As many of you know, my friend George and I run a critique which is where I get some of my blog ideas. As a result, some of my blogs are directed towards those who come to get their work critiqued. One of the tips we seem to give more than others is for the artist to take drawing lessons. Even an abstract artist has good drawing skills. One of the best subjects for developing drawing skills is to draw the human form. The human form, especially the nude, is the hardest subject to really master.
Most people shy away from drawing the nude. Some think it is wrong to be drawing such a subject, which to me means they really have not developed fully as an artist. It is not necessary to include the nude in the subjects you paint, but it is wrong to think those who do paint and draw the nude are not truly good people. There are, however, reasons for embarrassment for not wanting to draw the nude – like the idea you may fail in front of others. I think I am fairly good at drawing the nude but boy have I failed at times – in front of others. I don’t hide what I’ve done I let others see as I study where it was I went wrong. It is even worse when it is a demonstration you screw up… I’ve done that too. Don’t be afraid to fail. In the end it will be well worth the effort.
This sketch is from one of my many trips to the parks to draw people. I sit in my car with my diet coke and sketch people. For me, it is perfect day off from work. Since painting and drawing are what I do for a living, I guess I’m always off from work – or more aptly put, I love my work – and it is work at times.
Back to the sketches I do at the parks. To me, the people in the parks or where ever I chose to sketch, are free models. Through observation I can determine who is going to make a good model, who is going to be still long enough to sketch, or return to the same position over and over. I tell those who say they cannot find models or cannot afford them to head out to the park near them and just start drawing. After a while you develop an eye for those who will make good models and the feeling of accomplishment you will get is great. The more you do this the faster you will get and soon you will be doing bicyclists speeding by. I learned how to draw moving people, like bicyclists, by using several people for a single figure. When one leg is extended where is the other leg? and so on. You develop your skill at analyzing through sketching and drawing from life.