The key to great art, Werner Willis advises, is sketching. So many
artists these days dont take the time to draw, he says in
a voice distinguished by the Germanic quick clip of his first language
thats been softened with a slight southern drawl after living in
North Carolina for almost half of a century. But to create believable
realistic, representational works, Werner warns, You must
spend lots of time training for and perfecting the craftsmanship of drawing.
Only through drawing, he continues, can an artist truly capture elements
like anatomy, muscle tone, colors and the fine nuances of perspective
and atmosphere that create believable people and realistic representations.
Born in 1940 near Vienna, Austria, Werners drawing abilities were
evident at a very young age. Guided by a very strict Munich master artist,
Werner practiced the exacting styles and disciplined techniques of the
European old masters, learning what Werner refers to as the science
of painting: drawing and painting with great attention to even the
Werners formal art training ended at age 17 when his family settled
in his stepfathers native United States. After graduating from high
school, Werner started a commercial art studio in Charlotte, North Carolina.
His illustrations grew in popularity throughout the years, including the
beloved Benji illustrations for Little Golden Books, magazine covers and
national advertising campaigns.