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Draw the Whole then the Parts
05 Dec 06
Our Thursday Night Drawing group, is not led by an instructor, but Bill Wheeler is a mentor to many of the artists. I've had to laugh to myself on several occasions when Bill would casually suggest to an artist that they should consider drawing in the background at the same time they are drawing the figure. In most cases, the artist would say, "but the pose is so short, I only have time for a quick figure study". Oooops, WRONG ANSWER! I laugh because I know what's coming after that. Bill will go to great lengths to convince this artist that the whole picture should be developed at the same time, not just the figure. He's absolutely right.

In the figure below, I'm showing the results of a 30 second pose. Note that the figure as well as well as structural lines for the background and bench have already been added in order to get a feel for the complete composition.

30 Second Drawing

In 30 seconds the basic composition for this drawing has been established. Nothing more was added because we went on to the next pose, but given more time, you can continue to develop more and more of the whole composition at the same time.

Draw the Whole Then the Parts

In the 15 minute drawing above, even more of the drawing has been added, but note that the background is included with roughly the same amount of detail as the figure.

20 minute pose

Once again, in this 20 minute pose, still more detail is added but always considering the background as well as the figure.

Figure Drawing Tips

The more time you have, the more you can refine the drawing or painting, but it's critical that you continually consider the design of the whole page. Too many artists get stuck spending too much time drawing the features of the face rather than creating a "picture".


E-mail me at: terry@terryvision.com I'll gladly answer your questions or post your comments if you like.

Till Next Time...

E-mail me at: terry@terryvision.com I'll gladly post your comments if you like.


Life Drawing Photos Site

I've created a NEW SITE that offers photos of the fabulous life drawing model, "Olivia"! The photos available on this site are intended to be an instructional aid for anyone interested in learning to draw the figure. Check it out at:

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