to remember when I had first come across him.

Turns out it was actually when I was studying with Jon Hardesty in 2011/2012. As I mentioned, he had me create a series of colour charts, and he mentioned that this was an exercise recommended by Richard Schmid in his book Alla Prima: Everything I Know About Painting. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I purchased a copy, and fell in love with the work of Richard Schmid.

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Teachers of a Self-Guided Artist: Jonathan Hardesty

This is the first in a series of portraits called Teachers of a Self-Guided Artist. Check out the intro post The Self-Taught Myth to read more about it.


At the end of 2011, I was feeling pretty stuck with painting. I’d been doing it on and off for maybe 5 years, mostly using acrylics, and mostly learning by trial and error, having never had any painting lessons. I was frustrated, and wanted to learn how to paint properly. I considered moving to London to go to an art school there, but it was expensive, and I didn’t even have a job at the time.

So I started looking at what options were available online, and after a bit of searching, I found a website called Classical Art Online, run by Jonathan Hardesty.

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