Drawing figures from my mind, part I

Drawing from the mind is an exercise that can help you use previously stored information better. I’ll explain why this works well for me, in this series of figure sketches.

When working from a reference photo, I often feel limited by a few things. There is a need to copy what you see, accurately. Sometimes this causes a situation, where I’m so caught up in working with what I see, that I forget what I know. Drawing images from the mind, ‘forces’ your brain to work with just the knowledge that is stored. And trust me, it’s more than you probably realise!

In addition to this, I check things on my own body. Where does the elbow end in relation to the torso? Where does the belly button sit? You can check a lot of landmarks on your own body.

Part 2 of this series will come out on Tuesday. If you’d to stay updated on that, you join my newsletter!

I’d love to know what you think about this way of drawing as an exercise! Leave a comment down below or on my Youtube channel. If you’d like to share your work and get some feedback or support, make sure to join my private student Facebook community.

2 thoughts on “Drawing figures from my mind, part I”

  1. I have actually been thinking about this concept a lot lately, but with the face, because that is what I do. (I have been wanting to branch out into figures, but my energies keep getting pulled away to other things, so I haven’t gotten around to that yet) But as for faces, I have been thinking a great deal about the differences I experience or feel from using a reference vs no reference. I make it a practice to do both. I value the reference experience because it helps me get a bit more realism into my faces and also helps my brain learn/become more familiar with the structure of the face. I always deviate at least a bit from the reference anyway as a personal rule to keep it more “my own”…add more of my own personal flavor, so to speak. But I also like to just wing it and make up a face just from the process of adding paint to the canvas and seeing who wants to show up. I find that very fun. And in that experience I get to, as you said in your video, use what my brain knows or has learned about faces to render my person. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. I think this is a great idea! I went to my drawing class this week and we had a live model which is not usual practice for the class. She stood and sat and lay down for 20-15 minute times while we sat and tried to draw her accurately. My efforts were amateur to say the least! So, I am going to re-draw them and see if I can improve — they may look a bit more spontaneous if nothing else. I will try your idea of doing a figure from memory first which will be an interesting comparison. Thanks for sharing your idea.

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