Coffee break

I had to take a little break from blogging over the weekend because the grading of student projects was piling up. But I finished a good chunk of them and felt freer to spend a bit of time in McDonald’s today during a break between classes.

My struggle with figure drawing is a long and well-documented (by me) one. When I started sketching 4 1/2 years ago, I was self-conscious about drawing in public, especially when drawing people. I got over that ages ago, but I still struggle with making people look both (a) human and (b) three-dimensional. In fact, the one drawing I didn’t post from this morning is a sketch of man who turned out looking like Dracula. Today I used a brush pen, and tried not to worry too much about mistakes. You can see where I corrected the arm on the man with the green tuque. And if you are wondering where to place your first mark on the page, I still use a technique I learned from Melanie Reim at an Urban Sketchers symposium years ago: draw the line of the spine first and then everything will fit in from there.



20 Comments on “Coffee break”

  1. Judy Sopher says:

    These are wonderful. Would love to see Dracula.


  2. Jeanne says:

    Very Good!!!!


  3. Suzy powell says:

    Shari I have the same problem. I will
    Do almost anything to keep from drawing people. Haha because they look
    So weird. Will you elaborate? Or show an example of the back line? I looked on Melanie’s blog but didn’t see it. Thanks!
    Btw. LOVE your sketches and can’t believe you had trouble or drew drew Dracula!


  4. These are wonderful. I love drawing people however struggle with landscapes. Your Craftsy classes have really helped. Thank you.


  5. rickycpk says:

    I love your sketches. Glad to learn you started just 4and a half years ago. Means I still have time😏


    • Well actually I have been drawing since I was a child and I did go to art school. I am a graphic designer and have always painted too but I took a long break while my sons were growing up. Four and half years ago was when I started back sketching every day. But you will see that when you draw a little every day, it really helps your progress!


  6. Linda Daily says:

    I love your use of the brush pen and I’m glad you struggle with figures,also.
    I am so intimidated to draw people and I need to get over the fear. Your struggles and successes are inspiring.


  7. Ruby Opaltones says:

    Hi Shari Great tip from Melanie Reim via you, about drawing the spine first. I will certainly try that. I am way back in the dark ages of drawing people. I tend to draw Egyptian style people (flat and sideways), if at all. So any tip is a good tip! Best Jess On Mon, Apr 4, 2016 at 4:30 PM, The Sketchbook


  8. Nice sketches and I hope to remember that tip about setting the angle of the spine in the beginning!


  9. Great sketches. I like Melanie’s hint to draw the spine first. I’ll have to try that.


  10. These are wonderful! Really loving your brush pen sketches. I’m still terrified of people…I mean of drawing them! But I love the tip about the spine. I’ll have to get over my fears and try it one day!


  11. Great looking sketches, (even ‘Dracula’)…love the look you get with your brush pen and appreciate the tip about the ‘spine’ first.


  12. I LIKE that idea, now just to loosen up like you have here. These are wonderful gestural, and just perfect for quickies. I strive to loosen up all the time.


  13. Julana says:

    I appreciate you sharing a skill you’re working on. Gives hope! My people are always out of proportion.


  14. Susanne says:

    Your people look very human, three dimensional and not at all like Dracula and your “corrections” don’t point to mistakes at all – those searching lines add to the richness of the drawing.


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