creativity Newsletter


May 30 2008 Creativity Newsletter

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Book Review - “Draw Real People!”
This is a book review of Lee Hammond´s "Draw Real People!" drawing book.

I hope you find this week's book review on Lee Hammond's drawing book useful. Some people think drawing the human body is much more difficult than drawing still life objects or landscapes. Of course it’s all a matter of opinion, but I’d like to at least attempt to simplify the process of drawing portions of the human body. There are some techniques that will help you if you are just starting out and if you practice, I assure you your skills will improve.

First, make sure you have a set of drawing pencils ranging from 2H to 8B and drawing paper. Also purchase a sandpaper block, a smudge cone, pro art white plastic and pro art kneaded erasers. For easy, convenient practice, start by drawing your own hand. The hand is a great "study object" that can lead into the face. Be as detailed as you can, drawing nails, knuckles, veins, creases and even skin pores. Change positions of your hand and draw again. Then take your hand away and try to draw your hand again, only by memory. How did you do? If you need to go back to looking at your hand when you draw, start over by studying your hand again. After all, it is an exercise.

Once you’ve spent some time working on your hand, then you’re ready to move on to your face. The face can be practiced in a similar way without having anyone else around by using a mirror. You simply set up a mirror across from your own face and begin drawing your face in the same fashion that you drew your hand. Study your face in the mirror for several minutes, looking over all your unique features in great detail. See how well you can duplicate your own features.

Those are two easy exercises you can do on your own with your own body. When you feel you have mastered duplicating your own face and hand down to the finest detail, you can move on to sitting across from another person and drawing their face.

Later on if you want to get into portrait painting it is helpful if you can master portrait illustration first. It makes it much easier to paint on canvases when you have a preliminary drawing done of your subject first. Practice makes perfect and since you always have a willing subject around to work with, you should become a skilled illustrator of facial features in no time at all.

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Deb Bonam, Creativity Editor

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