I love figure drawing. Capturing the gestures of people in quick strokes. Breaking the insanely complex human figure into geometric shapes. It’s the best. Whenever I settle down at a full time job, I’ll start going to sessions again…
This is from 2009 halfway through a summer studying with some masters from Art Center
Absolutely, I haven’t done it is awhile, but I draw figures all the time to communicate use cases and service scenarios. It is important to be able to represent the human figure efficiently and with ease. Additionally, the human figure is one of the most complicate subject manner to be able to sketch. Learning how to indicate it is only going to help you to better draw other subject matter.
It was easily the most difficult class I took in school, but I learned so much about how to see when drawing from observation that all the frustration was worth it. I’d love to do some figure work again.
It’s been too long since I’ve been back, but I just wanted to give a plug to Dr. Sketchy - monthly life drawing held in bars. I’ve been to the Cleveland one a few times and it’s a fun, casual atmosphere with drinks, odd contests (with prizes, of course), and people with a variety of backgrounds and skill levels. No instruction or critique, just a chance to practice and hopefully have some fun. I think the original was in NYC, but there are branches in over a hundred cities around the world.
Although I have to admit that I dont get the time to do life drawing these days (here read… last 10 years) I did enjoy it way way back. Its a really recommended way to improve your skills. Anyway, just wanted to give the folio site of Anne Forschner a shout. She is a pretty talented designer, and obviously enjoys her life drawing, as can be seen in her folio. http://anneforschner.de/
I looked at your blog, I think your most successful sketches are the first “two minute” sketches at the top. They are 10x better than the rest. I think the speed there gives them much more life, and they have a much better sensitivity. The gesture of these figures are excellent.
The other longer poses get too heavy handed and “wooden”. Its like you slow way down and attempt to do a perfect drawing for these. Less sensitivity, it looks like you spend most of the time defining the outlines of the figure like a cartoon. Draw these longer poses the exact same way you start the shorter ones, but spend more time building up shading, not defining the outlines. If you only have 15 minutes, you might do an overall gesture, than pick an area to define more, and let the rest be a gesture. Nobody says you have to draw every part the same level.
Lastly, just relax and let your pencil move freely. The human figure is not a cell phone sketch, you can get loose and let the life come out.
Edit> I should say I prefer most of your quick sketches throughout your blog, not just the very first page. Nice stuff
Ryan, thanks for the feedback! At work I think I tend to obsess over details with the line drawing and I could see how that translated into figure drawing. Next time, I’ll see what I’ll do with a shorter line drawing on a longer session.