Just would appreciate some input

by Kmiller, July 5th 2021 © 2021 Kmiller

Done as part of a 30 minute class.

My current goal is: Become comfortable with figure drawing.

I cheated on this class and definatly spent more than 10 minutes on this sketch at the end. This was more like a 20 minute figure drawing of a nude young female. It was done with some cheap oil pastels I like to use for practicing my sketching. Critiques are welcome, I've only gotten back into art in the last year after about a 10 year hiatus, so I'd appreciate some kind of assesment. Thanks in advance!

Aunt Herbert

You captured her elegance well.

Your main challenge at the moment seems to be to find some consistency. There are some parts of the drawings which look really accomplished, like the overall flow of her hip, torso and head, on other parts you were visibly struggling, like her hands and the proportions of her limbs.

The lines on her torso seem a bit ambiguous, whether they want to be construction lines or shading, contours or planes.

Her placement on the page, with her lower leg just leaving the page, seems a bit random, more like something that happened to you within the course of drawing than something that you decided and planned to happen. I think if you had just stopped drawing a bit above her knees, leaving quite a bit of empty space before the edge of the paper to indicate purpose, the overall outcome would have been stronger. To a lesser extent the same is true for her right hand touching the edge of the paper.

I am not 100% sure whether the background serves an artistic purpose, or is more a result of your "cheating". Everything is legitimate in love, war and art, but you have to hide your traces and keep a straight face while doing so. If you had planned to include a background, even a very plain and non-descriptive one, you would have spent more time in executing it. So if you try to fake it after the fact, you have to come up with a purpose for it. Just an even plane of a single tone or a simple gradient to indicate a contrast to your centerpiece can be such a purpose, but then it has to be done evenly, or it will distract from your main message instead of enhancing it.

I 100% applaud your decision to draw big! That's a good foundation for finding good narrative lines and use your complete arm for drawing. That said, you wrinkled the page quite a bit at the lower right corner, probably by resting your arm there while drawing. It seems nitpicky to mention that, but keeping the page pristine is a habit, that needs to be acquired to. When you are advanced enough to do really long works, and then realize, that you need to fix your working pose, as you keep wrecking the page while drawing and thereby lowering the overall result of all your work, that's a real nasty toad to swallow, better try avoiding it right away.

I do feel like drawing shorter pieces, but more of them, would be more helpful to you at the moment. It helps building up consistency, get a feel for specific weaknesses you want to overcome, and most of all, getting used to live with inferior outcomes and find a good point to stop drawing and start the next piece. There are 5000 bad pieces in every artist, and the only way to get them out is to put them down on paper. Spending more time on cheating than on drawing is just bad time economy, you need to learn to get the foundations right first, anyway. If there some erroneous lines on the page, it's often better to just live with them than to come up with an elaborate scheme to hide them.


Hi, yes I'm a big fan of the 30 second ant 2 minute drawings but I do those all the time and wanted to start getting a feel for a process. Moving from the quick sketch to a more finished look but I'll keep at them. No I did not plan that thigh being cut off and I think maybe practicing hands and feet could be good for me. I actually messed up the corner of the whole sketch book the night before since it fell down somewhere I didn't see it and I don't believe in wasting paper. However I'll keep that bit of advice in mind. Thank you so much for your critique.

Polyvios Animations

Nice work on your very-first-ever post of your figure drawing, Kmiller. Very juicy and bolder work I must see. Great work and keep it up.

I have one smaller, tinier critique is that.....I love her natural elegance in that attitude, but I'm not really getting enough of the caricature of the organic spaces in that drawing. Would you like to do another 10 minute pose, with a No. 2 Pencil with an eraser; and this time, remember to refrain from the pause???

The reason is why you could, should and would be able to improve this drawing is because, by drawing through the whole pose without any pausing, you'd be able to be the loosest but carefullest with your strokes and graphic forms.

Keep up the great, great work, and I hope you've found these informational.


Thank you very much! And yes I'll try again with this one in pencil, one at 5 and one at 10 to see for comparison. (sorry I hadnt realised that I'd posted it twice, I thought it hadn't gone through the first time, silly me!) By "caricature of the organic spaces" do you mean the forms? I'm sorry I'm still getting reaquainted with the jargon in art. As for the pause are you talking througout the drawing itself or just in the practice? I ask because I'm trying to "get the rhythem" of poses more and wanted to know if that's what you meant by that. Or do you just mean that redrawing a specefic pose allows us to go back and learn from our mistakes? Lately, I've been trying to find a good balance between finding the rhythem of a pose while also keeping an eye on proportions but it has been a bit of a struggle so far.

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