Practice may not make perfect as the old saying goes, but it does tend to make one more skilled. And during this spell of snow and frigid temperatures which tends to keep us indoors when our regular activities are cancelled, what better time to practice some of the skills that will lead to better paintings. I’ve been practicing drawing the clothed figure. There are various ways to do this. Art teachers or instruction books will tell you to do this from life. That is, carry a sketch book with you and do quick sketches of people you see. I don’t do this because of the unwanted attention it would draw to my efforts if I sat in a restaurant or airport and tried to draw the people around me.
One way to practice at home is to record a TV show, play it back and then pause it. Still another way is to draw while looking at photos of people that you might find in magazines or newspapers. A problem is that these often show only part of the figure. One of the best sources I’ve found for photos of the entire figure is the Kohl’s supplement that appear in my daily newspaper so often. These ads will almost always include some entire figures of men, women and children. Also some of the poses are quite interesting. Try doing five minute sketches of these. I’ve been using a 4B pencil. You could also use charcoal. Keep in mind that the adult figure is about seven and a half heads tall. This number is less for children. How much less depends on the age.
So until spring does arrive keep on practicing. And take a chance and enter some of those art exhibit call for entries that show up on the computer or in the mail at this time of year.