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Figure Drawings
Pen And Ink

A Guide to Figure Drawing

By J Arthur Davis

Just the thought of sketching a living human model is enough to send shivers down one's spine. But if you are going to make a living as a figure artist, then you've got to get used to it as soon as you can.

To make yourself more at ease with figure drawing, here are a few tips for you. These will serve as a guide to figure drawing so that you won't get distracted at the sight of a nude model.

Avoid being caught up in the details of the human figure. That would slow down your work. A technique to make figure drawing a lot easier for you is to try to scribble lightly and loosely just to capture the outline of the figure. Soon, you will be able to figure out the best approach for you.

Determine the empty spaces around the figure when you look at the model. You fill in those spaces by forming shapes. That way, you shift your focus on the subject because you teach yourself how to broaden your span of vision. Simply put, you see the whole picture rather than just the subject itself.

Ask for help and opinion from fellow artists. Improving your figure drawing skills is easy when you have someone who can give constructive criticisms of your work.

Read, read, read. As with other forms of art, you learn the basics from instructional books or lessons. Of course, you need all the information you can get to enhance your ability to draw human figures.

Practice, practice, practice, that is the only way you are going to bet better and get over your fears.

Get Started Figure Drawing in 3 Easy Steps

By Alex Moore

1. Begin with a hint

Rapidly draw out the general shape that you expect your character to have. This way, you will not be bogged down with the details of the drawing. Try to capture the stance of the character, the gestures and movements that the character will be making and the body shape. Draw a line down the center of the body to show where the character's spine is bending. Be sure to include a counter-pose, as this character will be reacting to gravity. Few people are able to stand perfectly rigid and they are unlikely to stand this way all the time.

2. Start adding the elements

Add details all over the place. Be as elaborate as you want, since you can always omit details that you end up not liking. Include clothing folds and tears, accessories and other details. Do not go overboard with these details since you might end up erasing many of them. Try out all the different ideas you have running in your head.

3. Add the finishing touches

Start erasing many of the features that you do not like. Work on cleaning up and darkening your lines. If you created a great figure in the first place, this part should be relatively easy. Keep drawing and persevere.

4. Bonus Photoshop advice

If you really royally screw up, you can use your Photoshop program to resize body parts that are out of proportion. Also, using the select and rotate feature, you can somewhat change the pose and positioning of the limbs. You can also color your character really easily by setting your paintbrush on multiply. That way, your colors will not cover up your lines.

These steps make figure drawing seem easy, but there is still a lot that goes into mastering a drawing such as effective planning and careful drawing. Once you get better at visualizing the variety of poses that you might want to put your character in, there will be no limit to the variety of scenes you can create for your character. Practice and learn and you will perfect your artwork in no time.

How To Draw Figures: Human Figure Drawing Tutorial

By Edith Ozera

Did you know that you can learn to draw a figure without attending to figure drawing classes easily? The most comprehensive drawing figure tutorial by Todd Harris is now online and available for instant download for people looking for figure drawing help.

With the techniques revealed in this figure drawing eBook, it will be possible to draw pencil drawings of the human figure with ease whether beginner or advanced.

One of the best thing about this downloadable course is that even if you could easily spend thousands of dollars on figure drawing class at an average university, you can save your thousands with this special eBook which reveals all the techniques including the figure drawing without a model.

Learning the human form is really difficult, time consuming and tedious task for the most of the beginner artists. Being the most critical of all elements, human form must be very well understood whether you want to be an accomplished artist, portrait artist, video game artist, film artist, or a commissioned artist.

Learning how to draw the human form is fully covered in this eBook with great detail. The powerful lessons which will teach you everything you need to know about the human form will bring you to new arenas of your hobby, career, or training you thought unimaginable.

If you want to learn the techniques outlined in this pdf guide, you would need to purchase around 6 other books which would cost you around $200. Todd Harris has made a great job for preparing this eBook pdf.

This all-inclusive guide for beginners will combine techniques of the masters, to tricks on how to draw people right the first time. This online lesson is a great opportunity for getting a steal of a deal in money and time.

This guide comes together with 5 free tutorials to help you understand the basics in depth. These are the best resources online:

The Art and Science of Drawing by Harold Speed: which will help you to learn the secrets of drawing straight from the masters.
One Piece Portfolio Review Submission: which will let you to submit a piece of artwork and have it evaluated and reviewed with a critique sent back to you.
Getting Started: which will teach you the basics of the block-in method and line variation and contour drawing.
The American Drawing Book by John Gadsby Chapman: which give you tips from the basics to advanced techniques.
Pen Drawing An Illustrated Treatise by Charles Maginnis: shows you everything you need to know how to make beautiful pen drawings.

Indeed every artist operate a little differently. This learning program fits any artist's learning style. You can easily learn figure drawing step by step by choosing the program which fits your style.

Even if you you are not sure which kind of artist you are, that's okay. You will still have complete description and will benefit from learning the techniques that are made for the type of artist you are.

Learning figure drawing tips and the human form has never been that easy with the secrets of the masters. Discover the secrets of experienced illustrators and masters with step by step instruction.

You will get the best eBooks full of advice, tips, instruction and illustrations delivered instantly at your fingertips. Learn to draw figures with a system right for you. Download this ebook here and learn everything you need to learn immediately.

How to Draw the Figure - 9 Common Mistakes

By Miriam Slater

This article covers nine of the most common mistakes artists make when drawing from the model. I have spent over twenty-five years drawing the figure, which has helped me to define some commonly made errors. The art process is fluid and impossible to pin down with rules but if you wish to make a more convincing life drawing then these ideas will certainly help achieve that end. The following are the nine mistakes along with their solutions:

Mistake #1 is starting to draw without first giving thought as to what it is that you would like to achieve. More often than not, people immediately begin sketching without ever establishing some kind of intention in their mind first. A well thought out drawing has more focus and reads clearer than one that doesn't. Mental meandering from the very start sets the tone for the rest of the drawing and leaves no aesthetic foundation on which to build.

The solution is to pause for a moment before beginning your drawing and to look at what you see in front of you. Keep your mind open and then notice what ideas pop up - the moment of stillness allows undiscovered ideas to reveal themselves to you and this is the point where things start to get more creative.

Mistake #2 is the failure to establish the position of the complete figure on the page resulting in a drawing in which heads, arms or feet end up getting unintentionally cut off because the artist has run out of room on the paper.

The solution is to put in underlying structure lines first, over which sub-forms can be placed. Be sure to include the top of the head and the bottom of the feet in your initial rendering plus some extra space for the margins. It sounds simple enough but it is amazing how many people will forget to do it.

Mistake #3 is the unintentional straightening of angles on the model (angles are important because they show how much the model is leaning). It is done unconsciously on our part and must be compensated for continually. Because most people aren't aware of this tendency the problem never gets addressed in their drawings with the result that the model looks stiff.

The solution is to start to draw the angles just as you see them but then to exaggerate the angle further to compensate for your innate tendency to straighten things. The effect is that your drawing will appear to be more accurate. You have to go out of your comfort zone and force things a bit, but to the viewer the drawing will look more believable.

Mistake #4 is the equalizing of the proportions on the human body when in fact irregular proportions are the norm. Nothing is equal or symmetrical in nature even though it may appear that way upon first glance.

The solution is to observe more closely and you will see the many uneven proportions that you didn't see the first time around. To just being aware of the tendency is already a step in the right direction and will help the quality of your drawing. Another method is to measure the length of various anatomical proportions on the model and compare them what you have drawn - you will inevitably find areas where you have "equalized" measurements. The irregularities are what make the drawing interesting and demonstrate the artist's ability to observe closely. Nature and life are full of surprises and so your drawing should contain a few as well.

Mistake #5 is not to consider the environment surrounding the figure, resulting in a figure that inadvertently appears to be cut out or "floating" in space.

The solution is to include a bit of the environment in the drawing. It can be the smallest line, but it helps the figure look more solid and more grounded. For example, add a small horizontal line next to the heel to suggest the floor, or a smudge done outside of the figure to suggest the space - it is as simple as that and works like a charm! The old masters did this a lot and you may want to refer to them for ways to integrate the environment with the figure.

Mistake #6 is going to work on the details before establishing the larger forms first. It is very easy to get lost in the details, but all that work goes to waste unless you have the proper foundation forms in first. The temptation is to start "finishing" off the drawing too fast, resulting in some beautifully rendered areas that have to be erased later.

The solution is to get the drawing laid in correctly from the start, always remembering to work from large to small. The main forms go in first, then put in the sub forms and the details can be considered icing on the cake.

Mistake #7 is expecting the model to look or take a pose that is "just right". It is OK if they move a bit, give you difficult foreshortened poses, or don't have the appearance you are looking for. The success of your drawing has very little to do with the model and everything with you, the artist. It is your job to bring the beauty, proportion, and interest to the situation, and not the other way around. Picasso is an excellent example of an artist who could take an ordinary model and turn her into a compelling work of art.

The solution is to claim your power as an artist and bring the beauty, grace, and dignity (or whatever it is you are looking for) to the model before you. You can make a model into whatever you desire with some creativity on your part, however, you will not rise to the occasion and do this if you think you have to rely on the model for inspiration. That said, some models have indeed do have a special quality and can be so wonderful you can't help but do one of your best drawings. But you shouldn't have to rely getting a perfect model to make a successful drawing - you can do it anyway regardless of what you see before you.

Mistake #8 is making a very professional drawing except for that the hands and/or feet are less well done and not consistent with the rest of the drawing. Many beginners as well as professional artists have trouble in this area, but if you take the extra time to make the hands and feet consistent in concept with the rest of the drawing and without fudging or trying to cover up - well, then you are in the top ten percent!

The solution is to specifically work on the hands and feet and study them thoroughly. Drawing from the old masters (who offer many solutions) will help. Also, draw and redraw the hands and feet until they appear to be done with ease - it takes time but is more than worth the extra effort because a great work of art is like a chain - it is only as good as its weakest link, so if you "screw up" on one part (i.e. the hands and feet), it weakens the entire work.

Mistake #9 is to think that you have learned enough, that you finally "arrived". In art as in life, ideas unfold as you progress and ultimately it is more about the creative process than the end result. As Picasso once said, "Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility."

The solution is to make a decision to keep your mind open so that the stage can be set for new and amazing ideas to gently reveal themselves to you. Being "right" all the time is the biggest obstacle to having an open mind - don't spend time being right, rather, put your efforts opening your mind to new possibilities.

The ideas presented should improve the quality of your figure drawings. If you find yourself not improving then you may want to consider finding a drawing teacher or joining a drawing workshop. Life drawing (which requires a lot of discipline) is usually more successful when done in a group. One reason is that your ideas are often triggered by other artists and secondly your overall performance will be better in a group situation (it is similar to a gym in that respect). As you bring your mistakes to light and remove them, then the pure creative experience becomes more evident in your work - and your life drawing is on its way to becoming a work of art.


No architect troubled to design houses that suited people who were to live in them, because that would have meant building a whole range of different houses. It was far cheaper and, above all, timesaving to make them identical.
Michael Ende

Not many architects have the luxury to reject significant things.
Rem Koolhaas

Nothing requires the architect's care more than the due proportions of buildings.
Marcus V. Pollio

Proportions are what makes the old Greek temples classic in their beauty. They are like huge blocks, from which the air has been literally hewn out between the columns.
Arne Jacobsen

Rome has not seen a modern building in more than half a century. It is a city frozen in time.
Richard Meier

Space has always been the spiritual dimension of architecture. It is not the physical statement of the structure so much as what it contains that moves us.
Arthur Erickson

The bungalow had more to do with how Americans live today than any other building that has gone remotely by the name of architecture in our history.
Russell Lynes

The dialogue between client and architect is about as intimate as any conversation you can have, because when you're talking about building a house, you're talking about dreams.
Robert A. M. Stern

The frightening thought that what you draw may become a building makes for reasoned lines.
Saul Steinberg

The higher the building the lower the morals.
Noel Coward

The interior of the house personifies the private world; the exterior of it is part of the outside world.
Stephen Gardiner

The loftier the building, the deeper must the foundation be laid.
Thomas Kempis

The Romans were not inventors of the supporting arch, but its extended use in vaults and intersecting barrel shapes and domes is theirs.
Harry Seidler

The work of art shows people new directions and thinks of the future. The house thinks of the present.
Adolf Loos

Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator.
Antonio Gaudi


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