Back to the start..


This year I made a promise to myself to get back to more figure work. I’m lucky to have some really brave friends, so I spent a few hours drawing my friend Lisa, who was good enough to pose. She got to lay out and watch some modern family, while I got to draw!

Some tea,desert, chatting and general catching up passed the time too, very glamorous is the life of a model 🙂




imageAs its been a while since I got to draw figures, it got me thinking back to when it was all new to me. To be honest most of my college experience is a blur of random painting and photography but something I remember vividly, is my weekly life drawing module. I love drawing figures, I can honestly say I am at my happiest when I’m zoned out in a haze of shadow and light hitting the skin. Pure beautiful!

In college it was my favourite part of the week- One full day of drawing and painting with a real model, sometimes two. We painted many different figures over the years, young,old, male, female, various shapes and sizes.


If you are new to painting figures, i wanted to share some ideas for pushing yourself. These will help you test your skill, stumble across new techniques and maybe get some inspiration for a series of pieces. Anyone can learn to draw figures beautifully but here are some tips to help you find your own style and get a bit more creative. If you are working on you portfolio for a college, I would recommend getting a notebook and a willing friend (or mirror) and start sketching. This would make a good addition to your work


Here are some ideas to kick start you:

  •  Do “blind” drawings- don’t look at the page,look only at the model/mirror
    * shine a bright spot lamp on the subject- focus only on the dark shadows and bright lights with some tonal studies
  •  Try a while where you focus on small sections of the body only
  • Draw with your non dominant hand
  • Draw without raising the pencil/charcoal off the paper
  • Do timed work- ten second drawings, 1 minute drawings (in my experience for someone as rigid in their ways as me, this was a great tool for practicing on loosening my style)
  •  Experiment with washes of colour on paper before you add charcoal
  • Experiment with different backgrounds-text/rolled out or splattered paint/newspaper- note ow it changes your whole approach
  • Get a twig and use instead of brush, see how this changes the texture and look of a drawing
  • Get the person to hold stick/broom and see how it affects the tension in the body
  •  Add texture study of sheets/cushions/background props
  • Get the model to curl up/stretch out/sit wrapped around leg of chair just change the view of the body

Just a few little ideas.Some of these really work for any sketching, not just figure work so have fun with it 🙂 I personally am grabbing some twigs next and trying some texture work 🙂

Happy experimenting!

Cam x


7 thoughts on “Back to the start..

  1. Lisa says:

    Reblogged this on Wellanicity and commented:
    So the whole “selfie” craze at the minute is huge and it’s pretty prolific among the fitness community to post daily pics of oneself, scantly glad, in the mirror, using your camera phone. It’s not my thing really, instead I went old school and when my friend Carmel needed a life model to do some sketches I volunteered. Here is the result along with some of her previous work. They’re pretty fantastic and a lot more subtle in the “sexiness” than someone kitted out in lycra and Instagram filtered to the last. I hope you like them.
    Lisa x

    Liked by 1 person

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