How to Sketch People

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Sketching people is a great way to develop characters because it gives an artist freedom to be creative with human details. Draw people with tips from a professional cartoonist and illustrator in this free video on drawing.

Part of the Video Series: Illustration & Drawing Tips
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Video Transcript

O.k. folks in this clip I'm going to teach you how to sketch people. And sketching is really a great way to kind of develop characters because it gives the opportunity to basically go in there, really play with the details of a persons face and allow yourself the opportunity to make mistakes. And most of the time when you're sketching with pencil you'll a lot of the times go over the same lines that you've done already just to, really just to kind of play with the dimensions of the character. So what I'm doing here is I'm just kind of doing a rough sketch of someone's face. Maybe a character that I'm trying to create for the first time. I'm going to come in here and I'm going to start to define the lines of this persons head. Give him his hair here and his facial features. And once you kind of firmly establish what the dimension are that's when you kind of come over these lines that you're drawing, and really kind of reinforce them. If you decide o.k. yes I know for a fact I want his chin to be here and his jaw to be here. His ears and so forth. Then you can kind of come in and really, I guess you could say firm them up in terms of, yeah this is where they go. Eyebrows, eyes. One thing that I wouldn't do though when you're sketching is don't add a whole lot of detail to things like eyes and all the little things because honestly you're probably going to like add those details in later. So just kind of, just give them, give them the spot where they're going to be and then leave that for another time. And then yeah, just kind of basically give yourself the, the room to play a little bit basically. Get your ideas out there. They're really; any mistakes at this point are very fixable. You don't need to necessarily toss you entire drawing just because for what ever reason you don't like the way you drew a particular line. You can always go in and fix it, the pencil is not supposed to be a pen. You see you're meant to kind of play with it. Meant to experiment with it. As you learn to sketch people you'll just, your hand will loosen up and you'll begin to relax as you draw, and it'll come much much easier as you draw different types of people. Like men, woman in this case. Really just, this is the time want your ideas to flow from your mind out onto the paper. You don't want to worry about being careful. Careful will come later when you're drawing the final product. For now let's just get these ideas out of your head and onto the page. It's really just kind of let your hand go. And it will roam free. And this is honestly another area where you really start to just hone your skills as an artist. You will learn to trust your instincts. You'll learn to I don't know, control your hand. And how to, I don't know visualize. Just use your, your hands starts to move with the speed of your thoughts. And they kind of form like a little, like a kind of slip in sink. It's, it's amazing the type of work that you can get done and the speed you can start to literally just see your idea take shape in front of you. And that's again the beauty of sketching. Sketching is the chance to really just let your mind go. Get your ideas out there. Of course the most important thing though is to have a vision. If you don't have a vision sketching can be beneficial I suppose in helping you get there but it won't really, you won't see anything you like until you start to get an idea of what it is you want in the first place. So I would say use sketching as an opportunity to let your mind wonder but definitely have an idea of where you want to take things when you begin to sketch. Especially when you're sketching people. People you want to give them characteristics and traits that are singular, and unique and specific to them. And you don't want to, I don't know be sloppy with it. People are the most interesting in my opinion; creatures to draw in a way because they, we know them so well. We see them everyday. You can't really fool the human eye into thinking this is anything other then a human being. Some people like to get creative and create new worlds and places where people are not a factor necessarily. I personally like to dabble in things that are a little more grounded in reality. But of course it is fun to think outside the box too but when drawing people just study the world around you. Think about exactly what it is you want to do. And let your pen or I'm sorry your pencil just kind of flow freely and get your ideas out there onto the page. Sketching lightly and then you'll go over the finished product later on with the, the pen. So yeah. That is how you sketch people.


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