Pencil Drawings of People: What to Consider
There are a few things to consider when creating pencil drawings of people.
[toggle] [toggle_item] [toggle_head color=”color”]Live or Photograph?[/toggle_head] [toggle_data] [text]
1. Will you draw from a live model or photograph?
Personally, I find it easier and definitely more convenient if I can draw from a photograph. It is also cheaper. Drawing from a live model can and is very helpful when learning how to “see.” However, keeping a model to pose for a few hours can be pricey and they can sometimes lose the genuine look of the initial expression or pose.
Imagine someone telling you to smile for two hours straight. Eventually you would start to look like one of those creepy clown dolls. Nobody wants that.
Taking photographs can help capture that initial and genuine pose or expression that you just can’t quite examine drawing the subject live.
Normal Rockwell, famous for his work with the Saturday Evening Post, knew this all too well. His initial rejection of photography as an aid was like many illustrators of his day. It somehow seemed like cheating, and he was ashamed. Then once he embraced it, his work flourished far greater than he could have ever imagined.
Drawing from a photograph can also allow you to get detail that you would normally not be able to achieve otherwise when doing quick pencil sketches of people.
Do You Know Basic Proportions of the Head and Body?
The most commonly taught proportion of the male human body is 7 1/2 heads tall. To simplify this, you can make it an even eight, which is the ideal proportion that most artists accept. It is more pleasing as the body is more elongated. Fashion designers often use this proportion when doing pencil drawings of people to figure out designs.
The key to remembering the proportions is easy if you break the body down into segments.
By drawing a top line for the head and a bottom line for the heel and dividing this area into eight equal parts, you should be able to draw the body at any distance and perspective from the viewer with accurate proportions.
Tip: The anatomy at this point is not as important as remembering the divisions of the body itself.
The body width will be roughly 2 heads wide. The taller you stretch the body, obviously, the higher this proportion will be. Even at its biggest, however, the body will not exceed 2 2/3 head wide. That is with the body being 9 heads tall. This is just a very small tip of the entire world that is figure drawing.
I will create more material on this subject in the future, as I am sure you are aware each part of the body can be broken down and studied. For help with the proportions of the head and face, click Here. For now, let’s get a solid overview of things to consider when creating pencil drawings of people.[/text] [/toggle_data] [/toggle_item] [toggle_item] [toggle_head color=”gray”]What Drives You?[/toggle_head] [toggle_data] [text]
What interest you the most? What is your background?
Is it drawing portraits, nude drawing (which if you want to do any sort of figure drawing you must know how to do successfully), or depicting a specific type of image such as farm life or urban hipsters? Drawing what you know is often the best way to go as you have more insight into the actual subjects you are drawing.
I love creating pencil drawings of people. So naturally, drawing portraits of friends is close to the top of my list of interests. I draw them from pictures, as getting them to stay still for any length of time would be impossible.
I use the pictures that I find best depict their style, their look, and basically their personality. I have quite a few eccentric friends, so finding interesting subject matter is not too hard. It is finding the most expressive pictures and moments![/text] [/toggle_data] [/toggle_item] [toggle_item] [toggle_head color=”normal”]Lastly[/toggle_head] [toggle_data] [text]
The best piece of advice I could give when choosing to do pencil drawings of people is to:
Really get to know or study your subject just as an actor would do for a character in a movie.
The more in tune you are with the subject, the better you will be able to depict it and capture its sense and mood. It will not even matter if your drawing is exactly perfect if you pick up on the subtleties of the subject you are drawing.
The perfect test subject is often the self-portrait. What subject do you know better than yourself? The subject of drawing people is a book that has no end. There are fundamental drawing skills that everyone must possess to produce a convincing illustration, whether it is of people or objects. These are of line, contour, and tone. All of these essentially are ways of depicting light. If you can learn to use these effectively, then you will be on your way to becoming one of the greats.
Hopefully, this has given you a little insight in to what to consider when creating pencil drawings of people or any objects, for that matter. But nothing can make up for sheer repetition. As the old saying goes: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. Practice as much as you can and study your subjects. You WILL get better. Don’t get caught up with the detail of the subject. Capture its essence and rhythm.[/text] [/toggle_data] [/toggle_item] [/toggle]
[one_half]Back to drawing portraits from pencil drawings of people [/one_half]