Whenever artists are confronted with a question on how to improve their painting skills, the best piece of advice that you can give them is to paint on a variety of subjects. Figure drawing as the names suggests is to draw on a host of live figures.
- All of us are of the opinion that we are pretty much aware of the things around us, but rarely do we take the time as well as effort to study them. You tend to understand a particular type of stereotype that is repeated over and over again. When you draw a human figure you are able to see relationships, propositions along with measurements in a better way. You wear clothes because of what is underneath the skin, which reveals the muscles that is the core of the structure. It helps you to understand the layered structures at the same time.
- When you paint a face the onus will be to focus on the accuracy part. Say for example, if the nose is a little to the right or the left, it will not go unnoticed. This is in complete contrast to a missing limb of a tree or if the length of the house is more than the required dimensions. It is strongly advocated that you use levels and plumb lines, when you begin painting of figures. In fact, even with those tools at your end you will learn on how to respond to criticism fairly quickly. For the better part your subject will be there to evaluate your work.
- When you embark on a journey of painting a live model, it will also force you to be within the prescribed time limits. You will also learn to adjust to changes according to the subject. A known fact is that models tend to turn when they sit in a position for a long time and when they get tired it shows on their face. Time and again, it has come to the notice that towards the end of the session students begin to think that they know of a face and not what they think. Once this method is adopted it will roll on to all your paintings.
- A fact well worth mentioning is that drawing does not happen all at once. It will not draw itself and it is built on a line by line basis. Be it a two minute drawing or a two hour one, you need to accomplish the task within the stipulated time frame.
As far as the materials with regards to figure drawing are concerned it is at the sole discretion of the artist. Some of them tend to use a large sized board where the paper is oversized with pastel colors. On the other side, some prefer just the exact opposite of it. In the modern day situation the use of computer tablets are also common. If you are looking at longer poses, then oil paints would be a better option.