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. Let me know though in the comments any design or function improvements in the comment area below.

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 July – December plan 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 – let me know in the comments below what you think!

Topic suggestions

In case you are unsure what sorts of topics to fill your planner with. 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. Obviously, February is all about completing the Figuary 2021 challenge!
  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’.
  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. Let me know in the comments below if a video about all this would be helpful.

Here’s a video with more ideas and information:

 

Give me feedback!

Let me know in the comments below whether you will use this and any feedback on it or alterations you would find useful. Just your comment and first name will be enough, ignore the email and website fields. Don’t worry if your comment doesn’t appear because it might just need to be approved. If lots of people like it, I’ll add some more design elements to make it more stylish while keeping it super simple.

39 comments

  • Kenzo December 22, 2020   Reply →

    Just write your comment and first name – ignore the ’email’ and ‘website’ fields. Thanks

    • algybee January 3, 2021   Reply →

      I have for a few months used a spreadsheet to record daily time spent improving my drawing, whether that is technique or knowledge, using it as a countdown from unconscious competency of 10K hours ! LOL Also I have hard copy books that I try to learn from by doing what they have done in the books. So YES! a planner is a GREAT idea! Thank you enormously

    • Audrey Stibbe January 11, 2021   Reply →

      as an absolute beginner, figuring out what my goals/ topics should be is very overwhelming.
      guidance would be much appreciated.
      where on earth do I start?

  • Kathy December 22, 2020   Reply →

    Hi Kenzo,
    This tracker looks great! Being a beginner to intermediate life drawerer…. any suggestions for fields of focus? You mentioned CSI marks for one week…. what about others?

    I hope I can join you on Wednesday…. if not – I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!!!

    Thank you for all you do,
    All the Best,
    Kathy

    • Kenzo December 22, 2020   Reply →

      Ah you are right Kathy – I will add some suggestions for topic area. good idea!

      • Ria December 22, 2020   Reply →

        This looks like a lovely resource! I’ll definitely be trying this out, having a written focus and goal will totally helps when trying to improve. Thank you so much!

  • Adam S December 22, 2020   Reply →

    Hi Kezno and LLD Community –

    Great idea! And, yes, more suggested topic areas would be fantastic! I’ve found that in my own journey I often run out of ‘next steps,’ because, after all, it’s hard to know what you don’t know!

    Would love a dozen or so ideas of things to focus on or practice – from Kenzo or others here who have thoughts!

    Thanks good peoples,

    -Adam

    • Kenzo December 22, 2020   Reply →

      Thanks Adam! I’ve added some ideas but I will maybe make a proper video on it too.

      • Penelope Williams December 22, 2020   Reply →

        This looks great I am a real beginner and practice or the lack of is my downfall but this would Spur me on what is CSI. ? I love your teaching your enthusiasm and encouragement helps so much
        Best of wishes for a great Christmas and new year to you and your family also your lovely dog

  • Rob December 22, 2020   Reply →

    As a great idea and will really help me maintain focus.
    As others have said some ideas for other areas of study would also be great.
    Thank you so much and have a fabulous Christmas.

  • Bill December 22, 2020   Reply →

    Good idea. Will be trying it.

  • Toyoko December 22, 2020   Reply →

    Hi, Kenzo
    Thank you for the timely present ! It is time for New Yearโ€™s Resolutions ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Being a beginner, it is overwhelming to think about all the topics to learn and practice. To choose a specific topic to work on every month will surely help me to focus. I will give myself sometime to plan.

  • Katalin December 22, 2020   Reply →

    Very helpful, thank you very much Kenzo!
    Merry Christmas!

  • Nancy December 22, 2020   Reply →

    Thank you, Kenzo, for always sharing so generously. I printed the planner and will think on prompts. There are SO many.

  • Cheryl Stone December 22, 2020   Reply →

    Thatโ€™s a great idea Kenzo. Having completed the 2020 course I know now how little I know! My topic suggestions would be mark making to include experimenting with different drawing tools, shadow observation as to the different types and appropriate marks for shading, gesture with timed poses. Contour lines, hatching practice. Revise surface marking for bony points. And so the list goes on๐Ÿ˜†

  • Trish December 22, 2020   Reply →

    Love the calendar and Community extra ideas already. Great plan, the planner!

  • Mersina December 22, 2020   Reply →

    Tank you Kenzo for your great generosity in time and effort. To quote a very ancient philosopher, thee only only thing I really know. Is that I know nothing. Iโ€™m an absolute beginner so even the setting of goals will be a challenge.. thank you for giving us the seed to at least start. Some ideas would be great. Thanks Mersina

  • ChrisR December 22, 2020   Reply →

    This is just the christmas present I wanted ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you so much! I know that knowledge of anatomy and perspective are 2 things that characterizes the artists I admire.

  • Criza December 22, 2020   Reply →

    Hi!~ this is a lovely idea, thank you so much!~ I’ve been struggling to get back into drawing and your lessons have helped me so much. I can’t thank you enough for how generous you guys have been. I wish you a merry christmas!~

  • Jaime M December 23, 2020   Reply →

    This is great and exactly what I needed. Thank you! Working to make practice and drawing a priority in my daily life again, but feeling overwhelmed with how many areas I want to improve. This is great to be able to plan and break down goals. I agree with the comment above about suggestions or example learning plans. Thanks again.

  • Sandhya December 23, 2020   Reply →

    Wonderful Christmas present Kenzo. Thank you so much.

    Though I have been doing life drawing since attending your 2019 course I haven’t yet worked in a focused manner. I was working in a random manner and at times not able to keep my practice consistent. I am grateful to you that now your are pushing me in the right direction. This is exactly what I wanted at this juncture!! As many suggested it would be great if you could suggest a few topics as well and a video too if you can.

    Wishing you, Lucy, Mayko and your lovely daughter a wonderful Christmas.

  • turtle December 23, 2020   Reply →

    Thank you so much for the lovely Christmas gift, Kenzo!! The calendar is a great idea!! I gonna do that!!

    I am a total total beginner, so I am lost about how to estimate the amount of time for a specific goal. I feel like I always underestimate the complexity of drawing process so I am not sure how to estimate a good amount of time to master something, or at least, to get started.

    For instance, I thought I will be able to draw torso in a week, but once I started to practice to draw in different perspectives, it’s like a complete different story!! And then I saw “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)” I realized my estimation was completely naive and ambitious.

    If you could point me to any resources or guidance, I will totally appreciate it (although you don’t have to!!)
    Thank you so much again, Kenzo!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  • Robert Coalson (Strugglingsketcher) December 23, 2020   Reply →

    This is a great idea and helpful. I am finally moving into a new place next month that will have a space where I can draw/paint, so am eager to get back to work after a long hiatus. This will help me.

    I’m also really glad to see that you marked Figuary again this year. I hadn’t heard you mention it for a while, so I was afraid maybe you weren’t planning to do it this year. Looking forward to it.

  • Andree December 23, 2020   Reply →

    Thank you so much Kenzo. Happy Holidays ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Adrianne Morris December 23, 2020   Reply →

    Hi Kenzo,
    My drawing mojo has kind of disappeared over the past month so this idea is great to help me get back on track – thank you so much!
    I will join the class tonight too as it will remind me what I’ve been missing…

    With all good wishes for a peaceful Christmas and a happy, healthy and active New Year for all!
    Warm wishes, Adrianne

  • sally harvey December 23, 2020   Reply →

    Thank you Kenzo. This will help me focus next year.

    Thank you for all your clear and concise tutelage. You turned a subject I was avoiding into something fun and productive.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family

    • Dana B January 3, 2021   Reply →

      Thanks so much Kenzo! I’m filling out January now, which will have the modest goal of simply drawing everyday, even if it’s only 5 min.

      Next month I’ll do Figuary – after which I’m sure I’ll know what I need to work on for March.

      Thank you for everything you do โค๏ธ

  • Kenyon December 23, 2020   Reply →

    Thank you Kenzo! This is a helpful spark – I do something like this for other areas of my life, but for some reason had not thought about using for my drawing practice. I instantly recognize that my drawing goals have been too vague, and because of that my practice is kind of unfocused (when I’m not working through one of your courses!)
    So excited for Figuary coming around again, because Figuary 2020 is what really re-ignited my love of drawing, and life drawing especially, after many years away. Love to you and your family and everyone out there in the LLD community!

  • Laura December 23, 2020   Reply →

    ยกHola Kenzo!

    Thank you for this Christmas present! ๐ŸŽ„โœจ I feel I’m the kind of person who would write something like: master how to draw a hand ๐Ÿ˜† Now Iโ€™ll make sure to be more specific about it.

    Do you think a goal could also be practicing from a master or an artist we admire? Whether that be reading their books or studying a painting we really like.

    Happy holidays and Merry Christmas! ๐Ÿ˜ธ

  • David December 24, 2020   Reply →

    This is a great idea for the people struggling with a scheddule but not so useful for me, I’m afraid. I am self discipled by nature and I started drawing everyday for at least 30m after I found your videos. What I need are more examples for practice. I’ve been following your videos as examples for practice, but since I’ve seen them all already as for now, I am always looking forward your live sessions that are even better. Thank you so much for your hard work and patiente. I wish you a Merry Christmas’ and a Happy New Year.

  • Aleks December 24, 2020   Reply →

    Thank you. I am going to give this a try!

  • Anonymous December 25, 2020   Reply →

    This is just in time. I am trying to be organize and find focus on my art which it takes a lot of time and thinking. Thank you for the planner.

  • Beatriz December 28, 2020   Reply →

    This is excellent! I’m now excited to start the new year with specific goals in mind for each practice. Thanks Kenzo, this was the kick in the butt I needed ๐Ÿ˜€

    Like other people said, I think more suggestions of topics / goals would be great! If we could have separate groups of topic suggestions for beginners, intermediate and advanced life drawing artists, I think would help a lot too. So we can have a better idea of the long term journey as well!

    I’m often a little baffled trying to figure out what the next step should be, and definitely loose some of my focus in the process. Making a schedule like this and sticking to it is a great idea… I wonder why I hadn’t thought of it before ๐Ÿ™‚

    Merry Christmas!

    • Kenzo December 28, 2020   Reply →

      Awesome Beatriz! I will make a video with suggestions for filling it in ๐Ÿ™‚

  • SUROJ GURUNG December 29, 2020   Reply →

    Kenzo! just wanted to say, Im so grateful for what you do! Im a broke aspiring artist right now, so i can’t afford to pay my gratitude. But surely in future i won’t forget to. Hope you had a great christmas, and god bless you. If you done believe in one then, may the high powers assist you to more success ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Nee January 1, 2021   Reply →

    Planning the learning process has always been very efficient for me.
    When doing this, I like to throw all my ideas into a list for about 2-3 days, and then I begin to sort them by priority.
    This may be a boring and uncertain thing to do, but it’s really valuable to reinforce your motivation, and so your chances to succeed.

    I think it is also important to state acurately what you consider being your current level in a particular skill (example: “Today I am able to do a 5 minuts figure drawing with a clear space orientation of the major masses”) This will help you to choose an appropriate goal to reach.

    As for the topic suggestions, I think I will block some time for experiencing other techniques (a 15-day pastel run), working on my pen pressure to better render light zones, or getting able to draw someone in slow movement in about 2 min.
    I would really like to know what the LLD community decided to keep as a goal. Maybe we could share an online spreadsheet, to gather our objectives with some resources attached ?

    Thank you Love Life Drawing for giving such concrete help and tools for this organizational/motivational management. This is what makes your channel unique for me.

  • Ginny January 4, 2021   Reply →

    You are going to make me into a proper practitioner of daily practice! I do draw daily for about 2 hours and feel quite off now if I just miss a day. Your calendar with provide a practical progress report. Especially poignant is the need to focus on particular parts of projects. What is it with these “p”s?
    You and Mayko have shown me the way to myself in artistic expression and I will be forever grateful.

  • Amanda January 10, 2021   Reply →

    I am looking forward to using this planner. I am a total newbie when it comes to drawing. I have done quite a bit of oil painting but I have zero experience or formal teaching regarding drawing and I feel this would be very useful and I also would love to learn the basics of this skill as I can take it anywhere with me.

    I have been trying to learn to draw, yet I get side tracked easily so I am hoping by making a plan that I can follow will keep me on track.

    Thank you kindly for this planner and Iโ€™m excited to fill it in with my hopes.

    Amanda

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