Figure Drawing

#1PhantomKnightPosted 1/1/2012 12:18:20 AM
How many of you currently do figure drawing? Are you mainly doing shorter poses, focusing on gestures, or longer poses, or both? Are you studying any books on figure drawing?

I had mainly been drawing the figure from photos the past few years, while attending life drawing sessions sporadically. In September, I started taking a figure drawing class at an art academy and learned so much, although it was apparent how deficient my skills were. Also, since September I've been renting a studio and hiring models to draw myself. It is interesting to be the one deciding the poses and the length of the pose. I already see a big improvement in my drawings from the first models I drew in September to now.

Going forward for 2012, I will cut back a bit on these private drawing sessions (some of the models are charging pretty high rates). I will start going to the life drawing sessions every weekend or every other weekend so that I can especially work on my gesture drawing, as that is something I really need to improve on in general as well as for concept art, comics, etc. I will also start going back to the art academy, where we spend 60 hours on one figure drawing. I hope to be able to draw the figure well from my imagination from any angle I choose.

In terms of books, I'm going to really follow along with George Bridgman's Guide to Life Drawing.
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Currently reading: Sphere by Michael Crichton
#2CyBear_PunkPosted 1/1/2012 12:49:51 AM
Have you tried practicing on yourself?
In the nude?
With a mirror?
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#3J_BuzzsawPosted 1/1/2012 5:21:27 AM
i draw for a living and do about 6 hours of figure drawing a day in addition to the 8 or 9 hours of work-related drawing. i do about an hour of gesture practice (one minute and two minute poses) before moving onto to longer studies (about an hour per figure) or working on things i feel i need to work on (like faces and hands). those studies-and everything i draw actually- start off with gestures as well so im pretty much working on my gesture throughout the day.

im pretty sparodic with life drawing sessions at the moment because the studio in my area closed down but, i would like to get back to doing them weekly. im going to start attending a dr sketchys this year but thats still only once a month. drawing from photos is fine but, id rather draw something physical in front of me.

im also reading bridgman but, im finding the text to be pretty dry and its turning into a slow read for me.
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#4ZIAPosted 1/1/2012 8:59:37 AM
Gesture is the most important part for me. Regardless of how long I actually work on a drawing, starting with a gesture is essential. I try to go to 3-hour life drawing sessions three times a week, mostly short poses up to 20min. There are also a 3hr long pose session for which I bring in my tablet pc and paint digital.

If your goal is to successfully draw from imagination, I think Vilppu's books are best for learning that, supplemented by anatomy books.
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#5l2omePosted 1/1/2012 11:05:56 AM(edited)
Hey Pk, I'm glad you've stayed persistent in figure drawing all these years. I remember when I first told you about those ateliers near your location..

Ive hired models before too, they are indeed priiccccy. At least you get to screen the models for just the right look that motivates you. Still it's nice working with the energy of a crowded room.

Now that I think about it, I haven't told you want I've been up to with my own figure drawings in the last 2 years or so I think.
So I started going to nude figure drawing classes about 12 years ago O_O.. time flies fast...anyway

Its funny at this point for me, I stopped trying to attain a classical look, to be frank, my focused changed towards industrial design for a bit.

Having taken a break I've come back to exploring the female figure in fashion, apparel/clothes and playing with highly tasteful simplistic graphic shapes that still have a since of gesture. I guess color and shape harmony is most important for me right now. Usually I'll do 1-20 min sketches and turn them digital.
I like working like this because it feels more relevant and a little more modern.
I'll post something, sometime soon
#6PhantomKnight(Topic Creator)Posted 1/1/2012 7:46:07 PM
CyBear_Punk posted...
Have you tried practicing on yourself?
In the nude?
With a mirror?


I haven't.
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Currently reading: Sphere by Michael Crichton
#7PhantomKnight(Topic Creator)Posted 1/1/2012 7:51:45 PM
J_Buzzsaw posted...
i draw for a living and do about 6 hours of figure drawing a day in addition to the 8 or 9 hours of work-related drawing. i do about an hour of gesture practice (one minute and two minute poses) before moving onto to longer studies (about an hour per figure) or working on things i feel i need to work on (like faces and hands). those studies-and everything i draw actually- start off with gestures as well so im pretty much working on my gesture throughout the day.

im pretty sparodic with life drawing sessions at the moment because the studio in my area closed down but, i would like to get back to doing them weekly. im going to start attending a dr sketchys this year but thats still only once a month. drawing from photos is fine but, id rather draw something physical in front of me.

im also reading bridgman but, im finding the text to be pretty dry and its turning into a slow read for me.


6 hours a day would be a dream for me. I work full time in a non-related field, I can only manage about 3 hours drawing time at home if there aren't distractions (though usually there are). What area do you live in? Hope you can find a more frequent place to visit for life drawing.
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Currently reading: Sphere by Michael Crichton
#8PhantomKnight(Topic Creator)Posted 1/1/2012 7:54:08 PM
ZIA posted...
Gesture is the most important part for me. Regardless of how long I actually work on a drawing, starting with a gesture is essential. I try to go to 3-hour life drawing sessions three times a week, mostly short poses up to 20min. There are also a 3hr long pose session for which I bring in my tablet pc and paint digital.

If your goal is to successfully draw from imagination, I think Vilppu's books are best for learning that, supplemented by anatomy books.


I had been looking at the Vilppu drawing manual a few years ago, I printed it out but can't find it now. Might just buy the book.
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Currently reading: Sphere by Michael Crichton
#9PkmTrainerAbramPosted 1/1/2012 8:03:34 PM
I'll need to look up this Vippu book as well. Sounds like good fun. Having 6 hours to do, well ANYTHING would be awesome. Unfortunately, I'm in retail.<_<
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Currently playing: StreetFighter3 Online, Dragon Warrior 3(GBC), Pokemon White, World of Warcraft
Looking fwd to: Supaboy
#10PhantomKnight(Topic Creator)Posted 1/1/2012 8:21:51 PM
l2ome posted...
Hey Pk, I'm glad you've stayed persistent in figure drawing all these years. I remember when I first told you about those ateliers near your location..

Ive hired models before too, they are indeed priiccccy. At least you get to screen the models for just the right look that motivates you. Still it's nice working with the energy of a crowded room.

Now that I think about it, I haven't told you want I've been up to with my own figure drawings in the last 2 years or so I think.
So I started going to nude figure drawing classes about 12 years ago O_O.. time flies fast...anyway

Its funny at this point for me, I stopped trying to attain a classical look, to be frank, my focused changed towards industrial design for a bit.

Having taken a break I've come back to exploring the female figure in fashion, apparel/clothes and playing with highly tasteful simplistic graphic shapes that still have a since of gesture. I guess color and shape harmony is most important for me right now. Usually I'll do 1-20 min sketches and turn them digital.
I like working like this because it feels more relevant and a little more modern.
I'll post something, sometime soon




Hey, yeah I remember that too. Living in NYC is pretty good for this, among the numerous life drawing places there is one that has sessions from 9:30/10 am until 9:30/10 pm every day of the week.

That's one reason I started hiring models, you know how the model is going to look and you get to determine the pace and the poses. Very few models are willing to do decent rates such as $15-$25/hr though, most asked me for $40-$100/hr.

I know what you mean, I had this phase the past year where I was really into the 19th century academic artists like Bouguereau. The academy I've been attending is training us to do art like that, but I've been getting tired of it. Right now, I'm really liking some of the energy and dynamic poses in comic books, but with more realistic rendering. I can't post his works since there are nude, but check out the artist Shane Wolf to see what I mean.

I think the female figure in fashion is a great way to go though, I can't wait to see you post some! What program do you use when you turn them digital?
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Currently reading: Sphere by Michael Crichton