Drawings of People

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Drawings of People

Have you ever done any drawings of people in a public place like a shopping mall?

These pesky people will not keep still for a moment—so you have to be fast to capture these moments that don't last for more than a few seconds.

I find it easier to draw people in a park—someone sitting on a park bench, an old man smoking a pipe or reading the newspaper—he aint going anywhere fast!

On a Sunday afternoon, when people are more relaxed, it's a good time to get out your sketchpad and start drawing. Sometimes I take my camera to get ALL the details as my target moves off into another pose. My drawings always take preference over a camera. Drawings are far more dynamic than any photo—they have far more vitality and interest.

As people are on the move all the time, it helps if you can get a "mental image" of the person you wish to draw—then draw from that "image" in your mind. I find this helps a lot, especially if you look at your "model" then briefly close your eyes which help to retain just that image you want to draw. You do not need details, just the overall form of your model.

Below you'll see some of my sketches taken at random from my sketchbooks over the past two decades or so. There is nothing fantastic there, only rough sketches capturing fleeting moments of people being themselves. They are not posing so they are quite natural for interesting drawings you can develop.

People can be funny in their dress and miserable in their expression or body language. These are the moments to capture.

As I lived in South Africa for some years, I had the opportunity to sketch many African cultures, from the Ndebeles, Zulus, and many others. These tribal Africans were quite easy to draw as they would sit for 10 minutes without moving. They'd always be paid for their hard work. (I've now taken down my African drawings and put them on their own page.)

Drawing People:
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