Students of drawing are sometimes told to try timed sketches. This is particularly easy with these websites, so I gave it a whirl. Graphite nudity ahead.

(These are pencil drawings and WordPress doesn’t scale them down too well; click on them to get a better view.)

I kind of like the 2-minute drawings. To get anything at all down, I have to focus on overall form, so you tend to get a nice sketchy line and don’t overdo anything:

10-minute sketches turn out pretty well:

Curiously, 5-minute sketches didn’t turn out well. That turns out to be, for me, not enough time to get things right, but just enough time to mess up the sketch.

I guess the exercise works precisely because it avoids this messing-up phase.  If you don’t get the proportions right at first, it’s tempting to try to rescue the drawing by working it further– adding shading, cross-hatching, etc– and that only makes it worse.  The time limit doesn’t give you the opportunity to do that, and also helps you focus on getting the important stuff down right.

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