You can get the planner PDF here.

You can see it’s very simple. I tried adding more design elements and some images and quotes etc. but then realised it’s best to keep it simple.

How to use the planner

1. Fill in just the first 6 months of topics and goals first. I think it’s likely that your plans and goals will evolve across the first 6 months, so my plan is to have a mid-year review and figure out the following 6 months then.

2. Be specific about the monthly topics. ‘Skull structure and head anatomy’ is a better topic than ‘portraiture’, because it’s clear what technical area you will work on.

3. Make the goals clearcut and realistic. ‘Master gesture drawing’ is both vague and unrealistic for one month. Something like ‘learn to draw figures using CSI marks only’ could work better.

4. Put it somewhere you’ll see it – on the wall or on your sketchbook.

5. As each day passes, be sure to do a little drawing practice. Put a cross on the boxes for each day you did some. It can be just 5 minutes of practice to get a cross. The practice doesn’t all have to be focused on the main topic, but most days should be.

I hope you like this idea. There is a video below which explains the process of planning your improvement in depth.

Topic suggestions

In case you are unsure what sorts of topics to fill your planner with, below are some ideas. Remember it’s not about improving just knowledge but also skill, which is a slower process. That means that you could have a relatively narrow topic fill a full month because you need to practise it a lot. For example you could read about the basics of perspective in one afternoon, but it’ll take a month of practice to really make it a skill. Here are some suggestions:

  1. In February 2022, we launched the Fresh Eyes challenge, a FREE ten-day figure drawing challenge open to all abilities!
  2. A month is a good amount of time to dive into the anatomy of an area of the figure (e.g. pick one of the following areas: back, legs, arms, head, front of torso). Rather than the goal being ‘learn everything about the anatomy of the arm’, go for something like ‘learn the major muscle forms and skeletal structure, and start seeing those forms on models’. You can find more ideas for topics on our Figure Drawing Skills Assessment Guide
  3. Gesture drawing is always a good topic, but it’s also quite broad. So instead, you could focus on studying your favourite artist’s gestures, or work on your line quality for gesture drawing.
  4. You could focus a month on training your eyes for proportions – for example doing exercises where you draw by eye and then draw the same pose by measurement.
  5. If and when we open our Life Drawing Simplified course for enrolment, that will obviously be an amazing area of focus for 1-2 months!
  6. Basic 1, 2 and 3 point perspective is worth diving into. You can aim to learn about eye level and horizon lines, convergence and then practising drawing a variety of scenes and objects to train your eyes up.

There are so many topics in art and drawing, and of course it all depends on where you are and where you’d like to be. The video below will help you understand the learning process and how to navigate the ups and downs:

Here’s a video with more ideas and information: