Oops! I Went Too Fast!

Student gesture drawing from Kimon Nicolaides' "The Natural Way to Draw."

Building a drawing foundation is proving to be more difficult than I originally imagined.

I've had so many starts and stops that I've lost count.

I've studied from numerous instructors, courses and books, too many to list.

But you can go TOO fast.

My problem is that I practice consistently for a brief period then…nothing. I come to a complete stop and never return.

This keeps happening because after about one week of practice, I start to second-guess why I'm doing that particular exercise. And the reason I question the exercise I'm doing is because it's so damn boring!

Gesture drawing, blind contours and other pure seeing/drawing exercises are necessary. But the reality is that these exercises quickly become dull. This is true of any drill, like practicing scales or layups. And with drawing, it's natural to want to get to the good part of creating completed art.

But like scales and layups, drawing exercises are ESSENTIAL to building a solid foundation.

The Lesson: don't rush your drawing studies!

Being studious means taking the time to genuinely understand each lesson AND apply that lesson to practice and final work.

I went through Stan Prokopenko's Figure Drawing Fundamentals series too quickly, not truly instilling each lesson.

And it shows every time I sit down to draw something.

So now I'm going all the way back to basics, to gesture drawing.

NEXT: more on gesture drawing.

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