Thursday, January 17, 2013

GUEST BLOG: Nathaniel Allen, Art Professor, on our Figure Drawing course

In this guest blog, Nathaniel Allen, an Assistant Professor of Art at Alabama State University, discusses his recent experience taking the live, online Introduction to Figure Drawing course with instructor Robert Atkins. Nathaniel is also a member of our Creators Workshop community!

An open letter regarding the awesomeness of Robert Atkins' Figure Drawing course for Comics Experience by Nathaniel Allen

Please know that my recent experience in the Introduction to Figure Drawing course was hands down one of the most enjoyable, informative, and useful experiences that I have ever had in an online course.

The reasons were numerous (but I’ll sum it up):

Accurately drawing the figure is something that I (like many folks) have struggled with for years. I have been enrolled in numerous college level figure drawing courses where we just drew, and re-drew, figure models with rare and very basic explanations of artistic anatomy. In my experience, it has seemed like the majority of my figure drawing instructors were either unwilling or unable to actually teach anything useful about the figure beyond encouraging more practice.

The anatomical information is all "out there," available in books, websites etc., but it is difficult sorting the technical and purely anatomical info from what is most practical and useful without specific guidance and instruction. The figure is really complicated!

Robert Atkins, in addition to apparently being one of the nicest guys on the planet, knows his "figurative" stuff and communicates it exceptionally well. In spite of the complexity of the subject matter I was consistently pleased with the clarity of his explanations / demonstrations and his willingness to go "overtime" to make sure he answered all questions and covered as much as possible.

Really, I cannot fully express how much I enjoyed AND learned from his lectures and felt encouraged that with guidance and "informed" practice things would become clearer and easier -- which they did. I would have been happy if the class could have been extended even longer -- and I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that way.

The activity on the class sketch blogs from those enrolled was absolutely inspirational. I think having had the prerequisite course, we (the class) knew how things worked (posting, commenting, etc.) and really hit the ground running. I know I made some very definite progress in my own drawing ability fueled in large part by observing the work of my classmates and wanting to feel like I was keeping up. Again, I know I’m not alone in that feeling either.

Overall it was an absolutely great experience, worth every cent of the tuition.

Thanks Comics Experience, Robert Atkins, and classmates for an excellent class.

Until next time,

-- Nathaniel Allen

If you want to make comics, write or draw comics, or improve as a comics creator, you'll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!

Posted by Rob Anderson
Twitter / Facebook


  1. Very well said. A perfect endorsement for the course. I also took the course with Nathaniel and it was one of the most helpful things, I've ever done to further my skills. If you're thinking about taking it, it is worth every penny and more.


  2. The amount of damage done to buildings, cities, and infrastructures depends entirely on the magnitude of the earthquake, their location relative to the epicenter of that earthquake, and the overall stability, structural integrity, and earthquake preparedness of that building, city or infrastructure. As an example, the recent cool tshirt designs tragic catastrophy in Haiti anti trump t shirts was devistating due not only to the fact that the earthquake was a magnitude 7 (major) on the Richtor magnitude scale but the structural integrity of many of the buildings was deteriorating and the infrastructure to respond to the damage caused by a major earthquake was not as well established and prepared as it could have been because of the level of poverty that the whole country suffers from. Because of those factors, the earthquake in Haiti was very destructive and catastrophic not only to the indevidual buidlings but to the national infrastructure as well, (meaning that the sea ports and airports were destroyed and are having a hard time receiving aid, and the first responders to the earthquake are not as prepared for a catastrophe of this magnitude as they could have been.) An earthquake of the same magnitude in a city like Las Angeles would probably not cause the same severity of trauma and destruction to the buildings and infrastructure of the city itself due to the earthquake preparedness of that region and the well established financial infrastructure and supporting networks of the region and surrounding states.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.