A Drawing A Day 0063

A Drawing A Day is an extra resource for those who did or are doing the paid Figure Drawing Course and / or the free Introduction To DrawingThis is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a black chalk drawing on Fabriano Accademia 200gsm paper 38cm x 30cm (14.96in x 11.81in)
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Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a red chalk and pen and ink drawing on Fabriano Accademia 200gsm paper 38cm x 30cm (14.96in x 11.81in)

I said in some of the articles and posts that artistic anatomy is far less detailed than the medical anatomy. And that is entirely correct. Having said that, the more you know, the more accurate your rendering becomes. The same way, little practice will have great results, but if you really focus on your drawing and practice all the time, you will progress faster. There is no right or wrong amount of practice and knowledge. It all comes down to where you find your own level of confidence and expressive comfort. This should be enjoyable, and not hard work. And if there is a passion for the figure in you, lots of drawing and study will feel easy and exhilarating.
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Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Simili Japon 225gsm paper 48cm x 32cm (18.9″ x 12.5″)
This one is another 20 minutes long study in building a body on the ground. I know the article on foreshortening is not ready yet, so I’ll wait with talking about that. The lying down figure does present a different view of the human figure than what we are used to on a daily basis. So in some ways it is easier to see the geometric shapes as we have to think about what we see instead of just glancing over a familiar view of, say…a standing nude.

It is always the same – the need to make the observed form conscious until we know any part of the body in any view so well, we are freed up to create with them straight out of our imagination. In fact that is the end goal.
It is nice to have a model or at least a photo reference of a nude body to guide us while we can discover all kinds of visual delights, but the utmost creative satisfaction comes from experiencing an image appearing in our mind conjured up from a lifetime of ingested imagery and from what lies beyond our sensory perception, an image charged with content and emotion and being able to draw it. And for that we need the language of the forms of the body in a manageable system of geometric shapes. Whoa….that was a mouthful. But, you know what I mean, right?
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Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on paper 32cm x 48cm (12.59″ x 18.89″)
I took a progress shot first, as this described best the use of simple geometric shapes and then I took the study a bit further showing again the importance of training the lightness of your hand. If you do, there’s quite a bit you can change in a drawing even if you choose to use the supporting lines of the geometric shapes to guide you. Apart from these I also used the shape of the rib cage and the shape of the ball representing the pelvis is slightly shaped in the form of the underlying pelvis. In figure drawing your geometric forms will progressively blend into the skeletal structures and you will be able to choose on the fly the shape that does the best job in representing what you want to show to the viewer.
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0004_IMG_8020_8024_commented_woAll three images have exactly the same “levels” setting in Photoshop so that the comparison for the disappearance of the supporting lines is possible.
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Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on paper 32cm x 27cm (12.59″ x 10.62″)
0003_IMG_8019_clean_woA study in constructing the body from simple geometric shapes. I am trying to keep the shading down to a bare minimum. This is to guide you more towards seeing shapes rather than light and shade. Where I use it, I use it to emphasise the shape of the geometry. I don’t want to enter into the “shading world” as yet, but that is exactly what shading is supposed to do. To support the form. A really good form can support itself with no shading at all. That’s where the pure line drawing comes in. All of that is still coming in the free articles and videos section.

To come back to the shading I used in this drawing, please observe that all of it is made of lines. There’s no blotches, smudges, finger rubbing…. If possible, it would be good to refrain from those. Use lines. If you do, you will have to make a decision about where to put your lines, how hard should they be drawn, what direction should they run, how many, how close to each other…. That means you will have to think about how to support the illusion of the three dimensionality of the form on the two dimensional sheet of paper. Wonderful. A figure drawing.

Here are some more examples of the use of simple geometric shapes. This is really important. In fact the three rules are the most important part of figure and any other drawing. If you don’t get this right, nothing you add will work. Practise these and you will be amazed how fast your progress will be.
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Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a black chalk drawing, 48cm x 32cm (18.8″ x 12.5″).
IMG_8015_11102014_clean_woOk, with this one, there are a couple of things I can point out. First of all I am proving my own statement about multitasking. So I sit down and while I draw this 10 minutes long sketch, my mind is wondering all over the place thinking about some urgent matter. Multitasking, ha?
I have drawn for a while, so even with a seriously wondering mind I do produce something. But I finish and look at it (this time with my mind present) and I get annoyed. But then, I remind myself, this is actually a good thing, and we are here to learn.

The first thing that I see is that this is a woman made up of several bodies. The head, the upper torso and the arms belong to one woman, then the pelvic region and the upper legs come from another woman and then the right lower leg and foot are borrowed from the third person. It’s not immediately obvious, it just feels a bit odd. This is what I call the drawing not being convincing. It is a drawing, it is kind of ok, but…errrrr….not really. Then you see what is wrong with it and you cannot unsee it. Now you cannot stop seeing how bad it is, in fact.
The cause in this case is not really what some call the proportions. I think in this case inconsistency in size of the different body parts comes form a misjudgement of perspective, and the sizes are just a consequence.
Anyway, I think unconsciously (while my mind was in la–la land) I was seeing the problem because of the way I approached the need to place the chair on the same floor as the feet. In fact I drew the right foot first, then I drew the chair and after that the left foot. But you can see how I used the rectangular shape on the floor representing the bottom of a cube to work out the perspective.
Now, there is yet another problem that is ruining the illusion of this lady. This problem is very well explained and discussed in the free video called The Loss Of Volume. Let me show you what I mean in this drawing:
IMG_8015_11102014_commented_woIf I take the left side of the torso as accurate in size and shape, then I have cut off quite a bit of the right hand side of it. In terms of simplest possible geometric shapes, the right side of the torso, the shoulder and the right upper arm are really just three cylinders meeting in the green ball like shape of the deltoideus. If you follow the right hand side of the torso, the oragne line climbing up and under the armpit is what restores the torso to its rightful size. This also pushed the right upper arm, where it meets the deltoideus further out to make room. It’s not a big change in terms of measurements, but it makes all the difference. This little adjustment also creates the illusion of the torso being more rotated and lends the pose quite a bit of extra character.

So there it is. The wondering mind.

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Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a black chalk drawing on tinted paper, 20cm x 35cm (7.8″ x 13.7″). I want to mention (although the articles about this in the “Introduction To Drawing” are still pending) how important it is to train your hand to be light. I had to put the image through Photoshop to improve visibility of the lines. If the lines you draw are light, you have options. You can still change things without loosing the drawing.
P1030847_clean_weboptBut the main thing I want to point out is about the “Three Basic Rules”, especially the second one about simplifying complex forms into simple geometric shapes. More about this is also mentioned in the “Grasping The Complex” article and then the video below that article.
P1030847_commented_webopt1/ The side of the torso can very well be represented by a simple cylinder. My cylinder has a few alterations on it, such as a change in diameter (thickness) and a bend. These are the details you can add later. After you have decided the shape will be well represented by a cylinder, you have visualised it in your mind and know what lines to draw to get it on the paper. At that stage you may pause: Are there any smaller variations about the basic cylinder with which I could even better represent this shape on the torso? And if you can name the variations, then you have a mental image of them and you can draw them.
Note: This is a very meticulous dissection of the process so that it can be understood. The moment you start using it, you’d be surprised how fast it disappears into the subconscious and leaves you free to focus on the drawing itself rather than how to draw it.

2/ The next example is about combining a cylinder with a cube–like shape in the middle of it. I have used it to quickly represent the bottom part of the long head of triceps, which would bulge considerably in this position. The same muscle is embedded in the general shape of the upper arm, which is cylinder–like. Therefore the combination of the two seemed the best to convey the shape, rotation and orientation of the upper arm. Of course, this cylinder meets at the top of the upper arm the ball like shape of the deltoideus. There’s a tiny line drawn with more force to show the deltoideus overlaping the triceps.

3/ The egg–like shape in the example number three explains the shape of another bulging muscle. You can find the muscles of the shoulder girdle explained in detail in the Figure Drawing Course, but you can also find the basics in the free Lecture on the Shoulder.

4/ Example number four is again a combination of the general cylidrical shape of the lower leg and the ball like protrusion of the bottom bit of fibula.

5/ Egg like shape describes very well the gastrocnemius group at that back of the lower leg.

6/ Here is a good example of using a triangle to represent the foot.

And there’s another one I did not number. The series of cubes to make the fingers easy to position in space.
So there it is. If your lines are light (which they will be in time with practise), most of these indications of geometric shapes would disappear into the further developed drawing.

A Drawing A Day

Hello everyone,

Ever since I started working on the free “Introduction To Drawing” content, I’ve been thinking about the best way to communicate the concepts of drawing. How to hand it over.
So, there are the articles that verbally explain what you need to be thinking about when drawing and why. Then there are the videos with demonstration of the content of the articles. There’s quite a bit of free videos on the site as well, the “Common Mistakes” edition, the “Work In Progress” episodes, the cut down versions of all the 13 Lectures, but it still felt to me a bit disconnected.

Another thing I really wanted to be understood is, that most of the drawings by far anyone does, are studies. As the name implies, these are opportunities where the artist undertakes his study of the human form. By default this means a stack of messy drawings geared towards discovering the next gem we are ready to see. Perhaps a line sitting exactly where needs to be. An example of nice massing. An expression of body language that leaves no doubt about an internal life of the figure. These discoveries are the building blocks of the visual language we are learning. You absorb these visual expressions and when you own them, you use them to create your “clean” artwork that will be exhibited. Naturally from time to time there will be a study that can be accepted as finished artwork. That would contain so much aliveness that the messiness will not matter. But that is up to each of you to decide what is an accomplished drawing and what is a quiet discovery.

So thinking about the disconnection – the not “enoughness” of the examples demonstrating Figure Drawing as I intended – as a peek over the shoulder, plus wanting you to look for the gems in your studies, I have decided to post a drawing a day. Perhaps I should say “A Study A Day” as most of them will be studies. These will be random drawings I did the same day or just a few days ago. They will be showing what I am preoccupied with. They may be just posts by themselves (especially if the time is short) or they may have a bit of a commentary (my preferred option) particularly linking by example into the “Introduction To Drawing” or even into the Figure Drawing Course lectures. Occasionaly they might be show in a form of a video where I can also draw to clarify the points. I have created a new Category called “A Drawing A Day” and each post will be numbered so they are easy to find if you want to refer back to a particular drawing. I will attemp to post the drawings at around the same time of the day so the publishing can become a daily cycle.

So there it is. Now, I am also hoping that this will encourage you to post your drawings and get from your fellow subscribers a feedback that will benefit everyone reading the posts. And remember: There is no such thing as a bad drawing.

Tomorrow.

Free Online Drawing Lessons

Hello everyone. Great news!

The first part of the new Free Online Drawing Resource is now ready. Introducing extra material has changed the website design and layout a bit, which means things have slightly moved around. I believe, the new navigation will be easy to use. I have placed the warning of nude content on the first page that loads (animated intro), and viewing of the Disclaimer is now optional as a pop up window. Clicking on “Learn To Draw With” and/or “The Ultimate Figure Drawing Course” are links to enter the site. All the pages now have a navigation bar at the top for quick access to everything.
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The “Home” page starts the free education section of the site. In the column on the left, below your testimonials are also the links to all the articles and video tutorials of the free “Introduction To Drawing”. This also gives a visual sense of the structure of these tutorials. The links in orange are live and have content.
Screen-Shot-2014-10-06-at-16.35_woptIn the last article (“Drawing Step By Step”) I have published the list of the planed free online drawing lessons. As you will see on the site, the list of these articles and video tutorials has slightly changed. The change, however, is not in content. Only in form. If I felt some of the topics were related or even dependent on each other in terms of learning to draw, I grouped them under a single topic. So everything you asked for is still there, or coming soon, as it has been announced.

In the same article I also said it will take some time to compile all the lessons, articles and videos. However, the first of the 5 groups of tutorials is ready and so I chose to release these, so those who want to, can start. The rest of the 5 groups will follow progressively.

In the menu bar, the “Learning” tab is for the free “Introduction To Drawing”, and the “Courses” tab is for the paid Figure Drawing Online Course. The “Free Stuff” tab has the free stuff not belonging to the “Introduction To Drawing”. Among these are the “Common Mistake” videos, the cut down versions of the 13 lectures and “Work In Progress”.

I have also decided to stop selling the “Lecture 0 – Where To Start” as many of the concepts it contains are now explained (or will be soon) in the free “Introduction To Drawing”.

The website is up and running and I am still testing all the links, so please, if you find something not working, let me know. Enjoy!

Ohhh, yes…and there’s another bit of good news coming in a couple of days. ;–))

Figure Drawing Workshop

Those of you living in and around Broken Hill might be interested to know I will be teaching a Figure Drawing Workshop on Saturday 28 June 2014 at The Regional Art Gallery. If you’d like to brush up your figure drawing skills and clear up any challenging areas this is a good opportunity. To reserve your seat, contact Ian Howarth at the Gallery.

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A possibly frequent question worth posting

The other day I have received an email with a question which I suspect would cross the mind of many of those who thought about doing my online course. I thought it is a good idea to actually publish (with permission) both, the question and the answer:

Hello,
I am curious about your online courses and how it is meant to be used.  I don’t have access to a live model at home and wonder if it is OK to use virtual models to practice what I learn in your course?  (books with a CD of various poses).  Is it valuable to learn that way and then to supplement these studies with live classes? I take classes with a live model twice a week, one in figure drawing and the other a portrait class.  I have been doing this for years, but I find that my drawing skills for the figure is still quite weak!
 Thanks!
C. H. from USA
There is a way to learn figure drawing. It is a simple way and so everyone can do it. It is a set of steps guiding you through the decisions everyone wanting to draw has to make. These decisions are being made on the fly as you draw. The more you practice making these decisions, the more they become subconscious and your attention is therefore free to start to create. That’s the purpose of practicing. To free you up. The accurate realistic figure drawing, as nice and satisfying as it is, is not the end goal. It is to become a tool you can then use to express yourself, to communicate your ideas and feelings to the world. That is Figure Drawing in a nutshell.
Drawing from live model is the best there is because it allows you to perceive the 3 dimensionality of the body better than looking at a 2 dimensional photo of a 3 dimensional body. However, if you don’t know what you looking for you will not be able to progress.
 You already have a part of the ideal solution. If you draw from a live model twice a week, all you need is someone to tell you how to go about making the conscious decisions when drawing. And, of course, then practice.
My online course is a series of videos which take the viewer through all the body parts, explaining how to decide upon the shape you are about to draw and why. It provides a basic list of the “do”s and “don’t”s. All of this is done watching me drawing in real time so that you can see how it happens while I talk and explain why I am doing what I am doing and why is it working.
I really enjoy teaching in person because it allows me to see the mistakes everyone does and point them out early. And, of course, I get a kick out of watching someone else “getting it”, when something clicks and magic happens. But precisely for that purpose I started the “Common Mistakes” free series of videos anyone can watch.
I haven’t seen your drawings but based on your own assessment I assume you stopped at a certain level and can’t get past it even though you are doing life drawing twice a week. I would suggest you get the course, watch it all carefully, follow the drawings I make in the videos and then look for the things discussed in them on the live model when you draw the model. You will leap forward.
Ohhh yes, and one more thing. You said you have no access to a model at home. But you do. Yourself. Look down at your foot, look at your hand or, as I often do, stand in front of the mirror (clothed or naked – up to you) and draw. Observe the mechanics of the body while you are having a shower, when you make a motion, what happens. You are the perfect model, because you can feel the pose in your body, you can feel your own weight, which muscles are contracted and which are relaxed. Invaluable exercise. See how you go, and please let me know if it is ok to post your question on the blog. Happy Drawing!

Masterclass Continues

Here are a few more images from the classroom.
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Below are some of the short poses, one and two minutes. I bet you wouldn’t say these students are only learning to draw. Fantastic stuff.
IMG_6707_webopt IMG_6714_webopt IMG_6716_webopt IMG_6721_weboptAnd here is an example of a 10 minute long drawing.
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Masterclass is now part of a Bigger Picture

Just a quick update for those wishing to reach the masterclass.figuredrawingonline.com website and get a weird result. That’s because the address gets redirected.

Why?
The initial Masterclass in figure drawing has been extended into a full blown Sculptural Course consisting of three parts. The former Masterclass teaching realistic figure drawing is the first part, Figurative Sculpture in Clay is the second part and finally the Figurative Sculpture in Stone is the third part of this unique course offered at an incredible price.

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The figure drawing is now closely related to sculpture and so I decided to move it in. Not all the links work as yet, but at least everyone can have a look and get the information.

As you will discover browsing the site, those who wish to participate only in one or two of the parts but not all can do so. The only requirement is that they have a workable knowledge of what the course they are leaving out teaches. This is a simple precaution to avoid holding up the class. There is so much ground to cover and so much to learn. So check it out. You can still use the old address or you can go to:  www.sculptureandstone.com/education.html

Student excellence

We just had our second session of the Masterclass last night and the progress the students made was fantastic. Last week we did the Where To Start introduction to the course by practising simplifying complex forms into simple geometric shapes. That way one can actually think of them and make conscious decisions about their size, shape, position and orientation in space. That was pretty basic stuff.
So then last night, the second session, we dived into the anatomy of The Rib Cage and The Pelvis big time. If you haven’t done any purposeful learning of figure drawing, there’s a lot to process the first time you hear this stuff but everyone landed on their feet and just check out these three drawings of the same pose by three different students. Huge, huge progress. No wonder everyone is having a good time. Can’t wait for the next week’s session to witness the wonderful creative surprises everyone comes up with. Who said there are no perks in teaching?

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Masterclass is up and running

Just a quick update, on the Masterclass. As you may know Masterclass is now offered in Broken Hill and it has a great success. The class is full with 10 students and with extra couple of people coming in just for the life drawing part of each sessions with no tuition.
We started on Wednesday learning the very important Where to Start part of the course, which is really the three basic rules of figure drawing upon which the rest of the knowledge can be successfully built. Everyone is charging ahead with an unbelievable speed. I know it often doesn’t seem that way to the students, but if you can read the signs, you can see how amazing their progress is.
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Broken Hill Alert

For those of you living in the Broken Hill region, please note, the Figure Drawing Course will start at the end of January 2014. If you want to have your say in the day of the week, starting time and start of the course itself, go to the Masterclass page and email me your choices by Monday, 13 January 2014.
The number of students is limited to 10 per class so that I can spend enough time with each of you. Those of you who came along to the demo session in December know what’s in store for you and how exciting drawing gets. So if you wish to do the course, grab a seat. See you all very soon.

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Work In Progress Continues

Hello everyone,

We continue with the second episode of this new series about figure drawing workflow. The part of the process I really wanted to share, is working out the composition. A kind of “go with the flow” process where one doesn’t have to worry about how a body looks in a certain position. The whole sum of the lectures I sell are geared towards this point. The lectures provide the knowledge of anatomy while teach how to go about massing, planes, plane breaks, how to find and observe landmarks, how to use simple devices like contour lines and so on. They help to build a visual library of the human body one can then use to create.
So here is the second free video. Enjoy!

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Work In Progress Free Video

Hello everyone,

I’m working on a figurative composition which will end up as a quite large (70cm x 100cm) pen and ink drawing in a style similar to the ones you can find here. It is going to be fairly complex, involving a number of figures. All of these will have to be designed and developed in terms of anatomy and expression.
001_work_in_progressSo I thought it might be useful to show you the process I use which will also demonstrate what I called in one of the earlier blog entries as the “flow”. Here it is:

“Once you have absorbed all that can be had from the beginners course and then you follow through with the advanced course, the place I would like you all to get to, is having so much knowledge stored up that you can entirely concentrate on the creative process. This doesn’t mean you get a highly polished anatomically correct drawing every time you put your pencil to paper. The place I am talking about is being able to be in the flow. Being able to rough out your composition and change things on the fly without having to worry about anatomy, massing, perspective and all the elements of drawing.
The tremendous power of this type of work is that it shapes and refines your own style. I repeat this because this is so important: This way, you will develop and refine your OWN STYLE. No more copying. You have to realise that in the whole wide universe there is only one copy of each of you. Nobody, NOBODY! can draw the way you draw as long as you develop your own style. That style is unique and cannot be copied. The internal energy of your stroke (developed in time) of your view and your aesthetics (arrived at through your very own life experience) can NOT be replicated. And that, is called Figure Drawing.”

So here comes the first free video in this series. If you have any questions, just post them as comments.