Still More about Drawing People
********Assignment #18: Sniping********
Take your sketchbook to a public place with lots of people, such as the food court at a shopping mall, or a sporting event. Find a strategic place to snipe-draw, and start attempting to catch heads or whole poses on paper.
You may want to start by sketching people who are holding still and absorbed in some task that doesn’t involve much movement. But the really fun part is trying to capture people in motion. For that, try to catch a mental snapshot of someone in action. Then, blot everything else out of your mind, and try to get that snapshot down on paper.
One trick to this is to draw until your mind runs out of real, remembered details. Then use that scribble you did manage to capture as the starting point for a character that is made up by your imagination.
It’ll be very clumsy for a while. You’ll get lots of scribbles and wasted paper. But don’t worry about that – it’s all part of training yourself. The paper can be thrown away, and you will improve.
********Assignment #19: Figure Drawing Class********
It is unavoidable: the best way to learn to draw people is to lock yourself in a room with a naked sample.
Check your local community colleges, continuing-ed courses, adult courses, art centers, art leagues, etc. Somewhere near you is an opportunity to draw from a nude model. If you are underage, they very well may take you if they get your parent’s permission, even if they don’t specify that in the class info – so call them up and ask. Do everything that you can to get into one of these courses or open-drawing studios. Life drawings are the best possible thing to have in your college application portfolio.
********Assignment #20: After Figure Drawing Class: Costumes********
Once you have access to a figure-drawing class, you will find yourself with piles of sketches of naked people. Now for something a little more fun! Copy those figures, and add costumes. Go crazy! Historical dress, armor, fantasy chain-mail silliness, stylish fashion drawings, mech exoskeletons, superhero costumes, grafted-on animal parts; whatever floats your boat.
********Assignment #21: After Figure Drawing Class: Spare Parts********
Take one of your nude drawings and copy it over – only this time, use your “spare parts” technique to rebuild the pose. Use this to reverse-engineer the spare-parts technique. Where does the technique work? Where does it over-generalize? How can you change the process to build a better human from scratch?
Try to come up with a technique that works best for you. Don’t stick so slavishly to someone else’s instructions that you are limited.
Some Ideas for Still-Lifes
If you find that the objects around your house or your room aren’t all that interesting to draw, then go on a scavenger hunt. Go outside, and look for discarded junk or natural objects. Or, rummage in the fridge. An egg or an orange or a leftover drum-stick are all good subjects to draw either as-is, or bit/broken/sliced/cooked. (If it’s particularly perishable, be sure to throw it away when you are done.)
Lower-end antique stores can be good sources of inexpensive and interesting junk. Many have boxes of old keys and other miscellaneous odds and ends that can be bought for under a dollar. And even better are yard sales. The last yard sale I visited yielded two baskets and two antique glass bottles, all for a couple of dollars.
Know somebody who owns an interesting object? Ask if you can borrow it.
If all else fails, make something! Fold some origami. Crumple up some paper. Use cardboard scraps and a glue-gun to construct a castle model.
As they say in Katamari Damacy – “The world is full of many things!”