How to draw - Milno figurative art Plein Air Salon winner
Milno, “A Story Without Words," graphite on paper, 19.7 x 14.5 in., won in the Best Figure & Portrait category of the July 2021 Plein Air Salon

Curiosity and Kaizen: Graphite Drawings by Milno > “As you’d expect from a new great Japanese Artist, Milno lives the philosophy of Kaizen, or continual improvement,” says ARTDATAintel founder/CEO Mauricio Gonzalez. “As such, good is not good enough for her. So, she applies her God given talent and an insatiable curiosity to take her work to a higher level in each and every painting. Because she knows that an artist is only as good as her last work of art.”

Milno’s graphite drawing, “A Story Without Words” (above) won in the Best Figure & Portrait category of the July 2021 Plein Air Salon.

“I’m often asked how I have improved my technique and achieved this ‘soft look’ in my drawings,” Milno said. “Well, it does involve commitment, lots of experimentation and yes… the use of unusual tools and materials.”

Graphite Drawings > “A Story Without Words" process shots
Graphite Drawings > “A Story Without Words” process shots

That use of unusual materials stems from a sense of curiosity.

Figurative art graphite drawings
Milno, “Sleeping Beauty”, graphite on paper, 16.5×23.3″, 2020
Graphite drawings - "Sleeping Beauty" process shots
“Sleeping Beauty” process shots

“Without curiosity, talent is stillborn,” Gonzalez continued. “Curiosity is one of the great secrets of creativity. Milno has unleashed her creativity across: charcoal, graphite, pastel, acrylic, oil, color pencils, alcohol ink, gel pens, gansai watercolor, mica powder, fluid graphite, acetone, hand torn Japanese washi paper, yupo paper, kent paper, Strathmore toned paper, black paper, 3D experimentation with corsages, cut-out figures, jewelry or natural leaves. Finally, she’s defying traditional methods by replacing painting brushes with makeup brushes!

Milno’s main drawing tool ‘makeup brushes’ and a small sketch
Milno’s main drawing tools: nail art brushes and makeup brushes, and a small sketch

“All in all, Milno has stopped me in my tracks. Her talent, curiosity, openness to experiment without fear; and wonderful spirit of kaizen [a desire to improve her work with every brush stroke] convinces me that she’ll be escalating to the very top of her industry within the next five years.”

About the PleinAir Salon:

In the spirit of the French Salon created by the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, this annual online art competition, with 11 monthly cycles, leading to the annual Salon Grand Prize winners, is designed to stimulate artistic growth through competition. The competition rewards artists with over $33,000 in cash prizes and exposure of their work, with the winning painting featured on the cover of PleinAir Magazine.

Winners in each monthly competition may receive recognition and exposure through PleinAir Magazine’s print magazine, e-newsletters, websites, and social media. Winners of each competition will also be entered into the annual competition. The 12th Annual Awards will be presented live at the Plein Air Convention & Expo in May 2023.

The next round of the PleinAir Salon has begun so hurry, as this competition ends on the last day of the month. Enter your best art in the PleinAir Salon here.

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