sketching people workshop

My favourite workshop of the USk symposium last week was sketching people with Don Low. Here is the story of my attempts to draw people over the last 5 days.

My people before the workshop: sketching too fast and not thinking about what I’m actually seeing



In the workshop we did many exercises. The first set was to draw the outline of another person. Thinking about them as a whole being and a shape rather than component parts (head, neck, arm…). We were timed and had 4 minutes for the first sketch, 2 minutes for the next and then just 1 minute! We tried starting at the head, at the feet and at a random place.




We then did a similar set of drawings but blind! 2 minutes per sketch, the pen was not to leave the paper and we were not to look at the paper at all. We also started to add details inside the contour in different ways (looping around, scanning, looking for contrast) all still blind.




Finally we were allowed to look again (not too much though – focus should be on the person not the page) and put all the techniques into practice.


Much improvement! The next exercises were to draw groups of people and people in context with their surroundings. Still using a continuous line, dipping into and out of different elements in the scene



And that was our time up! Here are a few sketches I did on the days following the workshop. I can see much improvement here and I feel much more relaxed and confident. I just need to keep practicing and try to remember all the advice and feedback



7 thoughts on “sketching people workshop

    1. Yes do! There was so much more that I can’t quite remember now – advice on anatomy, varying the line – a mixture of short and long and straight and curved lines, and on and on! I’m hoping I absorbed some of it because I doubt i’ll remember it all.


      1. I can imagine that such workshop will be packed with information. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ll give it a try soon as I never sketch people and urban scenes.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. At the national portrait gallery on Friday night! 50 drop-in artists drawing. Several can be seen drawing the ones drawing the portraits! I also draw people waiting for trains or sitting in them. And cafes too.

        Liked by 1 person

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