When we become more confident at drawing, there comes a time when we wish we could draw much faster. If we are taking any kind of art classes where there is focus on drawing the human figure, it can be frustrating how long we take to make quick studies of the models and can’t seem to keep up with the rest.
Or maybe we are just drawing for fun, but it takes too much of our time. Whatever our case, it seems that at some point we want to produce more drawings quicker. I have found a great free website that I have used and improved my drawing speed at least 3 fold.
The site I have personally used, refer to in my figure drawing classes, and recommend often is Posemaniacs.com. This site has a page called “Thirty Second Drawing”, which is a display of 3D stills of the human figure showing only muscles (not muscular figures, but figures where the skin has been taken away) on a timer.
Below is a study of mine drawing full basic figures in just 30 seconds each with Posemaniacs. It’s really great practice and I enjoy it very much!
They have a nice range of figures, from standard looking male and female figures, to little children and big muscular types.
What I recommend is to make a session and set a timer of 60 seconds to begin with. Then there will be a moment where you will feel that you can push yourself further and try it for 30 seconds. Like in the example above, that was a session of 4 and a half minutes long.
You will be displayed, in an auto-slideshow fashion, over 40k random images, which is simply amazing because there might be times when you will explore randomly the same pose you already made but from a different angle.
Below is the screen with all the options available. Click here to open the Thirty Second Drawing page.
So for instance, you might want to start easy on yourself and choose a 60 secondtimer. The next option is “Countdown” which I recommend switching to “ON”, that way you will know when you have 4 seconds left before the image changes to the next one. “Advance Mode” means that some figures will appear upside down randomly at times, but if you’re just starting out you I suggest you keep it switched to “OFF”. Though if you already feel confident drawing the human figure upright, then this option will give you an extra boost to practice (I seriously recommend this for intermediate artists). And the last option is “Fullscreen“, which you can choose in case you want the figures to look much bigger and with fuller detail.
Watch the following video of how this kind of exercise looks like in real time.
The Ultimate Tip To Draw Faster
If drawing faster seems like something next to impossible for you right now, I’ll let you in something that it’s so obvious and simple it’s amazing how often aspiring artists miss it. Ready? Ok, the trick to drawing faster is…. Start Drawing Faster! That’s right. It might seem a little too simple, but you will notice that when you draw faster it will be easier for you to notice the common mistakes you make while drawing. For example, if you always struggle drawing legs and you tend to draw them too short, when you draw faster than usual this frequent mistake will be more obvious. So, because it’s faster to notice your own errors, you will correct them faster as well and become more attentive to how the proportions of your figure’s legs are really like.
A higher speed of drawing combined with high volumes of flash exercises will improve your drawing skills tremendously. Spend 4 to 5 minutes daily onPosemaniacs.com, and you’ll be amazed at how much you will improve in your drawing skills overall.
If you use Posemaniacs often, please make sure you show some love to the people updating and building this free and great resource by donating through their PayPal Donation option.
Get The Most of It
To really squeeze all the juice out from any rapid drawing exercises you must focus on all the basic generalities of the figure first. Don’t waste an entire minute trying to get one hand right. Instead focus on having the whole figure built with basic lines and shapes.
One book I have used before that is not necessarily tied with realistic human figure, but happens to be just AWESOME for basic figure construction is How To Draw Anime And Game Characters, by Tadashi Ozawa. It’s a book to learn how to draw anime/manga sytle characters, but the basics of human figure drawing is unparalleled. It has helped me a great deal and I always recommend it and often use it in my teaching classes. Click on the image below to check it out:
Remember that the only way to become good at something is to practice, practice, practice. This combined with challenging yourself to draw as fast as you can will help you correct the most common mistakes quicker because you will be aware of them faster and more repeatedly.
Thank you for reading, hope this post has been helpful, and remember to post your questions or comments below
– Nathan Lorenzana