Before the prevalence of the internet, and websites like Muddy Colors, before instructional DVDs or live-streaming was a thing, there were surprisingly few ways for aspiring artists to get their hands on instructional material from contemporary illustrators. If you wanted to learn an artist’s technique, you had to hope they taught somewhere and then travel to go study under them. That was about it. I can’t express enough how difficult it was to come across the type of information we now take for granted on a daily basis.
It’s for this very reason that ‘Step-By-Step Graphics’ magazine was a godsend for countless illustrators early in their careers. Step-By-Step Graphics was a magazine dedicated to art process and tutorials from some of the best artists in the industry. If you wanted to learn how to airbrush, or use pastels, or how to oil paint like Bernie Fuchs back in the 80s and 90s, this magazine was the way you did it.
Decades later, Step By Step still has some of the best art tutorials ever documented, many from artists who have no other tutorials out there. Because of this, there are a lot of illustrators that revere this magazine, collecting and scanning pages for posterity. Matt Dicke is one such person, and was generous enough scan his personal copies and upload them for benefit of other artists.
Below is a collection of scans from the issue Step by Step documenting the inimitable Thomas Blackshear‘s ‘Gouache Wash’ and ‘Pick Out’ technique.