The second part of my notes on Ethan Nguyen‘s Drawing Fundamentals Pt 1: Basic Sketching Skills & Drawing Accurately course.

Measuring Distances & Proportions


  • measurements are compared directly (1:1)
  • when drawing from reference, just compare the length of a line on your drawing with the length from the reference, using a ruler, a proportional divider or the tip of your pencil and your thumb
  • when drawing from life, use your tip of your pencil and your thumb to measure the distance
    • keep your hand fully extended and your head close to the shoulder to reduce measurement errors

Comparative measurement

  • we must compare measurements relatively, in relation one with another
  • we find a base unit on the reference and use it to measure other distances
  • we find the corresponding base unit on the drawing and use it to measure other distances on the drawing
  • relations are often fractions - to avoid errors, try to find 1:1 matches in your subject and use the corresponding distances in your drawing to check its accuracy

Polygon Drawing Exercise

  • being able to reproduce polygons is useful when doing subject enveloping later in the course
  • make a template, using similar steps as when you've made the triangle template, but use polygons with 5-8 sides, both convex and concave, instead of triangles
  • before starting your drawing, ghost over the paper all the sides to get an idea on good composition, where to place the drawing and how big should you make it
  • when using drawing with comparative measuring, try to compare relations between distances to double-check your accuracy
  • instead of the very rigorous process, you can use a looser one where you draw the figure freely and check afterwards the accuracy, but you should try this only once you had a bit of experience with the more rigorous process

Polygon drawing exercise
Polygon drawing exercise

3D Shape Exercise

  • very similar with the polygon drawing exercise
  • make a template with an octahedron, a cube, a sliced hexagonal column, a dodecahedron, etc.
  • do some basic shading, using various lite directions

Ad-hoc 3d shape template
Ad-hoc 3d shape template
3D shape exercise
3D shape exercise

Bargue Drawings & Grid Method

  • made a separate post with links related to the Bargue Drawing Method

Eye Drawing Exercise

Nose & Mouth Drawing Exercise

Face Drawing Exercise