figure drawings

Figure Drawing

The Life in Figure Drawing

by Len Watson

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The Illustrations:

Before a single word of this book was written, the author and his associates prepared over 500 experimental drawings and photographs. These illustrations were then tested, with the co-operation of many beginning and professional artists, for their comparative effectiveness in teaching figure drawing by the basic principle that the author had in mind, it was only after a painstaking selection of the most practical of these illustrations, however, that the method of presenting the subject was evolved.

The reader will note that the author has used photographs, rather than the customary line drawings, to present two very important topics: photographs of plaster casts, to teach lighting; and photographs of clay figures, to teach foreshortening. This is unquestionably a more effective and realistic method.


I. Heads, Hands, and Feet INTRODUCTION
Basic Construction
Plaster-Cast Head
Head Rendering
Rendering From Plaster Cast



From the cover:

There are those in the Fine Arts field who feel that accomplishment in figure drawing necessitates an extremely detailed study of anatomy as a pre-requisite. Others encourage the creative urge only, believing a study of anatomy is a handicap. Len Watson cuts a path directly through the middle with the aid of simplified diagrams, which give the beginner a few basic fundamentals of anatomy without discouraging the creative slant. Consequently, THE LIFE IN FIGURE DRAWING is a real advance in books on the subject of figure drawing, because it treats exclusively of the author's "middle path" technique.

Mr. Watson purposely has planned this book so that it will be of appeal to three distinct groups:

(1) embryo-commercial artists; (2) individuals who want to learn how to draw human figures for the pleasure to be derived from the craft; and (3) professionals who are ever searching for newer and heifer methods of drawing figures. But, because (f its pinetical, and simplified approach, THE LIFE IN FIGURE DRAWING will appeal, as Mr. Watson indicates, "to anyone interested in Art," which includes just about everyone.


This book is intended for those beginners who want to learn how to draw human figures for the pleasure to be derived from it, and also for those professionals who wish to learn new simplified methods of drawing human figures to make their skills more profitable. With the ability to draw human figures you will find the learning of other subjects relatively easy.

But do not look for shortcuts. Learning requires both patience and drive. The person who reads this book many times and practices at every opportunity will develop his ability more rapidly than the person who reads it once or twice and practices only when the spirit moves him. A person who likes to study will also advance more quickly than one to whom study represents a laborious task. Those who can concentrate will also make better progress than those who find it difficult to do so. Therefore, one student may develop great skill in a few years; others may require a dozen years; and still others, who "give up the ship," will never learn.

There are literally millions of persons in this country alone who at one time or another would have "given anything to be able to draw." I, at least, have yet to find a person who did not secretly wish he could "draw pictures."

Why then, you ask, do so few persons ever realize this secret ambition? The answer is that most persons have been frustrated in their early attempts to learn how to draw by the popular misconception that "one must be born with drawing ability." This ridiculous idea, along with a shortage of capable art teachers, has defeated the majority of persons who were at least exposed to art in kindergarten and in the elementary grades where the 3 r's 'readin', 'ritin' and 'rithmetic' are considered of greatest importance.

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