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So I learned a new technique.

I used to try to draw by looking at something and reproducing what I saw on paper. That worked, well, as well as you'd expect.

Then I saw some guy measuring with a paintbrush (the stereotypical hand-straight-out-eyeballing-with-one-eye gesture) and tried the same. My drawings got better, but it was a LOT and I mean a LOT of work.

Then I found out about the old atelier technique of enveloping the drawing with a few lines, then subdividing them again, measuring a few angles at a time, rather than trying to skeleton the human figure with primitives or guess at the proportions all at once.

It was like step-wise reduction for the drawing paper.

I don't throw out drawings anymore. They all work. To differing degrees of success depending on my mood and my general amount of time spent, but within an hour, if I simplify faces, hands and feet I can get a damn good image, a sketch good enough to paint from.

RAWK. Dude, a lot of baby was thrown out with the bathwater by the Impressionists. I hold a certain amount of rancour against modern art instruction, and it has intensified.

I've set myself the goal, in addition to drumming 1/2 hr a day for rudiments, to also draw ONE figure drawing a day, and three portraits (faces) a week.

Apparently one year of blockin technique as stated above, and you're freakin set.