What Beginners are Rarely Told
About Figure and Portrait Drawing

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What Beginners are Rarely Told About Figure and Portrait Drawing

A common scenario often occurs when students first start drawing.
They begin with the portrait or figure, quickly start thinking:

“I haven’t a clue where to start.
This looks terrrrible.
I’m no good at this.
I’ll never be able to do this.
Drawing must only be for those with innate talent and creativity."

And often that’s the end of it, most unfortunately.

However ...

What’s rarely mentioned to beginners is how advanced portrait and figure drawing actually is!

I’ve recently started using this analogy:

Jumping into portrait drawing as a complete beginner is like walking into the gym for the first time and trying to deadlift 300 pounds.

Even if you don’t go to the gym, it makes sense that you would spend considerable time developing your strength and proper form, slowly progressing from a lighter weight to a progressively heavier one before trying to deadlift 300 pounds, right?

Well … drawing is similar!

To successfully draw a realistic portrait or figure (both advanced, ‘heavy-weight’ drawing subjects), foundational skills and knowledge need to be developed first.

For example, knowledge of the drawing process and how to move through it efficiently, the various modes of seeing needed for the different stages of the drawing process, drawing technique, essential drawing concepts, not to mention the construction and anatomy of the figure and portrait, and more.

So, if you haven’t drawn much before and find yourself attempting a portrait, it makes sense why certain thoughts might creep in, such as, “This is impossible. Drawing must only be for those with innate talent.”

If you have ever felt that discouragement, I’m sorry that nobody told you that you were metaphorically trying to deadlift 300 pounds!

I am now here to tell you that you’re simply missing some of the foundational knowledge and skills that will make portrait drawing not only possible, but enjoyable.

Drawing is a learnable skill. Everyone can drastically improve their drawing skills with proper instruction and practice.

To your drawing success,

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Build the foundational skills, techniques and knowledge needed to confidently face advanced drawing subjects like the figure and portrait in Drawing Decoded.

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drawing decoded demystifying realistic drawing