Teachers of a Self-Guided Artist: Chris Legaspi

This is the eighth 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.

Around the same time I started studying figure drawing with Proko, I also came across Chris Legaspi. I don’t remember where I first found him, but I loved the style of his drawings, and wanted to learn more about his approach. Fortunately, he already had some online lessons available.

Who is Chris Legaspi?

Chris is an artist, illustrator, concept designer, author, and teacher. His work has featured in many books, magazines, video games, and movie posters, and he has taught at several renowned art schools.

Read more on his website.

Learning from Chris

I think the first lessons I got from Chris were through his email list, where he sends out regular lessons, both text and video. Usually the first half is publicly available on YouTube, and the second half is private, for mailing list subscribers only. There’s some great content in there and it’s all free, so it’s well worth signing up. A lot of the figure drawing I was doing around 2017 was based on techniques learnt from both Chris and Stan Prokopenko.

After that, I found that Chris is also an instructor on New Masters Academy, where he teaches portrait drawing, rendering techniques, and Photoshop, as well as several beginner art lessons.

This is where I learnt the technique Chris uses for most of his drawings, starting with a very simple ‘envelope’, then sketching out the gesture drawing, focusing on the graphic shapes, before adding in the core shadow, and then finally blocking in the shadow with a strangely satisfying vertical hatching that I don’t think I had ever seen before.

Here are a few sketches I did a while back using this technique:

If that’s not enough, Chris also has a Laws of Color video series, which is a great resource for any artist looking for a greater understanding of colour.

And he recently released his first book – Life Drawing for Artists – which I haven’t picked up yet, but from the previews I’ve seen, it looks like a great complement to the rest of his teaching.

Thank you, Chris, for sharing your knowledge, and explaining your process in a very clear and straightforward way.

Here’s my portrait of Chris Legaspi. Oils on 9×12″ panel:

Chris Legaspi by Dan Johnson – 2020

Learn from Chris

Chris has several courses on New Masters Academy, and Gumroad.

His YouTube channel has a ton of free videos, and you can get even more if you subscribe to his email list.

His book – Life Drawing for Artists – is available now on Amazon.





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