Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How does one study? (figure drawing)

So I've heard it time and time again. "you need to go back to the foundation and learn your basics."

Drawing an accurate figure is something I've struggled with for years. I can render it well, but do I really understand the structure?

So I've gone and amassed an enormous amount of figure drawing reference and books. The question is, however.... Just HOW DOES one study a giant book of Bridgman? So many pages and pictures and diagrams and words and words and words! How doe one soak up all of the knowledge and actually retain it??? Is there a method?

Please... Share it with me?


Durrell Odom said...

Here's some good tips: If you are not able to attend figure drawing workshops, you could practice figure drawing from a photo gallery slideshow on your computer. Grab an easel, charcoal or conte, and a large pieces of paper and set the slideshow timer for 3 to 5 minutes and practice gesture, or volume from each photo. Try that for a few months and you'll improve a whole lot.
Glenn Vilpuu's Drawing Manual is very great reference as it starts off with gesture and forms.

Also practice studying one body part for a few days then practice it by drawing from life (or a photo). Hope it helps tho.

Alex Konstad said...

I'd always pick a section, arms, legs, etc.. and slowly go through the drawings, drawing each one 10-12 times with the book open really trying to focus on the structure of the subject, then do the same with the book closed, after doing this a few times I'd then try and apply it to some photo studies right after. There's a million ways to do it, but I always found constant repetition with a good focus to work the best.

Marco Nelor said...

Thanks bro! VILPUU! why didnt i think of that! very good avice bro. thanks

Adrian Majkrzak said...

With Bridgman specially, I remember someone telling me a long time ago to not worry about trying to directly replicate his drawings. Bridgman is best when paired with something else (life drawing would be the best, but photos or even other anatomy books work in a pinch). Think of him as a good resource for understanding basic volumes (usually very exaggerated to get his point across)and functionality. His drawings and text treat the human body like a machine, so I think his stuff is best for studying how the body works rather than how it should look like.

Jonathan Teng said...

My FAVORITE book in that pile is Micheal (Steve to his students here in SoCal) Hampton's. He's the product of all those dudes, and his methods and advice on shape translation and PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE have never failed me.

Personally, Marco, I've never noticed a problem with your figures. Perhaps you don't PUSH the anatomy like other guys might, but that isn't to say you're "doing it wrong"...

Ogre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
michael carter jr said...


A good method to start with

***** said...

draw from life, then from your memory. Then go back to the model. Adjust your drawing. Add drama and perspective. Use reference, anything you can get your hands on, photos, paintings, anatomy books. Finally make it your own. Don't care what others may say and just express your thoughts.

btw Bammes Anatomy is a great book and a real eye-opener. Good luck



Kyttee said...

Here is a website if you want to practice figure drawing from online freely:


You can set a timer on the pictures also (30 sec., 1 minute, etc.)

Best of luck!

PoopaScoop said...

So you asked for it so here is the magic few know about.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJjFjzg42OU What ever your leaning now, this'l still help.

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