photo from Facebook, Texas Academy of Figurative Art


The Most Radical Artists Today Are the Ones Who Know How to Draw

by April Hopkins

5 min readAug 12, 2019


I read an Instagram post of someone who not-so-subtly declared an end in sight for the conceptual and abstract expressionist art movements — that have dominated our society for the past 100 years — and proclaimed a return to more classical styles. Another Renaissance, if you will. I’m not sure if we are in the Dark Ages of art, but I will say I am thrilled to see an interest in representational (realistic) art being rekindled.

When I was younger, I felt a bit lost as an artist. I was drawn to a slower-paced approach to art, one that is more about excellence in technique and portrayal of beauty. I struggled to find my place. I have a BFA in design, primarily because I craved the perceived stability that a career in corporate design would provide. I took the same foundations courses as every other art major, plus a few extra fine arts courses to satisfy that itch.

My education was a mix of theory-based design, conceptual installation art (from a professor I loved and respected), and a surface-level introduction to drawing. In each class, I was told that my ideas — first and foremost — were key to success as an artist. Lessons on tools and technique were limited or non-existent. One glaring exception was my…



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