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Sketching people


Several of the students in my Quick Sketch workshop are interested in sketching people. There are different approaches, depending on whether the people are very small, in a crowd, or an important element of the foreground. These two sketches were made yesterday on a pier in Sausalito, CA. I picked a spot about 40 feet from several young men seated on a bench. They all had very different “poses” making for a nice variety of gestures. I started the group of four people (plus one bird) on tan paper with graphite pencil, then switched to a Fine point black ink pen. Some of the pencil strokes are still visible. The brightest areas in the scene was the water, and I made several horizontal scribbles with a white Prismacolor pencil.


I moved to a different spot for a sketch with two of the original people. They are young Asian men with very different body types—one is stocky and the other very thin. I began with a very thin line ink pen (Micron.02). These lines were so thin they could easily be “corrected” with the Fine line Faber Castell pen. A quick impression of the San Francisco skyline and a waterfront restaurant in the background provides an environment for these fellows. Neither of them had any idea that I was drawing them.

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