In the same way that a musical instrument needs to be tuned to produce harmonious sounds, the hand has to be 'tuned' by means of patient exercises to achieve a fluid and flexible drawing style.
Before beginning the study of the figure, it is a good idea to carry out exercises to loosen the hand, in order to get rid of any tension or apprehension. Sketch a number of lines, concentric curves, spirals, hatching and cross-hatching until you feel a sense of relaxation both emotionally and physically. These exercises also serve to relax the excessive rigidity common in the wrist of the inexperienced artist. During this phase use various grades of pencils that will allow you to sketch lines of varying thicknesses. Get used to measuring out the pressure of the hand on the paper by sketching some lines with the finest of strokes and others with more incisive ones. By the systematic study of the drawings presented in this book, the student will find useful support in his training, which will lead him or her to practise at a professional level. We would advise you to work through the book consistently without missing out chapters. Typical exercises to do for each section are to copy the drawings in this book, first on tracing paper, then on drawing paper, and proceed to work free-hand from memory. Practise repeatedly on all the suggested poses, starting with the structural analysis and finishing with the drawing in outline. Finally, draw your own designs, trace them, and colour them in.
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