How to learn figurative drawing
Question from Darrell
Is drawing self-portraits considered drawing from life?
When I draw from reference or from anatomy books, what method is good for trying to memorize the pose or body part? Should I also get into other mixed media or just stick to drawing with graphite pencil?
Answer from Vladimir London, Anatomy Master Class tutor
Many thanks for your questions.
Drawing from life is when you draw real live people from observation. In wider terms, drawing real three-dimensional world around you is also can be classified as life drawing.
Regarding your second question, why do you want to memorize a certain pose? If you do so to replicate it later, then you’re learning how to copy, not how to draw constructively.
Instead of memorizing poses, you want to develop strong drawing skills that will allow you to realistically draw any pose you can think of from imagination. This way, you will be able to draw an indefinite number of poses, including those you’ve never seen before.
Replicating a pose you’ve learned previously will greatly limit your drawing creativity to only few poses you managed to memorize.
To draw human figures proficiently, you need a good understanding of human body anatomy, proportions and constructive drawing principles. Mixed mediums will not give you that knowledge.
If your knowledge has gaps in human anatomy, you will reproduce those mistakes in any medium you are working in.
So, get any medium (a graphite pencil is the obvious choice) and learn what it takes to draw people from life, memory and imagination. When you develop good drawing skills, you can use any medium to produce great and realistic artworks.
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