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The study of the arts, the natural, & built environment.

It’s obvious of course, why we study Anatomy, the human body, in order to draw it. Likewise its essential to study our built environment, its anatomy and design, in order to render it. And the greater natural world as well! And the way other artists have depicted it.

The confidence and insight that comes from taking the time to understand at least some basic level of the art of engineering and architecture will aid you in drawing in a swifter while still informed manner.

These days of course, in terms of educating our eyes, there are an embarrassment of resources out there. I only have time to curate something limited, so I thought I’d just pick a few overarching themes to post media on and use a couple of favorite TV doc series as suggested material to start with.

Both are pretty juicy and rich, should provide you with many sketching opportunities, but equally important will be what attentively viewing them will do to help inform your eye.

First is a visually strong & informative series from 2001–2005, Architectures or Baukunst [imb], a 23 episode documentary focusing on distinguished buildings and their architects from the 19th and 20th centuries.  Low-key in delivery but I like that about it. Easier to concentrate and the stories are interesting. A LOT of subtle history here, insight into exactly why things were done and the ideas behind them, accompanying gorgeous shots of landmark buildings. I’ll be adding other finds as well to the end of the playlist over time.

You’ll find many opportunities to sketch and take notes. Watch these in an attentive and focused fashion, and then actively think about and be aware of taking that knowledge with you out into the streets, to pick some buildings and do several gesture studies of them.

These are simply jumping off points and by no means exhaustive, by all means pursue your own interests and rabbit holes. It’s all grist for the mill.

Cinema Studies

Film as a medium, has taken the idea of composing a picture plane, and by adding the function of time, done a great deal to evolve visual storytelling and design a great deal. There are some great youtube based clips analyzing this work now, i’ve created the playlist for my comics students but I think it’s also work watching under the banner of informing our eyes for Dynamic Drawing as well!

Drawing plant, flowers
and the natural world.

A great subject of deliberate study. The more you know the more informed again, your depictions will be. You can wait until the need to draw them arises and try to learn then, but if you want to work with confidence, don’t put of till later, what you can learn now!is playlist is all Botanical Illustration demonstrations!

That leads us to generally studying the masters…

And of course,

Drawing Animals!

It’s fun and interesting! here’s one more playlist for that! But don’t stop with these. Make a plan to explore all the things that interest you, draw them as a form of study, so you can draw them later, with an informed eye!

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