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Speed drawing is the best practice you can do on a regular basis. A lot of people throw style around, they act like it is a must. But when you are just starting out, well, style is a dirty word. It is the last thing you should be worrying about at this stage!

Line of Sight

There is a nice site that I enjoy using called Line of Sight that has a nice tool that rotates through images grouped in different categories at set time intervals to help you practice efficiently. There are all sorts of tips on what and what not to do, but honestly just going out and drawing is your biggest resource.

And for beginner tips I guess I would say, a big thing you are taught early on is just hand/eye coordination so that you avoid hairy lines. Some people might be confused so I will add: a "hairy" line is a line that has a lot of stops and starts. It stems from a lack of confidence in where the line is going. The way to practice this is through a method called "ghosting"- practicing lines in he air just above the paper before actually drawing them in.

Draw, draw, and keep drawing!

It requires that you have a need to have a solid understanding off to consider yourself versed in the basics:

  • Perspective: Drawing without learning the structure underneath will train your hand but not your understanding of the form.
  • Line quality: Thick v. Think, and remember no "hairy" lines!
  • Composition
  • Proportions/life drawing
  • Anatomy
  • Lighting

When it comes to books. There are so many great options that it seems unfair to actually name one for each of these areas, but if I would suggest an artist, I would say: pick up the books from Andrew Loomis. Specifically, Figure Drawing for All Its Worth. It has been reprinted in nice reasonably hardback edition, and it is fantastic to say the least.

Then, while it is not necessarily figure drawing, the Bridgeman books Constructive anatomy and the human machine are good.

Drawing is also mindset. You have to put yourself in the right frame of mind when you draw. While you may not be where you are today, if you keep working on it it will get better over time.

Now it is time for a cookie!