Drawing Tutorials – Start Here
Peter McClory is a classically trained artist and designer. He has studied in Florence, Italy and in various Art schools in England.
There are many methods for creating artwork that has a classical style, and some are much more complex and confusing than others.
I’m trying to make it easier here, by specifying techniques so that you don’t get lost whilst following the tutorials. The tutorials have been put together to help you to develop your drawing and art skills, no matter what level you are.
For starters, you should look at some obvious and well-know portrait artists for inspiration. Check out James McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent, Lucian Michael Freud, Hans Holbein the Younger, Frans Hals and Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn.
We’re compiling a growing list of artists for you to study on petermcclory.com/drawings, including high-quality examples of these artist’s work.
portrait of Whistler by his student Mortimer Luddington Menpes
This beautiful portait drawing is of Whistler by Mortimer Luddington Menpes, one of Whistler‘s students and also a friend whom he shared a flat with in Cheyne Walk on the Embankment in London, England.
Visit art galleries and look at original artworks, rather than simply just relying on prints or images on screens. You will find that viewing original art in it’s intended state will reveal more than is physically possible any other way, and lead you to a better understanding and appreciation of the work.
Albrecht Durer – Portrait drawing of his Mother
Durer’s Portrait of his Mother (shown above), shows Durer’s extensive knowledge of anatomy, and experience with portraiture to the trained eye.
Some of Burne Hogarth’s books, for example ‘Dynamic Anatomy’ can be useful, but they have a style which can detract from the facts, essentially giving a slightly different perspective on reality to the more precise books like Dr. Paul Richer’s ‘Artistic Anatomy’ – an extremely informative and technical (red) book written in the late 19th Century. Richer’s book has many detailed diagrams printed as full-page plates, providing far beyond what is required for the figurative artist.
There are also many other books which can help you learn and memorise anatomy. The more you can study anatomy, the more it will assist you in achieving believable gestures and expressions in your figures.
Detailed Graphite Life Study – Figure Drawing by Peter McClory
This same kind of concept is applied to learning all of the body, and with practice, it is achieved in more subtle ways to create characters that are more realistic, expressive and in proportion, so that they ‘look right’.
It is essential that you know how to prepare your most essential tool in drawing, and have a daily drawing exercise to start you off. This gives you something beneficial to practise whilst you also develop your skills in more complex areas, like long pose life drawing and portraits.
Good luck, and remember – Practise makes perfect !