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FIGURE DRAWING, also known as life drawing, is an exercise in drawing the human body in its various shapes and positions. It is arguably the most difficult subject an artist commonly encounters, and entire classes are dedicated to the subject. The human figure is one of the most enduring themes in the visual arts, and figure drawing can be applied to portraiture, cartooning and comic book illustration, sculpture, medical illustration, and other fields that use depictions of the human form. Figure drawing can be done very simply, as in gesture drawing, or in more detail, using charcoal, pencil or other drawing tools. If paint is used, the process may be called figure painting. Artists take a variety of approaches to drawing the human figure. They may draw from live models, from photographs or other reference material, from skeletal models, or from memory and imagination. Most instruction focuses on the use of models in "life drawing" courses. The use of photographic reference Ч although common since the development of photography Ч is often criticized or discouraged for its tendency to produce "flat" images that fail to capture the dynamic aspects of the subject. Drawing from imagination is often lauded for the expressiveness it encourages, and criticized for the inaccuracies introduced by the artist's lack of knowledge or limited memory in visualizing the human figure; the experience of the artist with other methods has a large influence on the effectiveness of this approach.


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drawing pensil on paper , 12x8 ins.

© 2006 Pavel Kapusto