Category Archives: Student Work

Drawing Humans: Our Fascination & Fear

My students often tell me their scariest challenges are drawing realistic human figures, faces, and hands. When I tell them drawing human beings can scare me too, they seem surprised. We all need to spend more time building our skills to overcome our fears.

Carrying a sketchbook can help you log practice time. Every sketch you do helps you overcome the fear of figure drawing.  A single vantage point, while sitting on a bench in a nearby park, provided many figures to practice in my sketchbook, as shown above.

8-13-17-faith-figure-sketchbook
Each week, students increase their range of techniques and skills in drawing the human figure. Faith, learns about movement and gesture sketches from the book Spirit of the Pose, by Carl Gnass

Learning to draw the human form can be intimidating. But at the same time we are easily captivated by its complex anatomical structure, movement, and beauty. Continue reading Drawing Humans: Our Fascination & Fear

Aren’t You Glad You Have Your Sketchbook With You?

Lucy and her mom, Jamey, are students in our Draw With Your Kids program. While vacationing, they sent us the above photo in an email last week.

“We miss you!!! I don’t think we have been in town for a Thursday this whole summer! Lucy asked me to send you this photo of one of her sketches…you will be happy to know that wherever we are she has the sketch pad with her.”

That unexpected bolt of inspiration can strike anytime, anywhere. It could be the sight of a colorful flower, a folded jacket left on a chair, the movement of an orchestra conductor’s baton, or an arrangement of umbrellas on a beach. Continue reading Aren’t You Glad You Have Your Sketchbook With You?

At The Drawing Table

Sometimes, after a hectic day, you look forward to going there just to hide out and sketch. Other times it is waiting for you, before the sun comes up—a cozy place to set a warm cup of coffee, open your favorite sketchbook, and draw to your heart’s content. Having a table set aside in your home for drawing is essential for gathering your thoughts and doing deep creative work. Continue reading At The Drawing Table

Putting Lines to Work for You

“I can’t even draw a straight line!” is a common phrase I hear before beginners start lessons with me. But we soon learn to draw a wide variety of lines, including reasonably straight ones. With practice, even errant and wobbly lines will bend to your command. For students like Dotty, shown above, putting various lines to work is at the heart of learning to draw from observation. Continue reading Putting Lines to Work for You

Drawing With the Right Crowd

Your parents probably told you to hang out with friends who will influence you in positive ways. It is important to find the right crowd for sharing new experiences together as well as helping you grow as an individual.

This advice holds especially true when looking for people to learn how to draw with. Continue reading Drawing With the Right Crowd

The Magic of Realistic Form

Creating the illusion of three-dimensional form on a flat piece of paper is one of the biggest challenges in observational drawing. If only we could wave a sorcerer’s wand to instantly make our drawings look three-dimensional. Like magicians, we would be able to create dramatically modeled shadows, realistic contours, and brilliant highlights without effort. But even the greatest drawing illusionists in history agree: the true magic of realistic form begins with a keen eye for accuracy and deliberate practice. Continue reading The Magic of Realistic Form

Getting to the Finish Line

After your first session or two with me it becomes clear—while spending hours practicing my block-sketch-draw method, we often find ourselves in a tortoise and hare race.

As you jump ahead to attempt drawing perfectly finished lines, I slow you down to keep your line work light and open. As you slow down to finish a specific area of your drawing, I come along and have you bounce around the entire composition, comparing the size of one shape to another, correcting the distance between an angled line and a curved one, and so on.

This constant process of comparative and relational measuring can prompt students’ inward screams, “When will I ever get to finish a drawing?” Continue reading Getting to the Finish Line