Top Life Drawing Tips
When it comes to still life drawing, whether its your first time with your hen party or you’ve tried it before, drawing the human body isn’t exactly a walk in the park.
If you consider yourself to be a bit of an artist or you might just be looking for techniques when you do your next class, we’ve listed the top 5 simple life drawing techniques and tips that may help you out the next time you’re drawing a human figure!
6 Top Tips for Life Drawing Beginners
1. Keep an Eye on Proportions!
This may seem like an obvious point, but when you have a still life drawing model in front of you, the best way to work around this is to draw the body in rectangles that you can use as a template, which can then be expanded upon.
Using your observation skills is also an important factor in any life drawing classes. Taking time to look closely and analyse each & every detail of the body that you’re working on is crucial to improving and expanding on your drawing skills.
2. Draw with Your Arm, NOT Your Hand
When it comes to drawing still life models, the amount of detail you need to consider is a lot more than what you might have previously expected, especially if it’s your first time or you don’t have a large amount of experience with drawing.
One thing is for sure, that to capture this high level of detail in a natural way, you will need to make use of your entire arm rather than drawing with your wrist. Using this life drawing technique, you will start to notice some improvements almost immediately!
3. Focus on the Entire Model
Whether you’ve taken a life drawing class before or not, you will know that drawing people, especially the entire body, is a huge undertaking that requires a lot of focus and attention. It can be easy to get caught up in drawing a part of the body that you may find easier or less detailed than another. The problem with this approach is that you can lose focus on the rest of the body, which can end up being out of proportion in size or detail.
The best way to improve on your overall skill level is to map out the basic lines that form the body’s main contours, which are shoulder to shoulder, knee to knee and hip to hip. From there, you can determine the overall proportions of the body and create a quick and general outline of the model which makes for a great template to work from for the rest of the life drawing class. Learn about how to become a life drawing model.
4. Measure Your Model
Without a doubt, anybody taking a life drawing class should make measurements of the body. This doesn’t mean pulling out a tape measure as if you were fitting a suit though! Use your pencil as your measuring tool, using it periodically to see if what you’re adding to your drawing matches up with the proportions of the rest of the body.
However, as important of a life drawing technique that measuring is, there is a fine line between balancing measurements and freehand. Rather than one being dictated by the other and vice-versa, the two drawing techniques should complement each other. Starting out with some freehand to get the overall shape of the body then using measurements to keep your proportions in check is the best method.
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5. Forget About Symmetry!
Despite what you may have been taught, the human body is never 100 percent symmetrical! Focusing on the entire model, as we mentioned before, makes you look at the entire still life model in front of you.
At this point, you will realise that details can vary between the left and right side of the body. The one big pitfall that you will avoid if you don’t assume that the body is completely symmetrical is “Balloon torsos”.
6. Relax & Have Fun!
Probably one of the most important life drawing tips is to have fun and relax! Not only is it meant to be an enjoyable experience that gives you the chance to practice or have fun but making sure that you’re relaxed and not stressing about minor details and mistakes will help you improve your skill! If your arm muscles are relaxed, you will find that drawing freely will come a lot easier and you might even surprise yourself!
We send 1000's of groups on our hen party life drawing activity across the UK and Europe. You'll learn how to draw a male model but its much more fun than becoming a serious artist.