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Drawing Figures




Drawing Figures

It is generally accepted that the practice of Figure Drawing is one of the best ways of improving an artist's observational skills and hand eye coordination. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, many students avoid it and in any case it is often not that easy to locate a suitable class or group.

However, it is still extremely beneficial to draw figures clothed, especially as most of the figures appearing in a typical landscape, townscape etc., are not nudes anyway! Often friends or family can be encouraged to pose for you, even if it is whilst also reading or watching tv. Alternatively, there are so many images to be found in everyday papers and magazines, that you should never be short of suitable practise material. (Obviously for reasons of Copyright, you should not sell or exhibit copies made from these images). You can also build up your own collection of reference photographs, taken at many public outdoor activities and  locate 'copyright free' images on the internet.

Once you start drawing figures like this, you should find it great fun, highly entertaining and you should see a rapid improvement in your drawings if you keep at it.

The following illustrations from my sketchbooks will hopefully give you some ideas.

(If you photograph children, for instance on the beach, make sure you have the parents' permission)

One of the most difficult things to develop is the simplification of the image - reducing the number of lines/marks on the paper. This comes with practice. I usually draw on 150gsm cartridge paper as I often add water or watercolour to a watersoluble ink drawing.  I have a collection of old fountain pens from the 1940/50s, which I restore and customise for writing and drawing, using various watersoluble inks. I also use the Rotring ArtPen and constantly try any pen I come across, to see if it is suitable. Initially, you may find it easier to start with a pencil - 2B for example. The images on the right are all done with a fountain pen using watersoluble ink and some have watercolour added.

It is fun to experiment with different styles of drawing - some of these have no outline and are drawn using a diagonal shading type of mark - perhaps indicating a misty day? The top left image was drawn very rapidly and shows just how little detail is required. The bottom right image was drawn with pencil and watercolour pencils.

The top three images are pencil drawings made from photographs taken at a craft fair, whilst the lower ones are watersoluble pen and watercolour, from photographs taken at a steam fair.


continue to Drawing Figures Page 2


   109 Dinsdale Gardens, Rustington, West Sussex, England, BN16 3NT          Email:   Tel; (01903) 787988    

All pictures on this website are copyright Cameron Weller   All rights reserved.             

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For that special occasion - birthday, anniversary, retirement etc., why not give a very special present in the form of an original painting or limited edition print. Please contact the artist to discuss your requirements.