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Quality of Practice More Than Quantity of Hours

Quality of Practice More Than Quantity of Hours

Story and drawings from Mary Townsend, art competition winner

I heard a theory that it takes about 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to master a skill. So in the autumn of 2019 I promised myself to sketch every day, hoping to improve on my just-above-average drawing ability.

I want to be able to produce artworks exactly as I envision them and not remain bound to copying photographs, trying to obtain the realism I’m looking for.

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What Happens When You Put Flesh on Bones

What Happens When You Put Flesh on Bones

Artwork by Mary, Drawing Academy student

Prior to commencing this exercise I looked at several skulls and facial muscle references, viewed from different angles, to get an idea of what lies under the skin.

At first glance all the diagrams looked the same. Closer inspection revealed quite a lot of differences, which makes sense as every face is unique.

I was so surprised at the third stage when I began to see the face emerge, as I’ve not been able to draw a ‘convincing’ face from my imagination before.

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Simple still life drawing

Simple still life drawing

Artwork by Elena Armstrong, Drawing Academy student

This is my still life. The drawing pictured folded map, small notebook with a pencil in it and magnifying glass.

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Drawing by Phyllis Ryser

Drawing by Phyllis Ryser

I really liked trying to get the textures and shapes correctly drawn for this setup. The sticks in the bird nest were a challenge in contrast to the pot.

Phyllis Ryser
Drawing Academy student

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