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Exercises for Figure Drawing

I really enjoy drawing figures and have a variety of exercises that I've done over several years to practice sketching body parts:  faces, hands, and feet. 

Drawing faces:  I save full face portraits from magazines and for this exercise I divide them in half vertically.  I collage one half of the face to a sketchbook page and then sketch the missing side - trying to copy the original as closely as possible.  I saw this idea on a website or blog, but don't remember where.

Drawing hands:  I have an articulated hand, that I bought second hand at a mannequin supply store in Manhattan, that I can position and then draw.  And for almost two years I worked my way through a website with photos of hands forming the American Sign Language letters.  I just finished Y and Z - so I'm done.

Drawing feet:  So far most of my sketches are of my feet and my husband's feet as we sit watching TV.

Here are the last 6 pages in my practice sketchbook.





Wow, Shirley, These are really good. Do you mind if I practice this way? Or is that stealing? art plagiarism?


Shirley, you just continue to amaze me. What wonderful practice and wonderful progress!

Ooh, that collage/drawing idea is very cool!

You did a wonderful job on the sketches. I had in my schedule for the day coming out for figure drawing in Battery Park, but laziness won out. Hopefully I'll get to one or two before it ends. Again great drawings.

These practice drawings are wonderful. You keep getting better and better!

Very nice sketches! I like the half collage/half drawn faces.

Great post Shirley! Love these sketches. I am sorry I couldn't comment on your posts earlier(trust me I've tried tens of times and finally gave up, I don't give up easily). Love the sketch of your mom too =)

Nice job on the sketches. I also like how you filled in the rest of the images.

Shirley, Your drawings are wonderful. I like the idea of the half photo-half drawing approach and plan to try that myself. Thanks for the tip. Ambal

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