Sunday, March 13, 2011

Here is a Method That is Helping Me Learn the Natural Way to Draw

I have been thoroughly searching the internet for a method to improve my illustration skills at home. I spent a large portion of my time reading posts in various art forums and blogs online looking for a solution. My search revealed a lot of references to a classic book by Kimon Nicolaides called 'The Natural Way to Draw'.

Kimon Nicolaides taught in New York at the Art Students' League during the 1930's. 'The Natural Way to Draw' was compiled from his teaching notes and was unpublished at the time of his death in 1938. Kimon's students donated examples of his exercises (their personal artwork) to complete the manuscript and in 1941 the book was finally printed. The book contains blind contour, gesture, and value/mass drawing exercises totaling 375 hours worth of drawing time.

I noticed during my search there were many people with questions regarding the teaching methods in the book. I found only one serious attempt by another artist to guide others through the book's content by example. This blog is my attempt to share my experience with you as I work through the book. I hope it clarifies some of Nicolaides' methods and inspires you to undertake the challenge of learning to draw the natural way.

I plan to post some of the drawings created as I work through the exercises in the book. I will also post my thoughts about the lessons I’ve learned and any information I find that enhances the content in the book. I hope this provokes you to share your thoughts and experiences, too. I am looking forward to reading your comments.


  1. Are you still working? I'm just starting to gather the supplies to begin the lessons on my own and am very interested in your progress.

  2. Unfortunately I stopped working through the book due to some higher priority demands in my life. I am about to start working through the book again. Thank you for checking in with me. I will start posting again soon! Please check back for my progress. Good luck to you!

  3. I stumbled onto your site after discovering the book The Natural Way to Draw. I'd love to follow along on your journey to getting your artistic muse back! I'm just learning to draw. Please start back up again! :)