A Drawing A Day 0022

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Simili Japon 225gsm paper 48cm x 32cm (18.9in x 12.5in), total drawing time 45 minutes

Another one of those “see through” kind of drawings.
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At this stage I realised the floor above is a bit too steep. So, a bit of correction below. I think I could have pushed it even a bit more.
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A Drawing A Day 0021

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Fabriano Accademia 200gsm paper 38cm x 30cm (14.96in x 11.81in), total drawing time 2 hrs
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A Drawing A Day 0020

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Fabriano Accademia 200gsm paper 60cm x 38cm (23.62in x 14.96in), total drawing time 3 hrs

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A Drawing A Day 0019

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Fabriano Accademia 200gsm paper 37cm x 37cm (14.56in x 14.56in), total drawing time 2 hrs

The principle of geometric shapes applies to the shapes within the shapes as well. The model’s right upper arm (model’s right) can be easily visualised as a cylinder tilted towards us. It is slightly thicker towards the top of it, due to the bulges of the Deltoideus then narrows down as the shape descends towards the elbow. But within that single cylindrical shape, there is the bulge of the biceps sitting nicely in front of the triceps.

So the trick is to look at the large shapes first and work out their shapes, dimensions, positions in space and then if the whole body works well in terms of anatomy, spacial distribution, weight, perspective…. then we can have a look at the smaller shapes within the large shapes. In that order only, because the smaller shapes go where the large ones do. They are embedded. Clearly, with experience and practice you get to do them all at the same time without loosing your way. And even then, when problems arise, the first thing you have to do is to simplify. So if the arm is out of whack, draw in the large shapes to clarify. This, of course ends the hope for a nice clean drawing. But, I think it is better to have yet another study than to pretend the drawing is good.
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The same way, below, you can see how the two Pectoralis Major muscles are but part of the larger cylinder of the rib cage. And, look at the thigh. The overall cylinder has the Tensor Fasciae Latae protruding at the top pushed forward by the Gluteus Medius on the side of the pelvis, Sartorius wedged in between the Adductor group and the Quadriceps group creating a lovely furrow…and so on and so on. Smaller shapes within the larger ones. That’s what the beginners course is for, to introduce a nice amount of anatomy.
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A few more details.
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A Drawing A Day 0018

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Simili Japon 225gsm paper 48cm x 32cm (18.9in x 12.5in), drawing time 60 minutes

A few nice geometric shapes below. Enjoy.
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A Drawing A Day 0017

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Simili Japon 225gsm paper 48cm x 32cm (18.9in x 12.5in), drawing time 1.5 hrs

In drawing sessions I heard many times the artists deciding whether a model is good or not. And I do want to believe what they meant was they personally did not like the poses the model was taking up. Because there is no such thing as a model that is not good. Or a pose that is not good. There’s only a person who is unable to draw the body in a certain pose. That’s all.
Whether the model is young or old, tall or short, slim or fat makes no difference. They all have their bodies through which they communicate their humanity. And that is always worth drawing. Just a thought.

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And a bit more detail.
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A Drawing A Day 0016

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Simili Japon 225gsm paper 48cm x 32cm (18.9in x 12.5in), drawing time 2 hrs

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A bit more shading.
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And a bit more detail.
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A Drawing A Day 0015

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Simili Japon 225gsm paper 32cm x 48cm (12.5in x 18.9in), drawing time 30 minutes

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A Drawing A Day 0014

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Simili Japon 225gsm paper 48cm x 32cm (18.9in x 12.5in), drawing time 25 minutes

It will help at the beginning, or even later when your intent is to study the nude to make the drawing of the human form transparent. A kind of see through. On the drawing below I started with positioning the head quite a bit higher. You can see by the extra lines on the top and back of the skull where the original position was. But it did not feel right. The fastest and easiest way (no point making this harder than it absolutely has to be) of finding a better feeling place for the head was to draw it disregarding the shoulder and the upper arm. This helped to judge how far would the shoulders rise above the rib cage in this pose. The neck is kind of wedged between the raised shoulders. X-ray vision is a good thing.

I did the same thing with finding the, pubis of the pelvis as this, in turn, would help to position the model’s left leg.
So I found the origin of the left leg and in the vein of what I talk about in the video on the Three Basic Rules, (yet again to make this experience as painless as possible) the first shape you put down on the paper will determine the position, size, rotation….of the next shape through their relationship (Rule Nr 3). So, if you draw the rib cage first, then the pelvis, then the head, you don’t want to stop and find, that while the head and pelvis work well together (belong to the same body in the same space) the rib cage is too small (or too large). Because then you have to go back and change the it. And if you don’t get it right, but you like it, then you need to change the other two to make it fit….. can you see the potential for a disaster?
When drawing the next geometric shape you have to be keenly aware of the size, shape and position in space of the shape before it. Have to constantly compare (relationships!) and, of course, the more shapes you have on the paper, the more information you have to keep in view not to go astray. Then you end up with a nice construction. Focusing on any detail before you have a body belonging to the space it is drawn in, having appropriate weight and attitude, will kill the process. You might end up with a nice detail, just not the body it should belong to. Okay, you get he picture.
So, I found the origin of the left leg easily because of the pubic bone of the pelvis (not drawn, only indicated) and now in order to make it work, I am watching all the attributes of the existing shapes and judging the perspective of the floor while recalling what the bones and muscles of the leg look like in this position, under this physical exercise.

All this sounds hard and complicated, but I do all this subconsciously, because I have been doing all of this for a little while. And so will you. In a little while. Just have to stick to the simple stuff you are able to hold in your attention for a bit. Like geometric shapes. ;–))

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And a bit more shading.
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A Drawing A Day 0013

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Simili Japon 225gsm paper 48cm x 32cm (18.9in x 12.5in)

If you have been looking at these drawings for the last 2 weeks, I think you start readily seeing what kind of shapes I am using for which parts of the body. However, these drawings are just examples of the process, they are not a prescribed set of geometric shapes to be used for a particular part of the body. Once you grasp the concept you have to make your own decisions. It is down to your artistic sensibilities, life experience, time of the day, sun or rain and anything else that makes an impression on you. The important bit to remember right now is the fact that the fitting shapes you would choose change all the time. With the change in pose, from model to model, even within a larger shape itself. Flexed muscles beg for a different solution to relaxed muscles. Endless variety. That’s what makes it so rewarding. Every time you look at a body, it is different. It is a brand new statement.
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Above, showing on the model’s left forearm, there are shapes embedded in the larger shapes.
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A Drawing A Day 0012

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Simili Japon 225gsm paper 32 x 48cm  (12.5in x 18.9in)
Different model, different pose – same process.
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Notice how I corrected the shape and position of the model’s left lower leg. In the image above it is strangely protruding past the position it should be – should be somewhat behind the knee.  In the image below I have improved on it by moving it.
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And a little more developed version below.
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A Drawing A Day 0011

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Simili Japon 225gsm paper 48cm x 32cm  (18.9in x 12.5in)
With this drawing I took a few more progress shots. It is quite interesting how this works. Because I have done the shapes stuff for a while, mostly I get by just using vague indication of them. So as I draw, I focus on the drawing, not on the teaching process. And get carried away as I enjoy myself. Then I kind of reverse engineer the whole thing once it is done to show some of the thought processes about the geometric shapes. Now I have reminded myself to stop and take shots before the drawing is established. So there is a bit more to talk about today.
0011_IMG_8124_1_wo0011_IMG_8124_1a_woAbove, you can see how the simplest geometric shape concept changes into a more and more refined one to accommodate the actual shape on the body. The video on the www.figuredrawingonline.com about this process actually depicts the very basic, first pass of shaping – so to speak. But what you see above follows once you are comfortable with the bare basics. Once you do not have to think whether to choose a rectangular shape of a box or a rounded shape of an elongated ball, then your thinking is freed up to refine the shape. There is of course, a whole set of refinements and the more you know about the shape you are drawing the faster you jump forward to a shape that is closer and closer to what you want to express.

Ok, the next stage:
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Here is another demonstration of altering the basic flattened cylinder to a one that has a bump on the front of it and then dividing the bump into two parts and then reshaping the bottom edge of it to get a nice version of the lower portion of Rectus Abdominis with a hint of the External Oblique on each side.
Also, notice the simple dissection of the model’s left foot. A cylinder coming down, blended into a ball blended into a cube. Quite simple once it is taken apart, isn’t it?
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Notice, that it is only now, at this stage that I have added the Shoulder Girdle – the cluster made of the arm, the scapulae at the back and the clavicles in the front. I could have done it earlier as I know intimately how unreliable it is to look at it to determine the position of the rib cage in space. In fact there is a video on this very common mistake in the section of…well…Common Mistakes. It is called The deceit of the Shoulder Girdle.
Also, there’s another example of the blending of shapes above. This time the models right arm. A ball like shape of Deltoideus blending into the upper arm blending into a somehow complex ball of the elbow and then blending into a cylinder of the lower arm which in turn morphs into a cube at it’s lower end. If it not obvious, please note, that all of these shapes working so nicely to represent the arm, work only in this particular position of this very arm. Should the position of the said arm change, all the shapes would change and / or end up being replaced by different shapes. Do you see now why I insist on sticking to the shapes for the time being till they are become truly your own vocabulary?
For those woking with 3D apps, the shape of the model’s right foot might make more sense if you are used to think in terms of polygons. But it is the same concept. I just fused some of the parts together.
And above there is also a detached breast to show you what happens to the ball like shape of it when it is embedded into the rounded, cylinder like shape of the rib cage.
0011_IMG_8124_4_wo0011_IMG_8124_4a_woAbove is the simple shape of the head with a line running from it’s top to bottom to show the slight turn of the head to the left of the picture. And a fused shape of the chest following the curve of the ribs at it’s bottom part, cutting the Pectoralis Major at the top at the point where it would disappear under the deltoideus (on both sides) to be inserted into the humerus bone of the upper arm. Sternum is indicated between the two halfs.

Then adding a bit more shading.
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And a bit more with a few extra studies to use the paper efficiently. ;–))
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A Drawing A Day 0010

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Simili Japon 225gsm paper 48cm x 32cm  (18.9″ x 12.5″)
By now, I suspect you’d like to see something else, something other than simple geometric shapes. But that’s just it. Nothing happens without them. Get these right and 75% of your drawing difficulties disappear. Clearly the more you do these exercises, the better you’ll get at them, but it is an ongoing engagement. The human body is way too complex to run out of new ways of drawing the same number of muscles and bones. And that, I suppose is also the pleasure of it. The start might be daunting, frustrating, full of doubts…but once you get past a certain point and you start creating with what you already know, there’s no stopping the joy. Then the geometric shapes are not an obligation. They are your new best friend and you can’t get enough of them. Want some more? ;–))
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A Drawing A Day 0009

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Simili Japon 225gsm paper 32cm x 48cm (12.5″ x 18.9″)
Continuing in the same vein.
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A Drawing A Day 0008

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Simili Japon 225gsm paper 48cm x 32cm (18.9″ x 12.5″)
This one is another 20 minutes long study in building a body on the ground. I know the article on foreshortening is not ready yet, so I’ll wait with talking about that. The lying down figure does present a different view of the human figure than what we are used to on a daily basis. So in some ways it is easier to see the geometric shapes as we have to think about what we see instead of just glancing over a familiar view of, say…a standing nude.

It is always the same – the need to make the observed form conscious until we know any part of the body in any view so well, we are freed up to create with them straight out of our imagination. In fact that is the end goal.
It is nice to have a model or at least a photo reference of a nude body to guide us while we can discover all kinds of visual delights, but the utmost creative satisfaction comes from experiencing an image appearing in our mind conjured up from a lifetime of ingested imagery and from what lies beyond our sensory perception, an image charged with content and emotion and being able to draw it. And for that we need the language of the forms of the body in a manageable system of geometric shapes. Whoa….that was a mouthful. But, you know what I mean, right?
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A Drawing A Day 0007

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on Simili Japon 225gsm paper 32cm x 48cm (12.5″ x 18.9″)
Again, more examples of simplifying complex form into simple geometric shapes. The very basis of Figure Drawing. It allows the grasp of the form. Otherwise it is way too complex to be thought of, let alone drawn. These are all short drawings, 15 – 20 minutes at most to reach the last version in the line of images. Their purpose is to develop a subconscious, instinctive ability to identify the best shape to represent a part of the body. To get there one has to draw a lot of these while thinking about the process. Since the thinking is taken up by it, there isn’t much space left for anything else to be considered.
Drawing in my class starts with short poses. 10 x 1 minute pose, 5 x 2 minutes, 2 x 5 minutes, 2 x 10 minutes and I really don’t want to go past 20 minutes length for the long poses. The short poses are there to warm up the students. But they also have a function of forcing the students to look for the large shapes of the body. There is no time to do anything else in 60 seconds. If you think about the details you run out of time before you could draw anything meaningful.
In every single class one or more students get “sucked in” by the detail in the longer poses. And I always remind them to treat the long poses as a 1 minute one to begin with. Get the large shapes on the paper, establish the large forms, their position in space and relationship to each other – The Three basic Rules – and they always manage to snap out of the spell. Then, when the drawing is already convincing, only then spend the time on the fanciful detail.
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For those who want to focus on realistic figure drawing, as opposed to generic drawing (landscapes, still life…), the study of the skeletal structure is of great importance.0007_IMG_8059_3_wo

A Drawing A Day 0006

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on tinted Simili Japon 225gsm paper 47cm x 32cm (18.5″ x 13.5″)
I’d like to continue in the same line of thought as up to now. Partly because it is so important to get used to these techniques of simplifications and partly I don’t want to start pointing out things for which the articles are not ready as yet.
I did the same thing with this drawing as with the others, however when I visualise the simple geometric shapes I also, at the same time, adapt them to what fits the drawing best. So if the cylindrical shape has a narrower bit I reshape the basic geometry to fit the need. Then join the reshaped geometry and that gives the body the outline as it is below:
0006_IMG_8045_8047_1_woHere are the basic shapes:
0006_IMG_8045_8047_1a_woThen I added a bit of shading:
0006_IMG_8045_8047_2_woAnd a bit more of the lines for shading:
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A Drawing A Day 0005

Random drawing I did today or just very recently relating to the free “Introduction To Drawing” and / or the Figure Drawing Course lectures. This may be just a post of a drawing itself, or with a short commentary (my preferred option), or even a video where I can also draw to clarify the points.
This is to encourage your drawing practices, to support and shorten your learning curve, and to invite you to post your artwork (in the “Student Work” category) where others can comment and everyone coming to the site and blog benefits. Happy Drawing!

The following is a graphite drawing on tinted Fabriano Academia 200gsm paper 50cm x 35cm (19.6″ x 13.7″)
This drawing continues in the all important vein of simplifying the complex form into basic geometric shapes. Then in the last image a small reminder of how easy it is to push too far. Knowing when to stop is just as important.
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