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Oh Jim, Jim, Jim.....

Oh Jim, Jim, Jim.....  not again.....




And I'm still working on drawing hands.

Until next time - 

A Portrait

Tuesday Figure Drawing


Athina's Portrait    June 26, 2012
by Martha C. Hall

4B Pencil on Bristol board

25 minutes



Nadine 6-19-12

Tuesday Figure Drawing

"Nadine"  June 19, 2012   Martha C. Hall

4B Pencil on Bristol board

40 minute pose

If I do say so, I'm getting pretty good at drawing the studio chair. Note to self: next week's long pose should be something other than seated in the chair.

"Nadine", detail   June 19, 2012                       Martha C. Hall


Until next time -


Athina 6-12-12

Tuesday Figure Drawing

"Athina"  June 12, 2012            Martha C. Hall

4B Pencil on Bristol board

45 Minute Pose

Draw What You See

“Paint what you see, not what you know.”  Charles W. Hawthorne (1872 – 1930)

This is paraphrased, but it is how I remember the quote. The basic idea of learning to see is present throughout Hawthorne’s teachings.

Charles Hawthorne, an American painter and founder of the Cape Cod School of Art, was talking about painting in his lessons, and the relationship of a spot of color next to another spot of color. He pretty much declines to talk about drawing as he is very interested in color and paint.

Hawthorne on Painting

“Hawthorne on Painting” is a wonderful handbook that I referenced and highlighted when I was learning to paint. And it’s still a good book to refer to every now and then.

The idea of “drawing what I see” is the lesson I’m currently applying while drawing the figure. There is no color involved, but lots of lights and shadows. And perspective and relationships.

Nadine_seatedForget what you know about an arm, for instance, and draw what you see – a shape or a line, the relationship of the arm to the shoulder or the hip.

I find when I’m drawing the figure, I start looking at it strictly as visual and spacial relationships, almost forgetting the person that is there.

Later, when one looks at the whole drawing, you can say that “Yes, that is a good likeness of a human figure.”

This week at the Figure Drawing Studio we decided to do a drawing concentrating on the hands. A lot of my figures seem to be missing fully formed hands and feet! Some of that is due to time constraints, but also – hands and feet can be hard to draw!




What I “know” about a hand and drawing a hand are quite different. The number of joints and the spaces between fingers can be quite confusing. I actually do some counting to make sure I have it right.

I’m drawing the thumb as I “see” it, although that crazy angle and jutting knuckle of her left hand might not be what I “know” about a thumb.

I’ve corrected the middle finger on her right hand because when I look for the relationship of the length of her fingers I can see that I didn’t get it quite right.

When I stand back to view the whole I can see that it is a fairly realistic image of hands. More practice needed, to be sure! But the idea is in learning to see.

Until next time -

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