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.
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. It is in our nature to be enthralled with what makes us human. Eventually, as your skills as a draftsman improve, the process of drawing beckons you to explore all things homo sapien, both observed and imagined.
Artists throughout history have been fascinated with the human figure. Their struggles and triumphs in formulating traditional drawing methods have become their gift to contemporary artists. These drawing methods document the masters’ solid understanding of artistic and anatomical human form. And that can be daunting, to say the least, for students who are just starting to learn basic drawing skills.
As we welcome more Level 1 students to Drawing Lab sessions, and Level 2 sketchers hone their observational skills, many of our Level 3 students are stepping up their game by studying human form. I am now offering more extensive lessons that explore the basics for drawing people. These lessons will make it easy and enjoyable for you to discover specific areas of interest and levels of challenge.
I am excited about the new directions students have been pursuing in their work including drawing objects in the studio, concept sketching, and taking your sketchbooks outdoors to draw the world. Progress has been amazing! But your interest in drawing the human form is perhaps the most exciting challenge of all.
For those of you interested in studying human figures and faces, I will be preparing more lessons in the coming months. As we learn together, those lessons will become the new introductory program for figure drawing in the future. And, as always, we will continue to offer lessons for studying all our other subjects, skills, and techniques as well.
Our fascination will prevail!
This Week’s Student Gallery