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Monday, August 27, 2012

Robin Norling's Tips for Life Drawing

I'm developing characters for a picture book project = Lots of research and reviewing my thousands of sketches etc. We have a life drawing class in Monday evenings. 
By the way, often people ask me about drawing skills, particularly, how to draw figures. So, this week, I'll pass on you the tips for life drawing. Let's share them! 
 This wonderful knowledge was from Robin Norling's   drawing class in NSW Art Gallery that I bumped in 1997. Robin is a very famous artist and well-respected lecturer, ( *I, about to be a uni mature student, did not know his name at that time). He kindly included me, a wondering sheep. A given hand-out was spot-on that enlightened me. His humour shone through.

Here we go! 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<  
●Drawing is a communication. It has a language!
●Learning the language of drawing enables you to express your perceptions & sensibilities.
●By learning to “read” the drawings of others, we increase our visual language.
●“He who listens most speaks best.”


●Commence your drawing with the simplest possible statement / gesture. For example,


(Don’t try to sew the buttons on before you have cut out the material for the shirt!)
●Proceed by modifying the first statement in very simple ways.

(If you find drawing difficult, you are attempting too much too soon!)

●Take account of “flattening.”

●Respond dramatically – Don’t underplay your reaction of the essence of the model.


●Make marks only when you have something to say. (Otherwise it becomes scribble.)

●Artists’ drawings are generally concerned with formal issues : movement, structure, volume, space, light, proportion, surface,  etc.(Rather than knees and nipples!)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

When Robin looked at my drawings and me, he said with a biiig smile, "You're enjoying it!" Yes, I was so happy to play with charcoal on big papers, ah, heaven! "You're ok," he added. His confident say puzzled me. I asked, "Why?"
"You like drawing and you're enjoying it," said Robin, smiling back at me. I see. Joy must come first. I felt what a nice teacher he was!! 
(*Years later, when I got into art and googled his name, oh, my, I got so surprised! What a lucky girl I was!) 


 

Indeed, I've carried out what Robin taught in the pamphlet since 1997. Still that pamphlet shines on me from the drawing board in a studio.  I'd say special thanks to him one day, if I could see him.


In addition, I'm a self-taught artist who did not try Art school. Instead of Art school, I've been keen on learning about art at anytime and anywhere. I've watched other artists' demos, joined workshops, read books and so ons. As far as I know, many wonderful artists are self-taught and hard workers. I also believe in people's good will. If you work hard, certainly, nice people will come up and help you like Robin did it for me.


So, Friends, don't lose your heart at the tough time. Enjoy drawing!
Drawing skills take time, years to learn it. But a small everyday effort makes a huge difference in the future. Let us keep up!    
Friends, Happy Painting!!



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38 comments:

  1. "Respond dramatically – Don’t underplay your reaction of the essence of the model."
    Now that has to be the best statement I've heard in quite a while, so true!
    Love this post Sadami, I'm off to google Robin Norling right now

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    1. Hi, Teresa,
      Thank you. Yeah, what he taught actually has matched my personality and ways. He has a modern approach based on solid traditional style.
      BTW, I always think of your porject. Hang in there, Teresa!!
      Cheers, Sadami

      Delete
  2. Wow, wonderful advice. Spunds and looks like you have a done a great job creating your own style which, of course, shows all the love you have for it.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Teri,
      Thank you! You, too, deliver love all the time through your blog posts and art work. Look forward to next!
      Cheers, Sadami

      Delete
  3. Joy must come first - I like that ;) and I will try to remember to respond dramatically - as you obviously have in your sketches here !

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Meera,
      Yes, it is. Without joy, work becomes a heavy load that no one bears. You, too, enjoy drawing and painting!!
      Cheers, Sadami

      Delete
  4. Oh boy, did I ever need to hear that encouragement today! I've been attempting to do figure drawing and getting very frustrated with my results. Your tips are perfect, especially 'Don't sew the buttons on until you at least cut out the fabric'. That's my problem, right there! Thanks Sadami for the uplifting post!

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    Replies
    1. Dear Katherine,
      Thank you. His advice is very practical based on his long experiences, I've felt. I always look at a whole proportion first and well. Then, I respond to what I feel in the model --- I remember a Japanese proverb says, "A hunter chasing up a deer will never look at a forest" for my lesson.
      Kind regards, Sadami

      Delete
  5. Hallo Sadami

    very interesting.

    "By learning to “read” the drawings of others, we increase our visual language. "

    Now I now why I often coming to your Blog!
    perhaps you are visiting me also, because of the same reason. Even when I draw only with the mouse.
    we can learn so much by riding and looking to your blog!

    have a good week
    patrick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Patrick,
      Yes, I visit your blog, too. Yes, I've learned lot from you.
      I feel "Reading "lots" others lanugages" is very important. Otherwise, we become a tiny arrogant frog in a well, who does not know a sea. Let's pay visits of exhibitions etc as many as possible.
      You, too, have a wonderful week.
      Cheers, Sadami

      Delete
  6. Thanks Sadami... an interesting blog again

    Ray :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Ray,
      Thank you for a kind reply. Enjoy studying art!!
      Best wishes, Sadami

      Delete
  7. Great advice, Sadami! Thank you so much for sharing and being so encouraging!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Hwee,
      Thank you very much. All your blogs are full of love! What a lovely lady and wonderful mum you are!! Please keep up drawing and paitning.
      Best wishes, Sadami

      Delete
  8. what interesting drawing tips...I will try them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Celeste,
      Yes, quite practical advice based on his long experiences. Give it a go!
      Cheers, Sadami

      Delete
  9. this has to be one of my favorite posts of yours! I am self-taught and someday I will be thanking you for these wonderful tips. I love your wonderful sketches, Sadami!! the skin tones are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Hilda,
      Thank you very much for your kind cheers. Skin tones are always interesting for watercolour. You handle it by pastel. It's truly amazing. I admire your skills.
      Kind regards, Sadami

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Hi, Mari,
      Thank you so much! You and I have the same one in usʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ!!
      Cheers, Sadami

      Delete
  11. Another fascinating post. Your joy in drawing must be apparent to everyone and you spread it like a warm glow.

    I'm another self-taught artist - I didn't know you were too. I confess that I have quite a negative opinion of art colleges these days. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Gillian,
      Thank you. True, ture. When I'm sketching, often people smile at me -- I'm nearly dancing and singing!
      Wow, I've found another successful self-taught artist in you! Happy!
      It seems hard work and perseverance will open doors, and I believe so.
      Kind regards, Sadami

      Delete
  12. Wonderful post today and great sketches. I like that you let your lines show - so we see where you started and how you sharpened your shape as you went in with color.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Rhonda,
      Thank you and your comment is JUST spot on my process! Lines are not rigid for me. Lines give me a "rough idea," but also the clear 3D image of a subject. In putting colours, I can tighten up or loose up a subject. In other words, if I make a mistake in drawing(lines), still colour can save me. (*I hope my writing makes sense for you).
      Cheers, Sadami

      Delete
  13. I've sort of discovered recently about these starting shapes that i've heard about before but ignored. But in a roundabout way. One day I wanted to sketch people but there was no one around. So for a face I asked myself - what if I scribble lightly on a piece of paper and try to find a face on the lines? The result -interesting faces better than I could have invented from imagination. Then one day I had an actual subject and asked what of I lightly do the shape of what I see before the sketch. And it worked great too. Love the idea of creating drama. Self taught, with no extra time for workshops I do what I can, and sketching is pure joy. Thank you for the great post. Inspiring.

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    1. Oh, busy and hardworker Dan,
      Thank you for a comment from your precious time.
      How creative you are! Your attempts show "Where there's a will, there's a way." Your stories inspire me to try other approaches. We, self-taught are all hardworkers who find unique approaches. Indeed, we have limited time, a small budget and ristricted circumstances. Yet, 24hrs are equally given. I believe it is certainly a talent to maximize given conditions.
      Kind regards, Sadami

      Delete
  14. Dear Sadami, this time
    I read your great post
    calmly, I'm going to see the link and then reflect it

    For now, I enjoy your artwork and your words that create in me always
    reactions
    positive and new thoughts.
    Thank you!Rita

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Rita,
      Thank you for great encouragements with profound thoughts. Your comment always cheers me up. Let us enjoy drawing and move into a bright future!
      Kind regards, Sadami

      Delete
  15. Hello Sadami:) You are such a smart artist! Thank you for sharing your tips with us. By the way: your doggie is so sweet:) Have a nice week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Renate,
      You're a MUCH smarter artist!!
      Thank you for the kind say on the doggie. I really love him! A world needs a laughter and smile. You, too, have a wonderful weel.
      Cheers, Sadami

      Delete
  16. It's always an inspiration to come here Sadami, thanks for sharing what you learned from Robin - great tips and I think I need to rediscover the joy of drawing!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi, Cathy,
      Thank you! Your blog inspires me, too! Yes, without joy, this bird does not sing. My very simple, strong yet primary need is joy for drawing!
      Cheers, Sadami

      Delete
  17. thanks for sharing robin's wish worlds interesting post sadami ..have a good week ..wonderful pencil sketch!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jane! Your washes and sketches are so beautiful! Look forward to next.

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  18. This is such an inspiring post. I am a self-taught artist myself, and sometimes that makes me feel inadequate because my skills are so skewed and I just paint for pleasure ( I don't really earn anything from it!!).

    Your post makes me feel that its not really important that i didn't take any professional art course!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Seema,
      Thank you! Please do not use negative expressions on yourself. Like you said in the comment, joy/pleasure must come first (otherwise, what motivates us?!) Probably, to become an artist requires joy, guts, challenging spirit and a humble attitude as a life-long learner.
      Best wishes, Sadami

      Delete
  19. Dear Sadami it was nice to read up and understand the work of Robin. His way of interpreting the movement is fantastic.
    Have had him as a teacher even a fortune, as you tell us!
    I'm glad to discover new things every time I read your post!
    Thank you!Have nice sunday,Rita.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Rita,
      Thank you so much! Yes, it was my fortune. But I feel a hard working person often calls luck and fortune, as she keeps eye on it. Learning by my own is challening myself. I'm sure you enjoy that challenging. Have a nice Sunday!!
      Cheers, Sadami

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