draw people in public

Tips: The Top 5 Places to Draw People


All of Sketchbook Skool‘s kourses focus on trying new things, and that means occasionally taking risks. Even our beginner’s kourses encourage students to face the fear of simply picking up a pen and getting a drawing down on paper.

But once that first step is taken, and the thrill of drawing sets in, you can’t stop. Many Sketchbook Skool Students have learned to step out of their comfort zones and tried new things—like sketching in public. By being brave and mustering up the courage to just go out and do it, many discovered the joy of drawing on location, or Urban Sketching.

One of the aspects of Urban Sketching they soon discover is drawing people, which can be kind of intimidating. Liz Steel, one of the teachers in our new kourse Urban Sketching, admitted that for a long time she wouldn’t even put people in her drawings!

She’s since gotten over that fear, and so can you. We encouraged students to ask themselves: What’s the worst that could happen? Even if your sketch people look more like stick figures, you’ve done it. You’ve conquered another fear!

Practice is the key to learning how to draw people, as you’ll see from the Sketchbook Tour video through Sketchbook Skool fakulty member Lynne Chapman‘s sketchbook, above. Sketchbook Skool students have discovered lots of fun places to draw the people around them.

Here are the Top 5 places where you can draw people:

  1. Coffee shops, cafes and restaurants. People are sitting down and will sit there for a while, most likely absorbed in their own devices or conversations, paying you no attention!
  2. Libraries. People are reading, concentrated on what they are doing, and often not aware of what’s going on around them. They are not very likely to move away soon.
  3. Shopping malls. Challenge yourself by drawing people who pass by or walk towards you, with quick gestures, so you can capture their movement. This location is as challenging as it is rewarding and will produce pages full of energy and little lessons learned through delightful mistakes.
  4. Public Transportation. People are often looking at their smartphone or reading, minding their own business. This space will differ from the library in that you will be pushed to complete a drawing quickly because your subject can hop off at any moment.
  5. The Park. Here you have a lot of choices. People move around and play, but you can also focus on the ones who are sitting on a bench or in the grass. You can also draw people from afar or focus on landscapes if you need a break.

Drawing people is just one part of what you’ll learn in our next kourse. It’s five weeks of wonderful lessons about learning how to draw what’s in front of you, buildings and houses and trees and flowers and street scenes and cars and, yes, people! Click here for more on Urban Sketching!

2 mins

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