Probably the hardest art question ever :)

Dashboard Forums Weekly Member Message Probably the hardest art question ever :)


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    Alexander Shunko

    Hello, Matthew!

    I recently joined the site and now I am studying the Step-By-Step section. As far as I can see (“Pencil To Paper”, “Drawing Accurate Shapes”), you mainly use the sight-size method of drawing, so usually the photograph is placed near the drawing and an artist should measure all the angles and proportions exactly as they are.

    But what if I need to enlarge the drawing or make it smaller than what I see?

    I wouldn’t like to be dependent from printed photograph all the time. In fact, it is the question that really bothers me (very often I even can’t sleep until 4 am because of this uncertainty).

    I want to learn how to make linear sketches from life quickly and in proportion. And it is most likely that the point from which I am able to best observe the model is not the same point from which it would be handy to work sight-size (example – the architecture in a plen air situation or the case when I want to make the drawing larger than the screen of my gadget).

    I learned how to use the system of measuring angles when using the comparative drawing method (I use a spoke for measurements), but it is so slow… It usually takes more than an hour! And then as soon as I try drawing faster, drawing becomes wrong.

    My question is: What should I practice and how long should I train myself in order to be able to draw the proportions quicker? How could I train my eyes and brain to draw the overall proportions in 5 to 10 minutes?

    It seems that I know the theory of the sight-size drawing method and comparative method, but I don’t know how to proceed day after day in order to train myself to make everything faster.

    What should I do for that? Drawing proportions is a real pain for me, it hurts my motivation a lot. No matter how I try, it never becomes easier. I need some kind of exercise, preferably a schedule with clear rules and self-control.

    Please, Matthew, help me…



    Listen to tonight’s podcast. I’ve got some tips that will help.


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