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This is a sketch book exercise around drawing and painting people. The goal of the project is to draw lots of people with pencil, pen etc but also inks or water colour or whatever medium you have black ink etc works well but also introduce colour. The more the better - it is really good practice to do plenty in order to capture essence of figure and movement - not detailed portraits.


  • Thinking about perspective: drawing groups of people recognise where your eye-line is even if you are using figures from different references - try to work out what happens if you have a lower or higher eye-line as the people get smaller in the distance.

  • Clusters of people - in the first drawing below look how the group of people on the right are merging together.

  • Useful medium for this is: inks, watercolour or anything you have really. Experiment with bleeding colours and non-permanent fine liners etc. Do loads - add shadows and/or reflections

  • Try to capture essence - the slumped body, or waiting with the weight on one leg or the fashionable or the bold stance etc. 

  • I have added a few images to a new Pinterest board (called: People + Perspective) but please find your own images as well, draw the people around you, photograph them etc - always good practice to be referencing what is around us as artists but also of course online images are useful.

  • I have added a link below to an urban sketchers blog. What I really like about the blog is that there is a good focus on shapes - sometimes silhouette (sometimes more detail) but it is the shapes that matter - that show the essence of the figures.

  • Remember heads are often smaller than we think they are!

  • In the lovely lower illustration on this page you will notice the artist has brought some detail into the figures and notice how they have dealt with the figure walking towards the viewer.

Any thoughts or questions please don't hesitate to drop me a note - thanks Mike

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