5 and 10 min figure drawing

by Eleighs, November 23rd 2021 © 2021 Eleighs

Done as part of a 30 minute class.

My current goal is: Reduce stiffness and make my drawings feel more dynamic, energetic, fluid

I can't seem to draw realistically and I'm not sure why, my drawings look cartoon-ish. Any help is greatly appreciated! I am just starting out so pointers are great :)) Thanks!!


Don't forget the essential importance of 30 sec drawings - they help teach your eye-hand to see the essentials.

It's easy to fall into the trap of drawing an "eye" rather than a combination of shapes and shadows, which then read less like a cartoon. This can also be a function of focusing too much? too soon? on details. Once the proportions and anatomy are there, details follow more readily.

Class mode is great for getting you from warm-up to longer drawings. Have you tried it much?


I tried a little bit of the class mode but not enough haha! In this session, I actually did a warm-up with the class mode, 10 with 30 seconds, 5 with 1 min, and then the pic above but I couldn't add more than 1 image here. I guess just keep working at it and it'll get easier/better?


Joints are rarely stiff, and often have a slight bend to them

I would that that into account, and also look at muscular system, they will really help with getting a realistic shape


Got it, thank you so much!! Happy Thanksgiving if you're celebrating!!

Romans Illus


I think the root of your current problem is that you're relying too much on the contour lines of the figure to try and capture form. Contour lines are the edges of shapes, the outlines if you may. A suggestion for getting past this would be to start trying to break the figure into more 3d shapes-- and to draw through those shapes. The torso could be a vertical rectangular box, which you draw the front and back of (even if you can't see it). The pelvis could be a horizontal rectangle, and that interaction of the torso / hips will slowly start to build your understanding of human form. And trying to understand those forms that make up the figure will vastly speed up any progress towards naturalism.


Got it, I will work on that! Thank you so much!! :))



Try to draw the figures as if they were made of basic 3d shapes. It looks like your holding your pencil like a writer instead of an artist. If you change this and draw bigger your work will improve.

Some of this is time. Take 30 minutes for a moons turn and be dedicated to that time frame. You will be surprised by the results.

One last thing Robert Hale has a lovely book called Drawing with the Masters. In it, he says "Details are not structure"

Important--------Less important



Hand Shape-----Fingers

Rib Cage--------Brests

All good things come to those who work.

All the best,

JCML Fine Art


Thank you so much!! Will work on this :))


Sorry for such a late response... in addition to the other suggestions above, consider varying the line width (from solid to implied), this also increases the sense of a body in space.

best wishes!

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