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[Drawing] The Human Form
November 21, 2009

I have really been enjoying learning to draw the human form. I thought you might like to know how I am approaching this task because it can be quite a difficult process for some of us.

I am fortunate to have a lot of books on figure drawing, so it's only a matter of finding the time to go through them.

I first make my selection by flicking through each book until I find one that looks right for me, i.e. simple drawings and sketches with step by step directions.

I make a notation in my sketchbook with the chosen book title and the date I commence practice. I follow all of the instructions in the book and practice drawing every example as I go, I don't just read the book.

Something interesting happened last week, I was making good progress with an excellent Walter Foster book but unfortunately it was only a short book. So, I repeated my selection process and continued practicing from the next book. That's when I noticed that I couldn't manage to draw the form as well as I could with the first book. Isn't that amazing? I thought I would continually improve with each and every book. The second book was approaching drawing from a different angle and it just didn't work for me.

It shows that different teachers have very different styles and you need to find the one that "speaks" to you in language that you understand.

Learning is an interesting process. It starts with what you already know and how you connect that with any new information you receive. If the pieces fall into place (like a jigsaw puzzle) then you learn fast. If you come across information that you don't understand, it's because the 'teacher' is using terminology that is unfamiliar to you. There is nowhere in your brain for you to connect that information together. Ultimately, you end up with pieces missing from your jigsaw and you're not seeing the whole picture. That's where our struggles begin!

It is very important that you find the right teacher. Just because I think one book is good, it doesn't necessarily follow that it will be right for you. We have to search for the structure that suits us so we can build on it. My mission is to encourage you to start drawing. Once you get going, you are going to crave more and more information that I can't provide. Over the whole of your learning experience, you will likely need to find more than one teacher.

Treat your search for good teachers as an expedition, exploring different styles, effects and mediums. Drawing is an adventure, make it yours!

Tip of the Month

When you draw a portrait try not to concentrate too much on getting a likeness, simply concentrate on structure and the shape of the face.

You'll be surprised to find that a likeness will emerge even though your focus is elsewhere.

Do you have a question about drawing? You just might find your answer in the frequently asked questions section.

You can quickly find the last 20 pages to be added to the site simply by visiting the Drawings Blog.

, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read this issue.

You are welcome to reply to this email if you have anything you'd like to share with me.

Have a creative day!


"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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