Sketching on Location | 04 |How to Sketch People

how to sketch people final sketch

Want to learn how to sketch people? Here is a look at the sketch we are working on:


Step .01

Surface lines: lines wrapping around the form. The arm is basically a cylinder with surface lines on top. There is a principle shape for the kid’s coat but then added squiggly lines to give a sense of material and shape.Step .02

This line technique is really loose and I don’t really lift the pen much. It enables a really fast workflow which comes in really useful when you’re learning how to sketch people.



Step .03

Now we are drawing another guy who is standing there waiting for something. One of the biggest advantages of sketching on location when learning how to sketch people is that it really provides a lot of opportunities to explore and experiment.Step .04

Do not be afraid to explore and experiment with different techniques. You don’t have to show these to anyone, if you don’t want to so be experimental with your choices.



Step .05

The legs began as one bigger shape then were broken into separate pieces. Just divide in the center once you have your overall outer shape defined.Step .06

This woman is walking, her purse is swinging. When drawing her, I was not really trying to capture her exact limb but rather a shape that says “arm”. That is the gesture approach that is sketching.



Step .07

This guy is hunched over. I tend to try to get into the “what are they doing” right away. Here he is looking down, so I focused on that right away.

I had a clear idea of the pose, so I could draw each section as I go along. But if I am uncertain, I try to draw the character as a whole shape.Step .08

As you’ll see here, I am blocking it in a very simple way. Simple shapes then add in the detail.



Step .09

When I was drawing that knee, it was almost like a stick man with its simplicity. That brings us to another principle called “Straight vs. Curved”. You’ll see the front of her leg is straight or angled while the back is quite curvy. These contrasting shapes play really well off of one another.Step .10

Keep an eye for opportunities to use the `Straight vs. Curved`principle in all of your drawings. It is a strong technique that really adds a lot to your drawings.


Thanks for checking out this series on how to sketch people. Please check out our Sketching on Location video course!