Start Your Figure Drawing From An Abstract Shape

Start Your Figure Drawing From An Abstract Shape

I recently added a twenty-eight lesson figure drawing course in the member area of Drawing Tutorials Online. I wanted to share with you some of the lessons over here at my blog. This first lesson in particular is very important.

Too many artists give themselves artificial rules. These rules can sometimes take the fun out of drawing, especially figure drawing. One of these rules is that you must start your figure drawing from the top of the head. I disagree completely.

Do I sometimes start my figure drawing at the top of the head, the short answer is yes. When do I do this, mainly when I am deliberately trying to draw the figure from head to toe. This is something you want to do especially when working on short duration gesture drawings.

Working from head to toe using the Opposite C technique enables you to see proportions in a quick way. However when I want to work on a long duration drawing I like to switch things up.

Starting your drawing from an abstract shape is a great way to begin. I have been drawing this way for years both from life and from photos. The idea here is that drawing an abstract shape is a whole lot easier then drawing an actual body part.

For instance in this particular figure drawing I start in essense with the abstract shape between the model’s legs. Some artists like to call this a negative shape or negative space. Either way it’s abstract.

Starting with an abstract shape is a great way to start because it allows you to start building up confidence. It allows you to see proportions in a different way.

I highly suggest that you give this technique a try. Practice drawing a bunch of abstract shapes. Try copying each shape exactly, this great practice and will help you with your accuracy.



If you are looking to learn some new drawing techniques to help improve your figure drawing definitely consider a membership to Drawing Tutorials Online. I’m particularly proud of this new twenty-eight lesson course.

All of the lessons are really short, most under ten minutes. Each lesson focuses on a different technique. The course focuses on line, proportions, shading, structure as well as form.

Not to mention you can get your figure drawings critiqued on a weekly basis in our gallery. If the technique taught in the lesson above speaks to you please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading.


Joie’s Sketchbook – Creativity – Originality

Joie’s Sketchbook – Creativity – Originality

Last years drawing class was pretty brilliant. A lot of great friendships were made last year in class. Joie was a student that just had so much creativity. She loved the short stuff, hated the long drawings. As a matter of fact Joie really hated doing any drawing that was longer than a twenty minute pose.

Over the years I have learned that being able to work on short gesture drawings is just as important as the long stuff. If you just work on long academic type drawings that could lead to stiffness. The short duration gesture type drawings that Joie loves so much loosen your work up.

Hopefully over the years Joie will acquire a taste for that balance of working on short gesture drawing and long duration drawings.

Umm, somethings tells me Joie will stick to her short stuff. Her creativity is really inspiring. Her energy is inspiring as well. I trust you will enjoy looking through her sketchbook no matter what style of drawing you like.



Joie’s Instagram. Thanks again Joie for sharing your art.


Alice’s Sketchbook Continued

Alice’s Sketchbook Continued

The Spring semester ended back in April. However I’ve had Alice’s sketchbook video on my iPhone for sometime now. Alice was an absolute pleasure to have as a student in class.

Alice’s improvement over the entire academic year was pretty incredible. She really is an example of what hard work and devotion can do for one’s portfolio of drawings. Improve them immensely.

I wish Alice all the best as she moves forward with her education in the Animation Department at the School of Visual Arts.

Alice thank you so much for sharing your sketchbook. Thank you so much for being such a great student! Definitely stop by in the future, I would love to see what you are working on!

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