Sunday, 16 January 2011

The Natural Way to Draw

Welcome to my blog. It is a record of my progress as I follow the exercises in The Natural Way to Draw by Kimon Nicolaides.

Being able to draw is one of the keys to success in any visual medium. It doesn’t matter whether the work is representational, impressionistic or abstract. We can tell whether someone can draw by the confidence and precision of their mark making.

I’ve chosen to follow the Natural Way to Draw because I want to develop a more spontaneous and confident drawing style.

I’ve previously followed the exercises from the Keys to Drawing. It is an excellent book, but I have reached a plateau and need some more guidance to help me advance.

I read reviews for a number of books on Amazon’s US and UK sites. The Natural Way to Draw seems to most closely meet my desire for a drawing course that is similar to what is taught in art school. I am daunted by the amount of time it is going to take, but I know that what I need most is practice.

The course is supposed to be followed over a year. It is made up of 25 Sections each containing 15 hours worth of exercises - which are broken down into 5 lessons of 3 hours each. I don’t have sufficient free time to complete the course in a year. I have set the target of at least one of the 3 hour lessons a week. This means I should be finished in 125 weeks or about 2.5 years.

Kimon Nicolaides suggests not caring what the results of the exercises look like and not showing them to anyone. I intend to respect the first bit of advice and not worry about the results, but I will post some of the drawings on this blog.

The main mechanism that I will use to track progress is by posting paintings and sketches that I do outside of the course. This is where I am hoping to see improvement.

As a starting point, here are a few of my favourite paintings and sketches from last year.

Brixham Trawlers
Watercolour on Paper
34cm x 52cm (13.5" x 20.5")

Number 43
Watercolour on Paper
24cm x 34cm (9.5" x 13.5")

Venetian Window
Watercolour on Paper
24cm x 34cm (9.5" x 13.5")

Comfy Chair
Watercolour and ink
Moleskine A4 watercolour album


  1. Brilliant Mark, Paint some more.
    John & Sue

  2. John, Sue

    Thanks for the encouragement. I hope to finish a painting before the weekend and to post it on Sunday.

    All the best,


  3. Really like Brixham Trawlers, particularly the colours and detail.

  4. David,

    Thank you. Brixham Trawlers is my favourite It is the first painting that came out exactly as I intended. I like the juxtaposition of areas of detail and more abstract shapes. Last weekend I started another picture of some trawlers, but it will probably take a while to complete. I’ve just about decided on the composition.