Fitting The Head Onto The Body

Fitting The Head Onto The Body

In this very short figure drawing lesson I’d like to share with you how I begin to fit the head onto the shoulders. The two key words are short and begin.

In case you have not noticed I am a big believer in repetition in the mother of skill. I tend to teach the same things over and over again because they work for me. I have also seen these techniques work in the classroom on a weekly basis.

The main crux is to use targets to start fitting the head onto the shoulders. There are few other little techniques you can incorporate into the mix.

One, do your best to gesture into the head. In the video you can see How I use a gesture line from the side of the breast into the side of the face. Use long gesture lines whens fitting the head.

Two after the first few lines stop and get up off of your chair. Reset your eyes, looking out the window at something far away is a great way to do this. After you have reset your eyes come back to the drawing. You will immediately see what is working and what is not.

When we sit down for long period of time we loose site of the drawing in terms of proportions.

So the three keys, use some light target lines to start placing the head onto the shoulders. Incorporate one or two gesture lines to flow into the head as well. Within a minute or two of placing these initial lines get up and look at your drawing from far away.

Try these three techniques the next time you are working on a figure drawing.



If this technique helps you please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear anything you can add to conversation. If you have tried this technique and are still having issues with fitting the head onto the body I would like to help.

I would be happy to critique your work each and every Monday in our members Critique Gallery. It’s a cool place to get feedback on your work without all of the negative commentary you find on social media.


Dan’s Sketchbook

Dan’s Sketchbook

Dan has got to be one of the nicest people I have ever met. He is extremely talented and very respectful. I really love having Dan as a student is class. His appetite for learning is so infectious. Dan is always asking questions, always looking for more feedback on his work.

Dan’s life drawings are truly amazing with a ton of power and vitality. He is in a really good place with his artwork right now. The future is bright.

The one thing I wish for Dan moving forward is to allow his growth to happen naturally. Dan wants to improve, like now. I know that feeling, you are improving, but not fast enough. The one thing I have learned over the years is that you cannot force how fast you can learn.

Our mind is like a sponge, it can only absorb so much information in any given period of time. You have to allow your mind to take in the information and process it. Putting what you have learned into practice does take some time.

I like to compare learning to the growth of a tree. A tree can only grow so much in one year. You cannot force it to grow six feet in a year, that’s just not natural. How we take in information and apply it is very similar to the growth of a tree.

Allow yourself to enjoy the process of learning. Yes push to improve, yes be extremely competitive, strive to be the best. However enjoy the process of learning how to draw. Set your eye on the destination and enjoy the sights along the way.

Dan thanks once again for sharing your art!!



Check out Dan’s Instagram. Thanks again Dan for sharing your art.


Mapping Out Proportions

Mapping Out Proportions

With this particular figure drawing I started with an abstract shape. It’s definitely a different way to start. Now what I’d like to share with you is how to branch out from the legs into drawing the torso.

That is drawing the torso with correct proportions. On paper it sounds easy. But executing this is somewhat difficult. It takes good eye hand coordination.

The concept is to use targets to branch out. What are targets you ask? They are little marks that you place on the paper to estimate where the edge of an item would be. The edge of the torso, the edge of the arm etc.

You’ll also want to look at abstract negative space between the torso and the legs. Take it slow and do not rush this step. Look and study more than you draw.

Lastly you’ll want to take measurements. Common sense stuff like what is directly opposite the model’s breast? What is right below the model’s navel. Not very romantic but these techniques work.

Like I said on paper this all sounds very boring and simple. But this really does take quite of lot of eye hand coordination. How to you get that, you draw everyday. 



If this technique helps you please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear anything you can add to conversation. If you have tried this technique and are still having issues with getting correct proportions I would like to help.

I would be happy to critique your work each and every Monday in our members Critique Gallery. It’s a cool place to get feedback on your work without all of the negative commentary.


Modeling The Figure – Circular Blending

Modeling The Figure – Circular Blending

I recently was working on a figure drawing, something fast for practice. I thought it would make for a short yet informative blog post.

From critiquing artwork in the members area I often get questions concerning modeling. How to make the transition between values smoother. A lot of artists struggle with having their drawings look too rough in the shading department.

Through the use of a circular blending motion both with a brush and pencil, I’m able to create a soft transition from light to shade. 

One very informative tip is to rest most of the weight your arm on your hand, not the pencil point. When you take the weight off of the pencil point you are able to to shade and blend in a soft nonintrusive way.

Of course you will want to use diverse pencil strokes throughout your figure drawing. If everything is too blended you run the risk of having your figure drawing look like a cotton ball. 

Balance is the key to using diverse pencil stoke direction. However for this drawing tip, for a soft blend, try using a circular blending motion.



Let me know what you think about this technique. Leave a comment below. Also if you are looking for feedback on your drawings checkout our member site.


Delaney’ Sketchbook

Delaney’ Sketchbook

Delaney is a student currently enrolled in my foundation drawing class at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan New York. Delaney is from sunny California and you see that sunshine ring through in her artwork.

I knew right off the bat that I was going to ask Delaney if she wanted to film a sketchbook video, I was so happy when she said yes. I think it’s important to see a sketchbook like Delaneys. Mainly because it shows no fear.

Delaney has absolutely no fear. She just draws in her sketchbook not worrying if everything is going to come out perfect. I’m one of those people. I’m always looking to make that perfect drawing, that finished product.

If you can relate then Delaney’s sketchbook is a must watch. You want to think of your sketchbook as a draw dump. Just let go and practice. Let the cards fall where they may. Throw out the perfectionist mentality and good things will happen. You can save the perfectionist mentality for you finished art.

There are so many great things to take away from Delaney’s sketchbook. The fact that she just draws so much is one of them. The other is that she is in constant experimentation mode. I really do believe that your sketchbook should be a place for experimentation.

What stuck out to me while watching the sketchbook video was when Delaney mentioned that she has to add color after the fact. She showed a drawing with no color, I immediately got where she was coming from. For Delaney’s style of work color is a must. 

I’m going to certainly experiment with using a bit more color myself. I hope you enjoy Delaney’s sketchbook.



Check out Delaney’s Instagram. Thanks again Delaney for sharing your art.