Since etching his first sketch of the U.S. capitol building when he was 10 years old, George Vlosich has become one of the world's most respected Etch A Sketch artists, and through his company GV Art + Design has been commissioned to do celebrity portraits and even show an Obama Etch A Sketch portrait at an inaugural gallery show. Yet he says anyone can create art in one line on the deceptively simple children's toy.


Start Simple
Don't try to leap into epic recreations of classic Renaissance paintings right off the bat. "I started out with simple thing like Batman and Spider-Man," says Vlosich. "The first portrait I did was Cal Ripken off a baseball card. I had his name on the bottom and that was the only reason you knew it was him." And you might want to avoid proudly etching a portrait of your girlfriend at first. "I have a hard time doing women or girls on the Etch A Sketch because every line you put in there either makes them look older or wrinkly." (story continues below)

See more tips and a gallery of amazing Etch A Sketch artwork after the jump.



Amazing Etch A Sketch Art



Go Abstract
Unlike in "Guitar Hero," where you can be awesome at the game without any actual musical talent, Etch A Sketch art and drawing talent are directly related. If your drawings all feature stick figures, you might be better off going for a Pollack angle. "Art talent definitely plays a role in this if you're trying to capture a likeness. But if you're just doing abstract type of things, there's nothing you really need to have knowledge of ahead of time."

Find out how to preserve your creations after the jump.Be Prepared To Scrap It All
George spends 80 to 100 hours on each sketch (his Chicago Cubs piece took the longest). "People look at the end result and go, 'Oh gosh, there's no way I'd be able to do that,' but I start over all the time."

Preserve Your Work
The Etch a Sketch works by using a stylus to scratch away aluminum powder from the glass. So to preserve your masterpiece, you have to remove the powder sitting at the bottom by removing the back. "When I first started doing it I would send it to the company and they would drill holes in the Etch A Sketch for me, but it was kind of the bad way to do it. Now I remove the back."

Practice (Yeah, We Know)
It should go without saying, but you can't slack and become a great Etch A Sketch artist. George's parting words of wisdom? "The main thing is just really practice and don't get discouraged."