Use of colour example

How to introduce colour to your life drawings

As you can see from the variety of technical topics on this site, there’s a lot involved with just drawing a figure, so why add another dimension to an already complex mix? Indeed many artists continue to focus on monochrome drawing and can continue to find new depths with one colour. However, as you can […]

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Pastels (video)

Characteristics: rich and pleasant colour, difficult to handle sometimes – especially soft pastels, cannot be erased easily. Who should use it? It’s not an easy medium to handle at first. Practise and a bit of determination are needed to master pastels, but they’re well worth the investment. Copying the pastel work by masters such as […]

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The most important thing to keep in mind when learning life drawing

  Before going into anatomy or perspective, it’s really important to understand something that many of the best artists emphasise repeatedly. There isn’t a ‘correct’ approach to life drawing. Everyone has their own style, and that style will itself constantly evolve. You are doing things right when you are having fun and feel satisfied that […]

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Why practise life drawing?

Beautiful life drawing using warm pastel tones of woman lying down This is an important question for prospective students and maybe even those that haven’t been motivated to go to class for a while. I thought about it and discussed it with other artists, and everything seemed to boil down to two main reasons. Reason […]

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Pencil figure drawing of sitting man

What you need to know for your first life drawing class

What I wish someone had told me before my first class Before starting life drawing, I had a number of basic questions. Since then, I’ve found out some answers and thought it would be useful to share them with you. Where can I find a class? Finding a life drawing class is easy – click […]

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An exercise to help learn the muscles

      The skeleton tells you about the structure you are looking at. We cover some of the essential points and shapes of it in our free beginner mini-course. The muscles give you the tension, relaxation, stretch and much of the sense of energy in the pose. Human muscles are layered and there are […]

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Copy of Barocci, life drawing

3 methods of practising that will improve your figure drawings

Understanding technique is crucial for drawing – which is why much of our site is dedicated to it. However, even more important than technical knowledge is practice. This can be a pretty annoying fact. If only we could download the know-how into our brains like Keanu Reeves in the Matrix and hey presto – ‘I […]

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Don’t let your brain get in the way

Before looking at methods for getting the actual figure right, we need to understand why it’s crucial when drawing from life to turn off some parts of your brain. You have drawn before, and you’ve probably drawn people before without a real person as a reference. For example, when many of us were kids we […]

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2.4 Approaches to tone (with video)

Making good use of areas of light and dark give a drawing particular depth which draws the viewer’s eye in. There are two key approaches to tone which we will call the Florentine and Venetian styles. While Florentines like Michelangelo were obsessed by form and linear tone, Venetians like Titian thought in terms of colour, […]

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