Stayf Draws 5 Year Anniversary

Stayf Draws 5 Year Anniversary

Today it is 5 years ago I started Stayf Draws on YouTube. In this post I am going over the past 5 years and will tell you if I will stop Stayf Draws or will continue with this channel.

5 years ago I started this channel, because I got a lot of questions on how I made animations for another YouTube channel called LikeZOO! I started  that YouTube channel to create a series of animations about Animals and nature for kids. It made the videos in Dutch on the ZOODus! Channel and on LikeZOO! 


That was a lot of work, but I had fun creating the series apart from my freelance work as a comics artist, illustrator and animator. I got a lot of questions about how I made these animations. I first had a Dutch channel called Stefan Tekent where I first posted videos about the books I was publishing, because I am also a publisher. That channel I created 7 years ago. But I really started making drawing tutorials is 2015. I first made the videos in Dutch and in English.


Here is my first video on February 2 2015. Talking about the basics of drawing. I never presented in front of a camera and I really looked scared! English is not my native tongue so you hear me trying to sound British! This was in my old studio I had in the center of Haarlem.

First I drew everything on paper, which was a bit difficult for me because I have been drawing digital since 2000. 

On May 2 2015 I made my first tutorial on drawing in Procreate. Which got a lot more views. On november 19 2015 I made a video about the Apple Pencil that was just released and that got a lot of views. I decided to make a video tutorial series about Procreate 3 and that got a lot of views as well. For me it was a good opportunity to learn everything about Procreate. Because when you can explain it to someone else, you have learnt it yourself. 


On February 18 2016 Apple invited me to give a demonstration in their store in Amsterdam. They got hold of me through Instagram and they created an event around me.

I kept making videos about drawing on the iPad in a lot of other apps, but finally decided that I wanted to concentrate on Procreate. I made some other videos like how to draw on a stone and print stone lithographs. How to make linocuts.

At that time I also got interested in painting more realistic. I never thought I could do that, It started out with this video. Painting Watercolors. This was also when I was in my old studio.

I am a curious person and love to find out about new techniques, new or old artists, new technology  and books. So I started making review videos about products and books.

Along the way I also improved as an artist.


In October of 2016 I participated in Inktober, a drawing challenge to draw 31 drawings in ink. I posted all the videos and also made a free eBook that contains all the 31 drawings. It is available on Apple Books.


In 2017 I published my first Children’s Book called Little Angel and an animation of the book that is still available on Apple Books.

In 2017 I started to make art for my first solo exhibition. I painted scenes from Haarlem, the city I live and work. My first series of paintings was called Look-Up Haarlem. When you look up a city you see the most beautiful details.

I painted all the paintings in Procreate on the iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil. The exhibition was a success, I sold several paintings.


In 2018 I made some Live videos so that my viewers could ask questions while I was painting.

I also had my first Museum Exhibition. I painted several paintings about the last 100 years of the beach town Zandvoort which is close to Amsterdam and how people travelled to the beach. The biggest painting was a narrative time lapse video of the beach and boulevard. The exhibition ‘We Gaan naar Zandvoort!’ was a huge success and the Zandvoorts Museum had a 300 percent increase in visitors.

12 Days Before Christmas

I made my own challenge for December: The 12 Days Before Christmas. Draw 12 Christmas related artworks 12 days before Christmas. For the challenge I created artworks with my own cartoon character Horus Hippo. I designed products for my RedBubble page. The products are still available one RedBubble.


Procreate Tutorials

In 2019 I continued making a lot of drawing tutorials in Procreate. Finally Adobe developed a painting app called Adobe Fresco. It is a great app to paint in. Especially the Live Watercolor and Oil paint brushes. Unfortunately you need an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription to use the app. But Procreate still remains the best drawing and painting app for the iPad. 

Learning from the Masters

I started a new series of videos: Learning from the Masters. I have never attended an art school. So I had to learn everything myself. I did that by looking at other artists and copying them. I started the series with the artist Enrnest Shepard, the creator of the original Winnie the Pooh. I also made a video about Disney artists Mary Blair and Eyvind Earle and fine artist Edward Hopper.

Exhibition Empress Sisi

For the Zandvoorts Museum I got the assignment to make a documentary about the tragic life of Empress Sisi. I also created a portrait of her in the style of artists of that era.

Procreate 4 Video Manual

In 2017 I published the ebook Procreate 4 Video Manual, that is still available on Apple Books and Vimeo on Demand. I decided to post the entire video series on my channel for free.

Procreate 5

In the beginning of December 2019 Procreate 5 was released. This is a great new update. I am part of the Procreate Beta Team, so I already knew for three months what the new features would be. I am really excited about this new update of Procreate 5.

12 Days Before Christmas

This year I posted my second 12 Days Before Christmas Challenge. This time I painted 12 Christmas cards. 

The future of Stayf Draws

So now 5 years later and posting new videos every week  resulting in 400 videos on this channel I have more that 33,000 subscribers. That is a lot of people! I want to thank you all for subscribing, for your comments and for watching my videos. I had a blast making this video and sharing my knowledge. But the Stayf Draws YouTube channel is not sustainable for earning a living. I have been a professional illustrator and animator for over 25 years. Now I concentrate more on making concepts and content for museums. That is very time consuming. I simply don’t have the time to upload a new video each week. I will keep posting videos on Stayf Draws when I find something interesting or of value I would like to share with you. 

Stefan de Groot Stayf Draws at work

Drawing is fun and practice makes perfect! Doodles

Stefan de Groot