Art Tools (For Learning)

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Hello Everyone,

This week I wanted to talk about art tools for learning.  Not the traditional pencils, pens, paints and paper etc.  But the other tools, the ones that help you learn.


Their purpose is to help you to better understand certain aspects of art, wether it be the human form, how light and shadow work or constructing scenes.  There is a big misconception people have about art in that when they see someone start a drawing they assume it was done completely from the head and in some cases it may have been for the very experienced artist but more offen than not a reference would have been used as an aid tool.

It is ok to use tools it does not mean you can’t really draw or you have cheated, not at all.  This was a belief I held for years, and I do mean a lot of them.  It’s only through exploring drawing and seeking out tutorials and tools to help me that this belief was banished for good. It does not mean that one of my big goals is to get to the point when I can just put pencil to paper and draw something I have imagined without any tools as that would be awesome.

Magic Poser

I started this sketch everyday for a year challenge doing the fashion figure which lead me to focus on faces and other parts of the human body but mostly figure poses and faces. However faces even though I use the Loomis method still seem to elude me if they are not face on to the viewer. Also figure poses and perspective just seem to not work our right unless I am using a very clear reference.

                               Art Tools (For Learning)

Now the discovery of the Magic Poser app has opened a new doorway!  You can totally customise the avatar that is used and manipulate every joint and rotation vertically and horizontally.  So I have been playing with this in Procreate as you can import your pose as a photo adding it to a layer and drawing over the top of it. 


I intend to use it to explore drawing the figure digitally and I will also use it as a reference to freehand draw rather than drawing over the top, trying out different ways to use it to see which my brain prefers to help retain the information.

I have also bought an anatomy for artists book to take a deeper look at the human form as I hope this will help me as well. I feel I have reached a bit of a sticking point, I have improved a lot since I started but I need to push forward to take it to another level I feel so this is how I am doing that.

I just wanted to share my take on art tools for learning and banish the outdated belief that to use them is cheating when it isn’t. Another reason for this challenge was to help people as you never see peoples bad art or the hundreds of work in progress practice ones they do to get to their great ones. Occasionally you will see old art against the new art with a 5 year gap but it’s those little steps in between that are missed and is where the sweat and tears are and this is what I wanted to share in the hope of helping others to not give up.

                Art Tools (For Learning)

I hope you are liking these blog posts and I would love to hear if you are finding them helpful or if there is anything you would like me to look into for the future whilst I am on this journey. Drop a comment below to let me know.

To see my sketches of the week check out my Instagram account @zoebadgerart.

Happy Sketching


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