It seems to me that every time I teach this idea of constructing the figure using basic shapes, there are many who think it too elementary and are anxious to zip ahead to more advanced levels of thinking and drawing.  Yet even after drawing as I have for the last 25-30 years, I find myself benefitting form these basic techniques.  There doesn’t seem to be a drawing problem that I have ever encountered that can’t be solved by resorting to the basic shapes.

Just as the veteran concert musician never outgrows the basic rudimentary scales and warm-up exercises, the artist never outgrows the need for these rudiments.  The more time we spend with them, the more they become second nature.  The more they become part of our reflexive nature, the more we can draw with facility.

This is the kind of stuff that should fill your sketchbooks.

Practice and practice. The possibilities are endless.

Download these pages and copy them (by drawing, not xerox).

When you're sick of copying them, make up your own.

You can modify the figure's proportions to anything you'd like. Short, tall, skinny, fat, young, old.

Some may turn out better than others, but always try to do better the net time.

Again, this is what your sketchbooks should be FILLED with!

Study this.

I can assure you of one thing.  If by the fifth or sixth week you are still struggling to draw a good looking figure, I will assign you to copy these drawings 400 times.  I have never had a student fail to improve with that kind of drilling.  Do yourself a favor and start doing it now.  You’ll see the progress.