Another book from the Urban Sketching Handbook series! How can they make them all so interesting and full of new information?. I recently reviewed Techniques for Beginners from the same series and it had a dedicated chapter about drawing people. I felt what needed to be explained, was explained, but this book showed me that there’s still much more to learn and explore from this very challenging subject.
No perfection, but adapting to the situation
When I say that drawing people is challenging, I’m not talking about nailing likeness or good proportions, no-uh. I’m talking about the extra challenges that arise from sketching people “in the wild”. Often they are strangers that might suddenly leave, change poses or even approach you (gasp!) in the middle of your painting process. Well, in this book, you will learn how to deal with the fear of discovery, subjects moving, leaving or approaching. Also, you will learn how and where to find the right subject ( for example, at restaurants, during a delayed flight, gatherings, people you know, etc.)
There are plenty of tips and advice for drawing crowds, what to focus on, light and shadow, colors (with special attention to skin and hair), accuracy, proportions, body language and expressiveness, differences between old and young subjects, how to capture hands, feet, movement and poses. As it is usual for this series, its pages are filled with sketches from different artists. Each one sharing their unique approach at sketching people.
With so many tips and styles to choose from, I feel that sketching people becomes less intimidating and more of a game of experimentation. There’s also a section called “Galleries” and it includes even more wonderful sketches with useful commentary. The Challenge Yourself section at the end of the book consists of 27 prompts inviting you to try different tools, techniques or subject types. If you are struggling or not confident about adding people to your sketches, this is the book you might want read.
Miss Honeybug’s reviews from the same series :