It's probably half-endearing (hopefully?) and half-annoying that I think there's no better way to start off the weekend than with art. But you know what I mean! As the chillier part of the year gets into full swing, I think we are all getting cozy in our studios with our art, and for me, nothing sounds more appealing than curling up and working in my sketchbook.
|Oscar Mendoza (profile) by Tony Ryder, 2005, graphite
and white pastel drawing on tinted paper, 18 x 14.
But I'll be honest, after the summer I think I am more than a little rusty. I need to warm up my skills, and drawing people is always an engaging way to do that, even if you aren't so great at it in the first place–like me. In the Artist Daily free eBook Learn How to Draw People: 15 Expert Tips on How to Draw a Person, I found a perfect refresher for how to draw realistic people without getting overwhelmed.
We go into the basics of drawing a person in the classical manner, using notable artist Tony Ryder's approach and artwork to teach many valuable lessons on everything we should know about how to draw a person, from the block-in and initial gestures to creating a refined contour and the final steps of gradation of tone. I was especially interested in learning how to use hatching and crosshatching. Ryder believes that pencil strokes should be thought of in the same way as a wash of color that you apply with a brush, so that you start to "mist" an entire drawing with marks that will increase the realism of your people drawings.
From there we go into the logic of shading, which was a key point for me because my eyes start to cross when I look at the human body and try to figure out how to pull out the shadows and the lights. Ryder describes it so that it all makes sense. He stresses following a procedure to build a network of shadows that gives a sense of mass and volume to your people drawings. If you want to read this section and all the insights Ryder shares with us plus more on keeping your figure drawings exciting and engaging with strong gesture, interesting poses and more, download Learn How to Draw People: 15 Expert Tips on How to Draw a Person now. Enjoy!