Day 22: 1 minute poses. What you should achieve in 60 seconds

We’ve had some questions about how to tackle those 1 minute poses. It’s easy to say just go for it with the main gestural lines. But that’s a little vague and there’s just so little time to think, especially when you’re trying to implement various things from our tutorials. 

If you’re not yet a seasoned artist, then 60 seconds is an unreasonably short time to expect consistently good, in proportion, structurally and gesturally sound figure drawings. And it’s also a lot to expect you to successfully implement a variety of unfamiliar techniques. If those aren’t the aims, then what are the aims?

I think the aim is to flip three switches when doing those drawings. 3 powerful habits – fundamental things we’ve been working on during figuary – to get into that will set you up for good practice sessions. 

The first is to go from an outcome focus to a process focus. 

Just being able to come up with something in proportion would require that your eye can measure distances and angles automatically and quickly. That comes from experience. So when you have lots of experience, the lovely 60 second gestures come. But first comes the experience part! The experience is ups and downs, and a healthy dollop of frustration. So switch the focus from doing a great drawing to a focus on learning from the experience. Every mistake is a lesson, every attempt is another step forward. Do you try to see the most important lines, but struggle to? Good. Did you see the lines, but struggle to get what you saw down on paper? Good. 

These are part of the process. Use the 60 second poses to switch your mindset from a focus on the drawings to a focus on the learning experience.

The second switch is to go from rushing to reducing.

We talked about this last week, slowing down. In a 60 second pose, you can rush and get stressed about cramming in enough. Or you can slow down, and take your time to put down just the essential stuff.

Use the 60 seconds to flip the switch from rushing to reducing. It’s going to be useful for the rest of the practice session. 

The third is to go from conservative to a little wild.

It’s a 60 second sketch. It’s not going to be a rendered and accurate depiction of the pose. It’s a loose and rough indication at best. It’s just practice. Why not push the pose a little? Push the curves and angles that you like. If you see a nice curve, why not push it a little. 

It’s a good chance to bring out all the stuff we talked about during week 1.

If you can flip those three switches during the 1 minute poses, then you succeeded with them and you’re well set up for the rest of the session, regardless of how the 60 second drawings turn out. Tomorrow we are going to look at an exercise to help you choose the right lines to draw in 60 seconds. Good luck with your practice today and I’ll see you here again tomorrow!

Day 23 Tutorial


How to Draw Any Pose from IMAGINATION During your journey of learning to draw the figure, you’ll probably have pivotal, memorable moments. Maybe it’s a drawing that felt like a turning