Drawing from life in a certain stage of development
 
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  1. #1
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    Drawing from life in a certain stage of development

    Hi everyone,

    To most of you this might be a silly question but here it goes anyway:

    I would like to start drawing people from life, but with my current level I feel that this is not going to help me improve as much as if I keep doing still life to really learn how to see, etc.

    So, is it bad practice to start to draw people from life when you can't even do it in front of a mirror or from a photo?
    I know it won't hurt me, but I also know that its not all about pencil miles, but about being smart in your practices..

    Thanks, and sorry if it is too obvious of a question.

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    Drawing people from life will help you improve a ton at any level. If you go to life classes, it is still very much the same as still life. If you want to draw people you should not put it off at all. Just do it! To start off with life drawing, grab a mirror and do your self portrait....if you feel somewhat self conscious. They are hard, but they will get better....the more you do them. The same goes for anything else!

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    Study gestures, as a shorthand for the human figure. Follow Loomis or Vilppu, or whatever works best for you. Don't wait for things to happen, start now.

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  7. #4
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    No, earnestly doing it is the quickest way to level up. Emphasis on the word "earnest".

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    it's cool to know that guys. I thing I might need to believe in you in this one, because it's not sinking in my mind yet, because, if I have trouble with proportions and light etc with a still life, will it be good to jump right into drawing a, possibly, moving living thing? Shouldn't I be learning to measure angles and distances with a sighting stick first (wouldn't this push me farther, and be a more smarter practice according to my level)?

    I hope I'm completely wrong, because it seems much more fun to draw people and animals and other cool stuff from life, than doing stills with sighting sticks.

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    People are a kind of 3D object. You will learn the same observation skills drawing them as drawing an apple. If you're bored with apples, by all means try drawing people.

    I know it won't hurt me, but I also know that its not all about pencil miles, but about being smart in your practices..
    When people say this, what they mean is "don't neglect the basics and don't practice the exact same thing in exactly the same way all the time". What they DON'T mean is "never try anything different or out of order because you're afraid of learning inefficiently."

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  12. #7
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    You can (and probably should) measure and check angles when drawing people, too. Though you're probably only going to be able to do that with self portraits and long poses in a life drawing session rather than, say, coffee shop sketches...

    Treat people like any other subject, look at the shapes and forms and so forth the same way you would look at a box or an apple and it should make things a bit easier. It only gets daunting if you start thinking "OMG it's a person!!"

    But anyway, it doesn't hurt to try. The worst that can happen is you make some crappy drawings, right? And if you try it and decide you're better off doing more still life drawings instead, well hey, you tried, and now you know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post

    "don't neglect the basics and don't practice the exact same thing in exactly the same way all the time".
    If you could help me understand that sentence. Because maybe I'm doing exactly that.
    Now I'm really trying to make proportions correct by using just line to define the object in a constructive way. I'm thinking of the form of the object and relationships between shapes etc. Is this doing the same thing over, and over? because I thought about doing this during some months and after being able to draw accurate proportions of everything I see, I'll switch to another fundamental study, for example, light and shadow. But maybe it's not the best approach.

    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    And if you try it and decide you're better off doing more still life drawings instead, well hey, you tried, and now you know.
    I'm understanding that almost all my fears are from my lack of knowledge and I shouldn't probably worry too much, but being self taught is proving to be quite daunting. What I'm worried is that I might like drawing people on the park too much (even though the drawings might suck at first, I don't really care) and let go of still life studies too early. When I notice, one or two years have passed, and I'm still drawing crappy people because I jumped too many stages. (I've seen people in the internet drawing for years and they didn't evolved nothing)

    Guys, I'm really sorry if this are stupid worries. (someone will eventually tell me they are)

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    Quote Originally Posted by pegasi View Post
    If you could help me understand that sentence. Because maybe I'm doing exactly that.
    Looking at your sketchbook, I see enough variety in your exercises that I do not think that you are doing the same thing the same way all the time. I see some construction studies, and a bit of form and shading, and some gestures. I don't think that concentrating on one aspect of drawing for a while is bad, as long as you are still thinking about what you are doing and learning from it. The "pencil miles" that would be meaningless would be if you spent the next 5 years drawing circles. Your pencil would get a lot of exercise but you would not be learning anything new.

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    I think your doing great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    The "pencil miles" that would be meaningless would be if you spent the next 5 years drawing circles. Your pencil would get a lot of exercise but you would not be learning anything new.
    Yes, makes perfect sense! Really appreciate the help. I'll try to keep in mind to diversify my studies when I feel I might have reached a wall in my development. My fear is to get stuck and don't have anyone to say what am I doing wrong, but if that happens I've already seen that there is cool people here that already helped me, so it's cool. Don't need to worry so much I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    I think your doing great.
    If you mean that, than thank you so much!

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  21. #12
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    Drawing is drawing. Subject is a very distant second. The big shift most people need to make is to learn to see shape, value and form...not "ear", eye", "foot", jacket, etc. Hard thing for the human mind, which is so caught up in names and "knowing", to shift to just seeing.

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  23. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Drawing is drawing. Subject is a very distant second. The big shift most people need to make is to learn to see shape, value and form...not "ear", eye", "foot", jacket, etc. Hard thing for the human mind, which is so caught up in names and "knowing", to shift to just seeing.
    Well, then it's all cool, I think I've already made that shift awhile ago. Just need to study more the shape, value and form thing.

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