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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 term 4 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.

The Shapes

movies

One of the milestones in figure drawing is the difference between having mental knowledge of a principle and experiential understanding of the same knowledge. The latter comes about through experience. Practice. Many who teach drawing just say, get yourself some paper and just draw and draw and draw. This is certainly essential, but it does help knowing what is going on and why. Otherwise, one just lives in the hope that something might eventually fall in place and all will be well – hopefully before being fed up with things not working.

As I said in the article on the Three Basic Rules one needs to know what something looks like to draw it. Then one needs to choose a simple geometric shape to represent the shape on the body. Then one compares the shapes to each other which creates the correct relationships between them and then one ends up with a reasonable drawing.

The choice of a particular shape to represent a particular part of the body is in the end up to each artist themselves. In that regard I can speak only for myself, what is it that works for me. I am using the A Drawing A Day series published on the blog for this end.

Below is the set up I use for the first session in my class explaining the basis of the Three Basic Rules. The objects are all white to eliminate distractions. The whiteness also helps when studying the light and it's movement on the objects. But basics first. I would suggest to have some sort of a ground under the objects as this helps to establish the ground plane. Again, more about that will be explained in the article on the Basic Perspective. So do not worry too much if the objects seem to float or sit on different grounds.

Example of a set up for drawing simple geometric shapes 1Example of a set up for drawing simple geometric shapes 3

Example of a set up for drawing simple geometric shapes 2Example of a set up for drawing simple geometric shapes 4

It helps to vary the objects and their interaction / overlapping to get out as much of the exercise as possible. I am not expecting you to go out and search for something similar as above so a quick trip to the pantry resulted in good substitues. They are not white, but will do. You may want to replace the apple with a tennis ball.

Example of a set up for drawing simple geometric shapes 5

Example of a set up for drawing simple geometric shapes 6

How to Steady The Hand

Steadying the hand is almost entirely the matter of practice. Of drawing all the time. Now the good part is that it does not have to be a nice drawing or a figure drawing. Quite the opposite. This is the time to focus on the act of drawing rather than what is being drawn. Having lots of cheap paper will help too. This is the type of drawing that can be done without much thinking. Like being on hold with your electricity provider – nothing to do for 15 minutes. Perfect. A sheet of paper and off you go. The whole point is to develop a kind of muscle memory for your hand so that you get the pressure you want when you want it. You don't want to start thinking about the weight of your pencil stroke when doing your nice drawing. But, having said that, if you want to practice your hand while doing some figure drawing, that's good as well. Another good thing to do is to draw large. To swing your arm (not hand) a lot. For example, standing at an easel with your hand stretched out and drawing simple vertical lines as straight as you can. Then trying the horizontal ones.

OK, below are some simple practices on developing the sensibility towards the shapes and how to train your hand in drawing them. Practicing drawing the shapes will then assist in crossing that line between having to think about the process and doing it instinctively, viscerally.

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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