“Causeless” – The First of a Series of Ballpoint Pen Studies

So I finally have had the energy, time and inspiration to start a series of ballpoint pen studies. The purpose of these pictures is to explore the possibilities of creating sketches, from start to finish, with only a ballpoint pen. Usually the way I and other artists do it is by making a pencil outline first, then fill and color with ballpoint pen. Much like artists do with watercolor.

Though by drawing only with ballpoint pen from start to finish becomes a huge challenge because, as you may know, you can’t erase ballpoint pen’s ink. So I’m faced with having to be fully sure that each stroke is where it has to be, because I also don’t use any guidelines for construction. Every stroke is permanent, so what you see is what has been drawn from the start.

Below is the first piece of this series, called “Causeless”. The name of this piece has to do with the relief and spacious expanse experienced subjectively when one realizes there is really no true “cause” for anything, but rather an unfoldment of interconnected and simultaneous events.

"Causeless" - Ballpoint Pen Sketch
“Causeless” – Ballpoint Pen Sketch

Along with these pieces I am dedicating a page called Art Store where you will be able to see which pieces are for sale, and information about their size, media, pricing, etc.

Thanks for reading, and if you wish to stay tuned for updates regarding these new pieces you can subscribe to this site, or follow me on Facebook or Instagram: @nathanlorenzanaart

Peace and Love,
Nathan

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Draw faster

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.

Posemaniacs

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!

30secs-nathan-500px

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.

60second-posemaniacs

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

Happy drawing!
– Nathan Lorenzana

Do You Dream When You Go To Sleep?

Are your dreams so real and convincing you don’t know you’re sleeping?

If you answered “yes” to both of them, that simply means you already have all the skills necessary to draw realistically. You don’t believe me?

Ok, consider this: Who is making up those images when you dream? Well yes, you are! Nobody is plugging a cable to your head and giving you a feed of images to dream about.

Nobody has ever taught you how to dream. You already know how to do this. You actually are so good at creating images that are so convincing, you are even able to fool yourself. If you haven’t realized yet how amazing this is, you still are not aware of how powerful your mind is!

You already know how to draw and paint, you always have.

This is not just philosophy, or something I’m writing only to make you feel good. This is a fact. Still not convinced? Ok, try this for size: Have you ever had a dream about a person you have never met, and had an interaction with them? And all along you did not realize you were dreaming?! Are you starting to see where I’m getting at with this?

Your mind has already the capability to create images that are extremely realistic looking. And not only that, but they move, and there are sounds in a dream, music, smells, textures, you name it. The images in your dream have all the qualities of the images in your waking life. They are shaded, colored, are in 3 dimensions, all realistic looking. If you focus hard enough and remember the light source of any dream you recently had, you will realize how awesome it is that even the light and colors of the dream fit the mood of it!

It’s amazing how much we take for granted our ability to create these entire scenes in our mind, and how we seem to interact with them.

“But I still can’t draw!”, some may say. Yes, but guess what, is not about a skill you don’t have yet. It’s more a matter of a limiting belief you have cherished and nurtured for too long.

Is not that you get better at creating images, but you are more in touch with that part of the mind that creates images all the time.

That really is all that’s going on. You have methods that teach you how to do something step by step, but then suddenly you realize you don’t need those steps anymore. Eventually, drawing becomes very natural, and you use the steps as “stepping stones” while you believe they’re necessary. All methods really just take care of that other part of the mind that feels comfortable with linear methods. While it does that, the doubting part of the mind starts backing off and gives you more and more freedom to express yourself through art.

I have seen art students make a huge jump in their drawing skills once they realize that, and I hope it does the same for you.

So take a deep breath, and accept that all that you are letting go of is the belief that “drawing is difficult” or that “drawing is just something that gifted people can do”. Now, that doesn’t mean that we are going to become Rembrandt’s or Da Vinci’s by tomorrow, because there is another part of us that deals with inspiration and the time it takes to develop a physical skill. But, you will most certainly start surprising yourself with how your drawings improve just with this amazing realization. If you doubt yourself, you won’t see progress. But if you accept the set of skills you were born with, the path is certainly easier.

There is a book I recommend which deals in detail with the part of the brain that has all these amazing skills, and will surely help you improve with your drawing. It describes like no other book I have found the difference it makes between drawing from the left side of your brain, and drawing with the right side of your brain instead. Be sure to check it out here, and make a big leap drawing with their very original and fun exercises.

Hope this has inspired you, because it inspired me once I realized it, and has inspired many others when they do too. Stay awesome and happy drawing!

The Basics Before You Draw

Hi, and congratulations for finding this site. Here you will find all kinds of free tutorials, tips, tricks, secrets and recommended resources for books, various tools and materials.

Before you start drawing is important to understand that we don’t draw with our hand, but with our mind. And the first thing we learn to do is observe. Before jumping into any tutorial, take a moment and notice your hands. Look at them as though is the very first time you’re looking at them. Notice all the curves, the color, the shades, the highlights, the texture. Now go a step further and look at the contour of each hand. Forget all that is in them, just notice this imaginary line that surrounds each hand. This imaginary line that surrounds all the hand is what you use as a guide to draw.

This is the very first step to learn how to draw. Is not really about any skill you don’t have already. Is about starting to look at things as if it was the very first time.

Even though I have painted and drawn for many years, every time I pick a subject and start drawing it, it always feels like the first time. That’s because I have never painted that image before, and that is what is so exciting about painting!

Just take a while to become familiarized with your subject before you draw it, is kind of like getting to know each other first. Then when you feel familiar enough with your reference, then you can start drawing your first line.

Thank you for coming to this site, and if you ever need any help or have a comment or suggestion, please leave a comment in the box below. Have a great day, and happy drawing!