At the beginning of the month I set myself a challenge to draw people, in some form, every day- I need the practice and to be honest there’s only one way of improving and that is by constant practice; together with guidance. The main place I’m drawing these is in a small square sketchbook ( handbook; not watercolour paper, just an everyday sketchbook ) but I’m also using my everyday sketchbook for some and this is a moleskin watercolour. I’m using four pens: a Lamy Safari; a carbon platinum, a Pentel brush pen and and a green safari pen; all with waterproof ink. Now, we are over half way through the month, I thought I’d share some of the drawings so far.
In order to develop my people drawing skills I’m doing a variety of things to help me. These include:
- Identifying approaches; styles and work from others that I like and practicing these eg gesture and contour drawings.
- Reading books such as The urban sketching handbook people and motion by Gabriel Campanario and Experimental Drawing by Robert Kaupelis.
- Watching and learning from videos including the excellent Craftsy course: People in Motion by Marc Taro Holmes.
- Going to Life Drawing with Tracy Fennell and Drink and Draw with Andrea Joseph. Note I’m not including these drawings here and they tend to be drawn much larger eg A2 paper size.
People in the context of the urban environment – crowds and groups
As an Urban sketcher and reportage enthusiast it’s important for me to be able to capture people in the context of there surroundings and actions. Therefore over the last couple of weeks I have tried to capture this in meetings; at venues like library and theatre; markets and cafes. Here are some of the results. In all of these images I tend to put the framework of the background in first and then superimpose the people on top or I work them both in parallel :
Buses and cafes – individuals
Now when you are practicing people regularly it’s important to be able to fit these into your everyday life tasks – over the last couple of weeks I’ve been doing this on the bus and in fast food cafes. Here are some of the results. In general, I added colour afterwards due to the practicalities of doing this in situ :
At the end of the month I’ll post more of these sketches from November; some with the emphasis on fast people and gesture – it’s a hard task but someone has to do it!
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Thank you and happy sketching!