footer-latest-tutorials-title-backgrond1

"Thank you so much for making these classes available. They are rich and full and you are an excellent teacher. Your lessons are like a gift to my art."
K.B., USA

"I really enjoyed my time in this class. Robert's style of teaching is very encouraging and patient. Having never studied anatomy before I found it challenging but really rewarding when I saw the results on paper, having an understanding of the bone structure and muscles was really helpful and allowed me to experiment with my drawings. Each model was exceptional also, all of them very different. I am looking forward to progressing onto the intermediate course, I had such a great time, I would recommend it to anyone!"
Angeline
from Australia, after completing term4 of the Masterclass

"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
 

footer-latest-tutorials-title-backgrond2

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
 

footer-watch-podcasts-title-background1b1a

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.

Environment

With drawing, where you do it is just as important as how you do it. There are a few of us who can shut the world out with no problem and stay focused no matter what. A few. For the majority, though, especially if you are starting out on the path of drawing, you will need all your intentional focus on the process of drawing alone.

I believe, at least at first, one needs a quiet space for drawing. There’s too much to consider to be distracted by loud music, chatter or television. So find a space in your home that allows you to concentrate and think. Drawing requires a way of thinking different from that of verbal communication, so don't expect to just sit down, pick up a pencil and perform. It is a good idea for a few minutes to go through some of your drawings you really like, to browse this website for usuful tips, to flip through a few pages of a book about your favourite old master to kind of get you in the groove. Likewise it helps when you engage the mind in describing what is it you like about a particular drawing. It activates the mind standing between what you are looking at and your hand drawing the lines on the paper.
You should have enough space around you to be able to stand up and have your easel at a distance of an stretched out hand. If you’re not using an easel, the drawing pad should be tilted on your knees enough to approximate a position on an easel. The reason for this is the distortion which occurs when we view a drawing on an angle. But more about this in the separate "Why Standing" article.
If you have to sitting down, your hand should not be restricted by an armrest. Many of the lines will need to have a sufficient energy. That means if you don’t draw a long curved line with a swing of your hand, the arch of this line, despite of the curve drawn on the paper will feel flat – it will lack vitality. This is often a matter of a feel rather than a mathematical approximation of a perfect curve. Quite the opposite is true. The mathematical exactness is too perfect, rigid and unnatural. If you draw a beautiful flawless circle with an aid of a compass, it will never feel as nice as a freehand drawing of same circle by an experienced draftsperson. Why? It will lack aliveness. The very faculty that is activated when the drawing comes from an intention rather than an intention stepping aside, out of the way of the compass. See, the freehand circle will actually have a start and an end. I don't know what is it in us that allows us to register the minutest fluctuation in such a drawn circle. But, alas, that's how it is. Nothing replaces the human imperfections and hesitations caused by being rooted in aliveness, experiencing harmony and conflict at the same time.

You should have enough space around you to be able to stand up (if you’re sitting) and take up the pose you are trying to draw. This is very important. Often it is quite hard to imagine the weight of the body or it’s parts when just looking at it. By taking up the pose you will feel it in your own body. It will make you understand how the balance is held, which muscles are tensed to maintain the pose, what is the distribution of weight and your figures will stop flying around weightlessly on the paper and will nicely land and be grounded. Very important for the drawing to be believable.
If possible, leave your drawings out so every time you walk past them you can catch a glimpse of them. If you don’t have enough space to leave the drawings out, keep coming back to your folder and look at them. This will help you see which are the bits you’re not happy with and why. Often all we know is that we don’t like the drawing. It takes time to realize why. Also, for this reason it is a good practice to word what we don’t like about our drawing. Once you name it you can work with it.

And, of course, do not forget the mirror. For many of those wanting to draw the human figure it is impossible to draw from a live model. The reasons are manifold, expense, distance....you name it. And most people believe figure drawing rests upon drawing from live model. Sure, it is tremendously important, but supplies only a part of your figure drawing knowledge.

What we must not forget, is that each one of us is a human body that can be drawn. So, please, close the door if needed, make the room warm and take your clothes off. You just got yourself a free model. If you use 2 mirrors, you get to see your back as well. And there are other opportunities. Having a shower in the morning, look down your body, what is the upper leg like in that view, how about the knee, how much of it is visible under the upper leg. What is the lower leg doing? And the foot? Is it turned this way or that way to support the body? Do you go to the beach? To the pool for a swim? Observe the figures of others (without much staring), observe the body language of people talking to each other. How is it possible you can guess what they are talking about without hearing the conversation? Which gesture, suffle of feet or inclination of the head supplied the information. Do you take the bus or train to work? You 10 – 30 minutes of easy observations to make. The models are fairly stationary. Observe your kids. What do their bodies look like when you caution them. What pose do they take up? How is that pose different to the one when you praise them? The possibilities are endless. Most of your figure drawing knowledge, apart from the factual anatomy information you receive from tutorials and books, comes form your daily observations. From walking with open eyes, making mental notes. Nobody is expecting you to cast a glance at a person on the bus and remember the pose well enough to make a convincing drawing 2 hours later. But every time you make a conscious observation, a mental note about something you just saw your knowledge grows. Lots of fun.

 

A series of pen and ink figure drawing studies

When you cannot draw from a model, use the mirror to study your own body. Gives you the added advantage of feeling your own weight and muscles.

Part of the drawing studio 1

Part of my "drawing" studio – note the skeleton, the mirrors.

Part of the drawing studio 2

Part of my "drawing" studio – note the easel. I use every surface I can to place the work in progress drawings so that I can see them all the time.

Part of the drawing studio 3

Part of my "drawing" studio. If you cannot have the permanent "mess", set up a folder with your drawings to look through it every time you walk past and have 20 seconds to spare.

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

SmallSet8Icon14SmallSet8Icon15SmallSet8Icon16SmallSet8Icon17SmallSet8Icon18SmallSet8Icon19SmallSet8Icon20SmallSet8Icon22SmallSet8Icon23SmallSet8Icon24SmallSet8Icon25SmallSet8Icon26