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Interesting Objects to draw "Figures & Faces "

Updated: Nov 11, 2021




FIGURES & FACES Drawing random people from life is difficult and can feel a bit awkward. If you’re not ready for that, then practice by drawing them from photos. the problem with most stock photos is that they use studio lighting, stereotypical models and airbrushing. For us artists, the lack of shadow make it difficult to create form and, as beautiful as those models might be, it makes for very dull subject matter. the suggestions below and the photos I’ve chosen for you are of ‘everyday’ people in everyday environments, and most of all, in interesting lighting. I think you’ll really enjoy sketching some of these (I know I will!).

this couple riding bicycles holding hands

A front on symmetrical portrait (the hair is a silhouette with little detail making it ideal for a quicker sketch)

3  this man on a plane reading in an interesting light (I’ll be sketching this soon!)

A partially obscured face (again, makes the sketch quicker and easier)

A profile of an older woman in a headscarf (headwear plus a profile is a great time saver)

6  this lady looking thoughtful in a cafe

7  A woman outside an interesting doorway

8  this graceful ballet dancer (trying getting the shape of the dress first, then the position of the head, then the length of the arms and legs - like a stick figure - then add the structure and mass)

9  get someone to take a photo of you looking at yourself in the mirror and draw that. Something like this.

10  A couple hugging (a good reference if you want to avoid detailed faces and focus more on the pose)

11  this front on portrait with nice shadows down one side of the face (would make for a loose sketch where you can focus on the position, proportion and shape of the features)

12 A figure study from an interesting over-the-shoulder angle

13  A great 3/4 pose with really interesting silhouette shapes all around

14  this curved back of a young woman (the hair could be quite simple if you focus on blocks of value)

15  A photo of yourself taking a photo of yourself in a car wing mirror (here’s an example)

16  A woman preparing street food (notice the vignette effect of the photo - repeat that in your sketch by rendering the lady in detail and getting very loose and sketchy around the edges)

17  this young man playing the cello (personally I’d leave the tattoo - you could get a great sketch from this!)

18 A profile of an old gentleman with tons of character (don’t get overwhelmed by the detail - go for a simple sketch in this style or just a close up of the eye and nose like I did for someone else)

19  A really interesting pose of a ballet dancer (definitely add some shading to this one to capture that dramatic lighting)

20  this beautiful draped pose (no detail needed here - it’s all about getting the shape of the limbs and feet right)

21  this amazing portrait (with the added bonus of not having to render hair!)


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