Sketching As a Starting Point
It’s tricky when an activity involves technique but is actually done best when you just get loose and let things happen naturally and effortlessly. Dancing is that way, and learning how to draw and sketching are, in part, that way too. There are a lot of things that you can analyze in drawing, but in the end you have to take all the lessons you’ve learned and kind of put them to the side and just go with it in a physical way.
That can be hard for me. I like to go over things again and again until I get them “right.” That’s why I am more inclined to pencil sketch rather than do any kind of formal drawing. Sketching is something you can do almost meditatively, repeatedly going over curves and lines in anatomy sketches; working through several iterations of a loose gesture drawing; or doing dozens of quick drawings when sketching faces of people around you. Sketch drawing is casual and offhand, and you can do it in an almost unconscious way. That sets me at ease when I pick up a pencil, yet I still like to feel a focus or purpose when I sketch.
That’s why I love sketching as a starting point for any studio time. I have dozens of exercise I do just to loosen up and have filled sketchbooks and sketchbooks with warm-ups like drawing a star without lifting my pencil, as I trace it over and over. Same exercise with circles or figure eights. Or I’ll connect two dots with a line, warming up my hand with my eye. Or drawing circles within circles that don’t touch. Or circles that touch along a line. There are probably hundreds of these kinds of warm ups, and I haven’t met one I didn’t enjoy doing. And for me it really helps. I have seen the differences in my own work–drawings that seem more stilted and tensed up versus those that have loose and flowing lines. And when I take on more complicated subjects like the human body, the difference is even more pronounced! So give yourself time to loosen up if you jump right in to a drawing and find that you aren’t getting the results you want.
And when you are indeed ready to take on drawings of anatomy and the human form, let Figure Drawing Studio be your guide. You will glean how to draw the body fluidly and sketch mindfully. Concepts of a good, expressive drawing are broken down in a time-honored way, so that you can learn to sketch by focusing on rhythm, line quality, and form shapes, in a way that never gets old.
And other sketching lessons bubble up in this resource too! They stick in my mind like the seeds of a good idea that I’ll be ready to sow once I put pencil to paper. Figure Drawing Studio really points me in the right direction in terms of taking what I love about sketching into an arena where I have purpose and draw the human figure with intent. So let go and let draw! Enjoy!