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!