Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Art Of Stick Figure Drawing

Unless I have an appointment, I don't wear a watch. Most things have their time frame - half an hour to get dressed, an hour to walk the dog, an hour or so to journal - and the day moves along relatively predictably. Today, when the alarm went, I turned it off, rolled back for a second, decided not to go back to sleep, and got up. Apparently rolling back and deciding took forty-five minutes. And then, my hour or so of journal writing turned into two and a quarter hours. I'm really enjoying the study I'm doing right now and even so, I had no idea I'd been there that long. What a strange beginning and - luckily - there is still plenty of day to explore once I'm done this posting... about drawing.

I now own two sketch pads. Two because they were inexpensive and small with few pages and it seemed that I should aim in the direction of actually filling them. My creative coaching assignment from Diane is to create some asymmetrical designs either by pinning fabric to plainer garments or by creating "paper doll" garments or by sketching or by all of the above. My immediate reaction is I can't draw and - of course - after my X,Y and Z discussions of the past few days - I have to add yet to that phrase.

When I was creating textile art, it was a relief to discover that I'm an abstract rather than a realistic artist. Not having to create an image that looks exactly like something real works for me. I much prefer the one step at a time approach of non-realistic art - not knowing the end at the beginning - and that's possible with creative fashions but it won't answer this assignment. Even though I'm internally kicking and screaming, this is a direction I think could be beneficial for me. It'll give voice to some of my thoughts. When I looked up stick figure drawings, I was amazed at how expressive they can be like the ones above from There's something for me to discover in the art of stick figure drawing.

I was amazed at the degree of emotion and movement illustrated with stick figures. Apparently, stick figures are not just for kids. At Why Learn How To Draw Stick Figures, I read that... drawing stick figures with an artistic purpose in mind may help you develop a sense of proportion, balance and action in your drawings. Hmm... and possibly in my sewing of clothing.

But... how far do I want to take this drawing stuff? There are books like Fashion Illustration Techniques: A Super Reference Book for Beginners - that's me - a beginner - that could take me even further but the cover looks so anatomically correct that I find myself backing up quickly and wanting to "dumb down" to the stick figures. EXCEPT... I've already discovered that stick figures are not dumbing down so rephrasing that to work up from stick figures might be a better approach. Perhaps I'll find that I actually like stick figures - they're surrealistic as opposed to realistic which is along the lines of abstract art - BUT...

... I'm not so much interested in drawing figures as I am in drawing fashions. When I looked up drawing clothes, I found a tutorial called How To Draw Clothes.  I had no idea there were resources like this out there. Not that I'm surprised; I'd just never looked. Perhaps... with practice...

... and more tutorials like this How To Draw Shirts, I can move from simple clothes to simple clothes on simple figures. The next Picasso I definitely do not want to be however, with just a few minutes on the internet, clicking through to some free, how-to information, suddenly it seems possible to take the thought of drawing through to actually drawing by connecting the dots. Start simple. Grow my skills. Start today... because I have an assignment to work on.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - tutorials

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. 
- unknown


  1. I love your description of your wake-up this morning. That happened to me yesterday. I woke up at 6 with plenty of time to get ready and walk to town (4km) to meet a friend at 7.10. I listened to the news then got up. When my feet hit the floor I looked at the clock and it was 6.50. Fortunately it is a couple of minutes fast - I got there on time by driving to the bus stop.
    Re stick figures, I read something years ago in one of those 1950s 'healthy pastimes for boys and girls' type books, that said rather than starting your figure drawing with a stick figure, dip your finger in light grey paint and start with fat sticks or blobs. More body shaped. The advice was intended for those intending to make a study of portrait drawing, though.
    What I do is trace a mini outline of myself (croquis, if you like the word - I took photos, printed them, traced round them, copied many to a sheet and also traced one on to black card and cut it out). That way I have self-realistic proportions to sketch on. Since I am short and round this is quite helpful. Of course, if you're designing in general rather than for you, or you want to unleash creativity without the irksome binds of realism, then stick or blob people are the way to go. Or, if that's too constraining, I like your join the dots idea - how about dotting in shoulders, bust, knees and hips, and then just going for it with your clothes sketch?

    1. LOL - I just want to draw something... on paper. My preferred method is to just play with the fabric but I can see some value in sketching.

  2. This is so helpful!

    I just bought a nice set of colored pencils hoping to get some half decent sketches of my garments (planned and finished).

    1. oooooooooohhhhhhhhhhh - new colors. YES YES - enjoy.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.