I’m too slow, help.

  • Hi everyone,

    I’m new here, I’ve been listening to the podcasts and they’re really insightful and genuine. Here is a nude study I did a while back from line-of-action.com

    My biggest problem is time, it took more almost 2 hours to draw this on my iPad pro using Procreate. Here is a link to the drawing process video. Sorry for not sharing the original reference picture but I don’t think it’s legal to save pictures from that site, btw - it’s an awesome site for reference.

    Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve used a forum to share my work and I’m far away from any other “real life” artists so, I wanted to give this a try. Any feedback from you folks would be appreciated.


  • This is absolutely stunning! And you have such a handle on soft and hard lines for shadow and of form.
    For speed - I think the trick is just practice practice practice - you just start to solve problems automatically that used to take a lot of thought to go through.
    Something you might be interested in is Watts Atelier. Jeff Watts, the founder is incredible and is an amazingly teacher, just like our own here at svs. He has some free videos on YouTube and then a subscription class online that starts at $99 a month - which is def. on the pricier end, but each class you turn in work and get actual feedback on your progress. I can't speak highly enough of their work - Proko studied in person under him.

    I can't wait to see more of your work posted here!

  • SVS OG

    You’re work is amazing! 2 hours to reach this level ofcomplexity is not slow. You’re on the right path.

  • Why do you think 2 hours is too slow? Seems perfectly reasonable for something like this. I mean, I just recently watched a Proko video where he draws with Cesar Santos in a museum. They decide to study a Sargent portrait. Cesar suggests a time limit of 30 min, and Proko exclaims that he can't do anything in 30 min. They do an hour, and that was for a portrait in a simple pose. In another video, Cesar does another portrait study. The video is about 30 mins long, and the video is sped up quite a bit when he's drawing. I wouldn't be surprised if he spent 1-2 hours on that portrait.

    As long as you are drawing with intent and really studying and learning from the figure you're drawing, I wouldn't be concerned with your speed. Understand that realistic studies of the human figure take time, even for people respected as great figure artists. You may gain more speed with practice, but don't give yourself unrealistic expectations as far as speed goes.

  • I agree with @TessaW ! 2 hours isn't unreasonable, especially for a figure study where you are focusing on getting structure correct and proportional (rather than focusing on the light or texture or atmosphere etc...).

    A few tips anyway:

    A little more time spent in the loose gesture stage can pay dividends in speed . There are a few parts of the video where you redraw large features ( mostly the arms). If you can catch these issues earlier, they're easier to fix and you'll spend less time redrawing stuff.

    This is a small thing, but after the gesture phase, make a new layer and find brushes that are closer to what you want the final result to look like. You do spend some time in the video reshaping your lines.

    It looks great though!

  • Hello 🙂

    I love the way you have drawn this, the definition of her legs is beautiful and I like the use you soft and hard lines. I am also quite slow and I find it frustrating, but I think speed is something that naturally comes with time and a lot of drawing. Thanks for sharing 🙂


  • Thanks @TessaW and @aaimiller I think you guys are right. I did this drawing after about an hour of shorter timed gestures. I started off with 30 sec gestures, then to 1 min and worked my way up to this one.

    I want to do more anatomy studies but generally whenever I do them I don't feel like I retain the information. I've found that fast timed drawings are the best in terms of learning and structure, in general I feel like I learn more from a fast gesture than from a long rendered study...

    These are from a different drawing session but I think you can get an idea. I liked them but my drawings seem to fall apart whenever there's exaggerated perspective or overlap, I don't feel like I'm getting better at it... I'll probably make a separate thread just with those drawings for feedback.


  • @aaimiller very good idea with the brushes, I feel like I'm in permanent experimentation mode sometimes 😆

    I love the colors in your work btw.

  • @kaitlinmakes wow Jeff Watts has some amazing work. Thanks for the kind words 🙏 @melinahealy thank you, yeah it's true that you get faster with time and practice but what I really liked about @Lee-White 's method is that he breaks it down to a science, I just feel like I could work smarter 😆

  • @chance-mcgee thanks! I'm trying to get better at drawing from memory too. A great exercise I've been doing recently is:

    1: draw from a reference ~10 minutes
    2: draw the same figure from memory
    3: fix any problems in the memory drawing with a red pen
    4: repeat! Usually 3-4 times per reference

    Who knows if it's effective, but it seems fun for now.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @chance-mcgee hey! these are really nice! You are doing great!

    I think the problem is in your quick sketch. You are getting too hung up in construction and anatomy. Especially during the short poses. The line of action and smooth gesture need to be set up first. These are simple lines and are typically build using light c and s curves. You aren't interlinking the body parts yet, just establishing overall shape and keeping things simple.

    try doing a bunch of 30 second gestures with no real anatomy. Just smooth shapes.

    Hope this helps some. Again, I think your work looks sweet!


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    BTW, we are teaming up with Proko and just launched a new gesture class for our subscribers. Watch it! Stan studied with Jeff Watts who was mentioned earlier (I also studied under him as well for a short time).


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