Sunday, June 10, 2012

Urban Sketching People Part Two- by Desiree

Its Desiree again, finishing up our Urban sketching with people. When sketching Urban scenes your sketches will probably have some distant people in crowds, people do a lot for your sketchbook and your paintings. They not only add life but will help convey a feeling of a celebration, party or street activity. Let me also assure you that you don't have to be perfect, its all about practice. Allow yourself to fail and learn from what works and what doesn't. The more people you do the easier they will become. Some simple shapes will give you the feeling of people. A small circle for the head followed by a rectangle shape for the body and some legs and arms give you a person. You can practice by taking a sheet of watercolor paper and just do figures, walking, sitting, with purses, hats etc. You don't need details, by leaving some white or adding a highlight around them you will help them show up.

 When sketching outside with moving targets (people, dogs) I often will use my phone to capture people moving through my scene. Then when I am ready to add them they are frozen on my camera or phone and easier to sketch. You can also add more because you have captured different people on your camera.

I hope this helps you see how adding people will lend interest to your sketchbook and urban scenes, Have FUN!!


  1. Oh...thanks for the lesson! I always try to be too detailed...I love how those people look!

  2. Great idea about taking people pictures then throwing them into the sketch when you're ready. thanks

  3. Thanks! Sketching folks is intimidating to me but it does make the artwork feel warmer.

  4. I am always intimidated at the thought of adding people to my paintings. I love the idea of using other photos of people when you want to add something to a journal page. Thanks for the tips!

  5. Oh wow! I love, love, love these abstracted yet wonderfully evocatively real people....

    I need to practice my people painting skills.
    Thanks for this post!

  6. Thanks for the comments, I hope it helps. Freezing people in place with a photo always takes the stress off drawing moving objects.


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