beginners question


I am in the process of learning how to properly draw the human form and I have a sort of general question regarding how to direct my efforts. I am currently spending about 20 mins a day drawing 2 min poses from an online archive. I find that I sort of make the same mistakes over and over again.

 I am currently looking at purchasing some online courses in figure construction ( and the online drawing academy) Guided learning is important to me as I don't have allot of free time. 

My question is this. For someone starting out in figure drawing should I practice drawing what I see, or should I focus on anatomy and construction. Life drawing seems difficult without a decent knowlege of understructure. Conversely, I don’t want all of my life drawings to appear constructed or symbolic.

Over time I would imagine a balance of these skills would be the most beneficial, but am just not sure which to tackle first in regards to the best use of my time.

Any advice is appreciated.


Start by drawing what you see.
Anatomy comes later, and it simply enables you to make 2 things: reach a better understanding of what you see, and make educated guesses when you are drawing what you don’t actually see (ie, a figure from memory).
A good excercise is to practice series of gesture drawings. That helps you develop the sense of the essential form and over time makes your drawings feel more natural. So do multiple series of 5-10 sketches, first dedicating 2 minutes to each, then 1, then 30 seconds, then 15. When the time’s up, stop working on the sketch and start a new one.
If you are serious about this and you have some money and time to invest, pick up a sketchbook and a pencil, and go attend a life drawing class. Having a model that poses for you is quite helpful.


Thank you very much ! That was exactly the type of answer I was hoping for.