The Natural Way to Draw

“There is only one right way to draw and that is a perfectly natural way. It has nothing to do with artifice or technique. It has nothing to do with  aesthetics or conception. It has only to do with the act of correct observation, and by that I mean a physical contact with all sorts of objects through all the senses.” —Kim Nicolaides, The Natural Way to Draw

As a drawing coach, one of my greatest thrills is seeing students smile as they revel in pure, honest sketching from life. I enjoy nudging each student to the next level of exploration and discovery in finding their own confident, natural way to draw.

After nearly a year of studies in core skills, Fiona confidently stepped out the studio door to do her very first real-life urban sketch of a nearby winery facility, shown in the above pic. Notice how she emphasized the building in the foreground and used lighter lines and color washes for the trees in the distant background, creating depth in her sketch.

Fiona recording observations in her sketchbook. Summer is almost upon us—go out and enjoy drawing the world!
Working directly to ink and watercolor, Fiona unleashed her studio skills in this outdoor observation of an old building. Fluid line work reveals her genuine delight in the process.
After blocking dominant shapes, Mike flows into sketching facial features of a plaster statue bust from a Bargue print. Next step is to study the actual plaster cast of the subject. 😬
Bob, our resident skull, poses in a composition with a sunflower set up by youth sketcher, Max. As a Level 3 sketcher, she loves to go for contour line and watercolor studies during our private coaching sessions.
Bob really finds his way around. Here he poses with a friendly ram skull for Nicole to imagine a transition sequence for her Tombow pen ‘morph’ study…
Animators do morphs to show how a character or object transforms into something different. The prompt for this lesson was for Nicole to show a morph transition in 5 steps. Want to try a morph lesson for your next session? Let Rob know.
Just another evening of sketchiness with friends.

It’s always fun to feast on new drawing techniques and media, especially when Drawing Lab students bring a guest to the table…

Left to right: Jamey, Liz (Jamey’s friend from Colorado), and Jamey’s daughter, Lucy
Up close to Jamey’s excellent line work of her Level 2 cross hatching lesson.
Just as I was preparing this week’s email, Jesse texted me a sketch of a cup of ice tea. 👍He’s working on textures and values as he explores drawing with a ballpoint pen during our private coaching sessions.
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Rob Court

Founder and drawing coach at the Scribbles Institute, Rob helps adults and kids learn basic drawing skills for work, school, and enjoyment. He is the author of a number of how-to-draw books.