1 year of practice and I need help

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Mx. Abi 6 years ago.

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    Hello. This is my first post on this website and I need advice/critiques. I have been drawing for 1 year now; practicing roughly 4-6 hours a day on average, and each time I make a breakthrough, I eventually hit a depressing wall. For some reason, I tend to zig-zag with the quality of my gesture drawings. Some of them are OK, while later ones are terrible, and then I'll go back to something decent-ish again. So I decided to finally ask for help to get myself on the right track. I'll start by posting some gestures within the last few days. I am sorry if they are not formatted correctly.

    lets see if this link works...
    here are a couple of images

    this should link to my deviantart scrap gallery...

    my gesture drawings here

    please tell me if these work

    Get more practice photos

    Support us to remove this


    hey Gemini0982!
    Honestly it's amazing that you've been practicing even though you felt frustrated sometimes. You've been working your way through it, and you don't give up. Maybe it means that you are on the right track already. ;-)


    Thank you marymary. It's very inspiring to receive encouragement. It helps me push forward and to keep practicing. It makes me feel better to hear that from another artist.

    Thank you. :)


    you're welcomed, Gemini!
    thank you so much for your warm reply, it's so nice of you to write such things =)
    I'll be looking forward to see your new works!


    When you say you practice 4-6 hours a day what do you do exactly? Do you have time setup for anatomy, construction and gesture? New masters academy is the place I go to when I feel I've hit a wall or plateau, it is a subscription fee to their library though but it's totally worth the money if you're serious with your drawing. I recommend Sheldon Borensteins beginners/intermediate course on figure drawing, he's got an interesting way of teaching. Good luck!


    Thank you for responding Nordstroem. Each day I try to follow a routine so that I can practice multiple things. I start out by doing some object gestures and shading exercises to warm up. Just recently I added cloth drawing exercises to my routine. Those can be complete in an hour. The bulk of my drawing each day(3-4 hours or so) is used on gesture drawing. Approximately 2 of those hours are timed, with half of that time being the scale-able class timers(30sec at first, 1min next etc). Shorter poses only use simple lines, and longer poses have anatomy. The other half of that time is used on several 10min gestures. After that is usually a 1 hour session where I try to draw from a pose-able figure and I try to add anatomy to it using references. If I have anytime left in the day, I will usually spend it to learn something new via a tutorial. However, I have to admit that it is hard to stick to this schedule due to things like school and the like. I hope I explained what you wanted to know.

    Also, thank you for the recommendation. I haven't heard of New Masters Academy, so I might look into them. Although, a fee might be a bit of a problem if its like a monthly subscription. I'm already looking at about $10,000 dollars debt when I'm finished with school.


    Hi Gemini0982 :)
    It's amazing that you can still practice even when you feel demotivated!! One thing that I'd like to ask, though, is: do you have any art project you're working on, apart from practice?
    Something I've noticed recently, is that most of my improvement comes from works or projects that I'm passionate about or that I'm just really excited to do! While practice is obviously needed to better yourself, maybe what you need is something to put the things you learn while practicing to use.
    It doesn't have to be anything big, maybe just creating your own character (you can even use this character to practice certain poses).
    Hope this helps!


    Your gestures are better and better each time you practice! You are keeping up to schedules and I admire it very much!
    But what lacks in your gestures as I saw is: VARIETY! Try to draw in other media than just pencils: with inks, crayons, digital, markers, paints, ballpens, everything! Try different ways, keep monothony away from your practice and have fun sometimes. Draw negative spaces and shilluetes. Vary the pages you use: here the best tool is the trainer to draw the poses from short to long: also croquis cafe channel on youtube for that.
    Play with it and as florrcorr said: work on some project, even super small drawing.

    Cheers, and keep fighting!


    I just got my first tablet(woho!)and tried it out on one of your gestures :-)

    Hope it helps, cheers!


    So many new posts! Sorry it took me so long to respond to them, but I got sick last Thursday. The kind that keeps you in bed and the most "active" thing you can do is to watch videos. I am just now able to get to my computer to read all of these responses.

    Its funny that you mentioned that I should start a project florrcorr, cause I was actually planning to do a digital painting and shading project using scanned line-work on Friday, bit I'll have to postpone that until this Friday.

    As a response to LS, I have been thinking about using other mediums like my pens I have laying(lying?) around, and I used to draw some of my gestures digitally, so I think I'll get back into it within the week. Also, nice profile pic. :)

    Thank you Nordstroem for the critique. Having a visual reference helps a lot. Now that you've pointed it out, I really haven't been as careful as I should have in making sure the figure was in a realistic perspective. Nor have I really kept track of the directions of my lines in order to retain the flow of my figures. I would say that 1 good thing that came from this sickness, is that it gave me a chance to re-watch some old Proko videos that I haven't seen in a year. It made me realize that I had completely forgotten what the true purpose of gesture drawing was, which led to my overall, messy gestures.

    I would like to add that I recently bought some Bridgeman books from Amazon the other day in order to research anatomy better than just simply using photo references. In the coming weeks, I will try to improve more than what I have improved in the last year.

    Anyway, thank you to everyone who has responded to my post! :) Now I need to go and take another 3 hour nap.


    No worries, speaking of books here are some absolutely free! :D http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php/131116-Hundreds-of-Free-Art-E-Books


    There is a lot of good advice here, and I agree with what has been said.
    I want to challenge you on a couple of things.

    First of all one year of drawing is not going to give you the same thing as a lifetime of drawing, or decades of drawing. And some of the people that you are seeing have been drawing for their entire life. So you can't expect to be at the level of someone who has been drawing for 2 decades, even at the rate which you are practicing.

    Your consistency and dedication is good and important, and it will get you to where you want to be faster. But there are not really a lot of short cuts here, it's just going to take what you are doing and a lot of it.

    The other thing that I challenge you on is your focus on Gesture Drawing as if it were the end goal, and it isn't really. It's a way of seeing, of practicing, of getting into a good place.

    As artists we look at each other's gesture drawing and we make critiques and we talk about it, because we are interested in the process. But it is not the end product it is a practice.
    I have taken some of my gesture drawings, and repeated them in ink on archival paper because I was so pleased with the result, but most of them are on newsprint, and are in an ever growing pile of filled books in my basement that I keep for no logical reason.

    I photograph them and archive them online because I like to see the progress I make and it is easier when you look at the collection as a whole. But they are not the final drawing, they are a practice.

    Gesture should be a place to start, it should be a way of forcing yourself to look at the shape, they should be a way to get warmed up.

    How much time do you spend on each gesture drawing?

    At home I use this site and enjoy the 30 second and 1 minute challenge. It means that when I am in my Life Drawing Session with a live model and we have two minutes, then five minutes I feel like I have all the time in the world.

    The point of the gesture is to get out of your head, and trust your hands, trust your eyes.

    So if you are spending to much time, then just do 10 seconds, what can you get down before 10 seconds are over, then the next, the next, the next, the next, and move on.

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