07 Mar

Sketching The Human Body For Beginners

Getting the proportions of the human figure right is vital if you want your finished picture to look realistic and lifelike, whether you are sketching or painting, and whether you’re a complete beginner or a more experienced artist… and there’s a surprisingly simple way to achive this, even if you’ve never drawn before.

In the short video below, Genevieve Woodford from The Seasons Art Class shows you the easy-to-copy techniques you need to draw the human body properly, using nothing more than a pencil and a sketch pad or sheet of cartridge paper. I hope you find it useful:

You’ll see that there are straightforward rules to bear in mind when you sketch people. Copy these guidelines and your completed drawing will always be in the correct proportion, allowing you to then add other elements to your artwork to make it more personal.

For example in an earlier video, Genevieve showed you how to get the proportions of the human face right, again using nothing more complicated than a grid format much like the above clip shows you. Using these two techniques together means you can then draw a complete person, embellishing your picture further if you wish by adding other props, clothing, a background scene, or anything else you wish to complete your painting.

Understanding how to sketch people properly is a skill you will find you need time and time again in your art, and is a technique that can be applied in all sorts of mediums from simple and spontaneous pencil sketches, to more complex watercolour paintings, semi-abstract acrylic works, pastel compositions, oil paintings, and a whole load more.

Simple practice is all you need to perfect the method shown above… and of course a 2B or 4B pencil or graphite stick, and a sheet of cartridge paper or your sketching pad.

I wish you every success!


25 Feb

How To Draw A Face (Map Only)

Learning how to draw the human face is something that many beginners can find a little bit tricky.

In the video below, Genevieve Woodford from The Seasons Art Class shows you how to create a basic map of the face that pretty much guarantees you will get the whole thing in proportion, correctly setting out facial features such as the mouth, nose, eyes, ears and so on, and drawing a layout that you can then develop into a fully finished painting.

I hope you find it helpful:

You’ll see from this short video that mapping out the human face is not as difficult as it might at first seem. Using a simple grid to break the overall picture down into segments, ensures you end up with the right proportions, drawing features like the ears, eyes, nose and mouth in the correct place, relative to each other.

During our Poole, Christchurch and Bournemouth art classes, we teach you how to ‘flesh out’ this basic map so that you can draw or paint a far more realistic face including areas of correctly placed light and dark shading, tonal highlights, depth, bone structure, and other artistic elements that will bring your finished drawing to life.

Once you get this right it will open up a whole new artistic field for you, enabling you to paint portraits, accurately draw people and crowds, produce lifelike cartoons and caricatures, alter facial expressions, create more abstract portraiture, and other similar things. And what’s more, with practice and the correct pencils, graphite sticks and cartridge paper, these skills will quickly become second nature too.


Sketching Skills Are Essential:

Getting your basic drawing and sketching technique right like this is key to being able to progress further in your journey towards becoming an accomplished painter. It’s just like learning any other skill such as how to drive a car, or even how to put up a shelf — if you don’t get the groundwork right in the first place, the end result runs the risk of looking amateurish, and you will struggle to improve and develop in the way you might want.

Art is just another skill that to a very large degree can be initially learned and then further improved with practice (just like driving for example), using simple materials such as a 2B or 4B pencil, an eraser or putty rubber, a sketch pad, and a bit of practice. Get the structure of the human face right by copying the map shown in the video above, and the rest of your artwork will then become much easier to create from there.

Adding shade and tone is far more effective (and easier) if the underlying layout of your picture is right to begin with. But get this wrong, and your finished drawing will inevitably look out of proportion.

I hope that helps. We will continue to add other ‘how to draw and paint’ videos to this site over time to help you with your learning, but these are of course just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ as it were. To learn how to put these into practice properly and develop as an artist, please telephone us on 01202-580909 and we will talk you through our part-time art course syllabus in greater detail, showing you exactly what we teach and how we do it.

I’m sure you’ll find it fascinating!