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"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
 

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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.

movies

Why Standing?

There are a number of things to consider. The first is to put the artist in a position that is least distracting to the thinking process. One might think this means to be as comfortable as possible, that is, to be seated. Quite the opposite. It is true that sitting down is more comfortable, but any discomfort standing may cause, is many times compensated by the advantages it offers.
First of all, your drawings should be large. For those who are just starting the smaller the paper size, the safer and easier the drawing seems. Nothing would be further from the truth. You will learn much faster if you swing your hand a lot. Your lines will have tension and energy. You will lighten your hand much faster thus allowing you to render the values you need. So use at least an A3 (297cm × 420cm), preferably A2 (420cm × 594cm) size. And use the whole size of the sheet, don't make a small drawing in the corner of a large sheet of paper. This happens all the time in the class. The best way to achieve these is to use an easel.
You should be standing at almost your arm length from the easel. This is partly to fit comfortably in your view the whole drawing you are making and partly to promote "drawing from the arm" instead of from the wrist as if you were writing. More on this below in the article and video on
How to hold the pencil.
The next consideration is to move as little as possible when observing the object you are drawing. Ideally, you would be moving only your eyes. From time to time it is most beneficial to step back from the easel. This will change your viewing angle and refresh your alertness. This is when you can notice whether you have been led down the path of detail and forgot to view the whole picture.

Man standing at an easel drawing

Example of a roll of inexpensive drawing paper, detail

Man standing back from the easel examining a drawing

Stepping back to see the whole drawing from a different angle.

The next important condition that is satisfied by drawing standing up at an easel is the fact that your drawing is almost perpendicular to your view. This helps you to avoid perspective distortion. Even if you have to sit down to draw I'd strongly recommend not to hold your drawing pad as it is in the image on the left, below. It is much more helpful to hold it up, as it is in the image on the right.

Man sitting down drawing

Man sitting down drawing with an upright drawing pad

To demonstrate the distortion, the image below shows a figure on the left drawn with the drawing pad very flat and the figure on the right with the drawing pad upright. Quite a difference. Once you have drawn for a while, you'll learn to compensate for such distortions, but if you are just starting, this could cause a lot of disappointments without an obvious reason.

A comparison of two figures and their perspective distortion

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.

 

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