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"Sir, I love your instructional technique. Thank you! My wife can't believe how much progress I've made since watching your videos..I knew when I saw your previews that I could learn from you...hope all is well down under"
Mike F., USA

"Thank you very much for my membership to Figure Drawing Online blog! And thank you for the great lectures! They are exactly what I was looking for!
Your lessons are even better than the lessons that I have visited during my graphic design studies at the University.

Because of your teaching lessons I discovered the figural drawing again for me and I have the feeling to really learn something ... step by step. Thanks for that ;-)

In a few weeks I would like to progress to the Advanced Class."
Nicole K., Germany

"I was so impressed with the clarity of the beginning lecture and the lecture on the torso that I will be ordering all 13 lectures and advanced as they are produced. Great teaching!! I wish I was in Australia!"
Jack from USA
 

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Note: The links in orange are live and have content. The rest is coming soon.

1/ Approach To Drawing – a bit of theory that goes a long way

1.1/ There is no such thing as Multitasking

1.2/ Copying versus Creating

1.3/ The Only 3 Rules

1.4/ Grasping the Complex

2/ The Basic Set–Up

2.1/ Materials – paper, drawing tools...

2.2/ Environment

3/ Drawing Basics

3.1/ Why Standing?

3.2/ How to hold A Pencil

4/ Drawing Practices

4.1/ The Shapes

4.2/ How to Steady the Hand

4.3/ Basic Perspective

4.4/ Foreshortening

4.5/ Imagine It and Draw It

5/ The Drawing magic

5.1/ The building Elements – line, plane, mass and contour lines

5.2 Flick that Light Switch

5.3/ The rule of the Mass – weight, thrust, orientation
 

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Image of a female model and the drawing of her.

I also teach in person – figure drawing, figurative sculpture in clay and figurative sculpture in stone. Attending a class in person has it's advantages. If you wish to do so, find out where and when is the next class held.

Approach To Drawing

I know you are all eager to jump in and start. But before I present some mind bending revelations about figure drawing I want to address the reluctance to believe Everyone Can Learn To Draw some of you may experience. How do I know the ages old method of teaching figure drawing works? From experience. Not having the means to pay for training I had to re–discover the methods that bring results. The rest is just passing it on.
I want to show you examples of student progress in the classes I teach in person.
The "before" image was taken at the end of first session and the "after" at the end of the last session. These students have received only 3 hrs of tuition once a week for 8 weeks. That's 24 hrs of tuition. No more, no less. The knowledge passed on is exactly the same as the one contained in the free drawing tutorials and the paid Figure Drawing Course for beginners on this site. I think the results are staggering. Click on the images to view details.

First example of student progress achieved in 8 weeks

Second example of student progress achieved in 8 weeks

Third example of student progress achieved in 8 weeks

Fourth example of student progress achieved in 8 weeks

If you want to make a difference to your drawing skills, then first you have to experience a few revisions about the popular and unfortunately widely spread incorrect beliefs on drawing.

As a figurative sculptor I rely heavily on my ability to do realistic figure drawing. There was a time when I could not draw if my life depended on it. The thing is, the ability to draw a realistic human figure is not a privilege. It is a learnable skill and anyone with an average eye–hand coordination can master it. Anyone. If you were told that something special had to happen at the precise moment when you were born (getting a talent for drawing while someone else was getting a talent for business) in order to master the pencil, it's time to stop limiting yourself.

So, how does one get from not knowing anything at all about figure drawing all the way to being comfortable and confident in making creative decisions on a sheet of paper. It’s easier than you think and even if you have drawn for a while, you might be surprised to know that the all elusive convincing result is much closer than you believe.

To change the thinking that the ability to draw the human figure is a gift, let’s have a look at the difference between art and craft. The term “Artist” did not exist in the form it is understood today until mid 16 century. The giants who came before this time – Donatello, Giotto, Alberti, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti.... to mention only a few only from Italy and only from Middle Ages, were all tradespeople. The painters, the sculptors, the architects, all of them. They used realistic figure drawing as a preparatory medium to work out the composition, the proportions, expressions and the design of the figures populating their work. Recognising drawing as the bases of all creative work they taught this craft to all apprentices (right after cleaning the studio and waiting on the master) by getting them to follow a certain set of rules.

Figure drawing is no different to any other craft, such as making shoes. Anyone can learn to make shoes if shown how to do it and if enough time is allowed to practice the process. Realistic figure drawing is exactly the same. One follows a set of rules and one gets a result.

An excellent draftsperson is not necessarily an artist, however no artist can communicate his ideas without being able to draw (having the craft) so well that he no longer needs to think about it. It’s like a poet writing a poem without knowing how to speak or write. No poem would ever be written if one had to think about every single letter.

The craft of excellent realistic figure drawing is a tool on the tool belt. How it is used makes all the difference. It can be used to copy the nude model we see or it can be used to create. To communicate ideas, to represent one’s beliefs and one’s life experience through the subject of the model. To engage. And that’s when the craft of figure drawing is transformed into art.

This website cannot change anyone into an artist but it sure has the information needed to learn the craft – the drawing. How will you use it, is up to you. (This is the spot where you need to remember what I said about you in the "Drawing Tutorials Online" article on the home page. That you are Unique and therefore have just as much to say with your drawing as anyone else. I'm just sayin'...)

The next shift in thinking one has to achieve is absorbing the fact that We do not draw what we see, we draw what we know. This is a big one so I assume there is a large numer of people to whom this comes as a shock. The belief that if a drawing is not going as expected, then you're not paying enough attention is mistaken. As is the belief that when the drawing is really not going as expected then you don't have the talent and you're doomed and will never be able to draw in this lifetime.

The process of drawing is as follows: We look at something, let's say a nude model. We form an image of the model in our mind. And then we draw the image that is in the mind. The flow of information isn't from the eye to the hand holding the pencil. The mind stands between the two. And it is the mind that tells the hand how many lines to draw in what direction and in what intensity. If the mind doesn't have enough detailed information about what makes up the shape of the model, there's not much instruction to give to the hand and the drawing becomes somewhat lacking.

The process of loading the mind with information about what it is we are looking at is the knowing. That is half of the learning process. Knowing. The other half is practicing your hand so it becomes light enough to render values and steady enough to make a straight line.

To acquire this "knowing" is a slow process because we are not accustomed to make conscious decisions about the things we are looking at, such as: Is the model above or below my eye line? Is the model facing right or left? Leaning forward or backward?....But as we practice the knowing of what we are looking at, the process becomes more and more automated, moves to the subconscious and frees up the conscious mind to do other things. The conscious mind can do really well only one thing at the time. And if you want to draw well, you need to understand that There is no such thing as multitasking.

Summary so far:
1/ Ability to draw is not a privilege. Anyone with average eye-hand coordination can learn it.
2/ We don't draw what we see, we draw what we know.

This is an all important underlying shift in approach to drawing that has to happen.

If you found the free tutorials, articles and the
"A Drawing A Day" series helpful, please donate an amount of your choice. Your support will enable me to continue producing more free stuff to help the progress of your learning. I do appreciate your support.

Image of a hand making a pen and ink drawing of a figure

This site has a Blog which is the platform for announcements. This is where the news of any new article, video and / or tutorial is posted. It also publishes the "A Drawing A Day" series where I upload a drawing a day, sometimes with a bit of commentary to demonstrate some of the many points talked about in the free lessons and the drawing course. This may take on a form of a video.

figure drawing online

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