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    When working from memory, your work looks unsure and sketchy and has fewer clean lines. I feel it would be to your benefit to continue with this exercise often until you feel more comfortable drawing this way.

    Also, when you are exercising, it's tempting to rush due to the time clock. Mainly because it's a new task under a time constraint. Don't sweat the time, and keep on with the next pose. It's better to be slower with less of a drawing done within a time frame; while staying neat and uncontrol. Then to rush and worry about how much you got it correct.

    Mainly-KEEP Going!! and Do this as your main draw session for a few months. It will be so good for your accuracy.

    All the best,

    JCML Fine Art

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    One of the best things about your work is you have a clear drawing hand style that is rather identifiable. Your marks look rather sure, clean and clear. Which is not something you see on here on this site often. Great work.

    But if you want to make your work more anatomically correct, I think that you would do well with a stint or two drawing with your non-dominant hand. I think it will help you see details, loosen up, as Polyvois stated and help you describe the image more fully with your pencil.

    All the best,

    JCML Fine Art



    Try slowing down and working with less sketchy lines. Clean shapes make a huge difference; make shapes within shape within shape.

    Did you know You can shade with shape, and we often forget this and often admire it when others do it.

    If you feel the shapes are as clean as you can make them at the seven-minute mark, then start to fill them in, in greyscale. Focus on light as you fill them in, and you will be surprised at what you can accomplish.

    All the best,

    JCML Fine Art


    When I get stuck, I edit the image on a program or on my phone.

    Mirroring an image is such a mind trip after you have been drawing it from the opposite angle. Try Mirroring the picture to see your underlying issues.

    Another good thing is to draw your reference right side up, and you upside down.

    Mind teasers like this help us see things we are missing.

    Or leave it for a week- if you can- and do something else for a bit. A change of pace can allow your brain to problem-solve in your subconscious.

    Breathing exercises are also a good help, especially when you want to finish it. The finish attitude is a killer of a lot of great art.

    I hope some of these suggestions help.

    All the best,

    JCML Fine Art

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    Posture is one of the essential things we don't consider enough when we are drawing. Most don't know to or forget to stretch their arms and legs and work on breathing before they start drawing. It's really important to come to the canvas in a neutral state, so you can find the emotional state or story in the figure before you start putting pigment on the surface.

    The old adage that "you don't need to be in shape or go to the gym to focus on the mussels that help you draw" is an absolute lie. Being fit is a huge help, especially when you work at your surface for more than 3 hours a day.

    Staying in shape, having good posture, and breathing while drawing help you with accuracy when making drawings.

    Example? I have a tendency to tilt my head to the left and tuck my right leg under my bum when I draw. So what happens is my plumb lines wobble, which tosses off the whole work. If you suffer from similar problems, changing your workstation set-up may be a good idea, so it's uncomfortable to follow bad habits like these. Also, your posture/breathing will affect your emotional state when you come to the surface- which can be an aid when seeking a section storytelling state.

    Warning----> If you are starting to work on your posture, don't push your drawing session longer than you can sit up straight with both feet on the floor. For most of us, it will surprise you how short this drawing time really is and will display why it is so important to stay in shape when drawing.

    I hope this helps.

    All the best,

    JCML Fine Art

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    Challenge- Only draw the inner lines of the body, not the edge of the figure.


    When we are so focused on the edge of the figure (I blame kindergarten teachers and children's colouring books), we lose its mass and sense of movement. It's like you're trying to stamp the figure into place when you or I am hyper-focused on the edge between the figure and the background behind it. It squashes the image like bug gusts on a car window, we know what it is, but it's dead. Dead drawings, even when they are hyper-realistic, suck- cause they don't have goods to keep us looking at the work.

    But what we want to do is to stir the viewer to jump a bit."Ah! Did you see that!? I think that picture just MOVED!!" That's what all good art does, it's like it's breathing, even the most abstract work has this principle in mind when making an image. But to do that, you and I must understand mass and volume dose do not come solely from the edge of the body's outline.

    It is the inner shapes and visible or invisible lines that give life to that object or figure. Take some time to focus on the mass drawing exercise. Try Stucture and Vison by Skylar and Durery.

    All the best,

    JCML Fine Art

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    Loose gestures are very expressive. You got the "S" of the figure most of the time, which is a positive. and you are allowing your figures to have directed lines- without using lines. This is also good.

    Try to find more of the minor case "s's" in the figure and bring them a bit closer to each other. Also, work on your thick-to-thin lines more. I feel these will help you a lot.

    I know I HARP on this often- but less is more. One gesture per page. If you want to be more accurate, don't let the distractions of other drawings bother your learning atmosphere. It's not a waste of paper; it's a valuable learning tool. Sure, it won't look as cool on an Instagram post, but I promise it's a HUGE help.

    All the best,

    JCMl Fine Art



    The knee works a bit like a hammer and anvil setup. (I hope the picture shows up; I have never added on to a critique before.) This photo is from Classic Human Anatomy by Valerie Winslow---->An invaluable resource for movement when you don't have a model or a large mirror in front of you when you are practising.

    Fewer images on a page will help you concentrate on the image you are making. More than One image and you are composing.

    It looks like you are working digitally, That's cool. Zoom in a bit so nothing else is on the page in front of you, and you can create more realistic works because your focus is on the figure, not composition.

    All the best,

    JCML Fine Art

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    Here check this out, If you are like me, you don't like your drawings smudging. I always draw on the left and leave the right page empty- Meaning each page has a front and back.


    Or will it take two years' worth of draws.

    Hope this helps

    All the best,

    JCML Fine Art



    If that is too long, why not try this- or morph my former suggestion to fit this arrangement?

    Find a notebook with one page for every day of the year.

    Mark the day, month and drawing time goal, then draw one figure per page every day.

    Mark each book with a note titled 'Drawing Year.....' (Some artists make a rule like this is my 5-minute book-draw one figure for five minutes only. They have multiple books, each with a different time stamp. Some do the same image, with the same time goal- every day for the year.) {These are just suggestions to get you started if you like this idea.}

    Select a date and time on your phone 2-4 times a year. Set a reminder and take 15 minutes to flip through the book and, later, old books to see your progress.

    I always start with the middle of my books, then the beginning few before looking at my most current draws. If you have a drawing buddy, even better. Swap and share the progress the other sees. It's always a confidence booster.

    All the best,

    JCML Fine Art

    • Jcmlfineart edited this post on May 26, 2023 11:07am. Reason: addressed to the wrong person by mistake


    The point of the stick figures is to show points of the body that move. Take some time and look at primitive art, like cave paintings. Or study Japanese woodblock prints and watercolours.

    If you can do the same thing as a full figure done in three lines as a photorealistic drawing you are onto something special. Lines can have real sense of emotional expression.


    Draw 1-4 lines per figure.

    Put on some music that gets you into a specific emotional head space. Use different emotions each time you practice.

    Put all your emotion into each body movement you make while you draw those few lines to make the figure. (Some artists find singing and standing helpful in this exercise) Let it bleed out onto the page. If that means skipping a drawing so you do it well, that's okay.

    15-second drawings- do them for as long as you can keep in that emotion. Preferably 30 minutes to an hour. (This is emotionally taxing, so if you can't do it that long, don't sweat it, the more you do it, the better you'll be able to tap into your emotional, creative state.

    Then do a five-minute drawing using the same principles, but use shape instead of line. (Warning you will feel like this is an eternity of time. Be careful not to draw for the sake of it. Be selective with your shapes and their line quality (thickness-to-thinness ratio representing light. It is tempting, and you probably will ask yourself, "What else can I do, there is so much time." Try not to fall into the trap of filling the page for the sake of the time and a fuller flushed-out figure.).

    Do this every day for 8 months. You will be astonished at what you can make happen. The basics may be boring, but they make or break images. Don't skip out.

    What will this do?

    This will help you decide the emotional story of your figure more quickly. This means you will understand how to exaggerate the figure into more dynamic poses. Plus, your art will feel more compelling. Master this, and the rest becomes spectacular.

    I have restarted doing this myself, and I am kicking myself for not doing it more often. See my current work, 'Lift to Rise progress 2,' as an example of lines making the figure feel more like it's breathing-Thats my new goal- Make my art look like it is breathing. And this exercise is helping that happen.

    All the best,

    JCML Fine Art

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    Try automatic drawing, draw what is in your head and let it flop onto the page.


    Go Cubist for a while. Some of the shapes are used to make different parts of the body. Morphing the bottom of a figure into the upper chest and neck- so it looks like both can be very informative and challenging. It sparks creative thinking and works on your storytelling skills. You don't have to be detailed in your cubist drawing, just work on morphing of shapes.

    Why do this? Both these exercises will help you see your art rhythm and create more lifelike dynamic figures in the small parts that make the figure look like it is about to move.

    Do each for around 45 minutes before you start your regular drawing routine. If you draw daily for a few hours, you'll see a definite improvement over the next 3-6 weeks.

    All of the best,

    JCML Fine Art

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    Less on a page is best. It looks like you are working digitally. That is cool. Just zoom in so there is nothing else on the page, Just empty space. This will help you concentrate more on your figures. Also, don't do the "make it fit" if you go off the page, that is fine. Let it happen. These things will stop your figures from becoming squished.

    Keep showing your work, its great for the ticking of your skin and a real recharge when you don't feel like drawing but know you need to work on "blank" so you can make your hobby happen. Great start.

    All the best,

    JCML Fine Art



    Consider trying the 'Slow Gesture' exercise as one of your warmups before you draw your intended image.

    In this exercise, you use the photos and put the clock on for 5 minutes for each gesture. You take a lot of time to read the model as to where the motion is coming from and what muscles they are using.

    When doing this exercise, some artists will stand up and repeat the stance the model is in and how the model got into that stance multiple times before they sit down to draw the figure. They will focus inwardly on each muscle it took in their body to get into that position.

    If you have a model, have them repeat getting into that stance as slowly as possible, stay in the pose for a few seconds, and then repeat until another pose is chosen.

    The main idea of this exercise is to understand the kinetic energy flowing through the body while in that position. The other is weight. Most weight comes from the line. Changing your pencil pressure and/or your pencil pigment levels from H-B helps a lot.

    Lastly, do not have so many figures on the page. It's tempting because it feels frugal to save paper. I mean, after all, it's just a gesture. Right? Wrong! The moment you have more than one figure on the page you are composing. If you want to bring up your gesture game, don't compose, it's a distraction you don't need because it will get in the way of your goals. One gesture per page. you can always use the paper later for grocery lists, clean-up and other studio needs. Give yourself the space to learn.

    I hope this helps.

    All the best,

    JCML Fine Art

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    Study bone structure. If you understand how the bones move and the mussels, pull those bones. Then the topical layer of the form is much easier to understand because you know what is happening mechanically inside the figure.

    Try focusing on simple shapes and stick figures. This will help you see more clearly how to make your work look more dynamic because. The gesture is only as living as the stick figure you place within the work. And that's why the bones are so compelling; they are the sticks inside the sack, which is the body.

    Remember, everyone likes to do the details; it's the frosting on the cake. But that frosting can look saggy and lifeless if the structure is not given the station it deserves.

    If you would like a few book recommendations, Let me know, and I can pass a few your way.

    All the best,

    JCML Fine Art