By Tapan Sarkar
I think I do not need to mention it here that figure drawing can be tough. Many aspiring figure artists drop off in the midway because of this very reason. Just think of the things that one needs to master before he or she can even produce a faithful drawing of a human figure.
Out of many required skills and expertise, you need to learn about human anatomy. Though you do not need to be a master internals of human body, overall idea of human body structure you need to assimilate to produce a good-to-look-at figure, then you need to be good at drawing human hands, feet, nose, ear etc. And let me let you all these can be daunting even almost impossible task for the newbies who take drawing just for having some fun.
So, am I here to tell you that do not ever try or even think of taking up figure drawing as a hobby. Actually the reverse is true, I am taking your time to tell you figure drawing is difficult to make you aware that If you ever decide to take up that hobby you should be mentally aware that there is a learning curve that you have to traverse.
But at the same I will also tell you if you cross the bridge successfully there are many good things that you will have access to. I will also show you the way how you can easily tackle the task if you decide to take the plunge.
Coming back to the topic of rewards, figure drawing probably is the best kind of art form if we think of material & not-so-material returns that one can have from it. Demand for figure artists is growing by leaps and bounds these days as recruiters from various industries starting from book publishing houses to cartoon industry-are actively looking for top quality figure artists so if you take this art form seriously and become proficient you will be having a lucrative carrier waiting for you when you grow up.
Now let us again talk on the strategies that will make you work of learning figure drawing somewhat easier. But a word of caution would be appropriate here that these tips are not some magic bullet, you still will have to do some work and practice religiously.
Tip number one: Keep in mind that there are only two solid shapes you need to be aware of as a figure artist. They are sphere, cylinder -Human head can be thought and represented as a modified sphere and rest of the body parts can be thought to be made of modified cylinders Can you imagine how this way of looking at human body make your work easy at the very outset. Make a habit of looking at people around you and notice however complex and unique they look like basically modified sphere and cylinders are what that is there.
Tip number two: Be aware of the various proportions of human body. Believe me a little knowledge of anatomy will take you far as a figure artist. But my suggestion for you would be do not wait to be a anatomy expert first. Keep drawing and at the same time do the required anatomy study because your goal is becoming a figure artist and not a medical graduate. Many guys and gals make this mistake of focusing on a wrong and non-core topic. You should never lose your focus if you want to be an excellent figure artist.
Tip number three: Do not concentrate on details initially, if you do you will get bogged down in the comparatively difficult part of figure drawing and lose interest very quickly because the details can be difficult and may not appear very stimulating at least in the beginning.
Best approach is first learn to draw basic figures with the help of spheres and cylinders [as suggested in tip number two] and then once you are comfortable with that and when you have started to have fun from drawing the basic figures, concentrate on the details. That way there will be less chance that you will get bored and quit drawing altogether.
Tip number four: Allocate some time from your daily routine for practicing, in your initial days you should try to practice daily. Do not miss practice even for a single day. Make sure you practice your craft at least for couple of hours daily. Spending 10 or 15 minutes certainly will be of no use. But in case in a particular day you do not find time then you can spend 10 to 15 minutes just to retain the touch. As you know something is better than nothing is such scenarios.
Tip number five: Get a good course on drawing, one with special focus on figure drawing will be really helpful. Before buying check if the book offers a good number of exercises. There are many books that contain beautifully drawn figures but there is not enough exercises to challenge the learner, so students often waste their time by looking at the given figures instead of creating something new on their own. So you should be beware of this pitfall.
By now probably you understand you too can be a figure artist if you be disciplined and spend some. time daily to polish your craft. The task at hand is not easy but certainly it is something doable.
If you put some work to pick up the required skills, there are many good things that you will get to enjoy. Apart from money the prestige and self satisfaction that you will enjoy alone will more than compensate your hard work. And above everything else an artist’s career is different from other more traditional ones in that you will be doing something that you love to do and not Something you force yourself to do to earn a living.
So make up your mind and even if there is a small fragment of desire in your mind to be a figure artist go for it as you now know you too can do it if you want to.
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